Have you gotten into a fitness rut? Lost your enthusiasm to work out? Finding yourself dragging yourself to the gym and then just going through the motions of your exercise routines?
Don’t worry – you are not alone. Lots of people go through slumps in their training enthusiasm and energy levels. Of course, it’s not a good place to be – you will not make the progress you want if you’re dragging yourself through your workout. The key to getting out of the slump is to identify the root causes behind your problem and then take practical steps to overcome them.
In this article, I will present the 5 main reasons that people lose their enthusiasm to work out – and then show you what to do about them.
Lack of Variety
There’s a saying that ‘variety is the spice of life.’ It is also the key to preventing workout boredom. If you have been following the same old routine for months at a time, it is only natural that you are going to begin to feel stale. Inevitably you will find yourself going through the motions of your workout. As a result, boredom will set in and you will be far more likely to miss a workout or just give a token effort to your training sessions.
To avoid the lack of variety problem, you should change up your workouts every 6 weeks. After following a program for 6 weeks, you should take a complete week off from training. As well as helping with your body’s recovery process, this will provide you with a much-needed mental break. During that week stay away from the gym altogether. Get your exercise from things that you normally do not do, such as going for a hike or playing a sport.
Your new program should involve different exercises than you did last time. Try to include fun activities, If the particular exercise you were doing is one that you really find of benefit, change it up by using cables, dumbbells, or kettlebells instead of a barbell.
Look for other ways to invigorate your training sessions such as trying different workout protocols that your logical gym offers. Take a boot camp class, try out a group fitness workout class and check out the functional training area of the gym. You can also try such training methodologies as circuit training, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and supersets.
When you are in the gym, your body isn’t getting bigger and stronger. It is actually getting smaller and weaker. It is only with rest, recuperation, and proper nutrition that your healthy body rebuilds and increases body mass. But if you do not provide your body with the time to recover, you will end up in an overtrained state.
In order to avoid overtraining, try to keep your workouts to less than an hour in duration. You should also train your muscles no more than once every 4-5 days. When you are recovering from a muscle group, do some active recovery exercises and dynamic stretching to help with the recovery process. I also recommend using a foam roller to help with muscle recovery.
Two other factors that are critical to proper recovery in order to prevent overtraining are nutrition and sleep. You should take both of them seriously. Set your mind to eating like an athlete. That means that every time you are about to put something into your mouth you should pause and ask yourself the following question …
Is this going to make my body better or is it going to make my body worse?
That couple of seconds of contemplation will help you to keep bad food out of your system.
Sleep is when the majority of your recuperation and recovery take place. If you neglect it, you will impair the recovery process. Make a plan to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night and to keep to the same sleep schedule on a daily basis.
Some gym trainers are lone wolves who thrive on training by themselves. But others operate at their best when they team up with a partner. If you are the latter type of trainer, then your lack of workout enjoyment could be down to the fact that you don’t have a partner.
Training with a partner has many benefits. You will be able to motivate each other, as well as provide companionship and spot each other on exercises. Make sure, though, that the person you buddy up with matches your training and motivational style. If you’re a quiet achiever who does best when their partner gives them a nod and says ‘You got this, the last thing you want is an over-the-top partner screaming in your face to get you hyped.
Your workout partner should also have similar training goals and strength levels to you.
Rather than your training routine being the cause of your lack of workout enthusiasm, it might be the environment in which you train that is the problem. Sometimes all you need is to switch up your environment to recharge your batteries. You could train for a few sessions in a new gym or, if the need warrants it, change gyms altogether. If your gym has an outdoor training area, take advantage of it. Take a few online classes and test out boot camp training options.
If your enthusiasm to work out has slipped away, the worst thing you can do is just to drift along with that situation in place. You need to stop and take stock of your situation. Then identify which of the 5 potential causes for your lack of boredom are impacting you and take the corrective measures just outlined.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some signs that it is time to change up my workout?
You should change up your workout every six weeks to prevent training boredom. The signs of a stale routine include lack of motivation to train, missing workouts, not fully applying yourself to the workout, and not seeing gains in the weights that you are lifting.
Is it best to train with a partner or without?
There is no best or worst when it comes to training with a partner. It comes down to what your training personality is. Some people thrive when training by themselves while others do best with a partner. The only way to find out which of these two you are is to spend a few months training both and without a training partner. Then make an evaluation about which worked best for you.