If you want to gain muscle and strength then of course what you eat and how you train has an impact.
The problem is that if you are lacking energy then both of these will suffer, you won't be able to give 100% intensity while working out and you may find your diet will suffer too.
So what can you do?
Here are some of the top reasons why you have no energy at the gym:
#1: You Are Out Of Shape
The first reason for your lack of energy is simply that you are out of shape, or unfit.
This may not come as a surprise to you but if you are not working out regularly then you are more likely to suffer from low energy levels.
When you workout your body will naturally release nitric oxide from your artery linings, which allows blood to move more freely throughout the vessels.
In simple terms, this means that your body will produce more energy when you exercise.
#2: You Workout Too Much
Regular trips to the gym are certainly a good idea, but perhaps going 2-3 times a day is a bit much.
The truth is that you need time between workouts to recover, otherwise you are putting yourself at risk of overtraining, which is a painful condition that will leave you fatigued and seriously lacking in energy.
#3: You Eat Too Much Junk Food
Junk food like pizza and crisps may give you a quick burst of energy but this is short-lived.
This is because starchy and sugary foods like this are quickly digested by your body.
The result will be that you will suffer from cravings for more of these types of food, while your energy levels will suffer.
#4: You Lack B-Vitamins
Without B-vitamins, your body will struggle to turn the nutrients found in your food into energy that you can use.
There are certain foods you must add to your diet to make sure your B-vitamin levels are adequate, these include:
- Whole cereals (oatmeal, wheat germ and brown rice for example)
- Soya beans
If your energy levels are low then perhaps you could try adding a few of these foods to your diet. Although your diet should be full of these to start with, especially if you are trying to gain muscle and strength.
#5: You Don’t Drink Enough Water
One reason why you should be drinking plenty of water is that it can keep your energy levels high.
You should aim to consume roughly half your body weight in ounces, for example:
180 pounds = 90 ounces of water to be consumed
A simpler way to check that you are consuming enough water would be to check the colour of your urine. You should aim to get it a light yellow to clear colour. If it is dark then you need to be drinking more water.
#6: You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
There could be any number of reasons why you are not getting enough sleep, but if your energy levels are low then this could be a potential reason.
To improve your sleep habits perhaps try the following:
- Relax before bed – Read a book or have a hot bath
- Change your mattress – You should change your mattress every 7-10 years
- Knock off distractions – Don’t take your phone or laptop to bed
You should aim to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. Hopefully, the above steps will help you achieve this goal.
#7: You Didn’t Eat Before Working Out
Without adequate fuel for your workouts, you are not going to be able to give 100%.
Of course, you shouldn’t go overboard and eat a 5-course meal. However, a small pre-workout meal or protein bar will give you the energy you need.
You need to make sure you give yourself time for the food to digest, but not too long so that your stomach is empty again. I would suggest eating 45 minutes to an hour before your gym visit.
#8: Your Workout Wasn’t Planned Out
Visiting the gym without a plan is a huge mistake.
For example, if you visit the gym on a Monday and hit the bench press hard. Then visit again on a Tuesday for triceps you may find yourself unable to lift as much as you should.
This is because you haven’t given your triceps time to recover.
I would look to create a routine that involves hitting muscle groups together or a routine that spreads these muscle groups out to give them time to rest.
#9: You Forgot Your Headphones
Have you noticed that most gym-goers have a pair of headphones on? It's not just because they don’t want to talk to you, but also to give them a training boost too.
The right kind of music can have a huge impact on your motivation.
Of course, mellow music is not the best choice when creating your playlist. You need to choose songs that are going to pump you up.
#10: The Gym Is Too Warm
When you workout your body temperature increases, so you certainly don’t want to be working out in a sauna do you?
I personally feel that a colder gym is better for working out in than one that is too warm.
#11: Do You Have Any Allergies Or Asthma
If you suffer from allergies or have asthma then you may find breathing a struggle.
This lack of oxygen will leave you struggling for energy as every cell in your body needs it.
If you find yourself coughing, wheezing or if you suffer a tight chest when working out then I would recommend making an appointment to speak to your doctor.
Your doctor will hopefully be able to discuss methods to help open your airways while at the gym.
#12: Are You Anaemic?
Anaemia is a condition that means your blood does not have enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
This means that there is a limit to the amount of oxygen your cells will receive, meaning they can’t function at the highest level.
Anaemia often occurs in women who decide to cut out meat and animal products, as both are rich in iron.
Other symptoms of anaemia include:
- Leg cramps
- Pale skin
- Easy to bruise
If you notice any of the following symptoms then I would suggest speaking to your doctor.
#13: Thyroid Problems
Those who suffer from hypothyroidism won’t produce enough of the thyroid hormone, which can lead to symptoms like low energy levels, weight gain, depression and muscle pain.
One in eight women will suffer from this condition so it is worth checking out if you suffer any of these symptoms.
#14: Are You Depressed?
Depression can lead to a lack of sleep and motivation, which will result in low energy levels.
The good news is that sleep can help with depression, as your body will release feel-good hormones when working out.
#15: Your Medication Is Making You Tired
Certain medication can leave you feeling tired.
For example, blood pressure medication, antibiotics and antidepressants all list fatigue as one of the possible side effects.
Always read the label that comes with your medication. If you develop fatigue then I would suggest speaking to your doctor for a possible alternative.
There are plenty of reasons why you are lacking the energy to workout, some of the above are common reasons.
It could simply be a lack of motivation, but only you can say if that is the fact.
Hopefully, if you take our advice your energy levels will increase along with the intensity of your workouts.