Dealing with Powerlifting Burnout

Dealing with Powerlifting Burnout

By: Payton Cowan

In anime, no story is worth its salt without a villain for our hero to go up against. In life, when it comes to most things that are long term, almost everyone deals with the villain known as burnout.

This is where the task at hand feels mundane and repetitive without any mark of true progress being made. When they see stagnation in this phase it further deepens their resentment towards the activity, which causes many people to quit because they feel that they are making no progress.

Today, I want to discuss how I dealt with burnout in powerlifting and try to provide a path for you to apply this to nearly every part of your lift, at least to an extent.

Table of Contents:

  • Change Isn't Always Bad
  • Losing YOUR Vision
  • Find Your Why


The first thing many people struggle with is not making their powerlifting training EXCITING! Like when a hero goes through a transformation, adding excitement can be a great way to combat burnout.

Whether you are being trained by a coached or leading yourself along the path, you have the ability to change your program to regularly include either new movements or bring back your favorites to keep lifting fun and exciting. Without this change powerlifting can become incredibly repetitive, to the point where you may even begin to resent the sport with your whole heart, simply because you don't enjoy it anymore.

A simple fix for this is to try new things in your program (within reason). Now we AREN'T saying that every single week needs to be a new workout, rather, that every block switching leg press out for belt squat, or changes similar to this may make training exciting and keep you in the gym. 


While many things can be blamed for burnout, there is one reason that truly stands above all else, losing your vision that you originally had. If the hero doesn't know where their journey is leading, it's hard to keep moving forward when times get hard.

While your vision for the future does not have to stay the same, over time if you get to used to the practice you do in order to obtain it you begin to lose sight of it - and become caught up in the squabble of everyday tasks.

At the core of every goal is a vision, something that got you to begin the sport, and it truly takes time to find it again. However, it is important that during this time severe introspection is done to remind yourself why you got into the sport to begin with, what has it done for you, and what have you yet to accomplish in it that you want to.

Oftentimes, simple introspection is enough to shake the fog clouding your goals, and will get you more motivated than ever - reminded of why you do what you do.


Just like life, powerlifting will always change, and the environments and situations that you perform under will also transform.

With the ever morphing landscape of life, it is easy to see how the original goals you had when you began the sport will change over time, sometimes to the point that you no longer recognize them from what they were. While many people see this as a negative, moving away from your original self, I find that as long as you stay true to who you are extreme change is more common than many would like to admit.

I will be the first to say that my fitness goals are not recognizable from what they were when I began powerlifting 5 years ago, nor will they be in 5 more years. However, many times during these changes people begin to second guess their decision making and in this process lose their drive to continue changing. When this happens, it is vital to find your “why”.

Your “why” is the reason you still continue what you do. I believe that your “why” typically is not the same now as it was in the beginning, and an overattachment to your original “why” leads to early burnout.

Consider your current life and everything in it, and find your new reason to continue going, find a vision that you want to chase after and work for it. While it won’t be easy and your burnout won’t immediately vanish, it is a step in the right direction.  

Putting Aloe on that Burn

Burnout happens to everyone and you shouldn’t feel alone when it does happen to you. The fix is not easy, however it is something that is accomplishable. Through some of the practices I have given you along with an extreme amount of patience, you too will be able to overcome burnout and chase your goals to newfound heights.


If you are looking to follow and learn from some amazing people and powerlifters follow the links below or read this article for some great stories. Or if you are looking for programming, you can find one of our free programs here or you can reach out to one of our team members to see how to take your training to the next level.

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