5 signs that you need to take a time out

June 7, 2017

5 signs that you need to take a time out

June 7, 2017

Are you training twice a day, skipping rest days and skimping on good wholesome nutrition? Chances are you are close to burnout.

Burnout can happen to anyone. And commonly it’s the result of training too frequently and intensely with insufficient recovery.

With a growing number of fitness enthusiasts, gym goers often lack a basic understanding of training principles and fall into bad training routines. Back to back training sessions, poor nutrition and inadequate sleep leave them feeling exhausted with very little in the way of results.

This can be so frustrating because you are putting in the hard-yards, without even a fraction of the pay-off you deserve. If this sounds all too familiar, the good news is that you are only a few small shifts away from where you want to be. In fact, once you make these changes things will seem so much easier – you may even feel like you’re not doing enough. However, in the world of fitness more is not always better.

Are you burnt-out?

The first signs of burnout tend to be a distinct lack of energy, including no post-workout buzz. (Really, what is a workout without that well-deserved endorphin rush?) Despite feeling exhausted you may also find it difficult to sleep. This can be due to the high levels of adrenaline released into the blood stream as a result of high stress. This creates a ‘fight or flight’ response designed to help guard you from potential threats however in this case, it’s keeping you awake late into the night. The combination of fatigue and inadequate recovery means that overtraining can make you not only more susceptible to injury but also leave you feeling irritable and moody. Not surprisingly, this depression-like emotional state is linked strongly to poor performance. Physiologically too, performance is compromised through limited progress due the increased recovery time required when the body is under such stress.

That seems like a lot to take in. And it is. No one wants to work that hard and have nothing to show for their efforts.

So here are 5 small shifts you can make to turn the whole situation around and get back on track.

Have at least one rest day per week. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

Whether it’s High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), lifting weights or running, exercise damages your muscle tissue. During the 48 hours after your workout the damaged muscle rebuilds and increases in strength and size. Therefore if you are training on consecutive days, make sure you are not training the same muscle groups two days in a row in order to allow enough time for the tissue to repair and rebuild. For example, an easy way to program your week is strength training Monday, Wednesday and Friday, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Tuesday and Saturday and rest days Thursday and Sunday.

Mix it up.
Diversity keeps things interesting. Switch up your routine every now and then, to increase total body strength and conditioning, and challenge your body to develop different ways of moving.

Cut back.
Objectively look at your last two months and figure out why you are burnt out. Whether you are working towards a deadline or training for a competition, you will perform better if you can reduce stress. Master the art of saying ‘No’ to projects, social events or opportunities that are not for you. Focus your energy on what is important to you. And yes, that includes sleep.

Mental health.
Remember that health and fitness is far more than just physical. Block time in your calendar to focus on mental health through activities like yoga, meditation and a walk outside. Take time to disconnect from technology. Just like the physical aspects of your health, add a measurable aspect to this, for example, three yoga sessions a week or ten minutes of meditation per day.

Train efficiently.
Prioritise recovery.
Take a time out.
Wake up feeling kick-Ass.

Image by mooshny/Fotolia

What else is there?

More featured

Always stay
up to date


I agree that the PUMA group may use my personal data (including my e-mail address) for promotional and marketing purposes in accordance with the PUMA privacy policy and send information about products of the PUMA group to my e-mail address. I can withdraw my consent at any time in the future by sending an e-mail to or via the link in each e-mail.