Feeling Fatigued? Improve Your Recovery Today!

What Is Fatigue?

Fatigue is how we commonly describe being tired. Many people juggle work or study commitments that take up a large portion of the day, in addition to other family and social commitments. Given how much physical and mental energy is spent on these activities and interactions, feeling tired out or fatigued is expected. For those who might be pursuing additional health and fitness goals, throwing in workouts and managing their diets can also add to their fatigue.

Exercising To Feel Fatigued?

A common misconception about exercise and training would be that, if you are not feeling tired by the end of the session, you have likely not put in a lot of effort into it. In this case, fatigue is taken as an indicator of a good workout; however, getting sustainable, long-term results needs to take into consideration how much fatigue you are slowly accumulating over time, which can make exercising to be fatigued very self-sabotaging. Fatigue is not simply just how “tired” you feel; there are many other factors that contribute to fatigue during exercise.

Fatigue During Exercise

When someone says they feel fatigued during or after exercise, they often describe it as feeling tired or having a distinct lack of energy. However, fatigue in this case is very mental, and can translate into very physical outcomes. These are three common ways fatigue manifests itself during exercise.

  1. Technique Breakdown
    When fatigued, your technique on many exercises without a fixed path, such as those on gym machines, will experience changes that match the fatigue you are experiencing. For example, fatigue during a set of barbell back squats may cause the back to round, leading to failure of the repetition and possibly injuries.
  2. Exercise Speed
    When fatigued, not only is it expected that less repetitions are performed, the speed of these repetitions will be slower compared to when not fatigued as the same level of performance cannot be matched.
  3. Soreness
    Soreness caused by the buildup of waste products in the body through exercise can cause discomfort or pain, reducing the ability to perform the exercise normally. Since soreness often comes about after workouts, they can drag into the next workout and interfere with performance then.

Optimising Recovery From Fatigue

In order to optimise recovery from fatigue, it is important to understand what recovery means. Recovery from fatigue means returning to your previous performance or state before a workout. To ensure that recovery takes place, it is important to account for three factors: the workout program, your lifestyle management, and your additional recovery strategies.

Managing Fatigue In Your Exercise Program

A simple way to manage fatigue in any exercise program is to avoid doing too much volume. Volume is how much work you perform for an exercise, often counted by looking at how many sets and repetitions done per exercise, applicable to exercises like pushups and squats, and how long some exercises are performed, applicable to exercises like jogging and planks. Incrementally adding more volume over time without accounting for recovery is a surefire way to continuously accumulate fatigue, leading to worsening performance over time.

Active Recovery Strategies To Reduce Fatigue

Active recovery is a strategy growing in popularity that involves using light bouts of exercise to help speed up the recovery process. Light workouts that increase heart rate and blood flow to previously trained muscles can speed up the recovery process without worsening fatigue. Examples include brisk walking, dynamic stretches, and low intensity, full body exercises like jumping jacks and resistance band exercises. However, too much volume of active recovery will sabotage the process and increase fatigue instead, which should be watched out for.

Active Recovery Brisk Walking

Lifestyle Factors To Recover From Fatigue

Several modifiable lifestyle factors contribute to recovering from fatigue. Sleep and nutrition are two factors that can play a significant role in recovery. Sleep extension, where you spend more time sleeping, can improve recovery from exercise. For nutrition, ensuring that a sufficient intake of macronutrients, namely carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, will ensure that recovery will take place. Situations like irregular sleep cycles and long periods of caloric deficits can affect recovery from fatigue negatively, which will need very individualised strategies to deal with.

Improve Your Recovery With The Gym Pod

Having a knowledgeable, empathetic personal trainer from The Gym Pod Academy who understands your exercise and lifestyle needs can ensure you are provided a tailored exercise program and strategies to alleviate fatigue and improve recovery, making each workout meaningful and sustainable. What are you waiting for, book a consultation with The Gym Pod now!