Workout to Burn Out

Hi guys! How was your weekend?

It was pretty cold and dreary here, but aside from that, not too shabby! Saturday after work, Shane and I headed out for drinks at our favorite place down town, and then to the Thai House for dinner (hence yesterday’s little game.) Yesterday, I went to the gym to run (more on that in a sec) and spent the day hanging out with my parents – shopping and dining and whatnot Smile Good times!

This morning I opted out of working out (again, more on that in a sec) and instead, finalized some emails for a boot camp I’m holding with a small group of past and current clients.

Breakfast smoothies for breakfast:


I omitted the spinach, and just made strawberry-banana protein smoothies, because Shane said to make him one, too, and he’s afraid of green drinks.

Sigh…oh well. Sometimes it’s nice to have a regular colored smoothie Winking smile

Work Out Burn Out

So, let’s talk about my recent workouts, shall we?

Last Wednesday – ChaLEAN Extreme’s Fat Burn Challenge: felt fine, but it was intense, however, was over in 30 minutes.

Thursday – omg I’m wiped. Totally taking a rest day today. However, I eventually did do this workout later that day. But I rushed through it and couldn’t use too much weight.

Friday – spin. It was the new release, so my energy was up, and I was pumped. But as I got spinning…why can’t I get my RPM’s up? Why is this so hard for me but my heart rate’s only in the 150-160 range??

Saturday – Ugh, long day, and I feel almost sick. I’m too beat to workout. However, since I got to the gym 20 minutes early, I pedaled lightly while reading my book.

Yesterday – I did this treadmill incline interval workout:


I completed it, but it wasn’t easy.

About 10 minutes in, I began to think, man, why does this feel so dang tough?! And on that third stretch, I wasn’t sure if I was going to complete it, and I even had to tweak it slightly to do so. Then after coming home and eating breakfast, I had to take a nap I was so tired.

So, in the past 5 days, I’ve:

  • felt too weak to complete a workout
  • slept poorly
  • couldn’t get my heart rate as high as I usually do during intense workouts
  • felt like I needed a nap after days of intense workouts
  • not able to lift as much as usual

Do you know what those four points are all symptoms of? Burn out/over training.

You might be thinking the same thing I was at first – that it’s not like I workout an crazy amount each week. There are ironmen out there who do brick workouts that take three hours! My workouts span 45-90 minutes a day (the 90 minute-ers are far and few between, and split up between cardio and strength at different times of the day) and frequent 5-6 times a week.

However, I know my body, and I’m 100% sure that it’s telling me what I’m currently doing is too much. For me. Right now.


So instead of working out today, I’m going to take a rest day. Even though I took a rest day Saturday and plan to take at least another rest day on Wednesday, it’s fine. Because the next result of overtraining/burn out after this is injury, and I for sure as hell do not want to be injured – especially one month before hiking in Colorado!

Perhaps you didn’t need to know all that, but I just felt that maybe you struggle with pushing yourself too far just because you know what you’re capable of and just because it’s on the schedule. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below, you could be over training, and a rest day (or week!) may be in order:

  • Increased irritability
  • Inability to sleep well
  • anxiety
  • Decreased endurance/speed/strength etc.
  • Increased resting heart rate (I had this one, too!)
  • Slower recovery after workouts
  • Decreased or increased appetite
  • Decreased heart rate during workouts

Lindsay posted the other day about her “keeping up with Joneses’” mentality of workouts. How sometimes she catches herself trying to keep up with uber fit bloggers out there by trying to do the same type or intensity of workouts they do (or perhaps just write about!!) The same thing can happen when we race against ourselves. Just because last year at this time you might have been running 40 miles a week and strength training twice weekly and going to power yoga on Sundays, doesn’t mean a) that was good for you, but most importantly b) that it’s what you need to be doing still right now.

And that’s my little spiel for today Winking smile

Off to train others! Have a great Monday, loves.

How many rest days do you typically take each week? Do you take more if you’re feeling sluggish?

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  1. I used to take one… and got all the above symptoms. I was over doing it for me, for sure! In the fall since I was not doing any half or full marathons this year I dropped it down to 2 rest days a week, then in March I went to 4. I decided to enjoy my summer and spend more time doing active things like walks, golfing, bike riding etc instead of in the gym. My last 2 summers were spent in training mode, and I was worn out and did not enjoy them fully so decided it was enough. Great post :)

  2. Glad I read this post…I can tell my body also needs some extra rest days lately. I usually take 1 rest day a week but sometimes I definitely need to make time for more! It’s easy to forget that your body is ‘rebuilding’ and getting stronger on your rest days! I definitely find myself comparing my workouts to other bloggers and ‘trying to keep up.’ Thankfully many, like you, encourage rest days so I’ll copy you and take a rest day today!

  3. I’m not gonna lie, when you said “do you know what those are all symptoms of?” I was quite sure you were going to say you were preggo. It’s apparently in the blogger water you know. I’m making sure not to drink it 😉

  4. I usually have one full day off and one “light” day at the gym. However, I took two days completely off this last week because I got home both days and couldn’t imagine going. Sometimes I take even more time off, but usually after 2 days, I’m ready to go the next time!

  5. Enjoy your rest day! It’s so important to know when your body has had enough. Way to be a great example!

  6. I never used to take any rest days. I used to workout 7 days a week, but never pushed myself all that hard. I did a lot of slow runs. Now I usually train about 5 days a week (3-4 harder sessions) and 1-2 easier sessions. I’ve realized that it’s so much better to fit in a few great sessions and take the time to properly recover!

  7. Way to listen to your body. I always take one full rest day a week. I’ve suffered over-training syndrome before (not just burn out) and it was awful. It was a huge mental problem as well as physical. I vow never to do that again. In fact, I checked myself yesterday. I did 4 very easy miles and that was it. I had planned on a brief bit of kickboxing w/ abs (like 20-25 mins). But there was no real reason to do it when I was honest with myself. Missing one day of abs is so trivial.

  8. TOTALLY AGREE with you on that. I’ve been off “real” workouts for almost 7 weeks now. Yoga and walking. It was a good break. Once my stomach is all better I am ready to workout. But slowly. Our bodies know what they are doing, they give us CLEAR signs, we just need to listen.

  9. Good job listening to your body Paige. I think sometimes it’s hard for people like us to admit that we need to take a break. I normally take two rest days a week. I need them and they make me feel stronger.

  10. I usually take two days off. Sometimes I’ll just take one off, and then do some light yoga or something another day, but I think its really important to give your body a break.

  11. Ugh, you sound like you’re feeling exactly how I was and sometimes still am! At least our bodies tell us though and we are smart enough to listen to them! I usually only take 1 rest day but now I’m thinking I need to start taking 2, and doing one of those as an active rest day- where maybe I’ll do something, but incredibly light!

  12. Glad you posted on this! I have been struggling with this feeling for the past month or so. I will take 2-3 rest days in a row to try and get myself feeling back to normal, but the next workout I complete I feel just as tired. I’m not sure if its over training or something else going on. It is so frustrating. You are smart enough to listen to your body and take the rest it needs so good for you. I clearly need a lesson on this. 😉 It is especially hard if we are trying to keep up with other people and our bodies can’t handle it.

  13. LOVE this post! I recently felt pretty burnt out from exercise – I DREADED going to the gym, felt weak and tired, but thought I had to because I always worked out 6 days a week! Finally I took some extra rest days last week and I’m slowing it down. All that plus the stress of finals was too much on my body!

  14. It’s great that you’re listening to your body; just don’t feel guilty about it! I work as a PT and group fitness instructor too and I think many of us have difficulty with balancing our work and our workouts. I’ve had weeks where I’ve taught 7 or 8 classes and then worried about not getting a workout in (meaning I didn’t have time to do my OWN weight room workout). How crazy is that?
    Even when I’m training clients (as a rule, I never work out with them), I’m demonstrating every exercise they do, 3 or 4 or 5 times multiplied by 5 or 6 clients in a day. That’s more of a workout that some people do for themselves!

  15. I used to just take one rest day per week, regardless of how my body felt. I’m so much better now at taking them as needed! It’s definitely worth it…one day of rest is better than weeks off due to injury!

  16. I needed this today. I did a hard 45 minute full-body tabata workout yesterday and I am REALLY feeling it today. I want to workout today because I have the energy, but my muscles are screaming at me. So, I am going to listen to my body, and take a rest day. Tomorrow I will be back at it with a pyramid upper body workout, along with some abs and maybe a side of sprints. :)

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