Everyone gets burnt out after awhile of using the same training routine.
I mean, it’s just a matter of fact – it happens, whether you just get tired of the routine, the facility, the moves, or your instructor. What matters is that there are feelings standing in the way of you and your fitness goals.
There’s as much of a mental plateau as there is a physical one. But here are 4 ways you can fight that burnt-out feeling.
1) Be honest with yourself. It’s quite possible that your desire to do whatever activity you’ve been doing has died. You might just be a person who gets bored easily, and that’s okay! Try to find a variety of things that you can do, so that you can go from one activity to the next without losing too much time. Consider joining a gym that offers a plethora of classes that you can try, all for the same regular membership rate. One month, you can try an Insanity-focused class. The next? Animal Flow, or Zumba, or who knows! It’s totally up to you.
2) Know that it is okay to take a break. Sometimes, life just gets overwhelming. Mental health breaks are necessary to help relieve pressures that you might feel from different avenues of your life, and sometimes when it feels like there’s too much, it’s okay to just step back. While it’d be ideal that your exercise routine would also double as a form of stress relief, if you don’t have that connection with it yet, take a few days and just rest.
Most importantly, remember why you’re resting, and what your goals are. Resting from training doesn’t mean resting from eating healthier, and it doesn’t mean you’re resting from changing poor habits – it literally only means resting from your workout.
3) Set realistic expectations for when you'll return to your plan. Keep in mind that taking a rest doesn’t mean you are barred from ever returning, and it doesn’t mean you are now a “quitter” who has “fallen off the wagon.” Unrealistic expectations for training programs and life in general have left people feeling like an inability to stick to a rigorous training routine means they’re “failures". In reality, it means that life happens and we have to be malleable to the curveballs we’re thrown.
Believing that fitness is a “wagon” that one can “fall off” only serves to separate people from the hard-earned fitness minded mentality that helps people weave healthy living into their lives. If you’ve fallen off your training, you’re also likely to compound that with a depressing binge eating session. Don’t look at it this way – instead, see it as a rejuvenation period, or an extended rest day of sorts while you get your head together.
4) Know that sometimes, it’s really not you at all. Sometimes, you might find that switching studios, trainers, and instructors can make a world of difference in how you feel about your training. We tend to forget that trainers and instructors are people too, and our knowledge is limited (well, not mine, of course). Sometimes, it’s a matter of learning that we’ve learned all that we can from this particular instructor, and they’ve run out of new things to teach us or have failed to accommodate our advanced ability in a way that encourages new learning.
Stepping up from “beginner” to “intermediate” can make all the difference in reigniting our old passion, and that’s perfectly okay! It just means we have to give ourselves space to find that out first. Before you give yourself a few days off, look for an upper-level course to test out, and see if maybe that’d make the difference. As I always say, your body will thank you for it!
Erika Nicole Kendall is a trainer certified in women’s fitness, fitness nutrition and weight loss coaching who also chronicles her own 160lb weight loss journey on the award winning blog, A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss. Hit her up on Twitter, or check her out on Facebook.