How I Got Out of My Workout Rut

As much as I don’t like to admit it, I’m a creature of habit.

Workout Rut

My workout ruts will come and go as the seasons do: they are inevitable and uncontrollable (at least at the time of writing. I’m sure Google and/or Elon Musk are working on it.)

As the mornings grow darker and colder (and if y’all don’t know by now I’m a 5am-type) my enthusiasm for the 25-minute walk to the gym becomes less and less appealing.

Dat bed tho…

But, I LEARN. It may take a while, but I do learn from my weaknesses.

So this post is a step-by-step guide of how l recently conquered by winter workout rut – and if you can relate, hopefully it can help you too.

1. Made a (detailed) plan

Not just any old workout plan. This needs to be a week-by-week, day-by-day plan.

Mine is 8 weeks long (I designed it so it would take me to the new year. FYI you have 6 weeks now, which is the perfect amount for a mini-plan!)

Workout rut plan

Each week is similar in terms of muscle groups. I’m not doing anything totally radical because that will stress me out and make me less likely to follow it.

So that’s two upper, two lower days a week and one for core and HIT.

What does differ is that each week (or two weeks) we step up the game a bit.

This could be:
– adding a sprint session
– changing reps / sets (and adju sting weight accordingly)
– adding a finisher

All that gives me extra motivation because I know by following the plan, I’m making progress.

2. Track that

No plan is worth a damn if you don’t follow it.

For most of us, keeping track of our progress is the number 1 way to do this.

It doesn’t have to be some obsessively detailed spreadsheet of sets and reps and weight (like mine…) It could be a pretty calendar where you add a big tick (or gold star?) for each day you workout.

Plus, there are plenty of apps to make this a pleasure too.

3. Look the part

I used to think my Primani leggings and whatever tee I slept in the night before would be give as as gym hit.

But let me tell you: WHAT a difference a gym ‘uniform’ makes.

My current workout garb that makes me want to get to the gym just to showoff:

Seriously £9? These are top quality (honestly I actually prefer them to some Nike ones I have) and the pattern is just purdy.

Workout rut leggings

  • This Fabletics outfit

It took some time but Fabletics finally wore me down with their targeting ads and before I knew it…

Workout rut uniform

I grabbed it for £15 when the offer came up (and immediately cancelled my subscription – sorry guys but I don’t need that much sportswear).

I do really love the fit of both the top and leggings, and would be happy to get more gear from them in the future though.

These were sent to me, but I was actually in the market for a new sports bra. Ones I had had in the past were either too tight, super unflattering or just uggers.

Workout rut sports bras

The ones from Shock Absorber are GORGEOUS. Like… super bras. I love the front zip opening of this one – especially for upper body days when my range of arm movement post-workout gets… limited.

Plus I love the colours!

4. Have a backup plan

As great as your intentions are, sometimes life throws a curveball and before you know it you’re making excuses and eating mince pies in your pjs.

I made a list of recent excuses and brainstormed ways of overcoming these ‘inconveniences’.

One was clients calling me in for in-house work. I worked out what times I would have to get up to get to the gym first, and freshen up etc. for each likely location.

No excuses to avoid a workout at the risk of being a sweaty freelancer.

5. Get some extra help

Some mornings are harder than others: fact.

For the mornings I’m really struggling, I like to reserve a special turbo boost that can help me through.

No, not crack.

I like to add BCAA’s to my morning cocktail (lemon juice and apple cider vinegar) and I’ve recently been experimenting with Glutamine – which seems to be doing wonders for my epic DOMS.

Workout rut preworkout

l was also sent this beautiful pre and post workout lotion with magnesium from Mio that I’m convinced is giving my legs superpowers. Either way, the smell perks me up and gets me going!

Workout rut Mio

You know what I’m like about products I put on my skin, but I was really impressed with Mio’s range – you can see their ‘No Nasties’ promise PLUS they don’t test on small furry ones.

6. Treat yo’ self

For every week l stick to my plan, I think of a way to reward myself. The carrot, if you will.

I’m trying not to choose destructive treats (alas! cocktails and cupcakes are not legit rewards) but things like:

  • a massage (l went for one the other day and worried my girl was going to remove my head. Never underestimate a ‘hard’ Thai massage!)
  • a new piece of workout gear (see #3)
  • an extra episode of that series you’re binge watching (l don’t do this much BUT I recently discovered Mr Robot and I am hooked)

There you have it! I’m currently killing it in the gym thanks to this plan – and I hope to keep it up! Watch this space…

Do you ever find yourself in a workout rut?

Got any tips for when the winter days get the better of us?

(Alternatively send me a tweet @CatFoodisGood4u to let me know if you found this useful)

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    • Cat says

      Exactly – I already push it when it comes to spending most of my day in sportswear, but until I can rock up to a clients in yoga pants I still need real world clothes…!

  1. says

    For me I literally need to write exactly what I’m going to do at the gym otherwise I’ll arrive and just me like “err what am I doing here?”. I’m genuinely loving the gym at the moment so it’s not too much of a struggle to get up and go. But then I’m doing stuff I enjoy rather than stuff I hate (any form of cardio machines <– not happening).
    Ahh I love Fabletics. I do try and skip each month but then sometimes I'll splurge as I just love their gear.

    • Cat says

      SO true about the plan for gyming – I basically get ‘gym brain’ as soon as I go in – even if I have a plan in my head – I actually need to look at my phone to see what’s next. It’s quite scary when I think about it!

  2. says

    Love this! I’m on the verge of re-joining a gym again, and am planning on going to a yoga class tomorrow – eek! But basically, yes, yes, yes, yes, yea and yes to all of this. Also, how’s it only 6 weeks until new year!? WHAAAT!? New gym gear is always a good excuse to boost your fitness mojo, hi H&M. This has certainly given me a little boost into feeling more confident in regards to getting back into fitness, so yay!

    She’s So Lucy

  3. says

    Loving your tips here! I tend to be less active in winter because weather is not great for outdoor cycling and hiking which I love doing in other seasons. I don’t my plan my workouts but I have a routine when every Tuesday I go spinning and once a week I do an exercise session at home. Some weeks I go spinning twice but still I am not as active as I should be (I do walk a lot though..). I will try and do some planning though to get me back on track. It’s amazing, your plan is 8 weeks long! I will start with one week.. Thanks for the tips!

    • Cat says

      You’re welcome Petra! I haven’t been spinning in years, but I know that it kicks my butt! Actually that should be another tip: trying something totally different from normal – for me I reckon a class like Spin would be a great way to get me back in the workout game.

    • Cat says

      Mmm yoga and walking are my FAVOURITES – sounds like a very nice plan! I know there’s something so satisfying when you look back at the days you tracked like ‘damn, I did that!’

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