I'm an averagely built guy (183cm, 85kg, 20% body fat) that's looking to build a bit of muscle, lose some fat, and generally turn some heads if I ever go running topless down a beach, but I've got a bit of a problem when it comes to constantly being tired after working out. How would I know if I'm training too hard? I'll try to (briefly!) illustrate what I'm doing at the moment:
- Mondays - off day
- Tuesdays - cardio (usually stationary bike) for 60-70min @ 160BPM heart rate
- Wednesdays - resistance training, 4 sets each exercise with max weight I can manage with 12-10-10-8 reps, doing: bench press, shoulder press, squats, pull-downs, push-ups and abs
- Thursdays - off day
- Fridays - same as Wednesdays, just with different exercises: bent-over barbell rows, single-arm rows, squats, pull-dows, push-ups and abs
- Saturday - off day
- Sunday - super-set day, 3 rounds of 10 reps of each exercise (no rest between exercises, 3 minute rest between sets) on max weight I can complete them with doing: bent-over barbell rows, bench press, squats, pull-downs and rowing machine for 400m
Each of my days at gym take about an hour, and every time I'm finished and can't function for the rest of the day as I'm so tired. I eat (honestly) 3 meals and 1 snack a day, all carbs low GI, and have a protein shake with added L-Glutamine directly after training sessions.
Is it normal to be so tired after training? Or am I just expecting too much and should decrease the weight?
Update (18 October)
Thank you everyone for your thoughts, answers and comments, and I wish I could mark them all as correct as they all share valuable information and insight. I realise that there are a few questions within this one (specifically ones on nutrition and training habits) that might deserve their own question sections, but for the purposes of this question you all have given me much needed food-for-thought that has eased my mind.
Update (24 October)
As mentioned by Adam in his very insightful answer, one of the best ways to figure this out is to realise that you need to keep learning about yourself, and with this in mind here are a few things I've learnt along the way that's helping me:
- a rest week every 5th week works great for me
- pushing myself to "failure" was a very bad idea
- if you're getting tired after working out, that's ok...if there was something seriously wrong, you'd know!
- lightening the weight / resistance slightly and adding 1 or 2 reps gave me a just as satisfying workout without the "kill my muscles to failure" way of doing things
- nutrition is important, but when I feed myself was also just as important - eating 2 hours before working out, followed by a protein shake 30 minutes before gym, then having a low-GI carb drink on hand during my workouts has helped to keep me going a lot better
- don't underestimate the effect of stress (work or otherwise) on your energy levels - a stressed mind makes a stressed body
With so many ideas and products out there, and combining it with the fact that we're all different, really gives you thousands of things to try, but when you start figuring out what works for you, that's the real reward.
Thanks again for all of your truly helpful answers guys, I wish I could mark them all correct, and I also hope this post helps someone else sometime!