What's it mean when people say they're "burned out"? How do you avoid it?
There's a skill involved in having longevity in anything, especially the type of physical training we partake in day in and day out. The far end of the spectrum, where we lack the skills of longevity, leads us to getting "burned out". This is a worn down state where your body feels extremely sore and tired all the time, where your sleep and appetite suffer, your performance in the gym is slipping away, and things just generally go gray.
Clearly this is something we want to avoid, so what's that look like? Remember that our training is a mix of physical and psychological so our toolbox will draw from both those places.
The Art and Skill of Longevity
The journey is long and worth it.
We're not here for overnight results, but sometimes we chase workouts as if we are. Remember that your fitness is a long journey that can and should span your entire life. There will be ups and downs, but the general trend will be improvement. There will be lots of workouts, so how awful you feel or do on one individual workout isn't really that important either.
There's no need to crush yourself on every workout.
This is the fastest way to "burning out" and the one of the harder adjustments to make. I'm not telling you to come in and take it easy, because there shouldn't be any "easy" days in the gym. What I'm telling you is you should learn how to pace and move with purpose. Keeping yourself just inside the red zone, but not jumping off the cliff, is a skill you need to develop by hitting workouts and being honest with yourself as to how that workout went. Did you have something left in the tank? Did you underestimate or overestimate your capabilities? Check in with yourself after each workout and learn what it feels like to hit it hard and what it feels like to go too far.
Think positive, be positive.
Speaking of checking in after each workout, train yourself to be positive after every workout. "That went well", "that was exactly what I needed", "I did great" are all phrases you should regularly tell yourself after every workout. Be proud of what your body is capable of, be excited about what you're doing, and be positive about your capabilities!
Your body will lie.
Your body should and will freak out every time you workout. Don't listen to it. It will lie about how it's feeling and how badly things are going. Stay calm, tell your body to shut up, and focus on feeling out your performance. Just because your legs and lungs are screaming doesn't mean you get to check out and start freaking out psychologically.
There are no limits.
Stop telling yourself that "X" is impossible, or "Y" is so heavy you'll never lift it. Keep working towards improving yourself and you'll be amazed at what your body is capable of. Your mindset will predict and confirm your outcomes, and having negative thoughts about your capabilities will only push you into that direction and limit your growth.
Double Tabata Fun
DB snatch (50/35)
*40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest
*rotate through each movement for a total of 24 rounds (8 rounds each)
*score is total reps
Posted by Armen.