5 tips to avoid burnout

4 min read
Thursday, 4 April 2024

Burnout is the kryptonite to superhero gains in the gym, and it doesn’t matter how much consistency or experience you have under your belt.

If you’re focussed on the wrong aspect of workouts, or you don’t have enough variety in how you move, it’s easy to get stuck in an uphill battle.

Use the advice below from Myzone master trainer, Billy Burchett, and keep achieving more for longer, whatever your goals are.

Make sure you HIIT right

To improve your anaerobic capacity (performance in the yellow and red zones), exceeding 80% MHR, with peaks above 90%, enhances phosphocreatine breakdown and glycolysis, leading to improvements in anaerobic power and capacity. It also significantly increases caloric expenditure and post-exercise oxygen consumption, aiding in fat loss.

During the recovery phases and to improve your recovery efficiency (getting to the blue and green zones), aiming for 60-80% MHR is critical for clearing metabolic byproducts, facilitating the resynthesis of energy stores, and preparing the body for the next high-intensity bout.

Cardio also brings muscle benefit

Focus on your aerobic base building (in the blue and green zones). Sustaining 60-79% MHR in these zones enhances mitochondrial density, capillary networks, and heart stroke volume, improving the efficiency of oxygen delivery and utilisation in muscles.

Myzone master trainer Billy Burchett sitting on a workout bench in the gym

The yellow zone is home to lactate threshold training. Training at 80-89% MHR improves the body’s ability to tolerate and clear lactate, delaying fatigue. This zone develops cardiovascular efficiency by increasing the heart’s pumping capacity and enhancing the muscle’s ability to use oxygen more effectively

How to know if your max heart rate is set right

Myzone users the Hunt formula to predict your max HR. This is 211-(.64 x age). Although this is a great starting point to gauge your max HR this won’t always be the best way for accuracy. After all, the formula doesn’t take into account for individual variations in physiology.

If you find you are in the red zone a lot and you don’t feel extremely uncomfortable (we’re talking about struggling to say one word before needing to take a breath), then your max HR could be set too low.

Or if you can’t get to the red zone no matter how hard you are pushing, your max HR may be set too high. It may also be a way of your body telling you to slow down.

So how can you fix this? Wear your Myzone device and push to 100% and beyond if you feel your max is too low. After 30 seconds you’ll recalibrate your device, making your experience all the more personal to you. If you can’t hit the red, speak to your club manager or Myzone direct.

Ensure your workouts focus on quality over quantity

This refers to making sure your training routine is designed for a specific goal or purpose. This is far more beneficial than collecting as many points with mindless cardio sessions and no prior planning or thought to your long or short term goals.

Balanced training: A quality-focused approach encourages a balanced training regimen that includes a mix of high-intensity, moderate, and low-intensity sessions. This balance is crucial for recovery, injury prevention, and long-term fitness development.


Physiological benefits: Different heart rate zones target different energy systems and physiological responses. For example, lower zones improve aerobic base and fat-burning efficiency, while higher zones improve cardiovascular capacity and anaerobic power. Quality Myzone Effort Points ensure you’re deriving a full spectrum of benefits.

Recovery and adaptation: High-quality workouts include a proper warm-up, cool-down, and emphasis on recovery. This approach allows your body to adapt to stresses, improving over time, rather than just pushing hard every session.

Don’t go too hardio on the cardio

Yes, cardio can bring muscle benefits, but your heart rate still raises when you lift weights. Even though you may not get the long sweeping graphs of a cardiovascular workout, Myzone can be put to good use if you know what the zones represent. This can be used for warm-ups, power workouts, and endurance sessions. Here are a few reasons why your MEPs shouldn’t be all about the cardio alone…

Neuromuscular warm-up in the grey and blue zones: Targeting 50-69% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) during warm-up activates the neuromuscular pathways and increases muscle temperature, enhancing muscle elasticity and reducing injury risk.

Muscular endurance and hypertrophy (green zone): Working in the 70-79% MHR range facilitates glycogenolysis, the breakdown of glycogen into glucose, which muscles use for energy. This zone promotes endurance and the beginning of hypertrophy (muscle growth) through moderate to high repetitions with controlled rest periods.

Anaerobic, strength, and power (yellow zone): Brief periods reaching 80-89% MHR during maximal or near-maximal lifts increase recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibres, essential for strength and power development. The higher intensity also spikes human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone, pivotal for muscle recovery and growth

Be aware that form starts to break down at around 85% of your Max HR. This just means that more focus may be need to ensure your form is correct and bracing your core when needed.

Any time you’re feeling the strain on your body and things are seeming harder than usual, take a look at the advice above and see what you can change up to help you recover faster, perform better, and avoid burnout in the gym.

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