Your Workoutzzz…Signs That You Might Be Undertraining

I was talking to a friend the other day and he mentioned how he was sleepwalking through his workouts.  I could relate because I noticed I was doing the same thing for the past few months.


Don’t get me wrong, getting to your workouts on a regular basis is a great thing, but going through the motions are the first steps to burnout.  You can only fake it for so long until your mind and body simply say, “Forget it, this is bor-ing.”  


How do you know you’re under-training?

  • Stagnant Results: You’re using the same weights as six months ago.  The time, level, and intensity of your cardio is the same.  Everything feels the same.  You don’t remember the last time you hit a personal best or said to yourself, “Man, that was a great workout.”
  • You’re Not Breaking A Sweat: Sweating is your body’s way of cooling down.  If you’re not exerting yourself then your body has no reason to sweat.  Everything about your workout is at a ho-hum pace.

Not Working Hard Enough+Low Heart Rate+No Sweat = NO RESULTS

  • Sleepwalking Through Your Workout: This is a lot like driving from point A to point B but not remembering how you got there.  You get to the gym and next thing you know you’re getting back in your car.  You half-heartedly pick up the weights or do your cardio routine with little or no thought.  There’s no engagement or thought going into your workout.
  • Desire To Watch “The Pauly D Project” Instead: Remember when you were excited to get to your workout?  You’d think about it at work or the night before, visualizing a personal best lift or that post-workout high.  Now you just want to go home, grab a bag of chips, and watch Pauly D instead.  Some would say this lack of interest is a sign of overtraining.  It’s a sign of under training as well.  

Is this what your workouts feel like?

How To Get Unstuck:

  • Switch Up Your Routine:  This is probably the simplest solution.  Just do something different with your routine.  Lift heavier.  Lift lighter.  Add sets.  Find some new exercises.  Do some internet research and experiment with some old school or high tech workouts.   Revamp your routine to shock your mind and body.
  • Find A New Spot:  This is something I used to do a lot.  Some of my best workouts came as a result of finding a new gym and just dropping in for a workout.  Get a guest pass or go with a friend who belongs to a different gym.  Different equipment, faces, and a new vibe are great for breaking a rut.
  • Try Something Different:  Crossfit.  Zumba.  Spinning.  Cardio Kickboxing.  MMA. Every time I go to the gym I see signs for all different kinds of classes.  It’s good to try different things.  Who knows, you might just end up adding the class to your routine. Maybe take a short break from everything you’re doing now and switch to something different altogether.
  • Competition:  When I say competition, I’m not necessarily talking about competing against other people (which is a great thing also).  What if you decided to do a century ride, marathon, half marathon, triathlon, powerlifting meet, Tough Mudder, Urban Challenge or any other type of competition?  Training for an event forces you to plan and focus with the motivation of knowing a specific day is approaching where you need to perform.
  • Revisit Your Reasons For Fitness:  Why is fitness is so important to you?  How does it tie into your values?  Does it give you the energy to be a better parent, boss, or friend?  Does it give you the confidence to go out each day and get things done?  Or does it just make you feel good to look great in your clothes?  Intrinsic motivation is a powerful tool.

What do you do to avoid undertraining?