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Snapping Out Of A Fitness Rut

"I'll start working out in January," you tell yourself as a way to justify that fourth piece of pecan pie...

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The holiday fitness rut plagues millions of Americans every year. 

Between barrels full of butter-laden mashed potatoes being offered up in a seemingly never-ending smorgasbord, varying degrees of seasonal affective disorder breathing down your neck, and possessing the comforting knowledge that beach season is five lunar cycles away, a host of factors are working against you round the clock.

Don’t lie to yourself…

“I’ll start working out in January,” you tell yourself as a way to justify that fourth piece of pecan pie, knowing good and well that a fifth could irreparably lacerate your intestinal lining due to sheer volume overload. January sounds like a splendid idea, just as long as we ignore the results of a couple of hundred years of New Year’s Resolutions by Americans, 80% of which FAIL to reach actualization.

Drumming up enough motivation to hit the gym in the dead of winter is no easy task.

Spoken from experience

I only know this mindset because I’ve lived it myself. I’ve been in a fitness rut many times. But, with the tips listed below, we can rip you off the couch and have you attacking your fitness goals an entire month before everyone else. When the New Year’s crowd comes storming in during the first week of January like the gym is giving away free money, you’ll already be in full swing.

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Actionable Steps


Read the longer version

Read the longer version. Reviewed by our experts to be the best, check out these articles for a more in-depth perspective: 20 Ways to Bust Out of Your Workout Rut by Shape, 7 Easy Ways to Bust Out of a Fitness Rut by Fabletics, and 17 Science-Backed Ways To Bust Out Of A Workout Rut by HuffPost.


Do the math!

Five months is just 20 weeks. If your goal is to build a bigger chest for the summer, and you work your pecs once per week (as you should), then you have just TWENTY sessions to make improvements if you start in January – assuming not a single hitch in your schedule. We all know the painfully slow pace at which muscle tissue grows, so I don’t need to spell out just how small the window of opportunity is.


Earn those carbs

Start treating those sugary desserts as your reward for a good hard hour at the gym. It will serve the dual purpose of making the food taste even better and making you feel less guilty.


Build a network

We are competitive beings by nature, and nothing pushes us harder than the thought of being outdone by our best buddies. I receive roughly two dozen snap chats a day of my friends in the gym, spouting off trash talk about how much harder they’re working than me. By the third or fourth message, I’m ready to trudge buck naked through a pool of molten lava just to make it to the gym.


Scare yourself

I generally put on 10-20 lbs in the winter so that I can pack on muscle without the use of drugs, and a good bit of that weight is fat. When I’m feeling lazy or unmotivated, all I have to do is rip my shirt off, turn the lights on high, and take a good hard look in the mirror. Yikes. Time to hit the stair master.

About the Author

John DeLuca

John DeLuca


After a brief stint in the Men’s Physique competition realm, and even winning first place in his final show, John decided to use his expertise to help normal, everyday people create the body they’ve always desired. His book, “The Busy Body: Principles for Building a Great Physique without Missing out on Life” is the culmination of over a decade of honing his craft. John is currently an RN in the Cardio-Thoracic Surgery ICU at Duke Hospital.
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