Why Am I Feeling Fatigued? Overcome Workout Burnout

It’s common to experience burnout, especially if you’re not used to working out often. This is your body telling you that something is off, and that it needs fixing. So, make sure you listen to that feeling you get when you’re overly tired. OK, how do you overcome workout burnout? I’ll talk a little about the symptoms of burnout and then some remedies for you to fix it.

Symptoms of Burnout

It’s important to know when you’re burning out, or if you are already there. These are just a few things, but there may be more depending on how you react to your situation:

  • Sleeping Issues
  • Muscles are so sore you have trouble moving them
  • You’re fatigued to the point where you have no energy
  • Irritability
  • Constantly thirsty
  • Lost motivation to work out

Again, these are just a few. When I’m burnt out, it’s difficult to just get out of bed in the morning. If I do get out of bed and I start to warm up, I don’t feel like I can execute the workout of the day.

So, how do you know if it’s burnout or just normal fatigue? If it’s burnout, you’ll feel like you’re unable to do anything. If it’s normal fatigue, you’ll still have some energy to go throughout your daily tasks. So, that’s just one of many measuring sticks you can use.

Hydrate More

Many people don’t hydrate properly to begin with, let alone when they start an exercise routine. The basic rule of thumb is to consume half your body weight in ounces of water each day. That seems like a lot. And if you’re not used to drinking that much water, then it really is.

Consider a few things though, what do you drink in the morning with breakfast? Just coffee? If that’s the case, why not have 8oz of water too? What about lunch? What do you drink then? At restaurants? At dinner?

Most will consume a beverage of their choice that normally doesn’t include water. Why not ask for a glass of water at a restaurant along with the beverage you enjoy? That’ll increase your water intake without changing a routine. Add water into facets of your life without making drastic changes to the beverages you consume.

If you’re a soda drinker, make sure you’re drinking some water shortly after. Same goes for energy drinks. I highly discourage energy drinks prior to workouts. Caffeine is a diuretic, and will dehydrate you when you fluids the most. So what about pre-workouts?

Pre-Workouts And Electrolytes

I’m not a fan. There are significant side effects if not taken properly, like getting jitters. But there are upsides to it as well like being able to exercise for longer. If you’re just starting out, avoid the pre-workouts for now. If you’re a veteran trainer, use common sense.

Water is your friend, and so are electrolytes. Why is that though? Your body needs water and salt to continue to keep the body running. Too much water will flood your cells, and prevent them from functioning. Too little water will dry them out, and slow the body down. Salt is the same way; not too little or too much.

Some of my peers like to drink children’s electrolyte drinks when they’re feeling fatigued along with lots of water. They’re also peeing every five minutes, but at least their hydrated. Also, I like those sports drinks to get electrolytes in me. I know the sugar isn’t great for you, but at least you’re getting some electrolytes.

Stay away from diuretics prior to your workouts. Hydration is extremely important especially when you’re doing more intense work. Drink water the night before. Make sure you’re peeing enough. If you hydrate enough, you’ll prevent heat exhaustion during your workout.

Scale Back Your Intensity

Sometimes you’ll need to bring it down a notch. For example, I recently tried to do two-a-days to prepare for some intense training for work. However, I really burnt myself out doing that. I was doing strength training in the morning and cardio in the evening. I had trouble sleeping, I was falling asleep on the floor at home playing with my kids, and I generally had no energy to do anything.

If you’re doing some intense workouts and there’s minimal relief, then you might want to take a rest day or two. I took three days to recover from my burnout, and opted to do stretches and light weight training.

Being able to listen to your body will save you in the long run. Keeping that even-keel perspective will help you to know your baseline and when you’re off said baseline.

Scaling back will also help you to know what you can do better to avoid this in the future. You must continue to assess your workouts. How are you doing with these? Why did I burn out? Working out hard is good for the body, but you need to assess your intensity, and how that applies to your overall fitness goals.

Rework Your Fitness Goals

Don’t lose sight of your true purpose for working out. If you’re goals are lofty, then you can keep them or relook at how reasonable they are. Expectation management is paramount when working out because you must be reasonable with your expectations.

A lot of times people burn out because their expectations are off. They work out for a month and see minimal improvement on their overall goals. Be patient. Improvement and regression happens with fitness. If you set realistic expectations for yourself, then you’ll be less likely to experience burnout.

People will burn out because they failed to set an expectation for their next workout. In essence, working out is all about expectations. You set those high for your end goals, and then have smaller expectations for your immediate workouts. You’re not going to get a personal record every workout. But you’ll at least get closer.

Eat The Right Things

Oh yes, eating the right things. Corn, broccoli, spinach…and all that healthy stuff. Just pay attention to what you’re putting in because you’re output will be similar (not on the throne though but that’s technically true!) So, if you’re eating fast food every day and working out too, you’ll see less results than if you had healthier meals to eat.

Combine your carbs and proteins following a workout. When you’re doing more cardio, you’ll need more carbs. When you’re lifting more, you’ll need more protein. Do what feels right for you.


There you have it. How to avoid burnout or get through it if you’re there. I know there’s a lot here, but the overall intent is to make sure you’re taken care of. After all, working out should be enjoyable! It should be an invigorating experience to enhance your life. So, take these tips into consideration and overcome that burnout!

I would love to hear your ideas on getting through burnout, so please comment below. If you have questions or comments please post in the comments section as well. Thanks Garage Gym Goers, and I’ll see you next time!



  1. I am not say I wasnt sure I would be good a understanding this type of article, but I understand wxactly what you were telling me. It was very informative and gave good information on ideas of what to do when this does happen. It also tole me we should listen to our body more in those ways not the negative ways. Yes to salad and No to chips! 🙂 Good luck with future articles think you have something good here.

    • Amy,
      I’m glad this article helped you out! This can happen to anyone, so it’s important to gauge how you react to different workouts. Thanks for your comment!

  2. This article is very well written. I’ve been looking at few websites and I’ve noticed that the author wasn’t able to make the sentences flow very well. Your subject isn’t even something I’m interested in but I kept reading because I didn’t have to struggle to understand it. I tried to find flaws but if there are any, I didn’t see them. Your writing skill is pretty good. keep at it.

    • Ibrahim,
      Thank you for the compliment! I hope that you’ll find more content on my site that’ll be easy to read as well. Thanks for your comment!

  3. This was very informative. I spent many years drinking too much soda and in my later years I completely stopped and starting drinking a lot of water.

    I cannot even describe how much better I feel even as an older adult compared to my twenties.

    I will definitely remember your symptoms of burnout and your guidance on eating properly but most of all you captured me with your thoughts on water. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nate!
      I’m grateful you’re feeling great when drinking lots of water! Yes, burnout can affect everyone, but it’s how you handle it that makes all the difference. Thanks for your thoughts and comment!

  4. Good article. It seems that there are no short cuts to working out; including what we drink, eat or sleep. Great insight on the nature of energy drinks and other pre-workouts, especially what starting out. If I am just getting started and my heart rate is up, how much is that from exercise vs. pre-workout? Keep these coming as they are very encouraging.

    • Tim!
      You’re right, there aren’t shortcuts to good health other than doing the right thing. We all need sleep, a good appetite, and exercise in our life. Great question about pre-workout! If you’re just getting into working out I don’t suggest pre-workout for a couple of reasons. First, you’re not going to be working out hard enough to make the pre-workout wear off. Two, it can prematurely alter your body to depend on pre-workout instead of naturally moving into a fitness-oriented lifestyle. But, if you’re using pre-workout and it’s working for you, then great! One metric you can use to determine if you’re heart rate is up prior to working out is determining your heart rate before taking a pre-workout and then another time about 30 minutes after AND just before starting your workout. It’ll amp you up, so you’ll feel it. Whereas for exercise without pre-workout, take your heart rate before conducting your warm-up, and then do it again at the end of your workout. Compare the two sets of data and you’ll see how pre-workout can work for you. Let me know if that helps! I’m always willing to help:) Thanks for your comment, Tim!

  5. Hello bobby, this post is a truly educative one. Burnout is real and I have have encountered it a couple of times before. In fact, I had to give up my exercise due to burnout. I think it happened because I wasn’t dieting really well and I had sleeping disorders to complement so my exercise wasn’t working for me and I wind up getting exhausted. Great post and thanks for the tips. I’ll implement them when I have another scheduled routine.

    • Henderson!

      It totally makes sense when you talk about having to stop due to burnout. Burnout can put a major damper on things for sure. I hope you’ll be able to get back on another good workout routine soon! Thanks for your comment!

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