If your lifestyle is extreme–from your day-to-day routines to your workouts, your energy levels need to be on point.
Ultimately, whatever your training method–whether training for a sport, Olympic lifts, building muscle or fat loss, you’ll need fuel in the tank to give 110%.
If you've ever tried to lift heavy while dealing with fatigue, stress, and lack of sleep, you know it's a struggle.
While your extreme mindset helps you power through a tough workout at all costs, lifting some heavy iron isn’t likely going to be as fun for you as when you’re fresh.
Going into your big lifts fatigued can, at best, mean that your performance isn’t as good as your previous session.
At worst? Attempting to lift with the same - or more – intensity could be a recipe for disaster. Pulls, tears, and joint injuries are all things you’ll want to avoid by going to the gym with enough energy for the work at hand.
We're used to seeing athletes gut it out in competition. And while athletes may experience moments of fatigue during a race or game, it's a whole different story if it begins before the clock even starts.
Many injuries in sports are as a result of mental fatigue that manifests into physical fatigue. After all, athletes have some of the highest stamina, coordination, and strength.
Lack of focus and the mind-muscle connection that is a cornerstone for all sports is ultimately what leads to poor physical performance and potential for injury.
At its core, fat loss is a case of calorie balance.
While that’s a gross simplification and there are certainly other factors to worry about, if you’re not burning more calories than you’re consuming, fat loss simply won’t happen.
What’s a sure way to pour cold water on your calorie burn? Go to the gym fatigued and have a mediocre workout, either in the weight room or your cardio session.
If you don’t have the energy to hit your session with peak intensity, or you reach failure earlier than normal, you'll struggle to lose weight.
Plyometrics + Explosive Workouts
Plyometric training, which is extreme by nature, is all about generating as much power as possible.
The problem here is obvious; the more fatigued you are - the less power you’ll be able to generate. This completely negates the point of your plyometric workout and renders it ineffective. Because plyometrics are impactful on your joints, 100% perfect technique is most important to a discipline like this.
Again, fatigue causes mental and physical breakdown of your form. The injury risk is too great not to come into these workouts at the very top of your game.
Something worth mentioning is that we aren’t talking about cumulative fatigue here. Cumulative fatigue occurs naturally as a result of your training over time but is sped up by poor recovery on a regular basis. When this happens, you simply need to rest and dig yourself out of the hole.
Look after your nutrition, manage your stress levels and catch up on sleep.
Do not train through cumulative fatigue.
The type of fatigue we are talking about in this article is one-off, spontaneous fatigue, which you can do something about before you get to the gym. You can salvage what would have otherwise been a terrible workout.
Just don’t make a habit of these bad days because regular “one-offs” can soon turn into cumulative fatigue.
The foods you eat are one of the most important things you can do to maintain high energy levels. A solid nutrition regimen fuels your overall performance allows for proper recovery so you can go hard in your next session.
Filled to the brim with potassium and other electrolytes to keep your muscles firing. Contain simple, easily digestible carbs which make them a great snack 30 minutes before a workout if you’ve missed your bigger pre-workout meal.
Complex, slow releasing carbs with a decent shot of energy-providing vitamin B’s. They’re high in fiber, which makes them a great option for a pre-workout meal a couple hours before your session. Just keep your portion size within the 30-50g range or you may experience the opposite effect of having a carb heavy meal.
Another complex carbohydrate that’s perfect for a pre-workout meal. High in vitamins A and C to fight off damaging free-radicals caused by your intense workout.
Dehydration has been shown to decrease performance and maximal output from anywhere between 5 and 30%. Keep sipping throughout the day and don’t even allow yourself to get to the point of thirst.
Rich in protein to help you recover and adapt from your last workout, but also rich in vitamin b12.
A fruit low in sugar and high in fiber, these babies will keep your blood sugar levels regulated for sustained energy.
These healthy greens contain iron, vitamin B and are rich in the amino acid, Tyrosine. Keeping you energetic and alert are just some benefits of these compounds, not to mention spinach being high in fiber.
Whether you’re feeling the effects of a draining day or not, supplements can give you that extra push to take your workout into extreme territory. Some supplements work better than others for pushing the boundaries of your performance.
Here are the ones worth paying attention to for a sustained performance and energy boost:
The first thing you reach for when you haven’t quite woken up yet. There’s a reason for this; caffeine simply works to pick you up when you’re feeling low on energy. There’s a ton of research that warrants its popularity too.
A meta-analysis in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that caffeine increased athletes' time to exhaustion by 3% on average, but some experienced a whopping 17% increase.
In better news, although you become tolerant to caffeine by slamming down a few coffees a day, the athletic benefits remain.
This tasteless powder will improve many aspects of your training, including strength, power, speed, muscle growth and overall athletic performance.
It’s the most studied sports supplement out there and should be a part of any serious athlete’s routine. There are various forms, but creatine nitrate has shown to have even better absorption than creatine alone.
If that isn't enough, the fact it’s attached to a nitrate group helps increase oxygen supply to the muscles meaning a better pump and post-workout recovery.
This amino acid has been shown to decrease stress levels when taken just before an acute stressor, like an intense workout. It’s also been shown to effectively increase cognition when you’re under stress.
Overall, Tyrosine will keep you alert and focused fully on the task at hand – achieving your goals through the best workout you can possibly have.
When the chips are down in your workout, beta-alanine has got your back and will push your muscles through the fatigue barrier.
CarnoSyn® beta-alanine found in the pre-workout C4 Extreme is beta-alanine that’s been patented and clinically shown to support muscular endurance.
C4 Extreme contains 300mg of caffeine, 3.2g of patented CarnoSyn®, creatine nitrate, tyrosine and more synergistic ingredients to take each workout to the next level.
Go conquer your workout of choice with extreme energy from the food you eat to the supplements that help you maximize every single training session!
For more advice and workouts to fuel your extreme lifestyle click here.