Why Are Workouts Harder Some Days?

Learn why your workouts might be harder some days and what you can do about it.

Factors Affecting Workouts

Many people experience fluctuations in the difficulty they feel while performing a workout. On some days, the same workout can feel so much harder than on other days. This can be both confusing and frustrating, but understanding why this happens can help you control it. In this article, we will discuss the different factors that affect your workouts.


When it comes to improving your physical performance, nutrition plays a key role. This is because what you put into your body affects how you feel and how much energy you have available. When you don’t get enough nutrients, or consume too much, your workouts can suffer as a result. Eating healthy balanced meals and snacks before and after exercise can help improve your endurance and strength.

To ensure optimal performance, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends eating a diet high in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, high quality proteins such as lean meat or eggs, healthy fats such as nuts and seeds, and plenty of fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals. Eating an appropriate balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats before exercise can help ensure that the body is fueled up with energy-packed fuel sources to keep it going during physical activity sessions.

Proper hydration also plays a key role in exercise performance. Because sweat causes us to lose important nutrients like electrolytes, staying hydrated is essential to replenish these substances necessary for the body to perform at its best levels while exercising. ACE recommends drinking water often throughout the day to stay hydrated; drinking 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before exercise; drinking 8 ounces every 15 minutes during exercises; consuming 4 – 8 ounces within 30 minutes after physical activity sessions; again drinking about 16oz after workouts are finished for complete replenishment; individual needs will vary depending on factors like intensity level of activity performed as well as total work out time duration completed during that session .


Drinking water and other fluids throughout the day is essential for proper hydration, which is essential for any form of exercise. When you don’t drink enough water, your body won’t be able to cool itself efficiently during a workout, causing it to be harder than it should. Oftentimes, dehydration can cause you to feel dizzy or nauseous during intense exercises, so make sure to stay hydrated at all times when exercising. Eating foods high in electrolytes like sodium, potassium and magnesium can also help ensure proper hydration. Additionally, drinking too much water before a workout can have an adverse effect and thus it’s best to avoid over-hydrating as well.


Sleep is one of the key factors influencing workouts, as it can both directly and indirectly impact the difficulty of an exercise session. Poor sleep quality can leave your body weak and sluggish, making it hard to push through an intense session. Inadequate sleep has long-term effects on your exercise performance as it can reduce the efficiency of strength training metabolism, lead to decreases in physical health, aerobic fitness ability, and cognitive performance. Moreover, not getting enough sleep can make you feel more dehydrated and increase fatigue levels during a workout.

On the other hand, adequate sleep often results in improved energy levels throughout a workout. It can also enhance physical performance by improving maximal oxygen uptake and strength development while allowing for better mood regulation. Additionally, adequate rest reduces recovery time after an intense workout and allows your body to fully heal itself in between exercise sessions. To maximize the effectiveness of their workouts, individuals should get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis to ensure optimal physical functioning during their workout routines.


Stress affects every aspect of our lives and when it comes to our physical health, this includes the intensity of our workouts. Stress has an impact on both mental and physical performance. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol which increases your heart rate, further affecting your ability to exercise. Additionally, if stress is causing difficulty in sleeping or eating properly, it can also translate into lack of energy and motivation for workout regimes. Over time, stress can lead to a depletion of hormones responsible for performance and recovery such as dopamine or testosterone making workouts harder. If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress it is important to identify helpful coping mechanisms such as mindfulness meditation or yoga to help manage its effects on workouts.


Have you ever felt like your workouts were harder on certain days? It could be due to the influence of certain hormones in the body. Hormones play a big role in how we feel during exercise, as they can affect our energy levels, strength, and performance. Understanding how hormones work in the body during workouts can help to explain why some days feel more difficult than others. Let’s take a closer look at this.


Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress, excitement and exercise. It stimulates increased heart rate and respiration, as well as increased blood flow to muscles. High levels of adrenaline can help gross motor movements such as running and lifting intense weights, but it can also impede fine motor movements like balance or coordination drills.

It’s important to understand that while adrenaline helps us move faster and lift heavier weights during workouts, its effects are short-term and can be accompanied by fatigue the next day— hence the feeling of muscle soreness that often follows intense physical activity. Additionally, research has shown that cortisol levels increase too when we work out; this hormone is linked with long-term stress management in the body. It also sends signals to release glucose stored in our fat cells so there’s more energy available for physical exertion.

In summary, adrenaline and cortisol both have a part in our response to activity; they help us prepare for exercise so we can perform at our best. That being said, it’s essential to recognize the natural cycle these hormones go through each day when planning your workouts — taking extra rest days if needed may be beneficial for performance in the long run!


One hormone involved in physical activity is cortisol, which is commonly referred to as the “stress hormone”. It can be secreted by the body in response to mental or physical stressors, such an intense exercise session. Cortisol is a crucial hormone for regulating the body’s response to stress and helps us maintain healthy energy levels.

When cortisol levels are too high, our bodies start to respond as if there is danger. The “fight-or-flight” response kicks in, making it more difficult to complete a workout because the body starts conserving energy and diverting blood flow away from your muscles. If your cortisol levels are too high, you may feel fatigued and exhausted even before you begin exercising.

Cortisol can also impact our workout performance by affecting blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. In turn, this can affect how much energy we have during exercise sessions and how quickly those calories are utilized or stored away as fat. High cortisol levels can also lead to an inhibition of muscle growth because it causes protein breakdown instead of protein synthesis (which helps us keep our muscles strong).

Controlling our stress level outside of the gym is key if we want to have successful workouts inside of it. Incorporating deep breathing exercises, yoga, stretching and foam rolling into our post-workout routine can help lower cortisol levels so that we stay physically healthy while still reaping the benefits of being active on a regular basis.


Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that plays a crucial role in regulating muscle growth, energy levels, and mood. It is known for being the “hormone of strength” as it increases oxygen intake and muscle cell production, which helps to build and maintain muscle mass. Different levels of testosterone can affect workouts on different days — higher testosterone means higher performance potential and an easier time with exercise, while lower levels can make workouts more difficult. When testosterone levels are low, the body produces hormones like cortisol (the stress hormone) instead. This can result in feelings of fatigue, even at routine efforts that would normally be easy to perform. Additionally, when cortisol gets too high during long or intense exercises, it can actively work against you gaining strength by deteriorating your muscles through catabolism (breaking down).

Mental State

It’s not just your physical condition that determines how hard a workout is, but it’s also your mental state. Sometimes our mental state can be behind why our workouts feel harder some days. Factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, and exhaustion can all contribute to making workouts more difficult than they should be. In this article, we will break down the mental state behind why workouts seem harder some days.


Working out can be hard enough at times, but there are certain days when workouts can seem especially grueling. On those days, it takes extra motivation to keep up the pace. The mental state associated with a workout can have a profound effect on how difficult or easy we find it and there are several factors that contribute to this mental state.

One factor is our mood — if we’re feeling anxious, stressed or in a generally negative state of mind, any workout will feel more taxing than usual. Similarly, if we’re running low on energy, our ability to push through an intense workout will be hampered. Workouts on their own can be motivating, but they can also magnify underlying emotional states.

Physical variables such as fatigue level also influence motivation levels and how hard we find a workout. If we’re recovering from an illness or haven’t had enough sleep the night before, our strength and endurance may not be at its highest level, making workouts more difficult than usual.

Finally outside factors like personal commitments or the weather play a role in determining our internal drive towards exercise. If we have other prior commitments throughout the day they may weigh on our minds while exercising which could make it harder to stay focused and motivated during a demanding workout session . The weather is also an external factor that could make exercise less enjoyable if it’s excessively hot or cold outside .
Undsicovering what contributes to one’s mental state related to exercise gives us insight into why certain days are harder for us when exercising and helps us develop strategies for getting through those hard days with success.


Confidence plays an important role in how hard you push yourself during workouts. If you’re experiencing a lack of confidence, it can be difficult to put yourself through physical challenges. This can lead to avoiding certain exercises or not pushing yourself as hard as you could be. Low self-confidence can have multiple causes and play a significant factor in how successful your workout is.

Since feeling confident is linked to your mental state, it’s important to find ways to boost that confidence and keep focused on the task at hand — whether that means breaking down larger goals into more manageable tasks or speaking positively about yourself as you progress through your workout routine. Incorporating positive affirmations into your sport activity can help to give you the necessary makeover for success. It might sound silly but telling yourself how strong, determined, and powerful you are can reframe how you feel about challenging activities and make them feel effortless! Additionally, engaging in some positive self-talk throughout the day or before a workout can help motivate and ground your body for an intense session ahead. Every individual responds differently so determine which positive language works best for motivating yourself.

Mental fatigue

Exercising can often be mentally challenging, as well as physically exhausting. If you’ve ever reached the point where lifting weights or running just seems to be a struggle, you know what mental fatigue feels like. It’s not uncommon to complete a workout feeling downright exhausted only to find yourself feeling more energized an hour later.

The explanation for this is that mental fatigue takes its toll faster than physical exhaustion does. Your body is willing, but your mind has simply had enough and tells you it needs a break or needs to tap into some energy reserves so that it can lower its resistance and access the strength it needs to complete the task. The result is often a sensation of being constantly tired even when physical stress is low or absent.

Mental fatigue can stem from various sources, both internal and external. Stressors like high workloads, lack of sleep, and self-doubt all contribute towards inducing mental fatigue. Biochemical imbalances brought on by nutritional deficiencies or hormone imbalances may also take their toll on our bodies’ ability to recover from metabolic stress such as exercise. Additionally, our environment can either ease the burden of work or add extra strain onto our system when we least expect it. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold have been known to sap our energy levels more quickly during times of physical training, for instance.

When you’re consistently fatigued after workouts despite sleeping enough hours every night and eating nutritious foods in order to fuel yourself properly, your mind should ring some warning bells that something else may be going on outside of your normal habits and behaviors that could be contributing towards draining your energy levels even further than normal after engaging in physical activity.


Working out can be a challenge on its own, but some days it just seems harder than others. This could be due to the environment you are in or even the atmosphere you’re surrounded by. Unfavorable environmental factors like high temperatures, pollution, or too much noise can affect your performance and make it harder to exercise. Let’s take a closer look at how environment can affect your workouts.


Temperature has a big impact on how our bodies perform in physical activities, such as workouts. When it’s hotter, our bodies have to work harder to cool down. This is because we require more energy to cool ourselves down through sweat. Our bodies will also be less capable of holding onto necessary electrolytes, leading to dehydration and difficulty with the exercise itself.

On the other hand, when temperatures drop and it gets colder, our body metabolism slows down in recognition of the colder environment. This means that it requires more effort from us physically to keep up with a workout routine if the temperature is below what we are accustomed to. As a result, certain days can feel significantly harder than others depending on the temperature outside.


Altitude can have a profound effect on your workouts. At higher altitudes, the air is thinner, meaning there is less oxygen in each breath you take than what you’re accustomed to. As a result, your body has to work harder to perform the same activities as it would at lower elevations.

When your body is deprived of oxygen, it produces different hormones and neurological responses that strain your muscles and make physical activity more difficult. You may experience some side effects of high altitude when working out such as increased heart rate and breathing difficulty.

At even higher altitudes beyond 8,000 feet, some people may experience acute mountain sickness as well. Symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and nausea can occur at this altitude and can make physical activity much harder to undertake. To reduce the effects of altitude on workouts at any level, take a few precautions: drink plenty of fluids before going out into the higher elevation; gradually increase intensity when exercising; avoid overexertion; warm-up for longer than normal duration at lower intensity levels; and wear appropriate clothes for the weather conditions found in high elevation areas.


It’s no secret that pollution has a negative effect on our health and environment. Unfortunately, it can also have an impact on our workouts. Pollution, including air and water pollution, can be divided into two types: primary and secondary. Primary pollutants are those that are initially released into the environment, while secondary pollutants form as a result of reactions with other substances in the atmosphere.

When it comes to airborne pollutants, some are more harmful than others when it comes to exercise and performance. Carbon dioxide (CO2), for example, can cause higher levels of fatigue during exercise than other air pollutants. Research suggests that exposure to this pollutant leads to reduced oxygen uptake by muscles during exercise – something which will make your workouts more difficult than usual.

Water pollution is less likely to directly affect the body during physical activity; however, it can still indirectly affect performance in some cases. Chemicals such as mercury, lead and copper found in polluted waters may cause harm if ingested or inhaled while exercising in or around affected areas — leading to shortness of breath and compromised physical performance over time.

It’s important to stay mindful of environmental conditions during your workouts – staying aware of your surroundings can help you take preventative measures beforehand so you don’t find yourself struggling against an unexpected obstacle.

Training Programs

Training programs are an important part of any fitness regimen. They make sure that you consistently push yourself and keep progressing in your fitness journey. Although workout plans can make it easier to stay on track and progress, there can be days when your workouts are extra hard. Let’s take a look at why this can happen and how we can make it easier.


Over-training occurs when more stress is applied to the body than it can recover from over time. As a result, muscles suffer from long periods of fatigue, soreness, or tension without adequate recuperation. Common signs of over-training include the following: decreased performance level; increased development of injuries; mood or attitude changes (irritability & depression); disrupted sleep patterns; elevated resting heart rate; lowered resistance to illness and fatigue; decreased appetite & unintentional weight loss.

Though it’s important to challenge yourself in your workouts, it’s also important to recognize when you might be pushing yourself too hard. Make sure you listen to your body and adjust your workouts if needed in order to protect your health and avoid injury. Here are a few tips on how best to prevent over training:

– Schedule rest days: Build regular rest into your workout program and give yourself time for recovery after each workout session.
– Change things up: Incorporate variety into your workout plan by alternating different types of exercises throughout the week as this will target different muscle groups for more even development.
– Monitor progress: Track progress with both physical measurements (body fat, muscle mass) as well as subjective measurements (sleep, energy levels), as this can help you identify when you may be pushing past certain limits.

Overtraining Syndrome

Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) is an imbalance of too much training, too little rest, and inadequate nutrition. While different athletes may require individualized recovery needs, overtraining can lead to a decrease in performance, emotional exhaustion, reduced immunity, and an increased risk of injury. If the body is not given proper rest after workouts, it is unable to repair the muscle fibers used during exercise. The imbalance between training and recovery eventually leads to fatigue and can affect motivation as well as mental and physical health.

OTS can be caused by factors such as undertaking overly ambitious workout routines or not allowing adequate time for rest between sessions. It can also occur through repetitive high-intensity exercise that does not allow time for adequate adaptation or recovery. Trigger points for OTS include poor nutrition choices (the lack of essential macronutrients), psychological distress (both mental & physical exhaustion), environmental stress (especially hot or cold temperatures), or a combination of any of these factors. It is possible to prevent OTS through monitoring workloads & workload variations while incorporating rest days into exercise schedules when needed & ensuring proper eating habits are maintained during intense periods of training.


If you’ve ever wondered why your workouts seem so much harder on some days compared to others, it can be partly attributed to the way in which you’re periodizing your training. Periodization is the art and science of organizing blocks of training into specific periods of time, with each block having individual objectives based on a larger goal. This approach allows you to adjust your workouts throughout the year in order to achieve maximum and consistent results.

The four main types of periodization are linear, undulating, conjugate and reverse.

Linear Periodization: This involves gradually increasing the intensity of your workout over the course of a cycle, followed by a period of lighter training that is used as an active recovery prior to beginning anew.
Undulating Periodization: Here intensity and volume fluctuate more rapidly within each mesocycle; rather than long term progression, this type incorporates frequent highs and lows within each cycle providing an option for athletes looking for improved performance over shorter durations.
Conjugate Periodization: This type combines aspects from both linear and undulating approaches in order to enhance recovery as well as ensure athletes peak at their most important competitions.
Reverse Periodization: For athlete such as those competing in bodybuilding contests or who have been consistently using heavier loads where strength gains are primary program objectives, reverse periodization involves reversing weekly cycles so that weeks with higher intensity come first followed by volume-focused weeks leading up to competition day.

Checkout this video:

Similar Posts