Posted on March 03, 2018 by Jenny Cromack


It is usually around this time of year that people start giving up on the gym, one reason for this we call ‘burnout’. Some people may just have a lack of motivation or not sufficient drive to reach their goals, whereas burnout can be caused due to several different factors. So how do you differentiate between burnout and lack of motivation?

What Is Burnout?

1. Physical and emotional exhaustion
2. Sport/exercise devaluation
3. Reduced sense of accomplishment

The research shows there three themes that are linked with burnout: The first of these is ‘stress and burnout’. The second is ‘entrapment and burnout’ and finally ‘empowerment, identity and burnout’. To understand these let’s examine what each theme is made up of.

Stress and burnout

– Excessive (or insufficient) challenge, setting your goal correctly is massively important for your motivation levels.
– Physical stress – excessive training. Remember to give yourself days off, rest days are when the body adapts.
– Psychological stress – pressure from selves and others (including perfectionism)
– Low perceived ability

Entrapment and burnout

– Entrapment – can’t leave – High investment, desire to achieve, social constraints, potential loss if leaving.
– Your training environment needs to be such that it motivates you to come back. Whether it is music selection, environment selection (class, run outside or just a gym workout).

Empowerment, identity and burnout

– Lack of control (or empowerment)
– Missed out on opportunities – ‘you miss 100% of the shots/chances you don’t take’…a nice little quote to remind you strive and push had every workout and training week.
– Uni-dimensional self concept / less positive personal identity.
– Feel in debt to others / obliged to remain in the sport. Some of us are working out or training for others. Make sure you see the benefit as well.

If you feel like you are pushing yourself too hard and are getting a bit frustrated with your training, maybe one of these 3 themes will help remind you, what you need to do to fix the problem. Or at the very least reassure you that you aren’t the first or last person to feel like you do. Keep smashing your goals guys and girls!!!