Updated: Apr 18
There are many reasons why you might be losing your motivation to workout. In addition to life in general (kids, sports, work, maintaining a house, finances, etc.) following the same workout routine, not setting realistic goals or not allowing yourself to properly recover could be putting you in a rut and be the cause of your lack of motivation. In other words, you begin feeling lost in your workout routine. If you need a little push and shove, switching up your routine and getting with a personal trainer can help you get you back on track.
Feel motivated again at the gym with some simple changes:
Switch Up Your Reps
If you have been doing the same amount of reps and sets, this could cause you to feel lost in the gym and get into a “rut,” or plateau in your workout routine. Switching it up and challenging your muscles will lead to better results. Try some of these tricks:
Ladder reps: This consists of ascending or descending reps. For example: 5, 7, 9, 11 or 12, 10, 8, 6, adjusting the weight for each set to match your goal number of reps.
Pyramid reps: When pyramiding, reps can look like this: 12, 10, 8, 10, 12 or 1, 3, 5, 3, 1 - imagining you are going up and back down a pyramid, building up then back down. You will begin to notice that if you have been doing 8 sets or higher for a long time, your strength gains will begin to change once you try training with weights that are right for 7 reps and less.
Use a Variety of Resistance
Always using the same dumbbells? Use your resources and switch from bands, weighted bars, kettlebells, machines and beyond to trick your muscles and give them a run for their money. In other words, you will create a new stimulus, creating more progress over time. In addition, rotating through a variety of exercises or activities every now and then can decrease your risk of injury.
Change Up Your Grip
Changing your grip can stimulate your muscles and recruit them differently. For example, when doing a deadlift, try alternating between the double overhand grip, mixed grip and hook grip in your deadlift; or when doing chin ups, instead of always doing chin ups (double under hand grip), try a neutral grip (palms facing inward) or pronated chin ups (double overhand grip, known as a pull up); or rather than doing bench presses with a bar, try doing a neutral grip dumbbell bench press, your shoulders may thank you. Alternating between different grip styles will reduce the risk of injury (such as biceps tears) and prevent muscle imbalances.
Proper recovery isn’t just stretching after every workout (which is extremely important for muscle growth and recovery plus injury prevention!) A good personal training coach will tell you over and over again that proper recovery is more important than the workout itself. If you are eating a bag of Doritos or big greasy pizza after your evening workout, plus lagging on your sleep routine, you can kiss your results goodbye. Avoiding sugar and processed foods and eating a well balanced plate; getting proper rest; and hydrating properly will make a world of difference in your results. Eating a balance of healthy carbohydrates and protein before your workout, for example, can help give your body what it needs to repair this muscle damage. Healthy carbs before a workout are important - your muscles store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen for energy. During short-duration and intense exercise, your muscles use this glycogen as their primary form of energy.
Setting realistic goals for yourself
What are non-realistic goals? Wanting to lose 20 pounds in a month or fitting into your skinny jeans in a couple weeks time aren’t realistic. Slow and steady progress is the key to success. Here are some examples of realistic workout goals you can set for yourself:
Work out 12 days in one month.
Run continuously for one mile in six weeks
Try a new workout a week till you find one that suits you.
Average 10,000 steps a day for a month
Do X number of push-ups in 4-6 weeks
Setting unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment and the feeling of failure, leading to a loss of motivation and possibly falling back into your unhealthy behaviors. Get with your
and have them help you set realistic goals for yourself.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Try a new workout class or exercise program, and push yourself beyond your comfort level. You will be surprised at what your body is capable of doing and you will gain confidence, too! What you do outside of the gym counts, too. Run outside, go on a family hike and find a new spot to go for a walk to switch it up a bit. This will help refresh and motivate you, giving you that newfound energy you've been looking for.
Not just anyone can go about this journey alone - let a trainer help you to stop feeling lost in the gym. A good personal trainer will challenge you in so many ways with a variety of exercises, plus design unique routines geared toward your needs and goals. Trainers Spot offers all of the above with certified trainers who will challenge you and keep your workout interesting and beneficial. Click here to find a personal trainer and get started.