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In a Workout Rut - Here’s How to Get Out of It and Get Your Fitness Back on Track

Are you feeling stuck in your fitness routine?


Do you dread going to the gym or going outside for a run because it feels like you’re not making progress?


Don't worry, you're not alone.


We’ve all experienced a workout rut at some point or another. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to reignite your motivation and get back on track with your health and fitness goals!


Here’s how:


How to Get Out of a Workout Rut


#1 Take It Slow & Steady


This pointer is for those of us who have taken a prolonged break from working out. Perhaps you got bored with your previous workout routine and/or felt like you weren’t making progress.


But, now you’re ready to recommit and hop back on your fitness journey.


The best advice we can give is to take it one day at a time. If you haven’t been training consistently for several months/years, then don’t jump right into an extreme workout regimen and ultra-restrictive diet.


This is a recipe for disaster.


When starting back, gradually ramp up the intensity, duration, and frequency of your training sessions. For instance, begin with a full-body workout 2-3x per week. This allows for a solid balance of movement practice and sufficient volume to build muscle and strength while not leaving you horribly stiff, sore, and angry from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).


The same goes for your diet. Gradually start reducing/phasing out junk food from your diet, and start working on more healthy meals and snacks. Adopting a very restrictive diet may seem like a good idea, but for the average individual it’s not sustainable, ultimately resulting in a person going back to their old eating habits.


If you need help figuring out a workout program and/or nutrition plan to help you get the results you want, then download the 1UP Fitness App (available on Android and iOS). Within the app, you’ll receive customized plans tailored to your preferences and goals. You can also join our exclusive Facebook group to ask questions from experienced coaches and other goal-oriented fitness enthusiasts.


#2 Set a New Challenge


Working out to be fit and healthy is great, but even that can lead to just “showing up” and not really pushing as hard as you really can.


Setting a new challenge is a great way to get out of a workout rut.


The best part is that you can decide what that challenge is!


It can be performance-based (e.g. increasing your max squat), physique-based (e.g. getting down to a certain body fat percentage), or health-based (e.g. lowering your  A1C or triglycerides level).


One thing to keep in mind when setting a new challenge is that it should be S.M.A.R.T.


SMART is an acronym that stands for:


  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound


If your challenge (goal) doesn’t meet these criteria, then the chance of you sticking to your challenge drops considerably.


And, if you need help deciding which challenge to set, consider joining our transformation-challenge where we award $50,000 in Cash and Prizes to 10 Total WINNERS. (5 Female and 5 Male).


#3 Shake Things Up


One of the easiest ways to break out of a workout rut is to shake up your current exercise routine and try something new.


For example, if you're used to running on the treadmill for cardio, try going for a hike or a bike ride. If you really want to challenge yourself, try hill sprints or other forms of high-intensity interval training as opposed to steady-state cardio.


Additionally, if you’re always doing the same resistance training split (chest & tris, back & bis, legs, shoulders), consider trying out a new workout split (upper/lower, full body, etc.).


Other ways to add variety into your training program are to try a group fitness class, mix up your exercises, or try a new fitness venture, such as yoga, boxing, or recreational sports.


Trying something new not only keeps things interesting but also offers new challenges for your mind and body!


#4 Change Your Environment


Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to get out of a workout rut.


If you always work out at the gym, try taking your workouts outdoors. This can apply for cardio and strength training workouts. Training outdoors also offers vitamin D benefits, which our bodies naturally produce when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Being outside is also known to help reduce stress and improve mood!


So, if you’re used to slogging it out on the elliptical or Stairmaster, try going for a hike or running stadium steps (if you have access to a public stadium or other outdoor stairwell).


Many playgrounds now have calisthenics stations allowing you to perform lots of upper body and lower body exercises, including pull ups, chin ups, rows, dips, push ups, and bulgarian split squats. If you don’t have a calisthenics park near you, grab a suspension trainer and you’ve got your very own portable gym. Simply sling the suspension trainer over an outdoor basketball goal or sturdy tree limb and you’re set!


#5 Switch Up Your Playlist


Music can have a big impact on your motivation, emotional state, and workout performance.


While having a go-to playlist is always helpful, even our favorite songs can begin to sound stale after a while. As such, try mixing up your current playlist with some new songs or create an entire new playlist for those times when your go-to list just isn’t getting the job done.


You'll be surprised at how much a change in music can affect your mood, motivation and focus.


Bonus Tip: Try a New Supplement


Building off of our last point, subtle changes can often have a huge impact on our mental, emotional, and psychological state…which in turn affects our workouts. Trying a new supplement or a new flavor of pre-workout can be that ever-so-slight change of pace that can reinvigorate you and keep you motivated to crush your workouts.


Not a pre workout fan?


That’s OK!


You can always try a new flavor of BCAA/EAA, protein powder, or greens!




We’ve all fallen into a workout rut before. It’s completely normal and happens to everyone (yep, even the diehard gym rats among us).


The good news is that getting out of a workout rut is pretty easy, and with a few simple changes, you’ll be right back on your fitness track.


Try one, two, or all of the tips above, and get back to dominating your workouts!


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