Tips for Overcoming Workout Burnout!

Do you find it difficult to get your butt to the gym? Everyone gets workout burnout—particularly if you do the same type of exercise at the same intensity month after month.

If you’ve hit the proverbial workout wall, so much so that you just aren’t motivated by your same old yoga class or weight lifting routine, try mixing things up with these eight tips for overcoming workout burnout…

Don’t Punish Yourself

Everyone needs a break, and if you’re the type of person who feels like taking a week off is a form of failure then you’re being too hard on yourself. Taking a break when you’re burnt out of exercising doesn’t mean you’ll be a bona fide couch potato for the rest of your days.

If you’re feeling burnt out, sometimes the best thing you can do is permit yourself time to rest and reevaluate your goals. Believe me, you’ll likely start back up with a re-discovered sense of purpose and workout inspiration.

Take a Break

Now that you’ve accepted that taking a break might not be a bad idea, cease exercising for a week and don’t dare feel remorseful about it. Chances are you may be saving yourself an injury! In many cases, workout burnout is a direct cause of overworking your muscles or not permitting adequate recovery time.

So go ahead, give your body and your mind a brief period of reprieve to switch your association with working out from a negative chore back to a positive opportunity for improvement.

Reevaluate Your Goals

Use your brief workout hiatus as an opportunity to reevaluate your workout goals. Sometimes a break will take you out of a mundane habit and refocus your attention on the end goal. This may help you come to the realization that your goals have changed and that’s all right.

You may have started working out to lose a bit of weight, but maybe not you want to tone, gain muscle, or train for your first marathon. Newfound goals will bring about newfound exercise positivity.

Try Something New

Don’t be afraid to be adventurous with your workouts. A year ago, I admit, I was intimidated to try hot yoga, but now it’s my favorite form of exercise. Had I not taken the time to do the research and try a class to see if it was my thing, I would have never discovered my now favorite, cleansing workout.

Mix Up Your Workouts

On top of making it a point to try out new forms of exercise—like Zumba, Nia, hot yoga, Pilates, zen spin class (yes, I’ve tried it)—make it a point to vary your workout program with a few different forms of exercise. Why? Not only will a variety of exercise keep you from getting bored and sustaining an injury; it will also improve your chances of weight loss, muscle tone, energy, and endurance.

Enlist Workout Allies

Oftentimes the motivation you need is in the form of a workout buddy.  Getting fit with a friend is great motivation to show up to boxing class even though your biceps hurt like heck, and it will give you newfound workout motivation and commitment if you risk disappointing someone other than yourself.

Treat Yourself

Working out shouldn’t be all pain no gain. In fact, I often find a spiffy new pair of workout tights, a comfy new pair of sneakers, or something as simple as a new beat-pumping playlist can be the motivation I need to start moving, and keep moving for a little while longer.

Take Time to Recover

After you’ve put in a good week of exercise and made it to the gym 4 days this week, be sure to allocate proper time for recovery. I usually alternate weight-training workouts with lighter cardiovascular workouts so that I’m not working the same muscle group out 2 days in a row to risk a pull or strain.

For instance, I’ll follow my interval weight-training day with a run or a gentle yoga flow class.


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.