How To Beat Workout Suckitis
So yesterday’s workout was not fun.
Actually, “not fun” doesn’t begin to describe it.
It wasn’t that the workout was too tough, or that I ramped the intensity up, I just didn’t “feel” it. I was getting tired too quickly, wasn’t able to use the same amount of intensity and it felt like I was walking through quick sand.
Have you ever felt like that during a workout?
It happens to me from time to time and I know exactly what caused it. I didn’t eat well over the weekend. That combined with a little extra stress and it brought a perfect storm of “Workout Suckitis.”
That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
How to get rid of Workout Suckitis.
Before I tell you how to get over it, you must first learn how to recognize it.
- If you feel sluggish right away in your workout, sometimes even during your warm-up.
- If you can’t use as much resistance/weight as usual, or you can’t do the same level of intensity with bodyweight exercises.
- You require a lot more rest before you feel strong enough to move on.
- Every step feels like you’re walking on a sandy beach, but not with a cool cocktail in one hand and waves lightly touching your toes. Nope, this one is 6 inches deep with tiny hands that reach up and snare your ankle with every step and storm clouds overhead.
- Your first thought, as soon as you look at your workout, is “this is going to be hell.”
Okay, now that we got through those, we also have to cover a couple more things.
This doesn’t cover being a weenie, or thinking the workout is just too tough. If you have the energy, and just don’t want to do the workout, this does NOT apply. Do your stinkin’ workout.
This also does not apply if you’re simply still sore from your previous workout, UNLESS you meet a couple of those bullets above. If you’re sore AND incredibly sluggish, then you definitely need to pay attention.
Basically, this doesn’t apply if you’re just being a weenie and want to skip the workout.
Now back to getting you over this nasty affliction known as Workout Suckitis.
There are a few reasons you may be feeling this way.
You could be like me, and have eaten poorly over the previous couple days. I feel this way if I eat too many grains over a 2-3 day period, and this past weekend definitely fits that bill, and combine that with poor meal timing and I’m full on in Workout Suckitis.
Food supplies your body with energy. This should be no surprise.
It shouldn’t come as any further surprise that if you eat like crap, your workouts WILL suffer (not to mention you’ll struggle to lose weight).
But this goes beyond total calories and now includes QUALITY of calories.
Meaning you could still be eating a “proper” amount of calories, but if the source of the calories is junky, then your brain and muscles won’t be getting the nutrients needed to push you through and perform at a high level…or any level at all.
Cut the junk, increase your intake of quality fats and vegetables. Quality fats include things like coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and fish like salmon. Don’t forget to supplement with EFA’s as well, especially if you’re suffering from Workout Suckitis.
Cutting the junk means cutting processed grains. If you’re consuming inflammatory foods your workouts, and quality of life, will suffer.
Cut ‘em, cut ‘em, cut ‘em.
Are you stressed out?
Stress is a killer on the mind and body and is a leading cause of Workout Suckitis.
The interesting thing is that an intense workout usually kicks stress to the curb, however…
… If your levels of stress stay elevated for any length of time your ability to recover and rest will go down the tubes. A stressful life makes it impossible for your body to rest and repair, and if you can’t rest and repair then your workouts will suffer – not to mention your health and quality of life.
Take some “me time” and unwind.
It’s okay. I’m giving you permission. Tell your friends and loved ones that you’re checking out for a few hours and are going to completely unwind, and then DO IT!
Have you been exercising intensely for days on end?
If you’re following an intense workout program that requires you to train 6 days per week for at least an hour, AND you have a family and/or professional life, you need to stop and take a break.
I’m a big fan of intense workouts, but when you combine LONG intense workouts with the stresses of every day life you will destroy your adrenal glands and nervous system.
How do you know if this is you?
Are you tired way too early in your workout?
So tired that people in worse shape are performing better than you?
Does the weight you’re using feel like 3 tons, when it’s the same weight you used last week, and the week before that?
If any of those sound familiar then you absolutely, positively MUST take a break from your intense workouts, but…
… Do NOT go pick up something just as intense.
You need a break and you need to get your body back to where it belongs, which also means eating better – increasing your intake of REAL fruits and vegetables.
Let’s wrap those solutions up in easy-to-follow bullets, shall we?
Here are some solutions to fix Workout Suckitis, no matter which of these reasons fits you personally.
1. Take a break.
Stop the program you’re doing, and take a break from intense activity and this includes intense cardio.
What should you do instead?
Just go for an easy walk for 30 minutes a day. Don’t walk fast. Don’t walk with a purpose. Don’t do it on a treadmill. Just walk and let your mind wander. Enjoy it. Breathe the fresh air and unwind. It’s amazing how powerful this simple trick is.
2. Cut the junk.
If you’re eating too many grains, then you must cut them out. Some people are more sensitive to grains than others and if you’re suffering from Workout Suckitis, then you’re probably one of these people. Cut the grains and cut the sugar. You don’t have to cut it totally, but drastically cut it.
Give yourself a few days before judging it.
3. Increase your intake of REAL fruits and vegetables.
No juices (unless you’re doing the juicing…not store-bought juices), or store-bought smoothies. Eat them.
Especially load up on berries, all berries (at least the edible ones), and green veggies. The amount of phytonutrients in those two types of food act like little “scrubbing bubbles” to your insides to detox your system.
Your body is screaming for nutrients. Give it what it wants.
Eat ‘em in the morning, eat ‘em at lunch, and eat ‘em with dinner.
4. Drink more water.
Caffeine addiction can rear its ugly head with a case of Workout Suckitis, which in this case means adrenal fatigue.
Cut the caffeine, let your body reset itself, and your energy will return after a few days.
I just cut caffeine and I’m amazed how much energy I now have (except today). The first two days were tough, but I feel so much better.
Even if you’re not a big caffeine person you probably need to drink more water, and I’m talking actual, honest-to-God water. Not some fancy flavored water drink. Drink pure, filtered water. Drink it right after you wake up in the morning, drink it with all your meals and sip on some between meals.
Cut out any processed drinks.
5. Last, but certainly not least, chill out.
If you’re suffering from Workout Suckitis it’s pretty likely your stress levels have been on Red Alert for quite a while and this is your body’s way to telling you to slow the hell down or it will force you to slow down, usually by getting sick (stress is a huge immune system killer).
Figure out how you enjoy unwinding and do it every day for at least 15 minutes. I mean every day. Don’t skip it because you’re “too busy.” Being too busy is why you’re in this predicament and you need to force yourself, or have someone else force you, to stop and take some “me time” every day.
Follow one, or more all, of those tips for a week or two and your cause of Workout Suckitis should clear right up and you’ll be back to crushing your workouts soon enough.