Fatigue is a Liar

As a guy who’s struggled to be consistent in the gym throughout his 20s, one of the big problems I (and I believe many others) face is overdoing it in the gym when you’re trying to “finally get in really good shape.”

It’s easy to get super inspired by reading fitness experts online once you finally decide “this is my time!,” and end up killing yourself in the gym and overdoing your CNS and burning out.

I think a great newsletter idea would be “Understanding what kind of shape you’re currently in and tailoring a plan so that you slowly build up, be consistent, maintain perpetual gains, and avoid burnout.”

I got this question yesterday, I spent all day thinking about today, especially while I was training.

The most basic idea behind overtraining is this

-When your volume of performance has exceeded your capacity to recover.

Its a simple idea, but there are DETAILS to it.

Firstly, TRUE overtraining is a GLOBAL phenomenon. Its only seen in athletes that perform a HIGH volume of training, I mean 2-3-4+ hours of training a day, 5-6 days a week.

Global overtraining is systemic, an athletes performance will decline over time, their recovery will drag, bodily aches and pains can arise.

But they are still training through this. They can still train. But not at the level they need

This state of overtraining, where inflammation is high, neurological output is down, its RARELY experienced by anyone in the general public.

What is more common is OVERUSE

This is “local” overtraining. Or more accurate, its an EXCESS of one type of exercise.

You start running, but log too many miles the first month and develop knee pain, and you’ve got poor running technique.

You start lifting weights, but you dont train back hardly at all and work chest way too much, you develop shoulder pain

This isn’t “overtraining” on a global scale, its joint/muscle specific, and it arises from doing too much of one thing, improper technique, not enough sleep or eating, or some combo thereof

Most People can Handle FAR more training than they think if they

1) Eat enough and sleep enough

2) Practice with proper technique

And then we have the Central Nervous System….

YOUR CNS (Central Nervous System) DOES NOT BURN OUT

The idea of the CNS “burning out” comes from the world of powerlifting.

Strength, maximal 1 rep max strength, its a specific SKILL. And it requires a period of training to PEAK and actualize. Whe

What can happen in strength training, and I mean competitive athletes, not regular gym bros, is that they MISS their train peak, and train too heavy too often, and their strength does NOT increase as a result. It stays static of regresses.

At no point though is their CNS “burned out”. They are still lifting.

What they are experiencing is a state of neurological fatigue that is inhibiting optimal performance.

NOW, we finally get to the question

As a guy who’s struggled to be consistent in the gym throughout his 20s, one of the big problems I (and I believe many others) face is overdoing it in the gym when you’re trying to “finally get in really good shape.”

It’s easy to get super inspired by reading fitness experts online once you finally decide “this is my time!,” and end up killing yourself in the gym and overdoing your CNS and burning out.

There are two answers to this question:

The nice, professional, mainstream fitness answer is that You need a PLAN to slowly get into shape, not get discouraged, and be accepting of your starting point. Do what you can, don’t get too sore, fitness is lifestyle, and dial back as much as you need. Build up slowly with time, you can do it!?

Part of me agrees with that, I’d probably say that if I was talking to a normal, average joe, and Its not untrue….but its ALSO weak. It is achingly, disgustingly mediocre

When I trained clients, I trained all levels of people.

And sometimes, I was therapist, 100%. People just wanted to talk.

But whenever I could, as much as I could

I’d Train People Into The FUCKING GROUND

To punish them? No.

Because I was sadistic? No, not that either

Because I wanted to Show them what they were Made of

That they were tougher than they thought.

The most Honest, most TRUE form of strength is built through FATIGUE

Not comfort.

I remember once having a lady client, she was obese. I made her push a sled. She just about passed out. She couldnt even stand.

She was elated though.

Because I kept telling her she’d get stronger, and she was still moving, and despite how hard this may have felt, it was not beating her.

She developed one of the best work ethics I’ve ever seen in a client. Still trains to this day.

Thus, Im going to lay down a reality check.

1. Your entire life is YOUR TIME. If you really gave a damn about being a Man of Bronze with physical fitness, you’d stop making an “event” out of getting into shape, and simply SHOW UP

2. Your CNS did not burn out. YOU QUIT

You did not overdo.

YOU QUIT.

You got TIRED because you trained more than normal. And you don’t LIKE feeling tired.

Your body felt “beat up”.

Your energy was low.

You were SORE. You couldnt imagine getting up again to train legs, not when your low back or glutes or quads were still stiff and hurting.

So you QUIT.

And you didnt quit because your body literally could not go on. You quit because mentally, you were TIRED.

And your body FELT tired.

And to your mind, that means stop.

And you’ve conditioning yourself over and over again that to be tired is to Bend the Knee to Fatigue.

You made giving up and giving in a habit.

Thats not a physical problem.

Thats a mental one.

Pick and choose whats stronger. Your WILL?

Or feeling “tired”?

When I tell people “fuck your feelings”…this is exactly what I mean.

And Shameless Pitch

-Get Fight Club Physique if you need to break yourself of the “Im tired, Im stopping” habit.