So you’ve been doing CrossFit for 8 months straight, some of your lifts are still improving, your body weight is bouncing up and down, you’re not losing weight like were, you’re not full of energy but you’re not living a boring life either. The problem you’re having is… working out doesn’t seem as fun as it once did. Your goal(s) are getting more challenging. You’re missing lifts you were hitting last month. 3 rds of anything is brutal, 5 rds of anything makes you want to quit. Negativity seems to be your thing and it’s starting to show. Yet, there are still a lot of “movements” that you’re years away from mastering… and there is still one move your friends are crushing while you’re still having problems with and don’t understand why?
Logically, it’s common for most to say… you’re “Burned Out” and you should take a few days, weeks (months) off.
Part of this could be true. But I’m guessing here by saying that taking time away from training is NOT what you should do. I don’t have all the answers considering “It Depends” on a lot of different variables as to why you feel burned out with your training.
From my experiences, I’m convinced that “burnout” is more psychological than it is physical.
One can simply not OVERTRAIN based on 3 – 5 hrs per week (or less), however one can “UNDER-RECOVER…” Read that again.
If you have been consistent with your training and you have a good coach that doesn’t program ridiculous WODS, odds are you’re fighting something else. Poor nutrition, not enough rest-recovery, perhaps feeling stress in different areas of your life outside the gym and it’s affecting your training, your mood and in some cases, others around you.
Now, some may say, “yeah, that sounds like me…”
If that’s the case, here are a few suggestions that may help.
#1. Get better sleep – better meaning at least 7-8 hours a night.
#2. Eat more meat and vegetables – and quit eating so much sugar. SERIOUSLY!
#3. Keep drinking water before, during and after you eat.
#4. Stop focusing on your body weight / body fat. Instead, eat to support your training, not your body fat. TRY IT.
#5. Eat a better breakfast. Coffee doesn’t work. Try some meat and veges or fruit. Think omelot or steak and eggs.
#6. Start training with someone else. Pick a new partner to roll with for a while, you can even attend a different training time. IT WORKS.
#7. If you train 5+ days per week, take two weeks and drop down to 3-4 days. Get more “daily” recovery.
In most cases the lack of desire or burned out feeling is based on FOOD aka lack of energy (from a lack of nutrition). This is leading towards lack of results. Whether it may be weightloss goals or performance goals. You need to be sure and I mean for sure that you are eating enough balanced foods. Especially if your goals consist of being leaner and stronger. Enough kidding around by thinking it’s supposed to be easy. Simple yes, EASY no… it takes work, discipline, support and everyday attention before you can expect anything more than what you’ve previously experienced.
On the other hand, athletes do need some time off to unwind. Taking a planned week or so off can be extremely helpful, relaxing and often re-vitalizing.
But for most, it’s a matter of dealing with tough times and getting tougher during them. Not quitting. Not making excuses. Figuring out that if you want to improve the way you look and feel, you’re going to have to make better decisions with your food. You’re going to have to find ways to reduce stress and negativity in your life by getting quality sleep.
While many of my coaching years were spent training student athletes, I can say from having this experience, it’s easy for an athlete to quit when the going gets tough. It’s not easy to win a State Title. It’s not easy preparing to win a State Title. It’s not easy to discipline yourself to eat better, sleep better and train as hard as you do. Eventually you’re going to have to change something to see improvements. Keeping in mind, this could be something as little as sleeping an hour or so longer. Eating a better breakfast. Change doesn’t have to be a monumental event. It could be very small by nature.
You can ask yourself during the day…
Is that your best…
Without even knowing you, I’m going to say that odds are, you can do better!
When you can find a way to do your best at all the small things, you’ll see and feel change. Most imporantly, you’ll appreciate what you do accomplish knowing you gave everything you had.
It’s not always about “how bad do you want it…” it’s about doing all the small things to the best of your current abilities.
… If you want to quit something, quit being so hard on yourself 🙂