The 6-week burnout and how to avoid it.

It’s 6 weeks into the new year and if you started your new fitness regime week one of 2024 then you may be starting to experience the 6-week fatigue syndrome.

Let me explain a little here. 


Most people are able to get by on will power alone for 6-8 weeks. After that the struggle begins for many.


This is why the Fitness Industry advertises 6 & 8 Week Challenges.  Because they know you can commit and push hard for that long. But here’s the thing, if you grind through on will-power alone for 6-8 weeks you don’t really have to look at changing habits that will support the lifestyle you actually want to live.



And at Gym It, that’s exactly what we are about – creating the habits that support the lifestyle you need to live to achieve your goals permanently. Not just for a few days after a challenge.



And whilst each person’s experiences and circumstances can vary widely, we’ll go through 7 of the most common reasons people find the 6 – 8 week mark a real challenge and what you can do to counteract it.

Initial Motivation; Many people start a new goal or habit with high enthusiasm, often fueled by New Year’s resolutions or other motivational factors like a holiday or a wedding. But, as time passes, the initial excitement may fade, making it easier for individuals to lose focus and motivation. If you are finding your are lacking in Motivation it can be a good time to remember why you started and consider how will you feel if you quit? Do you really want to go back to the beginning?

Unrealistic Expectations;  People sometimes set overly ambitious goals or expect rapid results. For example; I’m going to work out 6 days a week for 6 weeks and lose 10kg in that time. When they don’t see significant changes or progress within a short timeframe, they can become discouraged and abandon their efforts. Establishing realistic expectations is the key to sustainable effort.  If you can only make it to the gym one day a week don’t say you’ll go twice. If you won’t give up alcohol completely don’t place that expectation on yourself, simply reduce how often or how much you drink. Any changes you want to make will require sacrifice of some kind, but the sacrifice should never feel like a chore.

Inconsistency; Building new habits requires consistent effort over time. If individuals fail to establish a routine or adhere to their plan consistently, they may find it challenging to sustain their efforts.   This point comes back to setting realistic expectations.  Start with smaller expectations, such as training once or twice a week and then consistently show up for that. Consistently showing up once or twice a week is far more powerful than going hard and showing up 6 days a week for 2 weeks and then burning out. 

Lack of accountability; Without external accountability or support, individuals may struggle to stay on track. Having a support system, such as friends, family, or a coach, can significantly impact one’s ability to persevere through challenges. There are so many ways you can create accountability. If a Personal Trainer isn’t for you, simply posting on your social media pages, having a workout buddy can increase your chances of success by 65%

Burnout or overtraining; In the context of fitness or lifestyle changes, some people might push themselves too hard initially, leading to burnout or fatigue around the 6-week mark. It’s important to find a sustainable pace and make gradual adjustments. Remember your life and the demands that come with it are different to other peoples. Do not push yourself so hard that you start to resent going to the gym.

External Factors; Life events, unexpected challenges, or changes in circumstances can disrupt established routines and goals. These external factors may contribute to a sense of failure or difficulty in maintaining a new habit. This point and point seven I’ll cover here in one.  When you head into any training plan or lifestyle change, factor in flexibility.  If you completely jam pack every day the wheels will inevitably come off when life throws the obstacles at you.  Ensure any fitness plan or diet you undertake has some room for flexibility and adaption.

Lack of flexibility; Rigidity in approach can be a barrier to success. People may face setbacks or encounter unexpected obstacles, and without the ability to adapt and adjust their approach, they may feel defeated.

It’s worth noting that the 6-week mark is somewhat arbitrary, and people may face challenges at different points in their journey. Overcoming these challenges often involves understanding personal motivations, setting realistic goals, building a support system, and maintaining adaptability in the face of obstacles.


If you find you are struggling at any point, please reach out to one of the Trainers at Gym It, even if it is just for a chat.  Our focus is your success and we will help in any way we can.