Do you suffer from workout boredom? Have you hit a plateau with your results? Do you flat out cringe when you think of hitting the gym?
News flash: You're only human! We all suffer training highs and lows from time to time. Don't beat yourself up—it's completely normal.
Getting stuck, standing in our own way, and not thinking outside the box (or box gym) can lead to boredom and monotony—two things you should never settle for in your training program.
The fix can be as simple as taking your training outdoors to enjoy the weather, or adding an entirely different style of training, like yoga or TRX. What you do to break your plateau doesn't need to be overwhelming, it just needs to be enough of a change to challenge you and get you out of your funk.
If you're experiencing the telltale signs of a plateau, shaking things up can help you get your mojo back!
1. Set New Goals
First and foremost, decide what your goals are for training. Are you trying to lose weight? Build muscle? Improve performance? Work on flexibility? If you're experiencing a plateau, it's very possible you've lost focus of exactly what you're working toward. Once you've clarified what your goals really are, write them down and establish a plan of attack.
If you're looking for a new goal, pick something that excites you. Train for a road race, a Tough Mudder, a triathlon, a fitness competition, or a group challenge.
Sometimes the best goals are something you never thought you could do. Pushing yourself to step out of your comfort zone can provide a newfound confidence and act as a great motivator to get you back on track.
2. Work Out With A Partner
If you're disciplined and able to hold yourself accountable, you may prefer to train solo. I prefer staying in my own head during my training so I have complete tunnel vision and no interruptions. That said, I've noticed I occasionally don't challenge myself enough when training alone, especially on exercises where I could benefit from a spotter.
If you find you're not pushing yourself enough, it could be time to add a little accountability and ask a friend join you. The added bonus is they can spot you on those bigger lifts. Workout partners help motivate each other to push harder, run faster, and crank out those extra few reps. And if we're being totally honest with ourselves, all of us—including me—could benefit from a little extra push now and then.
3. Hire A Trainer
Enlisting the help of a coach or trainer will provide the same benefits as training with a workout buddy, but you also have access to their knowledge and expertise. Trainers specialize in creating custom programs for their clients, and experienced trainers know what you need to reach your goals and how to get you through your plateau.
When you hire someone, do some research or seek a referral. Ultimately, you'll want to hire a trainer who can hold you accountable and help you see past boredom and excuses.
A great trainer will know your boundaries, but still push you to improve. Even if it's only for a few sessions, the mere act of scheduling a time with your trainer and having to show up will help light a fire under your butt.
4. Train Outdoors
Constantly training indoors can get dull and feel monotonous. And if all you have to choose from are machines in the gym, it's easy to get stuck in a fitness rut.
Getting a taste of fresh air while working on your health and fitness is a terrific way to push through a plateau. If it's hot outside, swim laps in a pool or lake. In cooler weather, layer up and hit the trails. Exercising outside can bring new excitement to your routine.
5. Try A New Gym
Looking around the same environment and seeing the same people over and over again can get monotonous. We all know the regulars at our gym if we show up consistently, and that familiarity can lead to social hour and a reduced focus on what you showed up for—smashing a workout!
A change of scenery may be exactly what you need to get excited about working out again. And if too much friendly chitchat is getting in the way of your workout, a new space might help you get back on track. If you're feeling burned out or frustrated with your workouts, try a new gym in your area—even if it's just temporarily—to bring focus back to your workouts.
6. Make Your Resolution Now!
You don't have to wait until New Year's Eve to make a resolution—you can make one right now! With the holidays coming, it's easy to lose sight of your goals and tell yourself you can pick back up in January. Unfortunately, this mentality postpones better health and fitness, and chances are good you'll slip further away from those goals before you even have a chance to start.
Don't wait to start working toward your goals. There is no better time than now to start becoming a healthier, better you!
7. Find Online Training Programs
If one of your excuses is not having wanting to hire a trainer, there are lots of fitness challenges and programs online. If you're already confident you can perform exercises correctly and have gym access or a few items at home to work with, consider searching the Bodybuilding.com database for a new training program to freshen things up.
Even if you've already tried one of the trainers, there are many more to choose from. Start fresh by taking advantage of all the great programs available on this website, or trying out a few new exercises you've never done before. Many of the trainers on Bodybuilding.com provide meal plans with the workouts and can offer you some fun, fresh ideas to help you improve your fitness.