Citizen Pilates is the boutique fitness standard in cleanliness and safety. With 3 locations in Houston, our studios are revered for upbeat, fitness-based group reformer classes that emphasize fun and challenging 45-minute routines complemented by a culture of inclusion. Use the Filter Icon on your right to find classes by times, locations, instructors or class types such as Mask Mandatory workouts.
Citizen Pilates is the boutique fitness standard in cleanliness and safety. With 2 locations in Houston, our studios are revered for upbeat, fitness-based group reformer classes that emphasize fun and challenging 45-minute routines complemented by a culture of inclusion.
713-589-8777 940 Heights Blvd, Houston TX 77008
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Overcoming Fitness Frustration; 6 Ways To Stay On Track

Overcoming Fitness Frustration; 6 Ways To Stay ON Track

Fitness can be overwhelmingly annoying & frustrating. We’ve all experienced fitness frustration, especially as we take stock of summer’s end.

But WHY can exercise be so frustrating? One day, you’re on a great path, feeling good mentally & physically. You’re a fitness queen!

Then, all of a sudden, exercising seems like a daunting task. Your normal body positivity mindset that you built from frequently working out has left the building, and you’re left feeling fluffy and gross.

Why does fitness frustration happen? When does this burnt out feeling come out to play?

And how can you get over it?

Understanding Fitness Frustration

Let’s start off with the basics. Fitness frustration can manifest itself in different ways.

  1. You’re burnt out, uninterested in the gym.
  2. You over workout.
  3. Your mental health starts to suffer.
  4. You don’t work out as much as you used to.

It’s important to understand that EVERYONE who works out feels this frustration from working out. And everyone gets to this mental struggle place in their mind because of different situations.

So, what are some triggers that cause fitness frustration?

  1. You took the summer off to travel; you didn’t exercise (which, by the way, is awesome). 
  2. You’ve gained some weight.
  3. You ate a lot of crappy food and/or drank a lot of alcohol lately.
  4. You’re not seeing the results you want.
  5. You were seeing awesome results, but now you’ve plateaued.
  6. You’ve got other life circumstances affecting your routine or mood.

No matter HOW your exercise frustration is showing up or WHY you’ve felt it, know that even the strongest, most athletic, most fit people have felt that exact same way.

And that there are multiple ways to work through your feelings of wanting to give up fitness.

So let’s talk about them!

  1. Set Realistic Goals

First things first, start off RIGHT by setting realistic goals.

If you’re a newbie to the gym, don’t set the goal of working out 6 days a week.


Because you probably won’t hit that goal. Then comes the frustration.

Instead, set a REALISTIC goal. Maybe 3 days a week? Or maybe even just 2. When you’re starting out, it’s better to start SMALL. Once you achieve your small goals, you get the high of reaching a goal. Which motivates you to do more.

When setting goals for my team or myself, I use the acronym SMART. Goals should be..

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Centered

For example, saying, “I’m going to start working out” isn’t a SMART goal as it doesn’t meet any of those categories.

Try saying, “I’m going to walk 2 miles 2 days a week & go to Pilates class 2 days a week. That’s SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT, & TIME CENTERED.

If SMART goals confuse you, check out this article that focuses on creating SMART goals for your workouts.

  1. Find The Perfect Workout Routine For YOU

Choose Exercises That Excite You. 

Not every type of workout is right for every person. Meaning, a person who loves to run may not love dance-centered fitness. And vice versa. Exercise should be fun! And when you choose workouts and classes that are fun for you, even during the lows of fitness frustration, you’ll have a little motivation to get back in the swing of things.

Choose Exercises That Work For Your GOALS

Besides choosing exercises that are fun for you, choose exercises that work for your goals. For example, if you’re trying to gain arm muscle and don’t want to lose weight, maybe cut back on the cardio and focus on weight classes. Not saying you can’t do cardio as well, but know your goals and choose workouts that will help you reach those goals.

Keep It Diverse

And if what you normally do is feeling a little *boring,* maybe it’s time to switch things up! Exercise can get monotonous which is why trying new exercises is a great way to keep things exciting.

Try a new class! Google workouts that target specific areas. Or ask a friend to show you what they do at the gym.

  1. Track Your Progress

Many of us try working out in order to reach goals. Maybe you want to strengthen your arms, maybe you want to lose belly fat, etc etc.

Whatever your goals are, one extremely effective way to stay motivated in your exercises is to TRACK your progress.

Tracking progress can look different based on your goals, but here are a few options:

  1. Take a picture of your body every week. (not my personal fav, but this works for some)
  2. Download a fitness app and let your watch boss you around.
  3. Keep a record of your move goals, steps, distances, weights, etc. Fill it in every day.

When you’re feeling unmotivated to go to the gym, look back and see how far you’ve come. 

  1. Build A Support System

One thing that’s always worked for me when I become unmotivated & uninterested in the gym is knowing that I have gym buddies who will be there. And when I don’t show up, they’re going to ask me where I was.

Making friends at the gym can seem daunting at first, but showing up is the first step.

One of the easiest ways to make friends at the gym that will help motivate you & keep you accountable is by joining a group fitness class. The more you go to that class, the more people you’ll meet. Strike up a conversation with people who seem kind and helpful. Soon enough, you’ll have yourself an accountability partner. And a new friend!

I can personally attest to the fact our community of clients have made new friends with those they’d never would have met had they not walked through our doors. They casually question when their Pilates friend misses their usual workout, laugh it off, and make a date for their next group class. THAT is the power of accountability.

But fear not, if you’re not the kind of person who likes group fitness classes, another option is to convince a friend to join the gym with you. Together, you will hold each other accountable for making your workouts.

P.S. You’ve got an awesome, supportive fitness community right here at Citizen Pilates!

  1. Handle Setbacks And Failure

Remember that no matter how hard you work, no matter how dedicated you are, there will be days you don’t make it to the gym. Or days you don’t put forth 100% effort.

And that’s OKAY. We’ve all been there. Not one person is ON for every single workout.

Some people would say that if you never feel like you’ve “failed,” you’re not working hard enough. You WANT your body to get to the point of failure. You want to push yourself so hard that you NEED a break.

Just know that when you feel down about yourself or your fitness, that that is a normal part of your fitness journey.

To get better, one must fail every now and then.

Let your setbacks motivate you and teach you, and you will never fail.

  1. Seek Professional Help

Last but not least, you can always re-motivate yourself but reaching out to a health professional. 

If you’ve plateaued in your gains, hire a personal trainer.

If you’re gaining fat no matter how much you work out, hire a nutritionist… and maybe pass on that third martini.

If you want to spice up your workout because it’s getting boring, hire a trainer or try a new class.

Fitness frustration is normal, and fitness professionals are trained to help you work past your lack of motivation & help you reach your goals.

Say Goodbye To Your Fitness Frustration

Hopefully this post has shown you…

  1. You’re not alone; this feeling is normal.
  2. New ways to OVERCOME your fitness frustration.
  3. YOU have the ability to get back on track and stay there!

At the end of the day, we’re all human. You won’t be perfect, but you can be consistent.

So, go out there, know how awesome you are, and kick your fitness frustration’s butt.