How To Stay Motivated and Get Out of a Workout Rut


Does this sound familiar? You're unmotivated to workout. You've hit a plateau in your progress. You think of reasons to cut your workout short. You come up with excuses to not workout at all. 5 tips that will help you bust out of a rut, push past a plateau and reach your goal. Click through for the tips to re-energize your workout motivation. Pin it now to have on hand for later.

Does this sound familiar?

You’re unmotivated to workout. You’ve hit a plateau in your progress. You think of reasons to cut your workout short. You come up with excuses to not workout at all.

5 tips that will help you bust out of a rut, push past a plateau and reach your goal:

  1. Never skip the warm-up. Prepare your body for the workout to come and you can train harder, burn more calories and prevent injury. This warm-up will increase your range of motion which means a more effective workout.
  2. Change things up. You’ve heard of the Albert Einstein quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Make changes in your routine to trick your muscles and to keep your workout interesting. Fatigue your body in a different way. Try this Tone and Burn Treadmill Workout. If your cardio is almost always running, try a spin class. If you usually workout inside, sign up for an outdoor bootcamp.
  3. Work harder. Progress your workouts. Try increasing the amount of weight your lifting or experiment with a variety of body weight exercises. Once you’ve mastered a basic exercise add a balance/stability component.
  4. Change your schedule. If you do HIIT 3 times a week, try longer steady state cardio 2 times a week and strength train 2 times a week. Or, break up a long run into 2 short AM and PM runs.
  5. Take time to recover. Your body needs a day or 2 of no exercise to rest, repair and re-energize. Taking a break and allowing your body to rest gives you greater performance which gives you greater results.

I would love to chat:

Have you ever been in a fitness rut and unmotivated to workout? What tips do you have for getting out of a fitness rut? How do you push past a plateau?

Looking for a more inspiration?

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  1. Great tips! Thanks for the motivation to get up and work out. I am notorious for “running out of time” in my day to get a workout in. I need to make it part of my daily routine again.

  2. monroebishop says:

    Changing things up is very important. I usually get burnt out when I focus one activity. Great tips

  3. I needed this I’ve definitely been in a rut !!! Bit not I can at least work outside

  4. I agree brilliant advice and it can apply to life outside of sport too! I think that creating a ‘starter’ i.e. the warmup will help get you motivated.

  5. Yes, I’ve been in a workout rut!! Sometimes
    I’m ready to work out hard, then I loose all momentum. Good tips on keeping up.

  6. this really hits home and you are so right. when I find myself in a rut, i know then that it’s time to change WHAT i am doing and WHEN i am doing as i need to have change with my workouts 😉

  7. Very helpful tips. For me the key is to keep switching things up. Or else I get bored and I bet my muscles do as well.

  8. Great pointers – and I never do warm ups lately – but…my lack of exercise motivation has changed – Once I saw how my little Tibetan Terrier looked a lot more chubby after his haircut – I am motivated to start jogging 3 miles again with him and my Kerry Blue Terrier – makes for a great goal for me to work on his weight with me! lol

  9. I have found myself in a workout rut.
    We re-arranged my workout space and lately I just haven’t been feeling it.
    I hope that I can shake it off soon because this is ridiculous!

  10. I need to have a routine scheded to help me not get I a rut. If I am just going with the flow…it is so easy for me to slack amd have that rut hit me hard. With planned workouts or a program , I am better at breaking through plateus and ruts.

    Great tips….as usual!

  11. I know I usually have a hard time getting the motivation to work out. I do agree that skipping warm ups and cool downs are not the best idea. They really help your muscles and heart rate.

  12. Yes, absolutely. I’m currently needing motivation for yoga since I haven’t been making time for it and I know it improves how I feel daily!

  13. I get easily bored with workouts. I try to change them up to keep up my motivation. I recently started a 30 day yoga camp challenge I discovered on Youtube. I’m on day 7 and I’m really enjoying it.

  14. thank you those wonderful tips. I always find myself bored from working out, and I know how important exercise it.

  15. Oh I’ve been unmotivated to work out for at least 5 months now. The nice spring weather motivated me today and I actually walked a mile. That’s a small victory for me because I have RA but it always feels good when I do it. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  16. Yes everyday seems like a struggle. Since having three kids in 3 years I had a hard time putting my health and wellness first. It is always there though, that thought of man, I just need to commit and do this!

  17. I always change things up when I’m sick of my current routine! There are so many ways to exercise, variety is good and exciting.

  18. Hiring a running coach has made a huge difference for me- I feel like now I am working out with a purpose and that feels great! TGIF!

  19. maria @closetohome says:

    I feel that i am falling back into a bad routine. Thanks for the motivation

  20. For me it really depends on the reason for the rut. Do I feel unmotivated in my personal life and that’s impacting my workouts? Am I stressed because I have too much on my plate? Do I need to simplify something?
    I try to look at it from all angles until something clicks and I can move forward.

  21. I think ruts are inevitable when working out. I had a couple days this week where I couldn’t get motivated. I just let my body take the extra couple of rest days. I think I needed it. Changing up the routine definitely helps too.

  22. Changing things up is a big one for me. I try not to let myself feel “trapped” into any one style of workout or idea of what fitness looks like.

  23. Not a rut but more indecisiveness. I can’t decide what schedule I’m following now.

  24. Great tips, Jill! You know I’m in a workout rut too. What I’ve done is just…not workout. I’ve been giving my body a break and then when I feel like a workout on a particular day, I’ll go for it. I know I’ll be more consistent when it’s nice outside, so I’m just being more intuitive with workouts these days!

  25. Great tips! Especially changing up your routine. That always works for me. I get into ruts every now and then but once I get back into it, that’s it, I’m hooked! It’s all about creating healthy habits!

  26. I am with Amanda – fortunately not my biggest challenge (food is harder!) I make plans to meet with friends to workout. Friends lift me up! 🙂 I like work harder. That is a great tip. Thanks!

  27. Great tips! Switching it up is always a great idea. Cardio is always the easiest to switch for me, so many options to pick from!

  28. when i get in a rut i try a new machine or two at our gym. also slam balls and the heavy ropes makes me happy so i go try them for a while.

  29. I think that Workout ruts (for me) come out of me not committing to something in my life and feeling empowered. So I try to figure out what that is, and my whole day turns around!

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