If you ever have those days, weeks, or even months where you feel like you’re getting nowhere with your fitness routine, you might be in a workout rut. You catch yourself watching the clock more than usual during your workout, and you’re cutting it short because said clock is torturing you. You get yourself to the gym, but your mind isn’t there; you’re simply going through the motions. You feel like you’re working hard, but you’re not making any gains on your goals. You’re ridiculously bored when you’re at the gym. Those are all definite signs that point to being stuck in a workout rut. Here’s a few tips on what you can do to get out of that rut and back to loving your workout routine and making gains.
Mix up your routine.
Watching the clock nonstop during your workout could mean that you’re bored. Rescue yourself from the monotony by mixing up your routine a bit. We’re all creatures of habit, and there’s nothing wrong with doing exercises that you love. However; trying a variation on your favorite exercises could fire up your routine and help you fall in love with exercising again. If you enjoy running on a treadmill, try a change of scenery and run outdoors. If you like engaging in group classes, like spin, mix in a different class, such as Zumba, on occasion.
Exercise is more than just cardio.
When you notice yourself consistently making it to the gym (kudos to you, by the way!), but you find yourself simply using one cardio machine, some strength training might be in order. Fitness is as much mind as it is body, and if you’re mind isn’t there your body won’t reap the full benefits of your efforts. Try adding a circuit routine to your cardio fitness regimen to break things up and challenge yourself. If you regularly walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes, try a circuit of 10 minutes on the treadmill and a set each of pushups, squats, and lunges. Repeat the circuit until you fulfill your 45-minute workout. Adding in the circuit will get your mind back in the game and wake your body up by adding variety into your routine.
Make small steps, set achievable goals.
It’s quite demotivating when you’ve set a goal for yourself and were making big gains that suddenly came to a halt. There are a few factors that can lead to this sort of workout rut, including setting realistic goals, getting enough sleep, and paying close attention to your diet. It’s always great to set your sights high when setting your goals, but sometimes those goals need to be broken down into smaller increments.
Having mini goals in the path the final grand goal will not only give you small steps to reach along the way, but will also take a huge amount of stress off. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with reaching for the stars. Just keep your path there in check so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
Skipping out on sleep can be easy to do with today’s busy lifestyles, but it can be a detriment to your health. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-8 hours of nightly sleep for the average adult. Diet also factors into plateaued goals. Be sure to stick with whole foods and skip refined, processed foods.
Find (musical) motivation.
Believe it or not, research suggests that up-tempo music might actually boost motivation and help the mind and body push for more. So, if you need that little extra something to help pull you out of a workout rut, pump up your playlist. Nothing gets you moving like music that speaks to you. Find the latest upbeat songs you like and create an updated playlist. Doing this every so often will give you multiple playlists to choose from, so they each sound fresh when you listen them.
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