How to Deal with Mental Fatigue While Training


By Hannah Cunningham, CrossFit Humanity

For those of us who first tried CrossFit and quickly understood, “I like this because it’s challenging and it’s doing wonders for my training” we exploded out of beginning on ramp ready to try anything. We suffered through benchmark WODs like the Filthy 50 as newbies and even felt like a wall ball or 2 in the face was not enough to keep us from coming back to the box the next day. We asked our coaches to come and check our form on everything from how to explode out of the bottom of a bench press to how to progress to a full strict muscle up. Our love affair with the sport was peaking to an all-time high as we actively sought to make connections with anyone who could understand the world we inhabit either before or after going to work; anyone willing to talk about beatings and bruises as badges of honor for finally making it up the rope for the first time or getting a first double under. We watched the veteran CrossFitters at the gym glorifying them as gods and goddesses and made a promise to ourselves we would drive and drive to be at THAT level someday. The above scenario can be viewed in two ways:

The first is reading this as motivated: This camp of people who take to CrossFit immediately and seek to immerse themselves in training hard for the sake of self-improvement are probably highly motivated in other areas of their lives. Motivation and hard work are touted and valued in our society and of course we are just the percentage willing to put in the work to be the best, right?

Some may also look at the above and see an obsessive compulsion risking injury due to overtraining. For driven personalities, many ride the line of traditional ideas of hard work equals success but inadvertently take it too far. For many, living right below the motivated put together exterior is a perfectionist: A self-punishing internal reel that pushes too hard and can catapult one into a zone of overtraining making ourselves almost as unhealthy as if we never trained in the first place.

Aside from the physical fatigue we read about in overtraining articles it’s important to check in with your mental fatigue as the body demands a balance of rest not only physically but mentally. You may take 1 or 2 rest days per week but if you’re obsessively worrying over your areas of weakness and relentlessly strategizing how to win your next competition driving you to push harder RIGHT NOW, it’s time to take one big step back and gain some perspective.

CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF: Here are some check points for mental fatigue i.e. when it’s time to raise the white flag and stop pushing so hard.
1) The idea of working out that day seems more like chore than a bright spot in your day.
2) You start to psyche yourself out of participating in benchmark WODS or fun inter gym competitions because you’re scared to not meet the goals you’ve set for yourself.
3) You realized you haven’t seen the sunshine or fresh air, period, outside of your box because you’re too busy training and meal planning on the weekends.
4) You used to have other hobbies that have fallen at the wayside because you’re too mentally exhausted to engage in them after work and CrossFit.
5) You find yourself short on patience with your nearest and dearest (a reflection that you’ve gotten too short on patience with your own self expectations).

REGAIN YOUR BALANCE: Here are some things you can do to get back to the happy place. The reason you love working hard in the first place.
1) Focus on the smaller gains you’re making. So what if you don’t have a sub 25 min time on the Filthy Fifty yet, you moved smoothly through the kettle bells and felt better than you ever have in that portion.
2) Get outside on the weekend (especially if you’ve trained hard all week) bring your hard work into the world and apply your functional fitness hiking, walking, putting your toes in the sand.
3) Take a moment for gratitude daily. Stop for a sunset, take a breath in your car and thank yourself and your body for how far it has allowed you to come. Love and forgive yourself instead of berating yourself.
4) Stretch and give your muscles some mobility loving! Invest in a lacrosse ball or leg roller and work that stiff area until it’s supple again.
5) Lessen your comparisons to others and avoid peer pressure: So what if Sally is doing her 5th day of training in a row? You won’t get out of shape for taking Day 5 off and Sally certainly won’t beat you on the first WOD back because of it.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Printable Version

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 
Advertise Here

Most Popular of All Time

CrossFit 757 shared a link on Facebook

Atlas Skill & Partner Row : In 20 Min: Atlas Stone Skill Work Then with a partner for 20 min: Rotate EMOTM sprint row *Post total distance rowed to comments. Mobility Class: Monday @ 1:00 Wed. & Fri. @ 5:00

CrossFit 757 posted an article
astewart30 published the post CrossFit: Is It Really for Everyone? on Tabata Times
There is a lot of buzz around CrossFit. There are the lovers. There are the haters. Then there are...
hashtagmiguel published the post Why are you here? on
Why is a question most people hesitate to answer, hesitate to ask, hesitate to bring up. You can...
zmosbarger published the post It's Okay to Compete on
We’ve taken to the road again after a ten-day pit stop back home in Bellefontaine, Ohio. We...
CrossFit Chesapeake posted an article
Compound CrossFit posted an article
Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Athlete Profile Name: Guch Hometown: Anchorage PCF: When did you start with PCF? G: September 2008 PCF: Favorite WOD G: None PCF: Least Favorite WOD G: None PCF: What is...

CrossFit Falls Church shared an image on Facebook

Thursday, Oct 16

Patriot CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Reston shared a link on Facebook

10 rounds for time of: • 3 power cleans 205/115# • 6 HR Push Ups • 9 wall ball shots 20/14# Compare to 1/27/14

CrossFit Full Circle shared an image on Facebook

JeeZ. Some squats.

Ballston CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Mark your calendar!

CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

Thrusters and Muscle Ups = a good friendship. Congrats to Katie G. for getting her muscle up in the AM!

Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Foundations special (only $99 for 6 classes over the next few weeks)! If you have friends interested in joining BCF, encourage them to do it soon! Please share this graphic on your Facebook wall to help promote BCF around Arlington! Next course starts October 28, register before it's full!

CrossFit Full Circle shared an image on Facebook

Have you checked out our reviews? 61/66 people give us 5 stars!

CrossFit Falls Church posted on Facebook

Free workout at noon every Saturday for prospective clients. No need to sign up in advance - just show up!

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

It's Thursday, ladies!

CrossFit Pittsburgh posted on Facebook

I just wanted to say a special thanks to everyone for yesterday's Hero WOD. Thank you for remembering my Brothers. Special thanks to everyone at the 5:30pm.

CrossFit Iron City shared a link on Facebook

Thursday 10/16/14

CrossFit Iron City posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

Now that's teamwork right there!

CrossFit Focus shared a link on Facebook

Only as high as I reach can I grow; Only as far as I seek can I go; Only as deep as I look can I see; Only as much as I dream can I be.

Salvador published the post To cheat or not to cheat? The "misscounting disorder" on
You hear the signal "3-2-1...go!", the adrenaline starts pumping, you are fully beast-mode. You...
Fentress CrossFit posted on Facebook

Thursday's WOD: "Randy" For Time 75 Power snatchs 75/55 (Note Time) Then 2000m Row

CrossFit Prime posted an article
CrossFit 77 posted an article
CrossFit 77 posted an article
CrossFit LKN posted an article
CrossFit Shadyside posted on Facebook

Oak City CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Members of the OCCF Rowing Team are at the box RIGHT NOW getting those last meters in before the Concept2 Fall Challenge ends. Nice work y'all!

Fearless Athletics CrossFit South Philly posted an article
CrossFit Athletics posted an article
CrossFit Invoke posted an article
paleobutter published the post Sicilian Stuffed Peppers on Nutrition WOD
[yumprint-recipe id='124']
Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Invoke shared an image on Facebook

Emily is putting in work with sand bag thrusters! #getit #workout #workhard #cfinvoke #cfiathlete #cfibootycamp #relentlesslife #crossfit #strong #barbellbabes #fitness #fitlife

Outlaw CrossFit shared a link on Facebook


CrossFit Rosslyn shared a link on Facebook

Thursday, 10/16/14:

CrossFit Rosslyn posted an article
Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Pregnancy and CrossFit This post isn’t going to apply to all of you, but I think it is worth addressing, so bear with me. I’ve been approached by quite a...

CrossFit Novem posted an article
CrossFit Old Town shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Love shared an image on Facebook

LV III – 10.16.14 Competition Programming Swim Intervals 50 meters x 15, Rest is :30 - :60 between each Inflammation Maintenance Mobility Weakness Work - spend 20:00 improving range of motion "Optional" - Performance Upper Body Strength Programming

CrossFit Focus shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit RTP shared an image on Facebook

The community keeps you coming back! Check out our community at our FREE intro class this Saturday at 10:50 am!! Tag a friend who wants to try crossfit. #CrossfitRTP #Crossfit #DurhamNC #Community #TeamPlayer

CrossFit Gastonia shared a link on Facebook

Thursday's WOD

CrossFit Arlington shared a link on Facebook

Thurs 16 Oct 2014

CrossFit Pittsburgh posted an article
CrossFit Wilmington posted an article
Trident CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Integrated Fitness shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Arlington posted an article
CrossFit Harrisburg posted on Facebook

Barbell for boobs. Sunday, October 19 at 3:00pm Deload week, will max next week. Thurs Squat Clean and Jerk (5x5 @ 60%) Touch and go Speed and technique stay light Metcon (AMRAP - Reps) 12 min Amrap 3-6-9-12… slamball 30/20 box jump 24/20

CrossFit Main Line shared an image on Facebook

Our 6am class took on a 20 minute AMRAP loaded with lots of fun movements today! 14 Oct 2014 WEDNESDAY 10.15.14 W.O.D. WEDNESDAY 10.15.14 W.O.D. Explosive Strength Skill: Seated Box Jumps (Max Height) ** Sit on box at knee height WOD: 20min AMRAP 50 Wallballs (20,14) 50 Dubs (x3) 40 Box Jumps (24,20) 40 T2B 30 C2B 30 Burpees 20 Power Cleans (135,95) 20 Push Jerks (135,95) 10 Snatches (135,95) 10 MUs

CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article
CrossFit Main Line posted an article

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV