If you are feeling burnt out at the gym, just know that you aren’t the only one.

Work, school, kids, family, friends, bills, etc… Life can really throw a wrench into your fitness goals. However, there are some easy ways to keep the fire burning and reach your full potential.

Alter Your Diet

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This may seem like a given, but changing up your diet can make a difference in the way you feel on a daily basis. Motivating yourself to stay on track with your gym schedule, and eating your chicken and rice can get old. Whether it’s cutting down on carbs or giving yourself an extra cheat meal each week, a simple alteration in your diet may give you a boost. It’s all about balance. Over the past two years I have had a difficulty allowing myself to stray from what I know works. When you’re a creature of habit, changing your routine can make you feel uncomfortable. However, if you’re comfortable with your gym routine then it is likely that you are not making in progress – you’re simply maintaining.

One of the ways I’m breaking out of the comfort zone is cutting out some of my supplements that I take and forcing myself to eat less take-out food. Going through a drive-thru is convenient, but it has weighed me down and even killed my mood. My goal has been to put on healthy weight, but eating fast food is not helping me one bit.

Whatever your goal is, your diet is important. Change it up!

Revamp Your Workout

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How often do you change your workout routine? Once every two months? Maybe every six months? Never?

This may be part of the issue. According to Men’s Health contributor and strength coach, Lee Boyce, “you should consider changing your program as soon as your muscles begin to adapt themselves to a certain style of training.” Once you stop seeing results and/or feel that your body has acclimated to your routine then you should try something new.

This is the most difficult thing for me to do. I like my routine and I enjoy certain exercises over others. Challenging myself to jump into new exercises isn’t easy, but it has really helped keep me from getting bored with what I’m doing. Again, you don’t want to reach a plateau and lose your drive. It can be something as simple as adding or subtracting reps for certain workouts or giving yourself more or less rest time in between workouts.

Remember the Goal

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The goal. The purpose. The target.

Whatever you call it, you have a reason for investing the time into running the track, swimming the laps, or lift the entire rack. Remind yourself of the reason as to why you’re where you are at. You have gone this far. Why quit? Why go back? It’s clique, but keep your eye on the prize. Pump yourself up with the reminder of where you were and how far you have come.

Don’t make me say other generic, but subsequently true phrases and other motivational quotes. Get off your tail and take care of business.

“Embrace the Suck” & False Motivation

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“Embrace the suck.”

It’s not common, and it doesn’t sound good, but it’s message is meaningful to me. It’s a sentence I heard a few years ago, and it simply means to embrace the terrible situation that you are in and make the best of it. I found myself dipping into the “embrace the suck” mentality on accident at times. I often crack jokes and say goofy things to make things interesting, but when put into practice, and done at appropriate times, I have managed to make terrible situations into good ones.

Concerning exercise, sometimes you just have to learn to embrace the suck and go get the job done. Once upon a time I just didn’t have the energy to finish my workout, and I just wanted to give up for the night. I was working seven days a week at the time, and just felt completely cashed out. For some reason, I remembered one of my friends saying, “If I even smell a biscuit I gain five pounds.” I grinned and chuckled to myself thinking about that funny guy I used to work with years ago. For whatever reason that helped me just to push through the rest of that workout.

If that doesn’t really help you, then I’d like to offer something to you. It’s called false motivation.

If you’re looking for motivation there are times you have create it for yourself. When life has taken its toll on you, it’s not easy to find the drive to keep going through the grind. However, false motivation is a necessity when you know things have to be done. You have bills to pay. You have to be at work at a certain time. You have a project due on this day. YOU have to make time for all these things. It doesn’t matter how much you hate it. There comes a time in everyone’s life where they have to just say, “I hate it, but I’m doing it.”

Power through it.