We’ve all been there before. You’re finally finding your groove, making fitness progress, feeling productive – and then suddenly, you just don’t want to anymore. No matter how hard you try to force it, you just can’t seem to break out of this workout rut.
A fitness rut can not only bring your training to a halt, but it can leave you questioning the purpose of your goals.
Related: What to Know When Achieving Your Goals Feels Out of Reach
When you’re stuck in a fitness rut, completing your daily workouts can feel like a huge chore. If you used to love your daily sweat session, there’s nothing more frustrating than suddenly feeling as if that motivation has been zapped.
Breaking out of a workout run often feels next to impossible.
You tell yourself over and over that this will be the day you get back on track, only to find yourself lounging on the couch plagued with guilt as you skip yet another workout.
And even when you force yourself to complete your workouts, they still don’t feel the same. You don’t feel the same satisfaction and pride with the completion of each workout.
No matter how many times you tell yourself that you’ll get on track, each day it feels impossible to overcome this fitness rut. You begin to feel lazy, lethargic, pointless and moody.
However, despite the challenges, finding yourself stuck in a workout rut every now and then is completely normal. It’s normal for our bodies to need a break after weeks or months of hard effort, regardless of how much you enjoy your fitness routine.
Related: How to Create a Healthy, Fitness Lifestyle
If you’re finding yourself in a fitness slump and unable to bust out of that workout rut – you’re not alone. Luckily, there are a few ways to quickly gain back your fitness motivation and rediscover the joys of your workout routine.
6 Ways to Break Out of a Fitness Rut
Take a break.
While it may sound counterintuitive, taking a break may be exactly what your body needs to recover and regain motivation. When you’re stuck in a fitness rut with low motivation and little excitement, it may be your body’s way of telling you that it’s tired.
After weeks and months of hard work, experiencing a little burnout is a sign that you should take some time off. Rather than just skipping workouts and taking time off indefinitely, designate a specific period of time to rest. Take one week off, a full weekend or just add an extra rest day to your routine.
This extra time off your feet may help you recharge both mentally and physically. At the end of your break, resume your workout routine. If you’re still struggling to maintain motivation and finding less joy in your workouts, it may be time to try another strategy.
Related: How to Adjust Your Training for Missed Runs
Switch up your workouts.
If you’ve taken a few days off and are still really struggling to break out of that fitness rut, it may be time to mix things up. Your body and mind may be burnt out from the same type of activity and need something new thrown into the mix.
Regardless of whether you usually run, bike, swim, light weights, or workout in your living room – try something new. Head to the gym if you usually workout at home, spend some time outdoors, take the dog for a walk, go to a yoga class or hit the pool.
Trying a new activity even just once each week may be enough to mix things up and keep your mind and body fresh. This new activity will give your muscles a break from their regular training, strengthen different muscles, and provide a new perspective on fitness.
Related: The Best Workouts to Try in 2019
Take things easy.
While it’s awfully tempting to just sit back and skip your workouts, quitting all together can sometimes make it even harder to get going again down the road. If you’re struggling to get out the door for your long run or complete that intense HIIT workout, try slowing things down.
Swapping some hard workouts for a few long walks or yoga may be just what you need to revamp your routine. These activities give your body a break while still helping you stay active and maintain a healthy routine.
A few easy days may freshen up your mental attitude and help you regain some motivation to get back at it the following week.
Related: 5 Reasons to Embrace Easy Running
Set a new goal.
When your training routine feels blah, it might be time to find a purpose. Training without a goal can really put a damper on overall motivation. If you’re trying to overcome a workout rut, a great way to add a little motivation to continue is to set a new goal.
Sign up for a race, set a weight loss goal, learn a new sport, coach someone else or gain new strength and flexibility.
Once you’ve set a goal for yourself, create a training plan that will help you achieve this goal. Having a goal in mind helps give each workout a purpose and keeps you accountable when you’re feeling lazy.
Download the Free, Printable 2019 Fitness Goal Planner to get started!
Change your environment.
A great way to spice up the routine and help bust out of that fitness rut is to change your environment. Most people find that they usually workout in the same environment every day – whether that’s at the gym, the track, on your neighborhood sidewalks or in your living room.
Mixing up the environment may give your mind a boost with a fresh perspective. Something as simple as changing up your running routine or completing your core workout at home instead of at the gym may be all you need.
Determine the cause of your dread.
When all else fails, it’s time to sit down and really dig deep to determine what has changed. What caused this workout rut?
Did you just complete a goal and are struggling to continue? Has the weather been really gloomy? Is work very stressful? Do you have less time to workout now?
It will take a bit of time, but with careful thought and consideration, you might be able to determine why your fitness routine feels so blah. If you can figure out what’s causing this fitness rut, you’ll be able to make the appropriate changes to help yourself overcome it.
Remember – everyone experiences a fitness rut from time to time. It’s completely normal to feel a bit burnt out and worn down. Our bodies and minds need time to recover, and after a while an activity that was once the highlight of your day may even start to feel monotonous.
Recognizing the signs of a workout rut and proactively taking the steps to help yourself through it are key. Give your body rest when it needs it, and don’t feel guilty about it. Sometimes breaking out of a workout rut is as simple as taking a week off.
Before you know it, you’ll be back at it with even more energy than before. And hey, you might even discover something new along the way.
More tips to overcome fitness slumps:
- 5 Ways to Break Out of a Running Slump
- 5 Ways to Overcome Low Fitness Motivation
- Printable 2019 Fitness Goal Planner
- How to Create a Healthy, Fitness Lifestyle
20 At Home Workout Ideas - No Equipment Needed | Runnin’ for Sweets
Thursday 7th of May 2020
[…] As time passes, most of us find ourselves settling into a routine – whether it’s healthy or not. Before we know it, we’re completing the same workouts each week and wondering why our fitness has plateaued. […]
8 Lies You Have Been Told About Running | Runnin’ for Sweets
Monday 27th of April 2020
[…] of whether you run to win, run to stay in shape, or are just toying with the idea of getting started – running has the ability to greatly change […]
How to Measure VO2 Max and Improve Your Running | Runnin’ for Sweets
Monday 12th of August 2019
[…] about your body. Taking the time to understand your VO2 max and what it is telling you about your fitness level is beneficial for every runner, from beginners to […]
How to Start a Successful Morning Workout Routine | Runnin’ for Sweets
Monday 8th of April 2019
[…] to plan for even just one of these activities will add stress to your morning and ruin any morning workout motivation that you’ve been feeling. Having a plan for the morning means thinking through your entire […]
20 Minute Bodyweight Tabata Core Workout | Runnin’ for Sweets
Wednesday 3rd of April 2019
[…] so easy to get stuck in a workout rut, always completing the same workouts week after week. Mixing things up every once and a while is a […]