Five Signs That You Are Stuck In A Rut

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Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson

Frustrated that you are not progressing but don't know why it is happening? Here are five signs that you may well be stuck in a rut.

It is very common for you to become frustrated during your fitness journey. There will be times when you feel happy and positive about your progress, but it is also important to know that there will be plenty of times when you experience negative thoughts and a lack of motivation to keep going.

Motivation can be fleeting, but the concern should be when you feel like you are stuck in a rut that you can’t get out of. No matter what you seem to do, try, change, see, listen to and talk to, you just can’t feel as if you can continue towards reaching your fitness goals.

So, what are the key indicators to tell you that you have stagnated? How do you know if you are stuck in a rut and what things can you change to overcome this?

Lack of Physical Progress

The main indicator to point towards being in a rut is a lack of progress towards your goals. In all likelihood, the reason you started training and paying more attention to your diet is that you were upset with your body shape and wanted to change it, so this is going to be the key factor behind you continuing with the required task.

However, it can be very upsetting if you are not getting rewarded for the effort and discipline you are putting in and if you are not making any progress with losing body fat and toning up, you are most definitely stuck in a rut. To help you overcome this, approach a professional coach to go over your training, nutrition and lifestyle, so that you have a different eye that can spot something you are most likely doing wrong. This can get you going again. Also, be aware of key signs of progression, so that you know how to judge your progress.

Low Motivation

Another big sign that you are stuck in a rut is your level of motivation on a day-to-day basis. As mentioned before, motivation can go up and down, but if your motivation is consistently low and your training and nutrition are suffering as a result, you have a problem and will need to seek help.

Low motivation can come from many things such as, lack of progress, not seeing the journey ahead, demanding too much of yourself and not having a goal to work towards. However, it is important to firstly realise that your motivation is low and then finding out how to fix it. There are a number of ways to do this, but having support and guidance to keep you going through the tough times is one of the best investments you can make.

No Training Progression

You may be focusing on your body shape, but what about your training? Are you making progress every session? There are a number of ways in which you can determine progress, but looking at areas such as exercise execution, strength, recovery, confidence, and structure will help you have a better idea if your training sessions are improving on a weekly basis.

If they are not, working with a coach, again, is one of the best things you can do as it takes the guesswork out of the equation and allows you to focus on giving your all during your session. A good coach will focus on improving several areas with your training, and this can be a great way to get you going again and make you progress.

Lack of Structure

When you are working towards your goals, you need a structure and a plan of how you are going to get there. If you simply turn up to your training session without any idea of what you are going to train, how you will train it, how long your session needs to be and the level of intensity, you are winging it. You need the plan laid out in front of you so that you have something to follow each week.

This is another area which a coach can help you with, as they will design a plan which is tailored to your goals, experience and lifestyle. This will then give you structure and an idea of what you need to do to reach your goals, how to get there and how long it will take. Without this, you will get lost very quickly.

Lack of Support

One final sign that you are stuck in a rut is the lack of support around you. If you are relying on yourself to keep you motivated, consistent, disciplined and accountable, the chances are that you are going to have a very up and down journey towards your goals. You run the risk of not training properly, not having a sustainable plan in place, and even skipping your workouts altogether. If you are someone who is new to training and finds it hard to stay consistent, you are more likely to get stuck in a rut pretty quickly.

Having a coach, as mentioned previously, is going to take all the guesswork out of the equation, keep you motivated, keep you disciplined, support you consistently and make sure that you keep making progress. It will also take the hassle way of designing your own plans, researching and adjusting areas, which means that you can focus your attention on training hard, sticking to the plan and performing well in other areas of your life that you value. If you can’t or don’t want to hire a coach, have someone who has good knowledge to support you through your journey.


So, there are several ways which signify that you are stuck in a rut, including lack of progress, low motivation, little progress during your training sessions, lack of structure, and very little support. It is important to identify is you are suffering in any of these areas and find ways to solve these problems, so that you can get out of your rut and make progress towards your long-term fitness goals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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