Hey Hayley,

A couple years ago I really got into fitness in a serious way. I had a trainer come a couple days a week to my condo and am now working out five times a week (combination of HIIT, plyometrics, weight training and functional training in addition to some classes like spinning or yoga). I'm still with the same trainer, but feel like we're in a rut. I want to elevate my performance and strength, and I'm not sure I will get there with him. I've tried to speak to him, but it's not making much difference.

I really like the structure of having a trainer, but the routines feel comfortable and repetitive. I know my personality and if I don't have clear goals and direction I will fall off track.

I'm not sure what to do to jump start things again.  I don't know if bringing in another trainer would be a good option or if I should look at joining a gym with classes (and if that will help me achieve my goals).



Ruts are a common thing in the world of personal trainers and clients and they are not just limited to longer relationships as I have clients who I have been training for 10 years who come in every week and always work as hard as they can. But with that being said, I have clients who are brand new and it is like pulling teeth trying to get them to sweat.

Now is sounds to me like you are not lacking motivation, so the fault may lie with your trainer, but before you pull the plug on that relationship give it a second chance and put the responsibility on yourself to be challenged. Go into each session ready to work hard and continue to learn about yourself and your body. There are only so many ways to move the body and everything will become repetitive eventually so it is up to you to keep it exciting. People practice the same yoga moves for decades but still manage to grow with each and every posture so it’s not impossible to do the same with training.  Keep upping the weight and your intensity and you should still walk out of each session better than you walked in.

If you are still unsatisfied then you need to add a bit of variety into your routine or pick a goal that has a definitive end, like a bike race or 10km run. Sometimes if your goals lack a final destination you can start to feel like a hamster running on a wheel so having a beginning and an end to your goals is important.  This will then allow you and your trainer to discuss your goals with more specificity and hopefully add more intensity and direction to your workouts.

Your last option is to take a break from your trainer, which could eventually lead to a final breakup. I have clients take breaks from me all the time, and it helps the both of us. My client learns how to be more self-motivated and I have a chance to freshen things up for when they come back. And trust me when I say trainers do not take offense when clients take breaks as 9 times out of 10 we welcome them (we can get just as tired with our clients as they can get with us). It can be like a bad marriage that both of you are staying in because it is convenient or because you don’t want to hurt one another but when it is time to say goodbye just say goodbye.