Should I Chase The “Burn”? 


One way or another, we all come across the idea that fitness is about feeling the burn in every workout. 


I mean, without feeling the burn – are you really training the muscle? 


This is perhaps the most common mistake athletes and the general population make when starting a workout program. 


No – feeling the burn is not essential to your success in the gym


In fact, chasing the burn could be detrimental to your results. 


In this week’s post let’s talk about the age-old question – “should I chase the burn?”


What is The Burn?

The burn is the feeling you get when you are training (generally with weights) past your normal ability. The muscles tighten, you start to feel more fatigued and you generally lose some strength. 


Feeling the burn can happen when you are lifting lighter weights for higher reps, but can also happen when you are lifting heavy or running. 


From a physiology standpoint, the burn is the feeling you get when your body is building more and more lactic acid in the muscle. 


We don’t really need to get into the science of it, but it is important to understand that the burn is a sensation you get when you are training PAST your ability. 


Common Mistakes in Fitness

We all know that “feeling the burn” in every workout is one of the most common mistakes that people make these days. With that said, how does it come to that? 


People are not intentionally trying to train past their ability. I think most people run into two common mistakes in fitness: 


  1. Spot Reduction

AKA – the idea that they want to target a specific area of the body instead of training the body as an integrated system. 


I hear it all the time… “I want to lose belly fat” – or “I need to take some weight off the back of my arms.”


Don’t get me wrong, identifying specific areas is a good way to track your goals – but the process of training should be integrated. 


  1. Errors in Workout Programs

A workout program that is too hard can be problematic on many levels. Lack of recovery leads to soreness and an accumulation of lactic acid earlier in a set. 


On the other hand, a workout program that is too easy can also be problematic. 


Some people may not achieve the progress they want and start to train too hard, or too frequently – ignoring the programming in their fitness routine. 


Ensuring that you have a well-rounded program is essential to your success. 


The Solution

The solution to most workout programs can be broken down into a few specific elements. These are not just elements for success in the weight room – but also for success in body composition, feeling better about yourself and improving your health as a whole. 


Hit Compounds

Compound exercises are exercises that require several muscles through multiple ranges of motion and multiple joints. Think pull-up instead of a biceps curl. Think Squat and Press instead of lateral raises. 


Isolate Properly 

When you do choose to isolate a muscle be sure that your programming is using the correct level of intensity. Keep every rep you do intentional and be sure to track your workouts with a book or a workout tracking application on your phone. 


Focus on a Whole-Food Diet

Consume lean protein sources, whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables. There is no need to complicate the process – just be sure you are getting what you need and try to avoid processed foods at all times. Whole, unprocessed foods will always provide more complete nutrition. 


Be Consistent

I say it all the time – and I’ll say it again, consistency is king. There will be good weeks and bad weeks. Good months where you are progressing quickly and making amazing strength and weight loss results – but there will also be bad ones. 


Be confident that your process will lead to success. Not sure if the program you are on is cutting it? Shoot me a message through our contact page and I will personally walk you through 


Enjoy the Process

The last and perhaps most forgotten element of any workout or lifestyle change is to shape your perspective so that you enjoy the process. 


If fitness, nutrition and lifestyle changes make you feel unhappy and uncomfortable you need to shape your perspective, find others to guide you and work through the issues with a qualified trainer. 


Ensuring that you enjoy the process is essential to your success. 


Stop chasing the burn and start taking proactive steps in the right direction. 


Come in for a FREE Success Session and talk to our qualified staff to find out how we can help you push your limits in a progressive and sustainable way. Click this link to get in touch.