July 25, 2016
Every now and then everyone gets into a fitness rut. We don’t feel like working out. Our routine seems too monotonous and we lose our training mojo. When we do manage to drag ourselves through the gym door, we just can’t be bothered exerting ourselves.
A negative attitude will not benefit our fitness endeavors. When we’re in a rut, we need to break out of it. Fortunately, there are many ways to do just that. Here are the top 10 ways to break out of a fitness rut.
Changing up your rep scheme can completely reinvigorate your workout. If you are used to doing 3 sets of 8 reps per set, mix it and increase the reps to 15, even if it requires dropping the weight back. You can even have an extra high rep day where you challenge yourself to hit 100 reps in 3 sets on an exercise such the barbell curl. Aim for 50 reps on the first set, 30 on the second and 20 on the third.
You are probably used to doing a straight set workout. This is where you perform a set, have a 30-90 second rest and then do your next set. Try changing it around with super sets, where you do two exercises back-to-back with absolutely no rest between them. They may be for the same body part or for opposing body parts.
You can also add variety by doing pre-exhaust sets. This is where you do an isolation exercise for a body part, such as pec flyes, immediately followed by a compound movement, such as the bench press. Doing your sets in circuit fashion, where you go through one set of each exercise with minimal rest and then repeat through the circuit 3-4 times is another option to change things up.
Changing the tempo of your workout can give you the shot in the arm that you need to reinvigorate your training. If you are used to training slowly, turn up the speed dial. Cut your rest between sets and add in skipping or plyometric box jumps between sets. Alternately, you can slow down your workout to really concentrate on the negative part of the rep. Lower the weight to a 4-second count to really benefit from this technique.
The conventional training wisdom says to do your compound movements, such as squats, before you do your isolation movements, like leg extensions. But, when you’re in a training rut, conventional wisdom flies out the window. So, break the rules by starting off with your isolation exercises, doing your leg extensions before your squats.
If you’ve been working out on your own, finding a buddy to train with will add a whole new dimension to your workouts. For one thing, it will make you more accountable; you’ve got to show up because there is someone counting on you. It will also add an element of conscious or subconscious competition to your training. By the way, scientific studies tell us that guys get better training results when they train with a woman. The reason? Guys don’t want to fail in front of girls, so they’ll push themselves that little bit harder.
Take your workout down to the local park. While enjoying the benefits of direct sunlight, you can run stairs, jog the track and perform body weight exercises. A couple of sessions like this will take you out of your normal environment and help get back your mojo before you return to the gym.
Fitness technology has come a long way. There is now a whole industry built around tracking your workouts. Wrist wearable devices are able to track your steps taken, distance, traveled, cadence, VO2 max, calories burned, heart rate and level of exertion. You can even get sports watches now with built-in video clips that will coach you through your workout. A major benefit of fitness / activity trackers is that they will provide you with a daily goal to work towards and track your progress towards it.
Signing on for a couple of workouts with one our friendly personal trainers is a great way to kick yourself out of a rut. They will be able to offer you suggestions to revitalize your workout, switching it up to make it more productive, exciting and time efficient. They will also be able to help you to fine tune your form and provide you advice and tips to get the most out of your Evolve Fitness experience.
This is a great time to experience the benefits of taking a group fitness class. At Evolve we’ve got more than 80 classes happening every month to suit every imaginable training need and time schedule. You may be a person who’s never really considered taking a group exercise class. Working to get out of a rut is a great time to start. It will be new and exciting and it will challenge your body in a whole different way.
Often we slip into a rut because our workout routine gets stale. We simply get bored doing the same exercises day after day at the gym. That’s when you need to change your workout around. If you’ve been used to training one body part per workout, mix it up by training two body parts.
You can move between weight training and cardio sets, throw high-intensity interval training into the mix and add in some plyometric jump training. You can also try push workouts on one day and pull workouts the next. If you’ve been doing a split routine, try a month of total body workouts.