Fatigue, whether it be mental or physical, is a quick way to ruin any progress that you have made. Avoiding fatigue is a huge part of success when looking to achieve physique and performance goals, which is what we are usually focusing on.
While mental fatigue and physical fatigue can go hand in hand, they can also be separate. The best way to avoid burnout is to take steps to avoid both types of fatigue. Lets take a look at some things you can do!
Avoiding Mental Fatigue
Mental fatigue is something that can happen to anyone. People who are dieting might get mental fatigue more easily than someone eating more (same goes for physical fatigue). Having a growing negative feeling towards fitness and nutrition is an obvious sign that you are burnt out on the idea. Here are some things that you can do to recover, or prevent this.
Be More Social
Sometimes people entering their fitness and nutrition endeavor will completely shut themselves in. They refuse to go out on certain days to avoid messing with their training schedule. Sometimes, people are so convinced that they need to eat clean 100% of the time that they shut out close friends and family members.
While it is important to surround yourself with a good support network, you shouldn’t drop your entire life just to meet your goals. I’ve personally seen this. When they get a few months in, they tend to stop training and dieting entirely because they are so burnt out from the social consequences.
This doesn’t have to be the case! Follow a flexible diet and don’t think that missing one or two training sessions will derail all progress. Getting strong and lean isn’t the end-all-be-all of life! Make time for social interaction and still get results. It’s possible!
Change Up Your Routine
Do you always hit the gym on the same days, at the same times, with the same workout program? This is a surefire way to get mentally drained. Routine can be nice, and sticking to a program long enough to see the full benefit is obviously warranted. However, don’t be afraid to switch things up when you start to lose motivation and excitement when hitting the gym. Even with our optimal training layout, there are tons of variations that you can do!
Same goes for your diet. If you are eating the same exact things day in and day out, you will probably get tired of it quickly. Try some different foods and switch up the flavor profiles. A good idea is to just try one or two new things every time you go to the grocery store.
Implement A Refeed If You Are Cutting Weight
The less calories you are eating, the more fatigue you will encounter, and it won’t only be physical. Try having a refeed day once or twice and week to enjoy yourself and stop the monotony of dieting. These days could also be used for the social outing that I discussed earlier. This is a great way to enjoy life a little more and even stop metabolic damage in its tracks!
Have A Specific Goal
Nobody likes endless training and dieting without making progress towards a goal. If you don’t have set goals in place that you can effectively track, you are doing yourself a disservice.
Avoiding Physical Fatigue
Physical fatigue is easy to gauge. If you are losing strength in the gym, getting more sore from regular workouts, or finding yourself struggling way more during something like our HRR Conditioning Intervals, then it’s time to recover from that physical fatigue!
Take A Rest Day
If you normally have 2 rest days a week but find yourself drained at the end of every week, maybe it’s time to switch to a 3 rest days/week plan. Having another day dedicated to rest and recovery will definitely help your physical fatigue. If this enough, it might be time for a deload week.
Take A Deload Week
When extra rest days aren’t working, taking a week to deload can do wonders. In a deload week, you are backing off on training volume and intensity. You will be lifting lighter weights for less sets!
This is a great time to master your form, since you won’t encounter much fatigue throughout the week. Don’t let your ego ruin your recovery week! Cut your weights by 30-50% depending on how you are feeling and how much you need this deload week.
If you encounter fatigue to the point of injury, you need, at minimum, an entire rest week. Nobody is giving you alpha points for working through an injury. Just take some damn time to recover!
Eating too little causing physical fatigue to set in much faster. Unless you are cutting and absolutely need to make your goal by a certain date (a powerlifting meet or something meaningful like that), you can slow your dieting down and reap the benefits of improved recovery and better performance in the gym. Who wants to sacrifice strength, muscle, and endurance to lose weight a little bit faster?!
Use More Recovery Tactics
Things like foam rolling, stretching, yoga, mobility work, contrast showers, etc. are great ways to help you recover and reduce fatigue. If taking rest days, a deload week, or eating more aren’t options for you, you will definitely need to focus more on using recovery tactics more effectively and efficiently!
Take steps to avoid fatigue whenever possible. A huge part of performance and mastering your physique involves optimal recovery. And, you know how important optimizing everything is to me!
What do you do to avoid mental and/or physical fatigue? Let me know with a comment below!!