T Nation

Have You Ever Been in a "Rut"?


#1

I’m not talking about hitting a plateau or anything like that. Have you felt like you couldn’t give a shit about training, atleast for a while? And what got you back on track? I’m not asking for advice, just for interests sake?
The last months, training has not been a priority for me at all. Even though I love me some heavy ass weights, I couldn’t be arsed to get in the gym more than twice a week. Obviously I have a library full of excuses for why I can’t do atleast THREE days a week, but honestly, I just don’t feel like it. I have no doubts that I’ll be in the iron game for as long as possible. But for now, I’m in a “rut”.

Again, I’m not asking for advice, just want to hear some of your stories?


#2

Ya, have definitely been through a training rut or two. When I was younger, I enjoyed being physical and doing BW stuff and early on I liked lifting “heavy” weights. Now, tbh, I have no fucking idea why I put myself through four or so sessions a week. It’s time-consuming, DOMs is bullshit, and weights just feel heavier and heavier… I dunno, I just do it. I have no idea why, but every couple of years I’ll usually take a solid 3-4 weeks off and then I’m usually itching to get back into it.

It’s a sickness…


#3

Fear of losing my progress is my main motivator when I start feeling frustrated and stagnant. Training seriously for a relatively short period of time, just about 2.5 years the transformation has been life changing and fear of going back to fat normal dad bod snaps me right back into the right mindset. Seeing the weights go up and looking better every year keeps me going.

I see it all the time, people start taking a day off here and there then its 2 then 3 a week and once they are out of the gym routine, they just stop. Its breaking inertia to get back in that routine that’s the hard part. At this point health/fitness is just habit for me and breaking that habit would probably require effort rather than just quitting cold turkey one day.


#4

I hate training. I like the results. So I continue to do it like I do other things like go to work. If I half-ass things, I get shit results, so I don’t or I won’t even bother to train since I would be wasting my time. It’s simply a responsibility that I have to fulfilll to get what I want.


#5

Yep, its a disease. I am quietly concious about my lack of effort, so I do put myself through the fire for those training days. But, seeing as its only twice a week, I have no issues recovering, so it seems to work out fine!


#6

I’m coming off an ankle sprain right now. It’s mostly healed but still a bit limiting and getting momentum going on weight training has been hard. I also took about a year off from weights and just did jiu jitsu, which was somewhat related to another injury I had.

But I’m also sick of how I feel when I don’t strength train. There’s only so long I can put up with that feeling. I actually hobbled down to my home gym yesterday and did a quick circuit in the morning. It felt great. Jits today, more basement gym stuff tomorrow and then keep building on that until I’m ready to go back to the gym and get a bar on my back.

Good luck!


#7

Thats fair. I guess there’s a fine line between enjoy training and enjoying the results? I think the thing that motivates me most is walking out of the gym knowing I just did something pretty awesome. The results (particularly the aesthetic results) are more of a awesome by-product for me than anything else.


#8

2 big things that tend to spark my training are signing up for a competition with events outside my comfort zone or starting a program that is insane. For the latter, I’ve experienced the best success so far with Jon Andersen’s “Deep Water” program, but 5/3/1 Building the Monolith was also good.


#9

So many times man. Probably more times spent in the fucking rut than out of it!

You need to grind my man

I think @furo made a good point a while back regarding being motivated by the fear of looking small and weak or something to similar effect. That motivates me too.

Working in gyms means I also at the very least, look like I do a bit of exercise here and there😂

Lifting is dull as fuck. It’s manual labour with bells and whistles. The end justifies the means.


#10

I read your write up about it on Reddit. I bought the book afterwards actually.


#11

Hell yeah man, that’s awesome. You read through it yet? It gets a little uncomfortable from a hero worship perspective, but that program is something else.


#12

Is competing a frequent thing for you? I haven’t competed in anything in about two years, which definitely has an impact on accountability.


#13

I try to do a competition at least once a year, and if I’m having a very good year I’ll be able to get in 3. Really just depends on what is available near me and my schedule.


#14

Hey, manual labour makes you jacked! I’m pretty sure strongman must’ve originated from a bunch of farmers getting together once a year to do stuff with heavy stuff and drink beer.


#15

I think sometimes you just gotta prioritize other stuff


#16

Not yet mate. It’s on the list. In saying that, it looks brutal beyond belief. I don’t even know If I could manage it :joy:


#17

True mate however I don’t like paying to perform manual labour. Should be the other way about :joy:


#18

Motivation is sometimes not enough. Discipline is what keeps me going.

This applies to all aspects of life not just training.


#19

More discipline = more freedom

I actually like training. But I’m starting to learn that shorter but more frequent sessions fit my personality much better. I’m in and out within 45 minutes.

But if I ever just DIDN’T want to train, I would honestly just lift 2x a week just to keep everything I’ve worked hard for in the gym.


#20

Counter-point from the late great Charles Poliquin: discipline is a myth

https://www.strengthsensei.com/discipline-myth/