Why Do Your Workouts Seem Harder Some Days?

The main reason that your workout may seem more difficult certain days is probably related to how you’re taking care of your body. This includes your rest and what you’re putting into your body. Remember working out is just as much about diet as it is about working out. Also, your body cannot function properly off poor nutrition.

1.You’re not fully recovering between workouts.

Your muscles cannot grow without rest. When you’re working out you’re breaking down the muscle fibers and then they grow bigger and stronger when you’re resting prior to the workout. If your muscles haven’t fully recovered after an intense workout, they will not be as strong when you go to workout again. Simply just resting is a great way to do so, but there are also extra measures you can add in. Stretching, foam rolling, soaking in Epsom salts, or yoga are all great ways to loosen your muscles and make sure they’re prepared for your next training session. You may also consider a massage as they decrease delayed onset of muscle soreness after exercise. Adding branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) into your diet may also assist in faster recovery. They have been shown to decrease muscle damage and decrease protein breakdown during exercise. Your muscles use BCAA’s during exercise to decrease blood levels in your brain and increase tryptophan in your brain. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin, which contributes to the development of fatigue during ex during exercise.

2.You’re not getting enough sleep.

We’ve just discussed how important rest is for your body so I’m sure it’s obvious why sleep plays a major role. A lot of muscle recovery happens while you’re asleep. Deep sleep is very important because this is when the body releases growth hormone. Growth hormone stimulates muscle growth and repair, bone building and fat burning. More levels of cortisol or stress hormone are released in those who don’t get a good nights sleep. Exertion is also higher in those who aren’t getting enough sleep. It’s also important to note that those who exercise frequently sleep better. If you’re exhausted from a workout or cardio session, it is going to be a lot easier to fall asleep at night. In a study published by the journal, Sleep Medicine, when people added moderate-intensity workouts they reported getting an extra 75 minutes of sleep per night. This is more than any drug to help sleep apnea could offer.

3.You didn’t eat proper nutrition.

Protein is needed to build and recover your muscles. If you aren’t eating enough, your muscles won’t be recovering properly, resulting in poor workout performance. Including enough protein in your diet ensures that you have enough muscle mass to get through your workout if you’re lifting heavy weights. Carbohydrates are what your body uses as energy to get you through long cardio sessions. Carbs are stored as ready energy in the body and are used up during physical activity so it’s important to eat enough. Vitamins and minerals are also very important during a workout session. They assist with energy production and muscle contraction. If your iron levels are low, you can become tired and fatigued during your workout. Vitamin C helps you absorb iron, while electrolytes help maintain the fluid balance in your cells. This keeps your free of cramps during exercise.

4.You’re simply having an off day.

Let’s face it, not every workout you have is going to be amazing. You simply won’t be motivated or excited to get into the gym all the times. Even the best athletes have off days and don’t feel it. It’s important to remind yourself that this is a part of training and not get discouraged. Get yourself through your session and know that your next one will be better. Find satisfaction in the fact that you still completed the workout and remind yourself of your goals and accomplishments. It is normal to not be at your best strength or speed on certain days, you may need to take a day or two off and then get back at it. You’re doing great!

5.You’re dehydrated.

75% of the muscles in your body are made up of water. This should reveal how vital hydration is when exercising. Your muscles are not operating at full capacity when they aren’t filled with water. Make sure you are drinking enough water before, during, and after you exercise to prevent dehydration. Wearing less or vented clothing will also help you from sweating as much and maintain your internal temperature. As you workout, your body sweats and you lose body fluid. The more vigorous of exercise, the quicker this happens. You need to drink enough water to replace the lost fluid or it may lead to poor performance levels. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue, and weakness which will all negatively affect your workout. An easy way to check if you’re hydrated is the color of your urine, as yellow indicates dehydration. Many caffeine products are used to help reduce fatigue and increase motivation when exercising. If you do so, make sure you are drinking extra water because caffeine will dehydrate you. About 3.7 liters of water a day for men and 2.7 liters a day for women is recommended. However, if you are working out you should increase this amount as you are sweating out some of it.

8 Replies to “Why Is Cardio Harder Some Days?”

  1. I have been discovering this. There are days in which I just fly around the running tracks. But there are other days (as today) that are so difficult. I believed that what happened today is that I got dehydrated. My doctor told me I don’t drink as much water as I need. And while training I really need to focus on this.

    1. It can be frustrating which is why I wanted to research and find out some of the reasons! Dehydration is definitely a huge factor as our muscles are made up of water. Plus, being dehydrated while trying to workout is very dangerous. Good luck to you with your workouts, stay hydrated 🙂

  2. Good stuff. I need to remember about the muscles being 75% water. But what about trying to lose belly fat and sweating. I know you would have to replace the hydration, but if you are doing cardio and sweating, is that helping you to lose unwanted fat. Seems like burning calories and sweating go hand in hand. Can rigorous cardio help burn fat?

    1. Yes, you’re exactly right. They do go hand in hand. Rigorous cardio means that you’re burning more calories in a shorter amount of time. However, doing more difficult cardio means that you won’t be able to do it for as long. Any type of cardio will burn fat, it depends on your preferences.

  3. These are all great facts about working out. I know that I sweat a lot when I work out and so I drink a lot too. Being in menopause has also affected my sleep and body shape which really is a pain but I keep up my 3 weekly workouts. All that said, I do occasionally just have an off day. When that happens I accept it, go a little lighter and congratulate myself on doing it at all. Then I head off to do something fun and active to fill the gap.

    1. That’s a great attitude to have. You just have to accept it as it’s a part or working out. Sounds like you have a good routine, it’s always nice to switch things up and try different forms of being active!

  4. This has been an interestingf articlwe as iits a topic that i have never really looked into much before. This is because i have usually always been pretty busy with manual work so my health has never been a worry. But lately i have been cucling to keep the exercise up. So this has been handy. thanks

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