Stagnancy, above anything else in fitness, is honestly one of the most difficult aspects to overcome. So often we fall into a rut, or get ‘stuck.’ And whether that’s because we get comfortable with different routines, prefer the familiarity of workouts we know we can accomplish, or are fearful of trying new things—learning to challenge yourself can be harder than it looks.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are five stupidly simple ways to challenge yourself if you feel like you’re plateauing:


girl working out challenge yourself


1. Try a different time.

Sometimes the time of your workout can greatly influence how you’re performing. For example, some people are just morning people. They can jump at the first ring of the alarm and get going with minimal effort. Some people aren’t.

Rather than fighting with yourself and your body to perform at a time that isn’t ideal, be flexible and try something new. Now your schedule might limit you, but sometimes your mind is inhibiting you more than you think. Take a look at the times you have and shift something around (even if it’s just a day or two to start). You’ll be surprised how different and more energetic you’ll feel when you’re working out at a time that works for you.

2. Get a workout buddy or ditch your boring one.

Sometimes it seems like having a fitness buddy is a negative idea, rather than a positive one. At Synergy, we’re big advocates for building community, and if you feel like you really want to challenge yourself, try getting a workout buddy.

This person will hold you accountable, push you, and give you support when you need it the most. On the flip-side, if you’re already with a buddy and feeling frustrated, then maybe it’s time to ditch that person and focus on yourself.

3. Educate yourself.

A big part of why we plateau in fitness is because we’re not educating ourselves. Working out/exercise isn’t just something you learn once and can do the same workouts for the rest of your life! You have to be continually growing, learning, and shifting your workouts as your skills and abilities grow.

One way to do this is to watch tutorials, take classes, or challenge yourself to try different workouts. We post daily workouts on our blog. These not only give you ideas, but help you understand the movements to do them independently, too!

4. Try personal training or a one-on-one with a coach or trainer.

If you’re really looking to challenge yourself, try personal training. Whether it’s a single session or a package of fifty, personal training helps to push you to limits you never expected—with someone who is fully supporting you and making sure you won’t get injured along the way.

The benefit of a coach/trainer is that you can try things like increasing your weight, maxing out on a lift, etc. without fear because this person is trained to be able to help you if your muscles fatigue. It’s a stress-free way to really boost your exercise game!

5. Jump into a contest, challenge, or competition.

If you’re feeling stuck or stagnant, see what opportunities there are for competition and challenge. For example, we have a Fall Challenge going on right now: nutrition, workouts, and accountability.

Be sure to check out our website and social media regularly to know how you can get in on the next one!

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a full-time freelance writer, editor, and fitness enthusiast located in Ocean Beach, San Diego. She is the author of the poetry collection, Somewhere On A Highway and founder of Be A Light LLC, a remote writing coaching/tutoring/editing services company.


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