Overcoming Burnout

Overcoming Burnout


We need to be honest with ourselves.  Doing something we love for a long period of time will eventually find its way to create burnout.  There is truth to having too much of a good thing.  In my years of training and even teaching, I have experienced burn out on a multitude of cases.  The good news is, it is not permanent nor does it have to be.

Steps to Prevent Burnout

There are steps to help prevent burning out of your training; mix up your training drills and routines.  If you train the same three drills five days a week, this will bring monotony and you will burn out.  There is no exception to this.  So, you should mix your training with something else, such as jump roping, or timed drills.

You could also replace your martial arts training with something completely different, such as running, weight training, or even as simple as walking.  Doing this will give your mind something new to look forward to, and you will not be hurting your progress.  Maybe even play a different sport such as soccer or football.

You could also reduce your training down to three days a week.  When I have done this, I notice I am more motivated to get back into it and notice my overall health is much better.  Skipping a week in your daily regimen is also appropriate, pending you do not become lazy.  You do still need to move around and be active, not sit in front of the television for eight hours.

Burned Out

You continue to try different methods and strategies to avoid burnout, but some way or another, you do find yourself burned out and sick and tired of thinking martial arts.  If this ever happens to you, do not eliminate training from your life.  It is only a minor setback.  Training and exercise are good for our overall health and life enjoyment.  However, it is ok to take a break from it from time to time.

How do you fill up the time you are used to investing into your training routine?  Spend more time with other things you enjoy doing when not training.  Spend time with your family and friends, and do not talk about martial arts; talk about something fun and different.

Pick up a new hobby such as wood working or reading.  These hobbies can be relaxing, and that is exactly what you want to do; relax.  It does not matter what type of hobby or activity you choose to replace martial arts for the time being, as long as it gives you peace of mind and you look forward to it.


Once you have enjoyed your little vacation from training, you might find yourself looking forward to those drills you used to abhor.  You have run through the burn out phase, and it could mean you are ready to get back into training, but do not just jump in right away.  Give it a little bit more time, not much, just a little.  After you have recharged ready to train again, you will see your training adaptation has improved and you will feel much better and more energized than before.

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