Finding your optimal fitness can be a fun journey, especially if you have a roadmap marked with SMART goals. The work you do in the gym is important, but consistency is key. Sadly just about everyone’s commitment is tested when they start to burn out. Lucky for you, I’ve got some insight into the main causes of burnout and how to overcome them.
A lot of people plateau on their journey a few months in, and start to go to the gym less or feel like they’re not seeing the same results as when they started out. There are generally a handful of reasons for this, and they boil down to a combination of doing workouts they no longer enjoy, sticking to a boring workout routine, and/or the body is physically worn out and needs to rest. Identifying your specific issue and addressing it will help keep you from burning out.
If you’re just coming back to the gym, or coming for the first time, there’s a good chance you’re going to work too hard too fast. The initial advice I live by is to remember that the fitness journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Taking time for rest and recovery will play a key role in your body’s development and helping to avoid injuries that could cause serious damage and help avoid physical or mental burnout.
Slow it Down
One method to keep on top of your rest and recovery is to designate one day each week to not workout. Allow your body time to rest and relax a bit, and use that time to live life as well as plan for success for the days ahead. This might be the perfect time to meal prep. If you’re determined to keep moving, consider taking this rest day to drop into a yoga class. You’re still moving, but without as much strain and it’s mentally soothing.
Switch it up
A solid workout plan is built upon the holy trinity: cardio, strength, and flexibility. With a well-rounded approach, it’s possible to improve your full body inside and out. Many people have a tendency to find a single workout system and stick to it; working chest and biceps on Monday, legs and back on Tuesday, etc. The problem with that is that all good things must come to an end, people get bored with repetition. This is one of the reasons Planet Fitness works so well. Their PF 30-minute Express Circuit combines 10 strength machines and 10 cardio-step stations to create a 30-minutes full-body workout to help guests mix up their routine.
So if you’re looking at your gym bag with a little more hesitation these days, consider stepping out of your normal routine with either of these two tips to keep you on your journey. One thing to keep in mind is that improvement isn’t linear — you will have highs and lows, but as long as you keep pushing forward, you’ll get there.
Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set unafraid to take on topics head on. He now resides in Austin, TX and continues to create content on a daily basis.