It's the start that stops most people when it comes to fitness and exercise, but sometimes people make it past the start only to get bored in the middle.
Let's say you are one of those individuals who had the initial drive to get started with your healthier lifestyle. You ate well and exercised three to four times a week. You experienced great results for the first couple of months, and you're now feeling stronger and more confident than ever.
Recently, however, your workouts have grown stale. You've gotten into a bit of a rut and feel like you are simply going through the motions when you hit the gym.
Instead of quitting and giving up on all the hard work you've put in, try changing things up a bit to kick-start your motivation and boost your progress.
Try something new.1 of 7
If you want change, well, then you've got to change. It sounds simple, yet it's extremely important. You cannot continue to do the same things over and over and expect not to plateau.
Our bodies are smart and will adapt to any stress we place upon them, so you have to challenge the body in new ways to continue to get results. These days, there are so many fitness and movement modalities to choose from, so find something you enjoy and switch up your routine.
Not sure where to start? Try charity runs or walks, dance classes, yoga, Pilates, martial arts, running clubs, indoor spinning or bootcamp classes.
Train somewhere new.2 of 7
Sometimes, we simply need a change of scenery. Hopping on the same elliptical in the corner of the gym's cardio room, month in and month out, can certainly become monotonous and boring.
Why not head outside to your local beach or park for a bodyweight circuit session? Or hit the local track for a sprint workout? You can even drop in at a different gym and try out a new class.
Incorporate themed workouts.3 of 7
Many facilities now offer themed workouts during the holidays or around current events. This is a great way to switch up your routine, do something timely and feel more engaged than ever in your workout.
If your gym doesn't offer themed workouts, suggest it to management. They are simple to organize and a fun and effective way to get people moving.
Here are some ideas:
Halloween: Members have to dress up to participate in the workout. Name the exercises something Halloween-related, like "spooky squats," for example.
Easter: Hide eggs in the gym, and when a member finds one and opens it, they must do the workout written inside.
Independence Day (7, 4, 1776): Perform a seven-exercise circuit that you'll complete four sets of. At the end of that circuit, you'll also complete 1,776 meters on the rowing machine (or whatever cardio machine you have access to).
Sign up for fun competitions.4 of 7
Obstacle course runs are one of the most popular forms of activity today. If you haven't taken the plunge yet, you should definitely consider it.
A quick search on ACTIVE.com will give you plenty of options. Many of them allow for small groups, so gather up a couple friends or co-workers and create your team.
Train with a partner.5 of 7
This is my personal favorite. Working out with a partner is a game-changer, more specifically, a psychological game-changer.
Imagine heading to the gym for your workout, and the "metabolic finisher" at the end is three rounds of 250 meters on the rowing machine. Let's say you complete your three rounds in 52, 55 and 59 seconds, respectively. Now let's try this finisher again, but with your partner holding kettlebells in the rack position (up against the chest) the entire time you are rowing. Once you finish a round of 250 meters, you switch positions; now you are holding the kettlebells while he or she rows.
Knowing your partner is suffering while you row will undoubtedly force you to work that much harder. Don't be surprised when your split times decrease, and you're pushing yourself harder than ever before.
Change your mindset.6 of 7
If you're content with going into a workout and just getting it done, you probably won't push yourself to your full capacity.
Don't settle for a subpar effort. The competitive spirit that is inside each of us is a big reason why partner workouts, group challenges and obstacle course races are all so popular and successful.
Tap into this part of your personality during each of your workouts, and push yourself to go just a little harder.