Get There and Move – How to Deal with Fatigue and Sluggish Workouts

What Do You Do When Everything Hurts?

You know that day when everything hurts and feels less than optimal?  You're sluggish.  You're tired.  You really don't feel like working out.

I'm sure you've all experienced those days, but what do you do when you want to workout, but your body just isn't feeling it.  Well, the first thing you should do is...

Get There.

Get to the gym, walk in, hang your coat up and start your warm-up.

Do some dynamic stretching and roll around on the roller for a bit and loosen stuff up.

You've already gotten this far, might as well keep going.

This is great advice because you're going to end up feeling better over the long haul.  Even if all you do is some light stretching for the day.

But Then...

Go ahead and do your first warm-up sets on whatever you're working.   A little light benching.  Some squatting.  Some deadlifting.  Whatever you're working on, do at least a couple sets and get the blood going.

By this point you should have a feel for if the workout is going to be headed in the right direction or if you're going to call it a day.

Have that little conversation with yourself and see how you feel.  If you're sweating a bit, the heart is pumping and the adrenaline is pumping you'll probably surprise yourself at how quickly your body will start feeling great and those weights will start flying onto the bar.

Some of the best workouts happen when you're tired and groggy from the day or your overall physical stature doesn't appear to positive upon first glance.  Give it a chance though for your body to adapt and accept the challenge.

You very well may hit a new Personal Record for the day!



If after the first few sets the weight feel like ten thousand pounds and you're movements are still sluggish, then perhaps it's time to listen to your body and walk out the door.

You have to listen to your body.

If you're not moving some descent weights around after your warm-up and you feel like crap, well, probably better to just take it easy and rest that day.

That way you can come back and tackle the weights harder the next time.


Another method is...

The other way you can combat this fatigue to simply change your workout.  Make it an easier lifting day and prep a short circuit based workout (ie. like the one in the video) that you can knock out quickly and just keep the body moving.

Choose exercises that you can do easily and blast them with a bit of enthusiasm and cardio.

Don't pay attention to your reps, just do them until you're a bit tired and move on to the next exercise.  Make sure you can do these moves easily and with good form and you'll be fine.

At least you'll be moving and doing something that's going to burn some calories and keep that metabolism moving.

Remember, a body that stays in motion will remain in motion.



Jess Howland

Jesse "Captain Smash" Howland is the owner of SMASH’s Strength Lab, which offers targeted personal training to reach a variety of fitness and physique goals. A natural bodybuilder, competitive powerlifter, certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach, Jesse is often the go-to resource for personal training Ottawa. He studied Exercise Science at Oregon State University and even trained at the world famous Gold's Gym. He's a former US Army Captain with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a former blog writer at Veterans Fitness Career College, and former Chief Executive Officer at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). His workouts and personal training are army-inspired to help reach your weightloss, athletic, or physique goals.