A goal of any successful fitness program should be to support the longevity of a person’s fitness growth and enjoyment. It’s our responsibility to help you see progress consistently for a long, long time.
Any time you do an activity for long periods of time, you can get bored, tired, or just plain burnt out from the repetition.
Getting burnt out isn’t a bad thing. It’s your central nervous system telling you that something needs to change. Change can be good. We need change in our lives to help us improve and grow.
No matter how much progress you’ve seen in a program, it can become hard to motivate yourself to keep going sometimes.
You get tired of the same kind of workouts, same people, driving to the same gym every day. The routine becomes a rut that you just can’t get out of.
Here are 6 things you can do to prevent this from happening or get yourself out of that rut if you’re stuck there right now.
1. Set some goals
The quickest way to let burnt out happen is to workout just to workout. Without having any set goals, you’re spending a ton of energy with no idea where you’re going. How do you know if you’ve gotten there or what to do next?
Goals must be specific and urgent. If you don’t have a reason to be consistent and excited to workout, then you won’t be. It will get boring real fast.
Shoot for a new PR in a lift, learn a new movement, aim for a new body fat %….Go after something.
2. Do something different
Are you mentally or physically burnt out? Do you need a different kind of workout or do you need to switch up your schedule or something else?
Just the repetition of maintaining the same schedule for extended periods can cause burn out. Change it up. Try a different class. Take a specialty clinic, either at your gym or somewhere else.
Reduce the days you do your normal routine and add in a different kind of experience. Does your gym offer other programs, can you get additional programming to help bust through a plateau? What if you did yoga, swimming, or started biking a couple times a week.
3. Get enough rest
You need rest and recovery time. The fastest way to burn out is to go hard all the time and never recover. This happens in phases and it most often starts with a little ache that turns into something more.
Take a break on your own, or your body will make you take a break when you don’t want to.
Listen carefully. YOUR BODY WILL NOT MAGICALLY STOP HURTING IF YOU DON’T GIVE IT TIME OFF.
Here’s a little science for you. Strength is developed DURING REST, not while you’re doing the work.
4. Connect with a people
You are not alone. There are many people in your fitness family who can give you support and friendship. The more we connect with other people more motivation we have to share positive experiences with them.
Improving your fitness is a positive experience. Knowing that you’re sharing the same struggles as other people, provides a blanket of acceptance and freedom to be yourself.
Just like you need the external motivation from others, they need it from you too. Being a source of support for someone else can be a motivating factor to keep you going strong.
5. Narrow your focus
A very common reason for burn out is lack of progress. You’ve been working out for a year and you still can’t squat 300 lbs. This sucks…
This aspect of burnout is a hard one to handle at times. It requires you to look at yourself and evaluate if you’re doing what it takes to see progress. It’s the little things that make the difference.
Are you doing extra credit? Are you spending time on your own working on mobility? Is your nutrition where it needs to be? Do you scale movements properly in workouts our do you just go heavy all the time? (This goes both ways….do you go light so you can “win” the workout? Don’t.).
6. Do something
The worst thing you can do is nothing at all. Getting burnt out is your body and mind telling you that you need a change, not that you need to stop doing anything.
Change your routine, focus on the little things, set a new goal, get help, but most importantly, don’t lose momentum. Keep doing something to improve yourself.