5 Simple Ways to Get Out of a Gym Rut

how to get out of a gym rut

gym rut [jim ruht] noun

1. boredom with your workout
2. a feeling of low (or zero) motivation to work out

Have you ever been in a gym rut? You know, that feeling that creeps up on you little by little until “suddenly” you realize you don’t like working out or you have no motivation to exercise.

It happens to everyone, even personal trainers like me. No one is immune…but, you can get out of it!

Recognize the “problem”

They say the first step to solving a problem is recognizing that you have one. So, if you’ve been feeling blah about going to the gym or working out at home, take a step back and see if you’re just in a gym rut.

Determine “root causes”

Next, think about why you are in the rut.

Is it because you have been doing the same routine month after month with no change? That’s bound to get boring, not to mention your body will have adapted and you are not getting the same benefits you once were.

Or have you achieved your goal and have nothing to work towards? A goal helps keep you focused and for many is a source of motivation.

Maybe it’s your surroundings? Or feeling like you aren’t making the progress you’d like? There are a variety of things it could be and figuring out the “why” will help you with the solution(s).

Ways to get out of the gym rut

1. Try a new workout or type of training: If all you do is cardio, try some weight lifting a few times a week (you should be doing this anyway…) Or, do some high intensity interval training (HIIT) instead of steady state cardio. Try cross fit, zumba, yoga, cycling, running…basically something new. You might even discover a new passion. As well, your muscles and body will thank you for the change.

smart goals2. Set a goal: As I already mentioned, having a goal is a great motivational tool. It keeps you in line and gives you something to work towards. As with all SMART goals, having a deadline is an important aspect. When you set your goal, don’t just keep it to yourself. Tell your friends, share it my Facebook page, find people to keep you accountable. Don’t underestimate the power of a goal, however, remember to cherish and enjoy the journey just as much as reaching the destination. (click for a free, downloadable goal-setting template)

3. Change locations: Sometimes all it takes is new surroundings. If you currently workout at home, try doing some outdoor activities (check this post for exercise ideas). If you exercise at a gym, why not do some workouts at home. There is a lot you can do with just body weight!

exercise with friends4. Get some friends to join you: This one can be tricky. Sometimes working out with friends can hamper the work, especially if you get chatty when together. But, it’s helpful to have another person beside you putting in the same sweat equity you are. A friend can help spot you when weight lifting or be competition when doing a cardio type of activity. I recommend inviting friends to the right type of activity for you and also choosing the right friends. Invite people who are positive and who will work hard.

5. Hire a personal trainer: Sometimes it helps to hire a professional personal trainer. For starters, it adds a layer of accountable to your decision to work out. As well, a trainer is knowledgeable in a myriad of exercises and can keep the workouts interesting and challenging for you. A trainer pushes you more than you push yourself and is a great resource for other areas, such as nutrition. A great trainer will work with you to get the results you want. (Full disclosure: I am a personal trainer in Ottawa but I’m not biased because of that… I had a trainer for a year, loved working with him and got so many benefits from it. I’m taking new clients downtown Ottawa in addition to online clients, so contact me to start the discussion!)

What about you? Does this strike a chord? What strategies do you use to get out of the gym rut? Share in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

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Lydia Di Francesco is the Founder of Fit & Healthy 365 and Creator of the 15 Minute Workout Club, an online workout membership site. As a Certified Personal Trainer, Lydia educates clients and the public that healthy living doesn’t need to be complicated. She promotes simple, fun, exercise, self-care, and creating a healthy mindset with a long-term approach to wellness.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.