Workout Mood – What to do when you’re feeling blue and Burnt out
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This is me yesterday morning, Friday November 8, 2019, at approximately 1130 am. I start work just after 5 am, finished at 1030 am, got dressed, hopped on the subway for a 10-minute ride to my gym, undressed, started my workout.
My mood and feelings – haven’t slept soundly in months, life has brought excessive stress to my life this year, surgeries, aches and pains from a previously life when I played MacGyver on a daily basis, and I’ve had one coffee, and NO food, just finished work which consists of group training where a large amount of clients walk in between 5;30 am and 10 am, and I have no idea what I have to deal with in terms of my clients moods, pains, complaints, which is numerous, changes frequently, and to be expected.
Ok, ok, sounds like I have a rough life, which isn’t true at all, I’m one of the happiest person I know, but my personal lifestyle and career demands lots of physical and mental effort, I give 100% in all I do, especially when I’m paid to help others become physically better, I cant be the “weak” one when I have to carry someone, and many at one time, up to the top.
I will expand on all of this in the future because there are many great lessons to be learned here and much to apply when you feel your mood is down, sad, depressed, tired, and that burnt out feeling negatively affect your health, workouts, and everything important.
Solutions to blue moods and burn out:
1) Have a contingency plan. When my clients walk through that door, I have no idea what to expect, but believe me I expect “something”. My clients play hard, live hard, and its my job to make sure they keep up the fun that they love and deserve. Sore joints, muscles, pains, minor and major injuries, Doctors notes, boredom, need to be stimulated further, need to back off, you got about a minute or two to “read” your clients and make the necessary adjustments.
You don’t have a contingency plan? Your trainer and coach don’t have a contingency plan? Your online trainer doesn’t allow you to make contact to say “hey, I don’t feel like doing this today, what can I change today to make up for it”? Its one reason why most smart dedicated professional hire real Trainers and Coaches, because we wont waste your time, and each workout is a “productive” session. Without a contingency plan, either one made up in advanced (which you should have made, your trainer should have provided if they are so hard to reach and have limitations on communicating).
2) Today, after work, I wanted to either go straight home and relax, or take day off from my scheduled workout and do some photography, lots of beautiful leaves on the ground. Both options have potential upsides and downsides. Going out all day with the heavy camera sounds fun, but its -5 outside, and I have a food issues where I eat real food or no food, and real food in Toronto outside the my house is difficult to obtain and fit into my schedule. Relaxing at home? I rarely do this as I have a philosophy of home is for eating and sleeping and life is outside. I also work from home, so if I’m all caught up on my work its either sleep, cook, or go out. Lazing around the house isn’t “recovery”, its actually making you more tired, depressed, blue, and does nothing for your burn out.
If you don’t know how to adjust workouts, I suggest you learn a wide variety of exercises and training techniques, recovery methods, and learn from practice, don’t walk into something you know you wont enjoy, wont make you better, will drain you, and burn you out.
Learning from your past should shape your future, especially when it comes to workouts, because we are “challenging” the body in the gym, or at least we should be, but most don’t work out hard enough, and this too will make you stale and cause burn out, and make you feel blue, as It should, because you are wasting time in the gym not challenging yourself, therefore no to limited adaptations will occur, this causes sadness, mood disorders, food disorders, energy drains, and of course this isn’t a good place to be. And what will you choose to do when you must make a decision between going out with friends to a new restaurant versus s going to gym for that scheduled workout? I reckon since you are “challenging” yourself in the gym, and by extensions not making “gains”, you will venture towards “pleasure”, which isn’t always the best decision, when you could have chosen a workout, and if workouts are properly designed, meaning you become physically and mentally better, your workout becomes part of “happiness”, and you will make better lifestyle choices when authentically “happy” versus feeling blue and burnt, you will seek pleasure.
3) Missed workouts – in the modern world we are bombarded with distractions that take us away from who we are and what we should be doing. Going on social media and witness people “enjoying” life at restaurants eating foods that you know will make you fat ( learn from the past), drinking at the new bar (yeah, booze when your feeling blue and burnt will work well…NOT!!!!), and other stuff people do for “pleasure” in exchange for real happiness, meaning, and purpose. Missed workouts accumulated overtime, 1 missed workout a week, then 2, then a week off, vacations, holidays, etc, all these “missed” workouts add up, and at the end of the year, you will have no one to blame but yourself.
4) IF YOU HAVE TO MISS TOO MANY WORKOUTS, THEN YOUR PROGRAM AND LIFESTYLE NEED TO BE ARRANGED SO MISSED WORKOUTS HAPPENS LESS, AND HOPEFULLY NOT AT ALL!!!!! Missed workouts and physical activity is not part of the “game” or the “process”, missed workouts are not to be accepted, and as a Coach its my job to make sure it doesn’t happen, and not wait for it to happen, but instead to be three steps ahead for any “potential” factors and “situations” that may arise that may cause missed workouts.
Is your daily schedule designed so that you have limited negative factors that may arise that may cause you to miss a workout? A schedule designed too stressful, tight time scheduling, and leaving too much to environmental factors that you can’t control, for example traffic, transportation, situations that may negatively affect your mood and energy, having a gym membership that is too inconvenient for your time schedule, eating schedule, are some of the usual suspects that should be taken into consideration when designing a time schedule that allows maximum amount of workouts and at high motivational times.
If you workout with a Trainer or Coach and they haven’t sat down with you to figure out a schedule that works, you should fire them, and yes, I’m very serious!!!! If a Coach can’t get you in the gym, or see’s potential issues that may arise and affect workout frequency and intensity, then your Coach and Trainer don’t care much for you and you deserve better.
To end off, as a Coach I must frequently alter programs for my clients I train one on one, and online. I would never allow a client of mine not to make the best gains possible. If something needs to be adjusted, trust me, I’m usually on top of it before my clients let me know. Three steps ahead, and my clients appreciate that because they hire me to take care of them 100%.
Feeling blue, sad, emotional and burn out happen to all of us, but as a Coach I can say I see lots of “fitness” burn out self inflicted, people do it to themselves, and often times, Trainers and Coaches are not experienced enough, or even care enough, to make the necessary adjustments, and all this leads to wasted time and effort.
As I will post video footage of the workout, you will see how I went from feeling blue, unmotivated, and wanting to relax, to one of the best workouts in months, and leaving others to watch me, and walk up to me and say “Coach, I enjoy watching you workout and now I’m inspired to workout smarter and harder”.
The takeaway = Don’t miss workouts, adjust them. Doing no physical activity means your strength, flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning will all go down. In other words, missed workouts scratch out any positive effects from previous workouts. In 2 + decades of personal training, I have never let people miss workouts, I could always find SOMETHING they could do, and if they couldn’t come to gym I’m very well known to make house calls and workout with what we got, even if that’s hitting the floor and just stretching out. SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
I’ll stop here, but more on this topic in the future unless some content creator rips of my advice and turns in into their own….but that’s a story for another day, and one we don’t need to concern ourselves with.
Concern yourself with health and fitness, and from here, everything falls into place naturally.
Coach George Tsanis