We all know that January is the time of year when the gym is packed to maximum capacity. Bodybuilders easily consider this the most dreaded month at the gym. You can’t find a bench, people are curling in the squat rack and weights are all over the floor.
Thankfully, the “New Year’s resolution” members get weeded out within a month or two if they even make it that long. There are a few that actually hold strong to their new fitness promise and stick with it. Bravo! But, the year is far from over. It’s only August, yet this is month many newbies start to burnout.
Ironically, this is also the time many old-school hard hitters get a bit tired. It’s the end of summer, after all. We’ve been playing in the sun with our shirts off, showing off our ripped physiques and tearing it up with the weights. When the shirts go back on, some of us tend to take it a bit easier on the bench.
Here are 4 of the best tricks to avoid workout burnout:
1. Stop Being A Hater
You don’t like to squat because your knees hurt. You don’t like to bench press because your gym partner benches more than you do. You don’t like to do push-ups because you think they’re pointless. The list goes on and you sound like a baby. Sure, we all have specific workouts we hate to do. Many guys dread leg day and you’ve seen plenty of photographic proof: guys with huge tops and small bottoms. What you hate is usually what you’re worst at, so push yourself harder. Don’t injure yourself, but don’t make excuses either.
2. Stop The “Deja Vu” Routine
Every week is the same: Bicep Mondays, Tricep Tuesdays, Leg Wednesdays, Chest/Back Thursdays and Shoulder Fridays. You’ve got to mix up your workout routine before you drag yourself into the pits of dreading your workouts. If you keep doing the same thing over and over and over again, you’re going to bore yourself (and your muscles) to the point of no return. Changing up your workout routine will not only perk up your gym days, it will break you out of any plateaus.
3. Stop Over-training
Did you know that stress hormones (primarily cortisol) reach abnormally high levels when you over-train? You’re also more apt to plateau. Athletes must put their bodies under a certain amount of stress to increase physical capabilities. If the stress loads are appropriate, then the athlete’s performance will improve. If the stress loads are inappropriate, then the athlete will enter a state of over-training and burnout. If you think you’re going to get better gains by over-training, think again.
4. Stop Being Your Worst Critic
Yeah, you heard me right. Stop beating yourself up. When you’re working out, you need to be a positive coach and your biggest fan wrapped into one. Push yourself harder without sounding like a sadistic drill sergeant. Don’t look in the mirror and hang your head in shame because you don’t look like Arnold. Just remember that the days you are most confident you’re going to lift better and also enjoy being there. It should be the time in your day that you’re proud of yourself and what you’re accomplishing.
Workout burnout is all too common and happens every day. I’ve known plenty of guys who were once at the top of their game only to get burnt out and lose it all. They went back to square one and nobody wants that. The gym became more of a thing they “had” to do opposed to something they “wanted” to do. These four tips will help you keep the gym in a positive perspective and also optimize your time while you’re there.