Archive for the tag - fatigue

Too Tired for the Gym? 8 Tips.

Hi Davey!

I have a question: Is it possible to be too tired to go to the gym or to work out?

I leave for work at 7am and don’t come home until 6pm. I’m perpetually tired and sleepy. I often come back from work and think I’ll rest for an hour and then go to the gym, but then I realize that I am too tired and end up sleeping. Am I too tired for the gym?


Dear Edward,

The real question isn’t if you’re too tired for exercise. The real question is why you’re letting this excuse prevent you from enjoying the benefits of regular exercise – like increased energy, better sleep and the release of “feel good” hormones.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, experts agree that regular exercise boosts energy levels. In fact, a recent review of 12 large-scale studies found a direct link between physical activity and reduced fatigue. And though it may feel challenging to hit the gym when you’re depleted, the good news is that even small increments of exercise can help. According to one study from the University of Georgia, even a simple walk may be better than a nap for reducing fatigue and increasing energy.

If you feel too tired to workout after a long day of work, try these tips:

  1. Go directly to the gym after work. Don’t go home first. It’s easy to get caught up in television shows, talking with friends or napping. Keep yourself on track by bringing your gym bag to work – and then going straight to the gym.
  2. Try working out in the morning. If you’re more of a morning person, try going to the gym when you wake up. Obviously, you’ll have to shift your sleep schedule accordingly – but you’ll probably have more energy to power through your workout. Moreover, it will energize the rest of your day.
  3. Enlist the help of gym buddy. One of the biggest benefits of a workout partner is accountability. If you know that you’re meeting a friend at the gym, you’re less likely to skip it.
  4. Take an after-work yoga class. I’ve always found yoga to be both energizing and de-stressing, especially after work. Moreover, you’ll get a great workout and increase flexibility! Check your gym’s schedule for classes.
  5. Don’t workout every day. If you’re just starting out, exercise a few times per week. Anything else will be unsustainable – and your risk of burnout will increase exponentially. Going to the gym should be a wonderful treat for your body. It shouldn’t feel like a prison sentence for your schedule.
  6. Change into your gym clothes at work. It’s a simple and silly trick – but it works! Before you leave work, slip into the bathroom and put on your gym clothes. It gives your brain and your body the message that it’s time to workout.
  7. Know the difference between a tired mind and a tired body. Angry customers or phone calls or endless meetings may exhaust your mind – but your body is still fired up and ready to go. Don’t confuse mental exhaustion with physical exhaustion.
  8. Focus on the benefits. Don’t view going to the gym as just another commitment or as an expense of time. On the contrary, exercise is an investment in yourself and it comes with a number of fantastic benefits. Rather than dreading the gym, focus on the benefits of exercise that inspire you – like increased longevity, decreases disease risk, improved sex life, better sleep, boosted energy and so on.

What it really comes down to is this: Your low energy levels are a reason to workout – not an excuse to skip the gym. To that end, I hope the above tips help.

Davey Wavey

P.S. If you can relate to Edward’s question, let me know in the comments below! Do you have any additional tips or trick that have helped you?

Overload Vs. Fatigue.

Overload Vs. Fatigue: What's the difference?

Anyone looking to increase their muscle mass should be familiar with the term progressive overload.

Developed by Thomas Delorme, M.D. to help rehabilitating World War II soldiers, progressive overload is the the gradual increase of stress placed on the body during exercise training. It’s based on the brilliantly simple but scientifically-proven concept that muscles won’t grow unless they’re forced to do so – and progressively overloading your muscles is the most effective way to do just that; it’s a technique that body builders have been using for decades.

There are a number of ways to progressively overload a muscle during exercise, but the most common is adding additional resistance. If you’re new to working out, you may be able to increase the amount of resistance or weight that you’re working with by 5 – 10%. For seasoned gym-goers, 2% – 5% may be more realistic.

For example, you may typically do 3 sets of 8 repetitions of biceps curls with 50 pound weights. You’re progressively overloading your muscles if you reach for the 52.5 or 55 pound dumbbells instead. You may not be able to do each set of 8 repetitions initially, but over time you’ll be able to build back up – and then reach for heavier weights yet again.

Overload is sometimes confused with fatigue.

Fatigue is when your muscles are tired. Certainly, overloading your muscles will lead to fatigue – but they’re not one in the same; there are any number of ways to fatigue your muscles. For example, doing a huge number of bicep curls with a light weight will eventually fatigue your muscles. And it may even result in some small gains in mass, but it’s certainly not the most effective technique for muscle growth.

The problem is that many people leave the gym with fatigued muscles – and thus assume that their workout is effective in achieving their muscle mass goals. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Fatigued muscles aren’t so important as the process by which they became fatigued. For efficient and effective muscle gains, overloading is a great long-term strategy.