Train Smarter Not Harder: How To Avoid Body Burnout

by Belinda on November 15, 2015

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1200x628shutterstock_173178521v2 Are you suffering from body burnout? If you’re pushing yourself week after week yet not seeing results this may be your problem! Hey, we all have our ups and downs. The secret is knowing when to rest and how to get your mojo back when you do hit the wall. The truth is, our best results will come from listening to and nurturing our body – not punishing and pushing it. Easier said than done right? Especially when you love working out or are on a mission to lose weight….

1whatcausesburnout Burnout usually occurs for one of three reasons:

1. Lack of quality rest or adequate post workout recovery.

2. Exhausting your body through workouts that strain not train.

3. Nutrition that doesn’t support your training goals.


Burnout is not just a physical problem. If your head isn’t in the right place it will undermine your results no matter how hard you train. Consider the mental effort it takes to get motivated to workout, the focus that’s required as you go through your routine, the concentration on the correct form and technique – the sheer mental grit to push through every rep. There’s a massive amount of mental energy involved. So we need to look at the big picture; how you’re feeling physically and mentally.

3signs Go through this checklist now and see how many apply to you.


  • Lack of motivation; can’t find your workout mojo – you don’t enjoy your routines like you used to.
  • Lack of focus; you find your mind wandering during your workout, it’s hard to stay in the moment and concentrate on giving your best.
  • Stress or frustration; feeling like it’s always a struggle and you’re getting nowhere. That’s no fun! Training is meant to be energizing and enjoyable.
  • You feel more aggressive or emotional than usual; burnout affects your hormones. You may feel like you’ve got a shorter fuse, you lose your temper easily, little things really irritate you. Time to take a step back.
  • Everything seems “hard”; we all have emotional low points but this shouldn’t be the norm. If you’re constantly feeling down or fighting bad feelings then something is wrong.


  • You’ve stopped seeing progress or have plateaued; this can often proceed burnout. We keep pushing harder yet seem to get nowhere. It’s time to reassess your routine and make sure it’s on target – not push harder.
  • Your metabolism is slowing down, not speeding up; if you’re overtraining, your body will try to hang onto body fat as a protective mechanism. Ironically, we then train even harder – making things worse.
  • Chronically tired; you wake up with no energy, you lack your usual strength and endurance, you feel restless and can’t relax.
  • Prone to getting sick more than usual.
  • Your workout leaves you feeling exhausted not energized.
  • Difficulty sleeping; trouble falling or staying asleep.
  • Muscle weakness; you should feel progressively stronger from working out. If things seem more difficult then it’s time to take notice and make some changes.
  • Lost muscle tone; you seem to be losing muscle density and tone despite training frequently.
  • Prone to injury; when you’re not recovering properly your body starts to wear down and become susceptible to joint, ligament, tendon and muscle strain.

If you can say yes to more than 3 signs or symptoms on either list, then this is your wake-up call! Time to make some changes.


No matter where you’re at, you can get your mojo back! You can prevent burnout and even excel beyond what you ever imagined possible for your body. I transformed my body in my 40’s and today I’m 50 years old. I did it through training smarter, not harder. It’s all about tuning in to what your body is telling you, being self-aware, flexible and responsive – it’s not about being regimented and “having” to workout no matter what. That’s a sure fire way to eventually hit the wall.

Before we dig into this, it’s important to acknowledge that we’re dealing with the female body. Whether we like it or not our physique functions differently to men. We don’t have tons of testosterone floating around to aid mental and physical exertion. We have to factor in our monthly cycle (a topic for another blog). Our female trouble zones require different exercises. The reality is, we can’t train like a guy without compromising our health. I know, I’ve been there. Don’t make the same mistake. We need to appreciate and embrace our beautiful and unique femaleness and train to our strengths.


Training smarter getting the results you want without burning out – and easily maintaining your best body long-term. We do this by listening to our biofeedback system, tailoring our workouts to target the female trouble zones and giving ourselves optimal rest and recovery time. When everything is in sync (mentally and physically) we can approach every training session feeling renewed and energized.


One of the biggest mistakes I see women making with their workouts is not being tuned in to how they’re really feeling. They forge ahead regardless of how they feel – instead of listening to what their body is telling them, both during and after their workout.

  • Enjoy your workout. Your routines should be an enjoyable challenge, not a grind. If not, it’s time to change things up.
  • Change things up. Our body quickly adapts and subconsciously seeks the path of least resistance to completing your workout, which can undermine our results. Smarter training means regularly changing the combination and sequence of your workouts and modifying the exercises to keep our body on its toes.
  • Build on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Put more physical effort into the things you are good at but also consistently work on weaker areas.
  • Have a support system. It’s hard going it alone. We all need encouragement and motivation. Whether it’s a training buddy, our partner or a coach – make sure you have someone in your life who believes in and encourages you.  If you need personalized coaching and support – check the link at the bottom of this post.


  • Doing the same weekly routine for more than 6 weeks.  By varying your routine you will reduce the risk of injury, tendonitis and joint pain.
  • Training for more than an hour at a time.  After 60 minutes of training testosterone levels begin to fall and cortisol starts to rise. Since testosterone is responsible for muscle growth and cortisol can lead to higher body fat, this is the complete opposite of what we want to happen. Keep your sessions shorter and give 100%.
  • Sabotaging your results through calorie deprivation or alcohol. Our bodies need a wide range of vital nutrients from lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbs to produce energy, build muscle tone and create new skin cells. If you’re not eating enough of the right types of food, you won’t get optimal results. Alcohol is a toxin that slows down our metabolism and makes it harder to train to capacity – training like a Trojan during the week and drinking like a fish on the weekend won’t cut it (read my Truth About Alcohol Blog for more detail).
  • Wearing out your body with the wrong training.  The cumulative effect of long cardio sessions, high impact routines and training with very heavy weights wears out your joints, ligaments and tendons making you prone to injury (especially as we get older into our 40’s and beyond). If you’re suffering from constant niggles, aches and pains – listen to your body and make some changes!


1. Train for the female body. Target the female trouble zones with functional fusion-style exercises (combination of bodyweight and free weights) that challenge your balance and build a strong core.

2. Use the correct technique, tempo and tension. I’ve seen women do exactly the same routine with dramatically different results. Training with concentrated focus rather than just “doing” the exercises makes all the difference in the world. Your skill, the speed at which you do the exercise and consciously engaging the target muscles (mind-muscle connection) is the secret to getting results without wearing out your body.

3. Eating the right carbohydrates at the right time. Complex carbohydrates are vital for energy production – if you’re running on empty you’ll feel exhausted. Energy also needs to be replenished. Timing your carb intake around your workouts will boost your performance and speed up recovery.

4. Get quality sleep. Our bodies renew themselves overnight. Muscles are repaired and strength is restored. Two hours of sleep before midnight is worth four after; so get to sleep earlier especially after a hard training day.  We also need to go through the full cycle of sleep several times a night to wake feeling refreshed. If you’re constantly waking up throughout the night there are many things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep (a topic for another blog).

5. Adequate recovery. What you do post-workout is vital. Daily stretching, supplements like magnesium, gentle massage and regular body exfoliation will help to remove lactic acid and other toxins, promote blood circulation for efficient delivery of nutrients and ease muscle soreness to prepare for your next session.


This blog is longer than I intended but today I’ve given you the essentials; the wisdom and benefit of all my experience gleaned from transforming my own body in my 40’s and working with thousands of clients from around the world. Listen, we are in this for the results long term.

We need a sustainable and enjoyable workout-lifestyle.

When the balance is right – you can achieve an incredible body without plateauing, without hitting the wall and without risking burnout. It’s time to listen to and nurture your body – not punish and push it. In return, it will reward you for years to come by looking and feeling incredible!

Bel xo

P.S. If you’d like a realistic, down-to-earth and doable road map to getting in great shape (the healthy way) — then please check out my Get Lean Program. It’s a 12 week complete transformational program that literally takes you by the hand and walks you step by step to losing weight, getting rid of cellulite and building lean, body toning muscle — in a healthy and sustainable way. You deserve the best that life has to offer and I’m here to help you make it happen.



Get Lean Ultimate Body Transformation Program <<



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