Ways we can get tired (during exercise) and otherwise

I’m hoping everyone’s doing well – having a summer of sorts and preparing for back to school in September.

Here I’m training towards the Super Human Games. It’s a mixed fitness and strength challenge-based workout. I’m in the VETs wth my old pal Sak – combined age above 89+

How did that happen?!

The workouts are pretty intense, but you work with a partner. Some folk do the whole thing = respect. Maybe next year = whole thing…. Something to train towards after all.

Anyway, training for this highlighted an area I’ve not spoken about for a while. Fatigue. Fatigue during exercise and fatigue in general.

Fatigue, depletion, running out of gas, gassing out…you get the picture.

When training for these things you need to push yourself, then repair yourself. The events are across a day with 20 minutes of balls to the wall work then you get some time to recover. Thus, you experience fatigue during the event and then cumulative fatigue across the day.

Here are the blocks of work:

  1. 5 burpees over partner + 75m run + rower 4.5 mins as far as possible.
  2. 55kg Deadball lift over shoulder x 5 + 75m run + 170kg tire flips. 55kg Deadball lifts are tough!
  3. Farmer walk 40kg each hand, 75kg sandbag carry, overhead carry 35kg + 90m run.
  4. 25kg keg x 5, bear crawls 3m, repeat keg, then 6m, 9m + run (nasty on the front delts)
  5. Finish on lateral walks 20m + 60m run. Then 20kg weight lunges 20m and weighted run 60m

Thresholds – I’ve spoken about thresholds here. Working below your threshold of fitness you can continue to operate at a level of output for longer. If you go over your threshold, you’ll need to rest a bit to replenish that energy system.

You need to train at your threshold and become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I’ve written about energy systems here but let’s cover them again here too.

Training your muscle fibre types to be more fatigue resistant is key. The type II intermediate fibres can be manipulated into becoming more oxygen efficient, thereby helping to create prolonged power endurance. Some folk talk about creating a super fibre. Well, they are probably talking about the intermediate fibre type. Train mostly for strength and they’ll lean towards fast-twitch, training strength endurance or power endurance and you can increase these helpful intermediate fibres and increase your work capacity.

Usually, the way to do this is to put fatigue in the system then lift something heavy. I guess Cross Fit, etc popularised this method of training which has been around for years in team training.

One way we create energy to lift heavy and sprint is the creatine phosphate system. The “I go you go” – 170kg tire flips are an example of testing this system. Having higher creatine stores means this system will be more effective, via creatine supplementation. Training this system is also essential.

Repeating the same high-intensity lifting you’ll dip into the lactate of the glycolytic system. This lasts 90-120 seconds and creates lots of lactate. You also incur oxygen deficit. Push over your lactate threshold and you will need aerobic recovery to allow the system to recover.

Taking lactate buffers helps work capacity in this system. It’s also heavily reliant on glycogen stores. When these deplete the system has less energy to fuel.

Three of the best lactate buffers include bicarb, beta-alanine + creatine.

Not missing the obvious stuff like dehydration and sodium depletion both offering a fast-track route to less power and speed, along with increase core temperature. You got to get the foundations in place to ensure the only thing that can let you down then is your mental drive, preparation and confidence.

Run out of glycogen or run out of hydration – you’ll grind to a halt for the higher intensity stuff.

On that note running out of neural drive is a real factor in cumulative fatigue. You got to keep the fuel in the muscles for the energy systems but central drive can’t waiver too much or your power and focus will drop off.

There are many neural enhancers. Tyrosine and caffeine are really useful. Or you can get something like my Focus Sustain which contains high levels of many brain supporting aminos, herbs and extracts.

Aerobic capacity can be improved via things that enhance the Kreb’s cycle. These include citrulline, citric acid (yep it’s an ergo) Co Q 10 and anything which opens up blood vessels e.g. Nitrate, arginine nitrate being a really good option actually.

The good thing about NO2 boosters is they can also help in the bedroom.

You can also get tired via increase oxidation rates, inflammation and muscle damage…… you can read about these and their effects on over-reaching or over-training in my “Truth about Over Training Article”.


  1. Train hard, eat well and maintain excellent hydration habits.
  2. Load on creatine + beta-alanine using something like my Amino Loader+ Creatine.
  3. Enhance aerobic capacity with Co Q 10 and other Kreb’s cycle support.
  4. Buffer and enhance lactate and oxygen with NO2 booster, my ViNitroplus + nitrates = great combination.
  5. Keep the mind strong and focus intense with nootropics tyrosine + Focus Sustain = excellent options.

Have fun, train hard. Recover harder. Support deep restful sleep with magnesium R5 aminos. Support tissue recovery and bounciness with fish oils and collagen.

Here’s my event day plan this might help you if you do multi-day event type training or longer endurance training as well.

You can read more about enhancing performance through the use of supplementation here.

Tags: fatigue