Why Am I Getting Weaker At The Gym? 17 Things To Consider
Have you ever wondered why feel strong on some days but weaker on other days when you’re at the gym? It’s a common question for fitness enthusiasts, and it can be a tricky one to answer.
Do genetics play a role or is something else going on in our bodies that determines how we perform each day? You may be surprised to learn that there are actually many elements that come together which make us stronger or weaker during our exercise routines.
Everything from what we ate and drank before heading into the gym to our psychological state of mind throughout the workout. In this blog post, we’ll explore all these potential contributing factors so you can better understand why you feel like you are getting weaker at the gym.
Why am I getting weaker at the gym?
There are several possible reasons why you may be getting weaker at the gym. These can include not getting enough recovery, rest and sleep. Another reason could be down to overtraining and fatigue, as these can lead to reduced performance in the gym. It could also be down to a lack of intensity in your workouts, or too much if you are pushing yourself too hard. Additionally, stress or mental state can play an important role. When we are stressed, our performance in the gym can suffer as our body is unable to relax and focus on the task at hand. Some people might also need to work on improving their nutrition and hydration intake, as this can be the source of feeling weak if you are pushing yourself, which can lead to feelings of fatigue during workouts. Also, make sure you’re fueling your body properly before and after each session. If you’re trying to lose weight, another potential cause of feeling weak during your gym sessions may be from having a calorie deficit that is too big. This can occur when you are not consuming enough energy and nutrients throughout the day to keep your body healthy and energized. Your lifestyle can also be a reason that you are getting weaker as “burning the candle at both ends” takes its toll eventually. It is also important to consider if you need to mix up your fitness plan. If you have been doing the same routine for a while, it might be useful to add some variety and challenge yourself with something new.
There are various reasons why you might be getting weaker at the gym, but don’t worry as we will try and get to the bottom of the issue so you can get back to working out without any problems.
Not enough recovery
The most common reason why you are getting weaker at the gym may be down to not allowing yourself to get enough rest and recovery after an intense workout. This is important as it gives our bodies time to repair and rebuild the muscles we have worked, which prevents us from feeling fatigued and weak when we next hit the gym.
If you didn’t already know, most of the damage done to our muscles from exercise is repaired while we are sleeping, so it’s important that you leave enough time between workouts to allow for rest and recovery. Try to ensure that you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night, as this is essential for our bodies to be able to work properly during the day.
Rest is also essential for our minds as it allows us to reset and get ready for the next day. Mental fatigue can be just as detrimental to our performance in the gym as physical fatigue, so make sure you are taking regular breaks throughout the day to avoid overworking yourself.
If you fail to do this, then you will always be playing catch up and may struggle to see any kind of progress, as your body is screaming out for some downtime to repair itself. Try and switch off that device a little earlier than you normally would do and allow yourself to unwind before bedtime.
Overtraining and fatigue
Another reason why you may be getting weaker at the gym could be down to overtraining. This is when you are pushing yourself too hard for too long and not allowing your body enough time to rest and recover.
If you are training for too long, this can lead to increased fatigue which can then affect your performance in the gym as your body is unable to push itself as hard. Overtraining can also lead to a decrease in muscle mass as your body struggles to repair and rebuild the muscles you have worked.
It is important to ensure that you are not overtraining, as this can lead to burnout and an increase in fatigue which will affect your performance in the gym. Additionally, if you are training too much, your body will struggle to find enough time to recover and repair itself which can lead to feelings of weakness.
If you feel this emotion creeping up on you, then please take the time to rest and have an extra day or so off, as your body is telling you that it needs to rest.
If you are pushing yourself too hard during your workout, then this can also cause feelings of weakness and fatigue. It is important to ensure that you are challenging yourself in the gym but don’t overdo it, as too much intensity can lead to burnout and a decrease in performance.
On the other hand, if you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough, then you won’t be able to get the most out of your workouts. It is important to find a balance between challenging yourself and not pushing yourself too hard, as this will allow you to make progress without fatiguing yourself.
If you are new to exercise, finding the right amount of intensity may take some time, as the excitement bug of training means you want to cram as much in as possible, or you might be struggling to find your mojo and this too could be an issue.
However, once you find the correct levels of intensity, working out will feel much more enjoyable and you will be able to get the most out of your workouts.
Stress or mental state
Additionally, feeling weak in the gym might be down to stress or mental state. When we experience high levels of stress, our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode which can lead to feelings of fatigue and a decrease in performance.
When we are stressed it releases a hormone called cortisol which can cause us to struggle to push ourselves in the gym and potentially lead to feelings of weakness. Additionally, high levels of stress can also affect our sleep patterns which may further decrease our performance.
If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, then it is important to take some time out for yourself and practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. These activities can help to manage feelings of stress and anxiety which can in turn improve your performance in the gym.
Being stressed can also release an adrenaline dump which can make it difficult to stay focused and motivated to train. If you are feeling this way, then try and find ways to manage your stress levels before workouts which could include stretching, foam rolling or deep breathing techniques.
Nutrition & Hydration
Making sure your diet is on point is another crucial factor when it comes to how you feel at the gym and in general. When it comes to keeping up your energy levels and finding the motivation you need, a healthy diet and proper hydration are essential for success.
If you are not eating enough calories or macronutrients, then this can lead to feelings of weakness and fatigue as the body is not receiving enough energy to fuel workouts. Additionally, if you are in a calorie deficit then this could cause the body to struggle to repair and rebuild muscles which could lead to feelings of weakness in the gym.
Similarly, if you are not drinking enough water then this can be detrimental to your performance also, as hydration is essential for optimal exercise performance. If you are feeling weak or fatigued at the gym then try making sure you are drinking enough fluids throughout the day, as this could make a big difference to your performance.
If you are struggling to stay on top of your nutrition and hydration goals, then try tracking them with an app or food diary to ensure that you are meeting your daily targets. Additionally, if you need guidance when it comes to nutrition then please reach out to a qualified nutritionist who can provide you with tailored advice.
Your lifestyle habits can also have an impact on your performance in the gym. For instance, if you are getting too little sleep then this can have a significant effect on how you feel during workouts.
If you notice that you are struggling to push yourself at the gym then try and identify any lifestyle changes which could be affecting your performance, such as not getting enough sleep or having an unbalanced diet.
It is also important to consider if you are taking on too much in terms of work, social commitments and exercise. If you are overwhelmed with different tasks then this can lead to feelings of fatigue and burnout which can negatively impact your performance in the gym.
In order to combat this, try and practice mindful scheduling which involves taking some time out to plan your day in advance. This will help you to manage your workload so that you can make time for the things that are important to you.
Related: Why do I only feel stronger in the gym on some days?
Look at your fitness plan
Another possible cause of feeling weak at the gym could be that your fitness plan is not meeting your needs. It is important to have a balanced and structured program which includes rest days and active recovery days.
You may also be one of those people who wander around the gym, going from bench to machine without actually having a fitness plan. If this is the case then try and create a plan which outlines the exercises you will do, the sets, reps and intensity.
Having this structure will help you to stay focused and motivated in the gym as well as help you to track your progress over time. Similarly, it is important to mix up your workouts on a regular basis to ensure that you are challenging yourself.
Have you been doing the same exercises for a while? Has your workout routine gone stale? If the answer to these is “yes”, then it’s about time you started changing up that routine to stimulate the body and to keep motivation levels high.
Try switching up your exercises, changing the order of exercises or even mixing up your rep and set ranges. Additionally, if you are feeling particularly uninspired then you can also try out new classes or workout styles to keep things interesting.
Illness or injury
If you have recently come down with an illness or are recovering from an injury then this could be the reason why you feel weak at the gym. In this instance, it is important to listen to your body and give yourself adequate time for rest and recovery.
If you are recovering from an illness or injury then try to start off slowly at the gym by focusing on corrective exercises which will help you regain strength and mobility. Additionally, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort whilst exercising then it is important to take a step back and consult a doctor to diagnose the issue.
Rushing back or pushing yourself too hard too soon can lead to further injury and set you back even longer. Therefore, it is important to take your time and make sure that you are fully recovered before pushing yourself too hard at the gym.
Form and weight
If you are struggling with your form at the gym then this could be causing some of your fatigue or weakness. You must master good form to get the most out of each exercise and to make sure that you do not injure yourself in the process.
If you are feeling weaker than usual then it could be worth taking a step back and checking your form to make sure that things are on point. If they are not, then consider working with a personal trainer that can help teach you the correct technique.
When it comes to strength training, having the correct form is essential for making progress and staying safe in the gym.
This also ties in with trying to lift too heavy whenever you hit the gym. Ego lifting is a big no-no and can lead to injury if you are not careful. If you find yourself struggling with the same exercises or weights then it may be time to lighten the load so that you can master good form again.
You could face a lengthy spell out of training if you are lifting heavy weights with poor form, it’s an accident waiting to happen and it’s only going to stall your progress in the long run.
Have you lost motivation?
If you are struggling with motivation to hit the gym then this could be another reason why you feel weak or fatigued when training. If you have lost your spark and passion for fitness then try to think back to what motivated you in the beginning.
Set yourself some small goals which will motivate you to stay on track and push through when things get tough. Additionally, reward yourself for achieving these goals and create an environment where you can enjoy your workouts again.
There is no point in forcing yourself to exercise if you have lost the motivation because this will only lead to burnout and frustration. Try different forms of exercise such as HIIT or Yoga which might get those endorphins flowing again.
You may also need to change your perspective to make sure that you are still enjoying your workouts – make it about the journey, not just the end goal. Celebrate the small wins and be proud of what you have achieved, no matter how small.
You don’t warm up
Warming up before your workout is an essential part of any exercise routine and should not be overlooked. Not warming up can lead to fatigue or soreness during your workouts, as well as putting yourself at risk of injury.
Not warming up may reduce your range of motion (ROM) and make it harder to perform exercises correctly. This can reduce the effectiveness of your workouts and leave you feeling weak or fatigued in the process, as you aren’t able to do the exercise with full ROM.
Make sure to warm up before each session by doing dynamic stretches, light cardio, foam rolling or using a dynamic band. This will help get your body ready for exercise and ensure that you are able to perform the exercises correctly, while warming up the muscles, reducing tension and increasing flexibility.
A good warmup helps to lubricate the joints, raise the core temperature and prepare the body for exercise. It also helps to mentally prepare you for the workout ahead and get you in the right frame of mind.
Consult a doctor for deficiencies
Finally, it is always worth consulting with a doctor if you are feeling weak or fatigued. They may be able to determine whether there is an underlying cause of your fatigue, such as a vitamin deficiency or hormonal imbalance.
If the doctor believes that this could be the reason then they will be able to recommend treatments and supplements to help restore body balance and combat any deficiencies which could be causing the fatigue.
Related: Why Do I Look Fatter After Working Out?
There are numerous reasons why you may be feeling weaker at the gym and it is important to identify the cause before taking any further action. Take a look at your fitness plan, lifestyle and nutrition habits and ask yourself if anything needs to change in order for you to make progress.
Additionally, consult with a doctor if necessary and make sure to warm up before each session. With the right steps in place, you should be able to start seeing improvements soon.
Are you getting weaker in the gym and have these tips helped? Let us know in the comments below.