15 Ways to Break Out of Your Fitness Rut

You aren’t excited about your workouts; you feel run-down after every training session; the gym is starting to feel more like a chore than a great time to focus on yourself.

You’re in a fitness rut—we’ve all been there, and we’ll all be there again. As creatures of habit, we find something we love and stick with it. While that’s a great way to get ourselves into a routine that sticks, it can also get old fast.

When it does get old, don’t let your fitness rut get you down. Instead, give these ideas a try to reinvigorate your efforts and feel great about your workouts again.

Find Your Motivation

1. Re-Define Your Goals

If you made goals a few months ago, sit down and re-think what you want to accomplish. Perhaps you’ve already hit them, and that’s what’s holding you back from reaching the next level.

2. Get a Trainer

Sometimes you just need someone to motivate you. That’s when a personal trainer comes in handy. Not only will they motivate and push you, but they’ll turn your goals into a tangible program that gets results.

No time for a personal trainer? Learn more about my online personal training instead.

3. Find a Gym “Buddy”

Next time you’re at the gym, pick someone to “copy” during your session. This “ghost buddy” may provide you with a little competition and also help you learn new exercises—just don’t make it obvious you’re watching and copying them!

4. Listen to New Music

It’s amazing how motivating, or de-motivating, music can be for your workout. A simple playlist change may be all you need to get pumped about your workouts again.


5. Plan a Program

Instead of training here and there when you feel like it, create a plan—even if it’s short 2-4 weeks, and stick with it. The structure may be just what you need.

6. Find a Program

If you don’t know how to write your own program, find one online. Here are a few great websites with full programs for anyone to use:

7. Write Down Your Workouts

Nothing says fitness rut like walking from machine to machine in the gym, with no plan or intention. That makes your workouts feel like a chore. Write your workout plan before heading to the gym to give you much-needed focus.

Use this free workout planner [Printable Download].

Find New Inspiration

8. Find a New Workout Class

Does your gym offer classes? If not, see if a friend has guest passes for their gym—if you love what they offer, you can change gyms or get a new membership.

9. Try a 7-Day Trial

The best part about small, boutique studios is that most of them offer a free, 7-day trial. Make a list of 4-5 you want to try and check out a new one every week or every other week.

10. Try Online Workouts

I’ll never stop raving about FitnessBlender.com and how awesome their videos are. With so many full workouts to choose from—for free—you’ll always find something that you’re in the mood for. You may decide to try Pilates one day, love it, and find a nearby studio to join.

Built Lean has some great full workouts that I love. I’ve also created a few full workouts you can try as well.

11. Try a 30-Day Challenge

There are a number of 30-day challenges available online for free that help you do more pushups, build a stronger lower body, strengthen your core, and more. Find one you love and stick with it. Here are a few I’ve found and love:

12. Try New Equipment

If you only use dumbbells every time you workout, it’s inevitable that you’ll get bored sooner than later. Try something new each week, like an exercise ball, resistance band, BOSU ball, or piece of equipment.

I’m always trying different equipment and exercises on my Instagram account—follow me to get inspiration daily.

Give Your Body Rest

Add Gentle Workouts to Your Routine

Sometimes your fitness rut is telling you something—your body needs a break. Swap out one high-intensity workout each week for yoga, hiking, walking, or any other gentle, stress-relieving workout. Stick with it for one month and see if you feel better about your training.

Focus on Endurance Instead of Strength

If you’ve been trying to lift heavier weights week after week, give your body a break with high rep, low weight workouts for a week or two.

Take a 1-Week Rest

If you’re completely burned out, which is likely, give your body what it needs—a lot of rest. Give yourself one full week of rejuvenation, focusing on stretching every day and maybe even doing some yoga.

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15 Ways to Break Out of Your Fitness Rut

Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years. She's the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Honest Body Fitness, where women are warriors who love their bodies. She's also a a full-time writer, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition specialist. She’s written for Shape, Reader’s Digest, AARP, Snap Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and more. Follow Jessica and Honest Body Fitness on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for health articles, workouts tips and more.

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