Have you ever been pumped to get into the gym and after doing only a few exercises you find yourself feeling completely drained of energy?
A lot of people might say, something like, “Oh you’re just not in shape. It’ll get better.” While this may hold true for most people, even the most fit people can find themselves in a similar situation.
As I constantly went back and forth between having great full-energy workouts and dragging after a set or two on another, I started really comparing my good days and bad days to see if there was anything that stuck out to me on what might be the causation.
In this article, I’ll be going over the things I’ve learned that would hinder my workouts and how I fixed it:
#1 Not Eating Before You Hit The Gym (#1 Reason for No Energy for Workout)
One reason reason I found for getting tired so quickly when I start lifting is that I haven’t had a pre-workout meal.
Don’t go crazy and get a full stomach with your pre-workout meal but just eat like a sandwich or a protein bar, this is just a light meal/snack that you eat about 45 minutes to an hour before you hit the gym.
Make sure to give yourself enough time for it to digest before hitting the weights but also don’t wait too long to where you find yourself getting hungry again. This is why 45 minutes to an hour before is a good window to go by.
Tip: Bring something easy to carry with you for easy pre-workout snacks. This can be a protein bar, bag of peanuts or something like peanut butter crackers. Most of us are on the move with work/school/kids before being able to hit the gym, something simple & quick allows us to get some sort of food in us.
Editor’s Note: This may not be applicable to everyone. Some people, such as myself, can function perfectly well on an empty stomach. However, when I first started lifting I used to come close to throwing up if I hadn’t eaten before working out so it is something to be aware of.
#2 Not Planning Your Workout Routine Correctly
When you work a main muscle group like your back or chest, you’re also hitting some of the other muscle groups that are connected to those.
Here’s an example of what I mean, when you do a chest workout, you’re also using your triceps. It may not be enough to get them sore but you’re still working them out.
Well if you do chest on a Monday then turn around and do triceps on Tuesday then you may find that you’re not able to lift as much because your triceps still aren’t fully recovered from the previous days’ workout.
Try to find a good workout routine that focuses on hitting muscles groups together like (chest/triceps) or a routine that spreads those muscle groups out like chest on Monday & triceps on Thursday.
#3 Going To Low On Your Calories When Dieting
This can be somewhat related to point number one but this point is more focused on your calorie intake as a whole.
What I mean by that is you can have your pre-workout meal and go hit the gym but if you’ve been in a massive calorie deficit then you can still find yourself lacking energy even with the pre workout meal in your system.
The best way to avoid this problem is find out what calorie range you should be at to lose weight by using a weight loss calculator to help give you an idea of what calorie range you should be at.
Once you do this you now just have to keep track of your calories that you consume during the day. So if the calculator says you’ll lose 2 lbs a week when consuming 1750 calories per day, this doesn’t mean drop your calories to 1000 and try to lose 5 lbs a week.
Doing this is a quick way to find yourself drained of all kind of energy and cause you to be burnt out physically & mentally.
If you have a workout trainer then they will usually help get you setup with your suggested calorie intake and dieting calorie suggestion. There are also plenty of free tools available now to help you get an idea of what range you should be at like this one for instance.
If you have a smart watch or a fitbit then this can be even easier because you have a much more detailed look on your overall activity for the day.
Editor’s Note: Aim to be on a caloric deficit of around 400 calories below your maintenance amount. This varies from person to person so do your research, but again, this is a very important thing to be aware of. Especially amongst males as this sort of low-calorie dieting can effect your testosterone.
#4 Having Music Can Make Or Break Your Workout
A huge factor on how workouts go is based on having music going when working out.
Just look around when you go to the gym, do you think everyone is listening to music because they just don’t want to talk to each other? Well that might be the case for some people, but overall music has a huge impact on your motivation levels.
Having the energy to hit the gym is much more of a mental aspect than it is a physically tired aspect in my opinion.
Try to load up a playlist of songs that gets you pumped and try hitting the gym while listening to that to see if you notice any changes in your overall workout.
As a side note, the music being played at gyms has gotten increasingly horrible, so this is just another reason to bring your own tunes to workout to.
#5 The Temperature Of Your Gym
This is something most people do not pay any attention to on how it affects their overall mood for working out.
I used to go to a gym that was great. It was small; great equipment; not very many people but the owner would always keep it like 65 degrees inside. This would literally cause me to almost instantly get tired when I got in there to begin my workout.
Personally I need the gym to be cooler for me to feel more alert during my workout. I’ve spoken with enough people throughout my time in the gym to realize that the temperature does have an impact on how their workouts go.
There are so many reasons out there on why you might not have any energy in the gym. It could be just a pure lack of motivation; this is something you will have to assess for yourself.
To be clear here, everything I’ve mentioned in this article are all things that I found out myself through many trial & error type of workouts where I was just dragging my butt.
Even though my list is pretty straightforward there can also be some more technical type of things that can contribute to having low energy in the gym, like low testosterone. These are things that of course I can’t really guide you on, only your doctor can help you out here.
I hope this helps you to continue to turn up the intensity on your workouts and stay in shape and it will end your no energy for workout. Good luck!