Hamilton Holt said “nothing worthwhile comes easily. Work, continuous
work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.” I
have tried in the over 24 years that I have been training to live this
thought. My mantra has always been lift heavy and go hard. Get in the
gym with a plan, execute and put up as much weight as I can. Do not
miss scheduled training days and meals. As a result of that philosophy,
I have become a nationally ranked bodybuilder and powerlifter.
However, I, like everyone else, am human and there are times when I
honestly do not want to go to the gym. I might feel tired, uninspired
or just have those nagging aches and pains that never seem to go away.
For the most part, pushing the thoughts of taking a day off and making
myself get off the couch to “Just Do It” usually does the job. However,
when those thoughts and feelings occur more often than not, then it is
time to reexamine what is going on and take the steps necessary to
being a beast in the gym again.
Fatigue is a common complaint I hear about from my clients. Fatigue is
a feeling of tiredness or exhaustion or a need to rest because of lack
of energy or strength. Fatigue may result from too much work or too
little sleep or cases of excess worry or boredom. It can also come from
the extremes of being lazy and not exercising enough or of blasting it
too hard for too long and overtraining. A stressful emotional situation
may also cause fatigue—fighting with your girl or family, stressing
over work or the bills. This type of fatigue usually clears up when the
source of that stress is relieved. Examining sleep habits, better
channeling the stress or worry in our life or changing training
regimens normally relieves mild fatigue. Many prescription drugs can
cause this kind of weakness too. The abuse of alcohol or stimulants or
use of illegal drugs will only make any regular symptoms of fatigue
worse. You play too much, you’re gonna pay. There is no place in the
life of a real athlete for these kinds of poison.
You should probably see a doctor when fatigue comes packaged up with
any other kind of health symptoms, as in those cases, the tiredness
also might be a sign of other shit that isn’t right. Fatigue that lasts
longer than 2 weeks usually requires a visit to a doctor. This type of
fatigue could be caused be any number of serious medical problems,
ranging from organ issues to metabolic diseases. This shit is no joke
and nothing to play around with, as your life beyond bodybuilding might
hang in the balance.
Some clients report that they suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome
which is severe, persistent fatigue. If this occurs without an obvious
cause, it is important to evaluate a person’s mental health state.
Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as anxiety
or depression. Depression may become so severe that a person may
consider suicide as a way to end his pain. Dudes who think their
fatigue may be caused by a mental health problem, should consult their
doctor immediately… Cuz I can’t help you with that. Only you and your
therapist can resolve such issues. But it can be done, and you can move
on, stronger than ever.
For a person who suffers from fatigue, I would recommend implementing the following changes into their lives:
Get More Sleep:
The average adult functions best with eight hours of quality sleep
daily. While you may not be able to get that much on a regular basis,
make sleep more of a priority.
Eat Better: A nutrient ratio for an individual with a moderate to slow metabolism would be 40% protein, 45% carbohydrates and 15% fat.
Kick the Habit: Alcohol
use and the use of narcotics or illegal drugs may cause an ongoing
tiredness. Over time, it will also make you weak and sick. Limit your
use of stimulants like caffeine as well, using them only when you need
them, like my Animal Rage before I train.
Change it Up:
The old saying that variety is the spice of life applies as much to
training regimens as it does to anything else. I recommend changing
some element of my training every six to eight weeks at least, if not
sooner, for best results. One thing I have learned in my career is how
to vary things to get the best out of my training and to stay growing.
Staying motivated to train, exercise and stick to a diet is tough. No
doubt about it. The hardest part is getting restarted once a person
stops. Having motivation comes from within—something we create—making
the task at hand personal, about ourselves. Having a goal, something to
work for, is the first step in making someone turn off the reality
shows and get off that couch.
Preparation—packing a gym bag, preparing meals in advance, etc., is the
second step to getting back into training and staying interested.
Creating discipline through following a daily routine is critical to
keeping a person on track to reach his goals. Staying committed,
spending time daily to look at and examine goals and review progress is
inherent in keeping a person on track. Beyond that, keep it fun.
Nothing battles fatigue and pushes you to do better than enthusiasm.
Make training a joy and fatigue won’t stand in your way.