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?

Best,
Edward

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.

Love,
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?

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

Comments

  1. Hi Davey,

    It’s quite exhausted after working or studying.
    And there’s no gym centre around my home, I found it becomes a excuse for me not to go for exercise.
    And I’m just a novice, do you have some tips that may help me to keep doing exercise as my habit and what category I should focus on firstly? Thank you so much!

    Best wishes,
    Skary

  2. I feel the same usually… But I just kick myself up there, really. Nothing more to it. Beforehand I never like going but once I’m there I’m ready to get sweating. But I’ve also made it a habit to go at the same time every week, so I guess that should help.

  3. Thanks for the prompt reply! I shall definitely try these tips and report back soon. I am sure many can related to the same problem and hope it helps others.
    If you are ever in Dubai, get in touch! x

  4. I never exercise before, em too lazy. But em on my 3rd week now working out. I travel 10km from work to go to my house en walk another 1km to the gym, but i never miss a single workout day, i even go on saturday en sunday if i hv nothing to do.
    Too tired, is juz an excuse. And it only means ur lazy

  5. Personally I’ve started doing this thing where I check into Foursquare after each workout. It’s sort of like a personal reward, and it’s always nice to get bonus points for consecutive check-ins.

  6. from my experience, it helps if you find a fun exercise you really like. then you WANT to go to the gym and hate not being able to. for me now it’s zumba. before it was combat aerobics. belly dancing and pole dancing are fun too!

    though when i trained for runs, i did find jogging a little boring, BUT the end goal motivated me, because i had to be able to run 15k in 1 hour 45 mins. so i found that a goal can be helpful too. but after i achieved that goal, and when my knees and ankle began to ache, i pretty much stopped running. now dancing is the most enjoyable, less injury prone thing for me 🙂

  7. Try this, I wake up at 6am out the door by 7 and drive an hour to work. Work from 8am to 8pm then drive an hour home. I have decided I will workout on my days off. Try and tell me I should workout before or after work and I’ll tell you to give it a whirl.

  8. N.O. Xplode to rescue!

  9. Hi Davey,
    I work on average 20 hour days in the entertainment industry. I am oncall 24/7 and work 7 days a week – I just hit my 210 international flight the other day for the year and trying to fit working out in however im finding it hard and dont know what to do.

    thanks

  10. artsycreation says:

    I know this sounds cliche but,JUST DO IT. I don’t sleep better, have that “good” feeling afterwards, or improved energy but, it gets me through my day and I know it’s helping me out. If you do nothing then you just get fatter, have to deal with several health issues and many other issues.

  11. A trick that helps me make sure I work out is carrying around my gym bag all day. I bring it to work with my gym clothes and the day’s food supply. If something deters me from going to the gym after work, it turns into my bag of shame that I’ve been carrying around for no reason. Having to explain my bulky bag to friends during happy hour or any place else other than the gym makes me feel a little bit of shame for not following through on my promise to myself that day, especially if I’ve eaten like I was going to work out.

    On the other hand, when I meet up with people AFTER the gym, bag hanging from elbow, it becomes a bag of pride and I feel great about myself. Call it corny, quirky, or what have you, but it works for me.

    Thanks Davey! Great tips.

  12. If you go the gym after work it is essential not to go home first, as Davey says. If possible, pick a gym that is between work and home, so that you can just stop on the way.

    As to feeling tired, that may well be a psychological reaction to the thought of exertion. Once you begin your workout you may find it disappears.

  13. a cellphone or a mp3 player full of your own preffered tracks and remixes and a good cup of cafeine before wrking out.

  14. I have been reading and following some of your articles for several months already. I just want to thank you! I effort myself to take care of my health and my body and mind and the way I look and I feel. Sometimes I find it very challenging and reading your outlooks on better living gives me the desire to do better and give more to improve myself.

    ¡SALUDOS DESDE CIUDAD DE GUATEMALA, GUATEMALA!

  15. There are many days when I just want to go home. But more often than not, I seem to get the best work out when I am the most tired. If you are like me and have an office job, your mind may be tired, but your butt has been sitting in that chair at work all day long, and the body is ready to go. Here are some of my tricks to get to the gym:
    1. Change your frame of mind. On the way to the gym, queue up a kick-ass up-beat song, and think about that next social event where you want to look your best.
    2. As an immediate reward, entice yourself with the prospects of the eye candy you might see in the gym. (I know it is cheap, but it works…)
    3. If you have a full service gym, tell yourself you are just going to stop by and grab a smoothie, or take in the steam room or whirlpool. Once you get there, you realize that you might as well work out.
    4. Make an appointment to meet a friend there. You will think twice about standing them up in favor of sinking into your Lazy-Boy.
    Above all, workout partners are the best motivation. And, if we all had a workout partner like Davey, motivation would definitely not be a problem. 🙂

  16. i usually look forward to the young studs in the locker rooms showers and treadmills. plus i always listen to my favorite music. but the # 1 motivational reason that helps me is my gut i look at it and it reminds me that i have to keep going no matter what plus i have back problems so exercise helps alot.

    • Joel JIf homosexuality were a ciohce, would that be so bad? When a straight engages in sex with a gay person, is he homosexual by ciohce or just a misguided straight? I can’t speak from experience, but I have heard some women claim they switch back and forth from heterosexuality to homosexuality (lesbianism). Those who most castigate gays also say they stand for freedom. So what’s wrong with making a free ciohce about one’s sexual experience? Are they hypocrites? The answer is yes.

  17. Such a deep asnewr! GD&RVVF

  18. It depends what kind of work you do all day!
    If you sit in a office all day, pushing pencils around and writing e-mails, then obviously going to the gym will not be a problem.

    I work hard from 9 till 6 sometimes 7. I do plumbing and heating work. I constantly have to drive from job to job and carry heavy tools and materials all day running up and down stairs.
    After I finish work all I want is to lie down and have some rest, because tomorrow the same awaits me.

    Now, Im not complaining because of the hard work. All I want to find out is where to get more energy from???

    I really want to got to the gym, but I have no energy to spare. So I gained some belly and waist weight.

    Im 6.4″ tall good built. apart from the belly and waist fat.

    So tell me people shall I take energy supplements or what?

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