Until recently, I was in a workout rut, a veritable “seven year itch” of fitness, if you will. Ironically, I make a living forcing people to sweat through personal training and group fitness classes. Those outside the industry often think that my group fitness classes keep me in shape. While I do work up a sweat in some classes, any instructor will tell you that teaching a class is never the same as working out solo. When teaching, I have to put my mind on instruction, cueing, and my students’ form, instead of my muscles. Furthermore, I can’t push myself to the point of breathlessness or try new movements in front of a class. (They’ve seen me fall. It’s not pretty). I’m also plagued by the classic instructor dilemma: if I do my own workout, will I run out of gas during class? (Plus, I’ll have to shower twice!). This dilemma has plagued me since I became a certified trainer/instructor, often preventing me from hitting the gym solo.
So, what’s a trainer in a rut to do? It’s important to remember that every exerciser experiences a workout rut from time to time, even hardcore athletes. We all have those days when exercise seems dull or flat-out unappealing. In a quest to end my workout rut (and hopefully help others with the same affliction), I came up with a few ways to reignite your passion for fitness.
New Workouts: Try something new! Whether it’s a new group fitness class (I’ve been loving Plyoga), a new fitness DVD, or a new piece of cardio equipment, trying something new can rejuvinate your love for fitness.
Play: Try getting your exercise through a fun activity, such as ice-skating, tennis, or hiking. Calories can be burned outside of the gym, as well.
New Gear: It may be shallow, but buying new clothes or shoes can be a great pick-me- up. My workouts always have more oomph in new shorts!
New Toys: New fitness equipment or gadgets always get me excited about working out. I recently bought a Bosu ball and suspension trainer, both of which made me excited to work out. Furthermore, fitness trackers and other fitness technology can be a great way to increase physical activity levels.
Train: Whether it’s a 5K, figure competition, or Tough Mudder, training for an event is a great way to get your butt in back in the gym.
Grab a Friend: Having the accountability of working out with a friend can be greatly beneficial. It’s always nice to have someone to pull you up when you’re down. (Just make sure that friend is truly motivated to get healthy!)
Hire a Coach: This is not a shameless plug (but call me! :p) Hiring a coach is one of the best ways to ensure consistent adherence to exercise. Many of my clients increase their exercise frequency simply because they know I’ll ask how many times they worked out last week. Plus, a coach can introduce you to lots of fun new equipment and workout modalities.
Get Involved in Group Fitness: Regular class attendees often hold each other accountable for missed workouts. The accountability factor, along with varied workouts, make group fitness a great way to get unstuck from a fitness rut.