Question from reader: I am burned out. What should I do

I received this question from a reader today and as I was answering him privately I realized this might be a question more people share.


I’ve written before about burnout (here and here) and will write more, so for now, this will be just a list of things you may do to start recovering from your condition. You are obviously in underperformance, but you might also be in “underhappiness”, and that’s important. Here is the list:


1. do NOT discontinue your training, but change it. It is much like adopting another type of program. Face it as rehab

2. If you are a strength athlete, give it some time to the over 80% intensities. Adopt a lower volume, lower intensity program, something like no more than 4 core exercises at not over 5 sets of 10-12 at 75%

3. Train day on-day off and take the weekends off

4. You need to eat at your consumption level. Do NOT restrict calories: your whole neuro-endocrine system is super sensitive to stress input

5. Have you ever tried meditating? I should… Shame on me, I’m giving you advice I should be following

6. Make an inventory of your injuries and focus on rehab

7. Analyse your sleep. If it is bad, take action. It doesn’t matter what, but you need to solve this problem or at least address it

8. You have a whole life to compete: put it aside for some time. Don’t even plan your next competition: it will create anxiety

9. Chart everything, but especially fatigue and inflammation indicators

10. Eat clean, but don’t be afraid of fat, please. If you are in some inflammatory overload, that’s the one macro-nutrient you don’t want to avoid. The explanation for this is long: just believe me for the time being

11. Avoid alcohol. It makes you feel better for a few hours, but there’s abundant indication that it affects your overall recovery ability


I hope this helps!


Image: By Ed Schipul (Flickr: burned out chair at sunset) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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