Getting stuck in a rut

There are times during everyone’s training where they feel like they aren’t going anywhere. You may sometimes feel that training is the last thing in the world you want to do and you may start to actually dislike going to the gym. I get this at times and it can sometimes last quite some time as well. There are many reasons for this happening and usually it is quite hard to figure out which one of them it could be.


One of the main reasons for getting stuck in a rut and getting fed up of training is a lack of progress. If you are going to the gym and training hard but not making any progress towards your goals then it can get very demoralizing and make it hard to justify all of your hard work. Once you fail to justify going through all of the hard work at the gym it seems to become a pointless task. If you are getting no reward for all of your hard work it really isn’t worth even going.


To get over this there are a number of things that you can do. Firstly change your routine. Your body adapts to routines and tries its best to not improve because your body doesn’t like change. Its hard to adapt when you are doing the same thing over and over again. If you give your body something different to adapt to it responds far quicker and to a greater degree. So change your routine. Go from isolation to compound movements, change the rep ranges, try heavier weights, do totally different styles of training altogether.


Another thing you can do is totally change your goals. If your goals seem unachievable or you are getting bored striving for a goal that you aren’t getting any closer to then try changing your goals entirely. I often go through periods of training where I want to get stronger. I have goals of certain weights I want to lift. If im not progressing in strength and feel like giving up I just change my goals. I may set goals on fitness or muscular endurance and start working towards them. Start with easily achievable goals and then progress to harder to reach goals. This will keep it interesting but rewarding.


Another thing that may be making you reluctant to train is that there may be more tempting things in your life. If you want to go out with your friends, or you have lots of work to do, or you want to do a new fun activity rather than train, you may be resentful of going to the gym and not being able to do these things.


My advice in this situation is to take a break from the gym and do the things that you want to do. Not going to the gym will make you miss it and want to go back. Then when you are satisfied that you have done what you want to do, go back to the gym and enjoy it. At the moment I am enjoying playing tennis. It is something I want to do more than go to the gym and lift weights because I am improving well at tennis and my progress in the gym is quite slow. I am doing both at the moment rather than just focusing on weights so that I don’t resent going to the gym over playing tennis. Being in the gym but wishing you were somewhere else is always the start of a rut.


So if you feel that your training is becoming less enjoyable, think about why that is. Don’t just train through it and train half heartedly. Take a break, change things round, set new goals and get that spark back.

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