Is Your Personal Trainer De-Training You?


Do you hit the snooze button multiple times in the morning? Do you start bargaining with yourself when it does go off?

“10 more minutes and i’ll get breakfast at the shop.”

“10 more minutes, i don’t need a shower”

“10 more minutes, i’ll just be late”

This is one of the simplest signs that you’re suffering from some form of fatigue. How severe it is depends on many things.

The more fatigued your adrenals are the less you should be training, the shorter your sessions should be and the less percentage of 1rm you should use.

I’ve seen corporate people so overworked, the last thing they need to be doing is getting up EVEN EARLIER in the day and lifting weights. Their long hours, poor nutrition, insulin / caffeine seesaw they ride all day and shitty sleep patterns, has the same effect as over training – without the training..


People don’t realise adding hard training to their life is adding more stress to their life. When you train hard you require the adrenals to produce cortisol to handle the fight or flight response to the weight training/boxing/sprint training/cycle class you just added to your life.

So you are adding to your cumulative stress load by doing something about that rapidly expanding waistline.

It’s a slippery slope.

As a trainer, If you drive people deeper and deeper into fatigue, you are “de-training” someone and creating a ticking time-bomb. They will crack. They will blow out. And they will crumble, and they will think they have no willpower.

Metabolisms slow down, digestion slows down, reproductive processes slow down and anxiety increases.

Results never happen with the chronically overworked and fatigued. They just get sick and unhappy.

Sometimes, based on a proper lifestyle evaluation, you need to tell people that the first thing they need to do on their health and fitness journey is sleep more, repair their digestion and focus on recovering properly from their lifestyle.

One – People find this hard to swallow as they take it personally like “you can’t handle your responsibilities”…. or “you’re not up to the challenge” and

Two – the trainer doesn’t make any money. So usually this level of care gets neglected.

Sometimes less is more.. and it might be very hard for you to trust this advice because all we are ever taught is more is more.

So if you’re reading this and you think this sounds like you – get properly evaluated! You might not need to abandon training all together but you may need to be smart about what you do, when you do it and how you recover.


This is one of those things that requires experience in dealing with people. I’ve been assessing people for 17 years so I’ve gotten very good at observing the signs of adrenal fatigue and asking the right questions to determine where people are at.

That doesn’t help you at all though does it. If you type “adrenal fatigue questionnaire” into google, there are a plethora of questionnaires that will START to give you an idea of where you are at.

Adrenal fatigue is multi faceted, complicated and some people in the medical community still dismiss it as a yuppie disease, but the bottom line is this, the more fatigued you are the smarter you need to train. Here are some simple steps to follow :

Simple Steps To Follow When You’re Tired

When you’re tired you need to respect your nervous system and know the things that will tax it greatly.

The following heavily tax the nervous system

  • No really heavy strength training. Nothing above 80% of 1rm.
  • No really hard sprints or HIIT. We need to leave that nervous system alone. Not neglect it, just not over tax it.  Walking is best here.
  • No personal bests.  Don’t try to break any records.
  • More isolation and machine training than compounds.
  • No training to failure.
  • No olympic lifts or speed / power training. Leave “3-4 reps in the hole” and focus on good technique.

Do some fun workouts!  Remember when training was fun?

  • Some single sets or maybe antagonistic supersets. Do some body weight but no jumping / box jumps / leaps or bounds.
  • No explosive work.
  • Stick to 8-12 rep ranges with simple 2010 tempos.
  • Static stretch for 15 mins after training to shut down the nervous system.
  • Stretch before bed to calm the nervous system.

Hope that helps!

Brad Stocks
Personal Trainer

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