Fitness Burnout

Feeling the burn isn’t always a good thing. Rosalie Brown shares signs you’re overdoing it when it comes to your fitness.

As a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, I have experienced fitness burnout firsthand. Exercising excessively to the point that it’s no longer serving you well can show up in three main ways.

Injuries and Illness

Over-exercising can lead to injuries and/or a weakened immune system. Does it seem like it’s taking forever for that shoulder or ankle to get better? Do not be afraid to modify your current exercise routine. Cut out exercises that are causing you pain and slowing down your rehabilitation. This will not undo your hard work. What I’ve experienced from rehabbing an area with rest is that other muscles in my body benefited from the added attention. I pleasantly discovered a new love for working my back muscles after I had hip surgery.

If you take a break from weight training for more than three weeks, you’ll lose some strength and muscle, but you’ll regain it quickly when you start lifting regularly again. But if you have general aches and pains and are consistently feeling worse for wear, it can be an indicator of inadequate recovery. Your body is telling you to back off a bit so it has time to heal. Also, while, regular exercise can help ward off cold and flu, too much exercise can lead to a compromised immune system. If you’re not bouncing back from a cold as you did in the past, perhaps your body is having a tougher time fighting off infection. Fitness Burnout

Declining performance

Evaluate your workouts: Are you getting stronger? Faster? Are you making strides to the goals you’ve set? If not, perhaps you’re overdoing it. If you are not able to execute your workouts with good form, allow yourself to lift with a lighter weight load. This will allow you to perfect your form and complete your workout without feeling burnt out. You can build your body with lighter loads and higher reps. It comes down to a personal preference and it may be the key to reducing your exercise exhaustion from always lifting heavy.

Check your average resting heart rate. Many fitness trackers monitor your heart rate 24/7. Is your heart working harder than usual all day long? If your daily heart rate average is higher than normal, this can also be a warning sign that your body is requiring rest or a change of pace. Perhaps this is the time to take a week-long vacation or try yoga, meditation, or massage.


Consider how you feel after your workout. Accomplished? Proud? Stronger? Or are you feeling relieved that your workout is finally out of the way? One of the most awesome things about working out is the positive endorphins flowing through your body, but if you aren’t feeling great after your workout or are dreading your next workout, this is a sign you probably need some active rest and should reduce the number of higher intensity workouts. Replace your traditional workout with an easy-paced walk, bike, hike, skate, or other recreational activity that you enjoy. After a break in your routine, it often feels fresh again...


Rosalie Brown


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