The Fitness Rut
We have all hit lows in our fitness routine. I have been guilty of hitting them for spans at a time. Times where we just want to eat carbs and watch Netflix and completely forgo the workout and gym. Typically, we hit a rut around the 10-12 week mark at a new gym or a new fitness routine. Boredom slowly starts to creep in, the results slow down, and we aren’t dropping body weight like when we first started. This is very common and happens to even fitness professionals. Luckily, there are a few things to do that can help you get yourself out of this rut you might be in.
Fitness Rut #1 – “I Hate Cardio”
You probably don’t hate cardio itself; that would just be a little odd because I am sure you like the benefits your body receives from a good cardio workout. You most likely dislike the action you are doing to achieve that cardio workout. A few weeks into your new training program, the cardio machine starts to look worse than sitting in traffic on the 405 freeway during rush hour. You dread that 30 minutes of hell, watching the time slowly count upwards until you can hop off and get home. If this sounds like you, here are a few ways to overcome the cardio rut:
- Run Outdoors – It might seem like a simple adjustment, but this change of scenery for a few weeks could be the breath of fresh air your workout routine and mind need to remotivate yourself.
- Play A Sport – For me, this is a lifesaver. I love to play basketball and it gets me running, sprinting, and jogging for a few hours every week. Time flies by, and I don’t stare at the clock, hating life.
- Jump Rope Between Workouts – Jump roping is a great activity. It gets you to switch up your normal routine. When you do your weight workouts, instead of watching Sports Center or Oprah between your sets, grab a jump rope and skip for 60 seconds, then hit your next set.
Who gets bored doing the same workouts or same style of workouts over and over again. This might have something to do with the ever decreasing attention span we all have, but nonetheless, everyone gets bored eventually doing the same thing week after week. Instead of dragging your butt around and half-assing the workout or, even worse, skipping workouts because you hate them, here are a few tips on how to get yourself out of this rut:
- Join a New Gym – This was always great for myself and clients I worked with in the past. Being in the same place gets old really quickly. Some gyms “never do the same workout twice,” but you’re still in the same building with the same coaches using the same equipment. It is still good, but sometimes a new gym gives you the motivation to break out of your rut. Getting different coaches and even seeing different paint on the wall can do wonders for your internal motivation.
- Bodybuilding.com – Don’t be frightened by the name; Bodybuilding.com provides tons of different workouts that are not even related to being a bodybuilder. All in all, they provide probably hundreds of workout programs and videos that can spark your imagination and passion for working out. Plus they have a ton of educational material.
- Join fitted. – This almost falls along the lines of joining a new gym but fitted. gives members access to over 60 unique gyms and can help eliminate boredom by providing a much-needed variety without needing to cancel and join a new gym every time you want to try a new place.
Fitness Rut #3 – “I Don’t Have The Energy”
After slaving away at that 8-hour job, nothing sounds more appealing than your couch, a good TV show, and vegging out. Once you hit this low energy mode, it is definitely hard to get out of this rut because I am sure you have used this excuse. I know I have. Here are some tips that have helped me and my clients get out of the “no energy” rut:
- Workout Earlier – Working out in the morning has many benefits (I won’t bore you with the science of it in this article), and one is increased energy throughout the day. Working out first thing in the morning sets the tone for the entire day; you’ll notice increased productivity at work and at home. If you are struggling with getting your workouts in because at night you don’t have the energy, doing it first thing in the morning eliminates the “No Energy” excuse.
- Working Out = More Energy – I’m sure you have heard that working out actually gives you energy. The truth is, working out does give you more energy than you’d have not working out. There have been studies (one recently by the University of Georgia), that took a group of people and had them ride cycle bikes 3x a week. It was reported that they consistently had more energy after their rides than the group that didn’t ride the cycle bikes at all.
- Avoid Stimulants – Don’t overdose on pre-workout stimulants and caffeine pills before workouts. I personally am not a fan of pre-workout stimulants anymore but if you want to use them, do so sparingly. This can hinder your sleep patterns and make you even more tired! Using pre-workouts also creates a dependency for your body to crave/need them before a workout, and if you ever stop taking them, your body will be going through pre-workout withdrawal. This can damage your energy levels for workouts where you don’t have a stimulant before your workouts.
Hopefully, some of these tips can help you overcome the fitness rut you are facing right now. I’d love to hear what you do. What are some of the best strategies you use when you face one of these ruts?