1

votes

I feel exhausted during my workouts

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 13, 2012 at 4:47 AM

What can I do to prevent this? I do strength training with a slow tempo and I end with interval sprints. I only work out two muscle groups a day. The workouts should take me about 2 hours to complete but it usually ends up taking 3-4 hours (the days I actually push through without giving up) cause of how freaking exhausted I feel.

I've tried working out fasted and it really hasn't worked for me. So now, I'm thinking of eating a good meal or two before working out and significantly increasing my carb intake (that means eating like 3 sweet potatoes and about 4 fruits a day).

What do you guys think?

About me:

I'm 19. Male. 173 lbs with (I think) 13.5-14% BF.

Edit: I only workout 3-4 times a week. I am not a world-class athlete (even though I wish I was). I have like 14% BF for God's sake, so I'm not in great shape, but I wanna be in really good shape by August which is why I'm pushing myself so hard. But I'll try cutting back and let you guys know how it goes.

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 15, 2012
at 03:12 AM

yeah, I'm starting to do this from now on. I'll see how it goes. Thanks for the help, Britt.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 15, 2012
at 12:06 AM

...oh, & in the big 5 example, no need to do all on the same day, can split it up anyway you want. or drop legs for sprints, etc...you get the gist

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 15, 2012
at 12:06 AM

These movements work multiple muscles in one exercise. see here for some example pictures, http://www.4hourlife.com/2011/08/23/a-better-occams-protocol-body-by-science-meets-the-4-hour-body/ You can follow your own timing preferences or follow the Body by Science suggestions. or both, as i say keep mixing it up...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 15, 2012
at 12:01 AM

...oh, & in the big 5 example, no need to do all on the same day, can split it up anyway you want. or drop legs for sprints, etc...you get the gist

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:57 PM

These movements work multiple muscles in one exercise. see here for some example pictures, http://www.4hourlife.com/2011/08/23/a-better-occams-protocol-body-by-science-meets-the-4-hour-body/ You can follow your own timing preferences of follow the Body by Science suggestions. or both, as i say keep mixing it up...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:56 PM

These movements work multiple muscles one exercise. see here for some example pictures, http://www.4hourlife.com/2011/08/23/a-better-occams-protocol-body-by-science-meets-the-4-hour-body/ You can follow your own timing preferences of follow the Body by Science suggestions. or both, as i say keep mixing it up...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:53 PM

an example of compound muscle movement exercises would be something like the "Big 5" exercises (as used by 'Body by Science'). ie. 1. Pullups or Pulldowns 2. Push Ups or Chest Press 3. Rows 4. Shoulder Presses 5. Leg Presses...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:49 PM

for instance, you could look at incorporating compound muscle movement exercises, these will shorten your workouts...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:45 PM

i'd choose something i'd enjoy going to the gym to do & look forward to. & keep changing things up every few weeks (or when you get bored /feel like a change), not only makes things interesting, but to 'keep your muscles guessing'...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:44 PM

i'd choose something i'd enjoy going to the gym to do & look forward to. & keep changing things up every few weeks (or when you get bored /feel like a change), not only makes things interesting, but to 'keep your muscles guessing'

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:43 PM

i'd choose something i'd enjoy going to the gym to do & look forward to. & keep changing things up, not only makes things interesting, but to 'keep your muscles guessing'

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:39 PM

then, when i felt ready for training, i would change things up completely, no point doing the same thing that was not working before...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:37 PM

i kinda think you know what you need to do? but if i was feeling like you described, i would take a complete break from training for may be 2 or 3 weeks. except for walking & may be easy bike...

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 14, 2012
at 10:27 PM

thanks for answering by the way, I really appreciate it!

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 14, 2012
at 10:27 PM

Hey Kate, I copied and edited from answer above: the 3 hours includes warm ups and standing around cause I wanna take longer breaks due to the fatigue. For my workouts, I exercise 2 muscle groups a day and I do four different workouts per muscle group with (mostly) a 3-1-3 tempo each with 4 sets x 8 reps with 1 minute breaks in between. In end with either abs exercises or sprints (for the first 4 minutes, I run for 20s at 11 mph and rest for 10s, then for the last 11 minutes, I run 10s and rest 10s) so in theory the whole workout should only take me 60-90 minutes (says my trainer)

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 14, 2012
at 10:25 PM

(Thanks for answering by the way, it's greatly appreciated)

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 14, 2012
at 10:21 PM

what do you think?

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 14, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Well the 3 hours includes warm ups and a lot "ball scratching" cause I wanna take longer breaks due to the fatigue. For my workouts, I exercise 2 muscle groups a day and I do four different workouts per muscle group with (mostly) a 3-1-3 tempo each with 4 sets x 8 reps with 1 minute breaks in between. In end with either abs exercises or sprints (for the first 4 minutes, I run for 20s at 11 mph and rest for 10s, then for the last 11 minutes, I run 10s and rest 10s) so in theory the whole workout should only take me 60-90 minutes (according to my trainer), but it ends up being like 2.5-3 hours.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on December 14, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Glad to hear it, I hope things get better...

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on December 14, 2012
at 03:23 AM

2 hours is already too long. 3-4 is just ridiculous, unless it's something low intensity like hiking. More =/= better!

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 13, 2012
at 06:14 PM

Alright man. Thanks a lot for your help. I was actually feeling guilty about taking it easy on the workouts, but I guessed you've convinced me that it isn't so bad. I'm also going increase my carbs, I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks so much for your help!

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on December 13, 2012
at 09:24 AM

In the context of what you've said you're experiencing, if I was you I'd definitely ease off the training for a bit - different people thriive on different loads, howver I'd argue that for many people, intense, long workouts that are inadeautely spaced are probably not best for overall health. If you're felling exhausted that's definitely a sign of something and you should take it easy a bit iMHO.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on December 13, 2012
at 09:24 AM

Also if you started eating lowish carb relatively recently there is a possibility your body hasn't adapted (and working out intensely probably wouldn't help this to occur painlessly). You could try eating low carb at more meals a day if you are for some reason 'fear carbs' - that would ensure you're getting enough energy to in general (underrating can reduce thyroid function leading to lethargy and symptoms you describe). Probably easier and better for you though in context just to eat more carbs in proportion to fats. Give things a go..

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on December 13, 2012
at 09:23 AM

No worries mate.I f you can't get out of bed it sounds like not enough cortisol is being secreted in the morning - you might have out of whack rhythms and that could link with what I was saying about adrenal health, or indeed lethargy and underactive or repressed thyroid. In this context I have to say you could probably benefit from easing up on the working out - 4 times a week of that sort of intense workout could be pulling you down, and with how you describe you're feeling I'd reduced frequency and intensity a bit to allow yourself to hopefully recover.

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 13, 2012
at 06:16 AM

Thanks for answering Mike. Other than the "about me" I'd say I am getting enough sleep but I'm so exhausted that I sometimes lie in bed for 12 hours cause of fatigue. I was only eating one to two GIANT meals a day that consisted of A LOT of protein and fats and little carbs, but as of today, I'm going back to eating smaller, more frequent meals. I forgot to mention I only workout try to workout 3-4 times a week (ideally 4, but priorities sometimes make it 3). Does that still mean I'm overtraining? And should I increase my carb intake like I mentioned?

5457372e78a910c00cd1dd579ecbdce3

(1230)

on December 13, 2012
at 05:33 AM

That is a good point, more likely than mine I bet. "should be 2 hours" is a long workout, 3-4 hours is a really long workout and will raise cortisol a pile.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

8 Answers

best answer

3
Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

on December 13, 2012
at 05:28 AM

It sounds like you're overtraining ('two muscle groups a day'...).If you're doing intervals everyday then you probably risk adrenal exhaustion, runnning yourself into the ground. Take it easy a bit more. If you're not sleeping well, focus on that too.

More info about yourself would probably be helpful if people can say anything that might help - what's the status of your overall health? What sort of things are you eating and for how long have you eaten without a lot of carbs? (I'm again inferring from what you've said...). You might be adjusting to new diet. Maybe you aren't eating enough to fuel your activity, no matter the macros - thyroid mightn't be functioning optamally if you're not eating enough (this also might be linked to overtraining and adrenals being taxed). Any stressors in your life - again, is sleep an issue? How long have you been working out the way you currently workout? Considering these question amongst others might be fruitful.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on December 13, 2012
at 09:24 AM

Also if you started eating lowish carb relatively recently there is a possibility your body hasn't adapted (and working out intensely probably wouldn't help this to occur painlessly). You could try eating low carb at more meals a day if you are for some reason 'fear carbs' - that would ensure you're getting enough energy to in general (underrating can reduce thyroid function leading to lethargy and symptoms you describe). Probably easier and better for you though in context just to eat more carbs in proportion to fats. Give things a go..

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on December 13, 2012
at 09:24 AM

In the context of what you've said you're experiencing, if I was you I'd definitely ease off the training for a bit - different people thriive on different loads, howver I'd argue that for many people, intense, long workouts that are inadeautely spaced are probably not best for overall health. If you're felling exhausted that's definitely a sign of something and you should take it easy a bit iMHO.

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 13, 2012
at 06:14 PM

Alright man. Thanks a lot for your help. I was actually feeling guilty about taking it easy on the workouts, but I guessed you've convinced me that it isn't so bad. I'm also going increase my carbs, I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks so much for your help!

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on December 13, 2012
at 09:23 AM

No worries mate.I f you can't get out of bed it sounds like not enough cortisol is being secreted in the morning - you might have out of whack rhythms and that could link with what I was saying about adrenal health, or indeed lethargy and underactive or repressed thyroid. In this context I have to say you could probably benefit from easing up on the working out - 4 times a week of that sort of intense workout could be pulling you down, and with how you describe you're feeling I'd reduced frequency and intensity a bit to allow yourself to hopefully recover.

5457372e78a910c00cd1dd579ecbdce3

(1230)

on December 13, 2012
at 05:33 AM

That is a good point, more likely than mine I bet. "should be 2 hours" is a long workout, 3-4 hours is a really long workout and will raise cortisol a pile.

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 13, 2012
at 06:16 AM

Thanks for answering Mike. Other than the "about me" I'd say I am getting enough sleep but I'm so exhausted that I sometimes lie in bed for 12 hours cause of fatigue. I was only eating one to two GIANT meals a day that consisted of A LOT of protein and fats and little carbs, but as of today, I'm going back to eating smaller, more frequent meals. I forgot to mention I only workout try to workout 3-4 times a week (ideally 4, but priorities sometimes make it 3). Does that still mean I'm overtraining? And should I increase my carb intake like I mentioned?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on December 14, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Glad to hear it, I hope things get better...

best answer

4
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 13, 2012
at 09:10 AM

in my view, its no wonder you are fatigued, what sort of a workout plan requires 2 hour sessions (let alone 3-4 hours). Or are you a competitive/professional athlete in training?

anything more than an hour (excluding any warm up/down/stretching), is probably moving in to diminishing returns territory (and that hour can include some hiit sprints). & if you push your workouts in to the sort of times you mention, you may well be having a negative impact on your goals.

I like to keep my actual workout times around the 45 minute mark, this enables me to attack the work out mentally & physically. The 45 minutes could be all weights/body training or sometimes include hiit sprints. or the sprints could be additional or done on another day, all depends on how i feel etc...
Note. my hiit sprints don't take long, (currently) only consisting of about 8 or so treadmill sprints at max speed and 1% incline. each sprint lasts around 30 to 45 seconds starting from 0 km/h.

If i spent 4 hours in the gym, that would include about 3 hours of me scratching my balls (theory only, i have not actually tried this out).

Here's a quote i just grabbed off a pdf i have, if you google you should be able to find it & the rest of the article (tho the complete pdf may not be free) ;

How long should each workout last?
Your weight training workouts should not last more than one hour. The optimal workout duration is probably even shorter; around 45 minutes.
Overly long workouts exhaust your nervous and endocrine system, decrease your levels of growth hormone and testosterone (anabolic hormones) and increase your level of cortisol (a catabolic hormone that breaks down muscle).
If your workouts exceed 60 minutes, you should change your split routine, decrease your volume (number of sets, number of exercises) or decrease your rest intervals between sets.
Most people can get excellent results with as little as 30-45 minutes of weight training per session.

good luck with your endeavours

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 14, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Well the 3 hours includes warm ups and a lot "ball scratching" cause I wanna take longer breaks due to the fatigue. For my workouts, I exercise 2 muscle groups a day and I do four different workouts per muscle group with (mostly) a 3-1-3 tempo each with 4 sets x 8 reps with 1 minute breaks in between. In end with either abs exercises or sprints (for the first 4 minutes, I run for 20s at 11 mph and rest for 10s, then for the last 11 minutes, I run 10s and rest 10s) so in theory the whole workout should only take me 60-90 minutes (according to my trainer), but it ends up being like 2.5-3 hours.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:39 PM

then, when i felt ready for training, i would change things up completely, no point doing the same thing that was not working before...

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 14, 2012
at 10:25 PM

(Thanks for answering by the way, it's greatly appreciated)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 15, 2012
at 12:06 AM

...oh, & in the big 5 example, no need to do all on the same day, can split it up anyway you want. or drop legs for sprints, etc...you get the gist

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:43 PM

i'd choose something i'd enjoy going to the gym to do & look forward to. & keep changing things up, not only makes things interesting, but to 'keep your muscles guessing'

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 15, 2012
at 12:01 AM

...oh, & in the big 5 example, no need to do all on the same day, can split it up anyway you want. or drop legs for sprints, etc...you get the gist

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:44 PM

i'd choose something i'd enjoy going to the gym to do & look forward to. & keep changing things up every few weeks (or when you get bored /feel like a change), not only makes things interesting, but to 'keep your muscles guessing'

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 15, 2012
at 12:06 AM

These movements work multiple muscles in one exercise. see here for some example pictures, http://www.4hourlife.com/2011/08/23/a-better-occams-protocol-body-by-science-meets-the-4-hour-body/ You can follow your own timing preferences or follow the Body by Science suggestions. or both, as i say keep mixing it up...

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 14, 2012
at 10:21 PM

what do you think?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:49 PM

for instance, you could look at incorporating compound muscle movement exercises, these will shorten your workouts...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:53 PM

an example of compound muscle movement exercises would be something like the "Big 5" exercises (as used by 'Body by Science'). ie. 1. Pullups or Pulldowns 2. Push Ups or Chest Press 3. Rows 4. Shoulder Presses 5. Leg Presses...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:37 PM

i kinda think you know what you need to do? but if i was feeling like you described, i would take a complete break from training for may be 2 or 3 weeks. except for walking & may be easy bike...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:45 PM

i'd choose something i'd enjoy going to the gym to do & look forward to. & keep changing things up every few weeks (or when you get bored /feel like a change), not only makes things interesting, but to 'keep your muscles guessing'...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:57 PM

These movements work multiple muscles in one exercise. see here for some example pictures, http://www.4hourlife.com/2011/08/23/a-better-occams-protocol-body-by-science-meets-the-4-hour-body/ You can follow your own timing preferences of follow the Body by Science suggestions. or both, as i say keep mixing it up...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 14, 2012
at 11:56 PM

These movements work multiple muscles one exercise. see here for some example pictures, http://www.4hourlife.com/2011/08/23/a-better-occams-protocol-body-by-science-meets-the-4-hour-body/ You can follow your own timing preferences of follow the Body by Science suggestions. or both, as i say keep mixing it up...

3
103a639b040a17bb579084287f2a5307

on December 13, 2012
at 11:49 PM

WHY are your workouts so long?

Even world class athletes whose lives are dedicated to their sport don't work out for this long (although they probably workout multiple times each day).

If working out fatigues you, then you are over training. Take a few weeks off to rest and recuperate. Once you've recovered, keep your workouts short (one hour) and gradually increase the intensity.

Other suggestions: - eat one if not two meals before working out. - mix carbs and BCAAs into your water to sip throughout your workout. - eat after working out. - lift and sprint on separate days. - take a least one day completely off training each week. - ensure that you are meeting your caloric, nutrient and sleep needs.

Check out Charles Poloquin for some excellent training info.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on December 14, 2012
at 03:23 AM

2 hours is already too long. 3-4 is just ridiculous, unless it's something low intensity like hiking. More =/= better!

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 14, 2012
at 10:27 PM

Hey Kate, I copied and edited from answer above: the 3 hours includes warm ups and standing around cause I wanna take longer breaks due to the fatigue. For my workouts, I exercise 2 muscle groups a day and I do four different workouts per muscle group with (mostly) a 3-1-3 tempo each with 4 sets x 8 reps with 1 minute breaks in between. In end with either abs exercises or sprints (for the first 4 minutes, I run for 20s at 11 mph and rest for 10s, then for the last 11 minutes, I run 10s and rest 10s) so in theory the whole workout should only take me 60-90 minutes (says my trainer)

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 14, 2012
at 10:27 PM

thanks for answering by the way, I really appreciate it!

1
35deaf0f101526bb113ea69f79934f2b

(436)

on December 13, 2012
at 12:26 PM

I was having this EXACT same problem and did not want to cut back on my workouts because I truly love working out. I am a runner and was running around 10 hours a week. I finally listened to advice and cut my workouts back to 1 hour 5x a week. I was nervous to cut back because I am a very high energy person and my workouts keep me sane. This new level of working out has been absolutely perfect for me though and I feel wonderful. I do 30 min of cardio ( sprints or a 3 mile run or something) followed by 30 min of weights every weekday.

I feel better than I ever remember feeling. When I lie down at night I fall asleep right away, sleep hard, and when my alarm goes off at 4:40am to make my way to the gym I pop out of bed, full of energy. I have had to work quite a bit lately (60ish hours a week) and do not feel worn out AT ALL.

I would recommend what everyone else does... cut back on the workouts. Maybe cut the workouts in half, so they are around 1 hour. At the one hour mark, leave the gym. Who care if you cut the workout a bit short? You did plenty for your health. I was nervous to cut back because I really loved the long workouts but I feel so amazing and alert now that I don't think I could go back.

4c24e0c389ac06a1f13c10bee5ce3554

on December 15, 2012
at 03:12 AM

yeah, I'm starting to do this from now on. I'll see how it goes. Thanks for the help, Britt.

1
Medium avatar

on December 13, 2012
at 11:03 AM

If your workout takes more than one hour your intensity is too low and you are taking too long. Strength training should last less than one hour.

Now, rock climbing and mountaineering are another animal. But we are talking iron game here. Check out www.leangains.com and www.dragonoor.com (forums) for real advice on that.

0
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on December 13, 2012
at 01:26 PM

Have a few carbs before/during the workout. No carb workouts always ended badly for me. The lowest amount I've found that works is 8 grams before and 8 grams during. Lately I've been doing 8ish before, and up to 36ish during with no ill effects.

And keep the electrolytes up.

Informative reply here...

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/137040-Burning-Fat-Burning-Glycogen?p=1559337&viewfull=1#post1559337

0
5457372e78a910c00cd1dd579ecbdce3

(1230)

on December 13, 2012
at 05:30 AM

I am not sure if this is likely but there is a rare disorder that I had called myasthenia gravis, I was able to recover from it with surgery.

You may want to get checked in case it is something correctable, gravis or not.

-1
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on December 13, 2012
at 05:54 AM

Bulletproof coffee...

And stop downvoting me every time I mention it, punx.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!