9 Ways to Climb Out of a Fitness Rut

You know your workout like the back of your hand — because you do it five times every week. Now that you’ve got your trusty routine down, your brain can rest comfortably on autopilot while you go through the motions. That might be OK at the office, but it’s definitely not advisable at the gym.

“Doing the same gym routine puts you in serious danger of falling into a fitness rut,” says Los Angeles–based celebrity personal trainer Lalo Fuentes, CSCS, whose Freeze technique (included in the workouts below) has provided fast results for professional athletes and those in the entertainment industry. “Not only are fitness ruts a drag to your workout motivation, they also keep you from getting all that you can from your workout.”

Fuentes says that one common culprit of a fitness rut is overtraining because stress and a high volume of workouts can lead to injuries and lack of forward progress. If you’re overtraining, you may feel tired, sick, have trouble sleeping, suffer from muscle pain and feel weak. Of course, the opposite also can be true — undertraining because of boredom, lack of motivation and not even breaking a sweat at the gym means you’re not working hard enough and simply wasting time.

How to Work Out of Your Rut

You’ve probably heard that variety is the spice of life. Well, variety also happens to be the way out of a fitness rut. Think back to when you first started working out. Moves that you now find easy were probably very challenging initially. That’s because your body adapts as you perform exercises — Fuentes says muscles get stronger and stamina increases in as little as six to eight weeks. Eventually, if you don’t add in a little variety, you’re going to hit the dreaded fitness rut.

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