Avoiding Burnout – 4min Read

Quitter’s Day is a real thing and in 2024, that date falls on January 12th.  Avoiding burnout is key in making these short-term things turn into long-term habits and, more importantly, results!

Even if you do make it past January 12th, burnout is a very real thing and can make future changes even harder.  So, how do we stay ahead of that?

Why Does Burnout Happen?

While this is not a complete list, these are some of the things we usually see…


Novice trainees usually do the same things over and over again.  While this does yield initial results, you will find that you hit a plateau relatively quickly.  Nothing changes if nothing changes, after all.


While novelty, in and of itself, is not the main reason to continue to train (aka entertainment value), it does factor in if you are working on building good habits.


Starting a new routine might mean you are cutting lots of foods out and [generally] lowering your total caloric intake.  What does this translate to?

When you have an especially hectic [or stressful] day, you will likely fall completely off the wagon and back into your old ways.


All-or-nothing thinking is going to sabotage you.  Every.  Single.  Time.

How Can You Avoid These?


You need to change things up every four to six weeks, or so.  Here are some typical variables you can change to help you continue to ride the results wagon:

  • Loading – heavier or lighter weights
  • Volume – sets and reps
  • Time under tension – slower tempos and faster tempos
  • Cardio vs conditioning – longer duration cardio vs shorter duration intervals

There are many more at play, but that should be plenty to keep you going!


Please understand that changing things, simply for the sake of changing things, isn’t going to keep you engaged.  You want to know that what you’re doing is garnering results.  So, have a plan and have some fun in the process.


When you cut things out, you think about it.  How about this as an example:  you’re walking across a tight rope suspended 50ft in the air and someone says, “don’t look down.”  What do you do?  You look down!

Instead, fill your meals with all the good things – protein at every meal, fruits and veggies at every meal, lots of water.  You’ll find you will be less inclined to eat all the rest of that other stuff.  As for the other problem, check out the next tip.


All-or-nothing thinking leaves room for throwing in the towel because you messed up.  How about the 80/20 or 90/10 rule?  You can build in room for being, well, human!

Let’s do the math for 3 meals per day:

3 meals per day x 7 days = 21 meals per week
20% of 21 meals is 4 meals per week

This means you could “mess up” 4 meals per week.  Messing up could be lack of planning but it could also mean, “I’m going to indulge myself a couple times this week” and that is part of the plan!

Wild, right?!

Why Work With a Professional?

This is stuff we do already…


If you have a really great coach [or trainer], they will stay ahead of the, “do the same thing every time and stop getting results” thing.  As a matter of fact, we tend to write programs for the big picture and not just in the scope of the workout today.  Think, for instance, a program vs a workout.


Variety is fun!  There is no getting around that and, in fact, it can be an important staple to the development of really good habits.

Whether you know it or not, there are many, many, MANY ways to do very similar things.  While we have our go to exercises, we have lots of options are our disposal!  Plus, having a conversation with your coach [or trainer] in the session accounts for understanding what your headspace is like and if we should adjust in the moment.

…weird.  Communication is important in this relationship too!


While I cannot speak for all health and fitness professionals, we [at Iron Hero CrossFit] generally like to focus on building new habits vs changing everything all at once.  Sometimes situations call for drastic changes but rarely do those habits stick.

This is also the reason we like to meet with people consistently.  You will acquire the new habits you’re taking on and that means you’ll face new challenges.  Guess what can help when facing new challenges?  Meeting with your trainer, consistently!

After all, having a “beach body” over the summer is great but know what’s better?  Having a beach body all the time!


Short of doing some sort of nutrition challenge for a finite amount of time, we don’t advise you go 100% for 100% of the time.  That is irresponsible of me to recommend as a health and fitness professional.

Instead, we want to hear about your really great date night meal from Saturday night because we know what your 80% is!  You are human, so are we.

Do what supports your goals a large percentage of the time as that leaves room for mistakes and fun!

If Nothing Else…

If you get nothing else from reading this, take away that all-or-nothing thinking is catastrophic for long-term success.  There is nothing quite like doing 30 days perfectly, messing up once, and throwing in the towel from there!

And if you want more help, reach out to us HERE and let’s get you going with a conversation about how we can best help you reach your goals!

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