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Fitter, Confident, You, You and You. With Matt Boyles.

Gscene Editorial Team December 9, 2019

Fitter, Confident, You, You and You. With Matt Boyles: Getting out of that exercise slump.

How to pull yourself out of a fitness slump

You can be going along with your workouts, feeling great and going places and then bang! Seemingly from nowhere, you have no motivation, no energy and the last thing you want to do is pick up a dumbbell. I hear you. It may surprise you (but hopefully not) that I go through slumps too but thankfully with the awareness I have now and various tools in place, I can fairly quickly overcome them – and I wanted to share them here to help you too.

  1. Have a think about why the slump happened in the first place. Were you particularly stressed at work? Did you simply miss a gym workout and then lost the motivation to go regularly? Are you getting the results you want or think you deserve? Be honest with your and review why things aren’t happening like they used to. If there’s something bigger at play, then of course please get help, if you’re suffering from depression or anxiety for example, but if you’re just out of your routine and struggling to get back into it again, review the last 30 days and see if you can pick out what happened and how you can overcome it now and hopefully stop it happening again
  2. Acknowledge the slump. Acknowledge that there are ups and down and that it’s fine to not fancy exercising or think very closely about food. No one likes or cares about health and fitness all the time, not even me. In fact, especially not me. If you just want to veg out and binge Netflix, do it…
  3. … But also acknowledge that as adults, when we can, we have a responsibility to look after ourselves so we can support ourselves and who we are, and for those we love too. If you’re struggling to get moving again, make a list of the people who rely on you in some way and consider how you enrich their lives when you’re fitter, stronger and more confident.
  4. Start small. This goes for when you’re just starting out as well, but so often when we’re in a slump, we focus on the enormity of the task ahead, which understandably, can be off-putting. Instead of thinking about exercising four times a week and tracking all your food in order to lose 10kg, focus on doing something – anything – to break your slump (a lunchtime walk, talking the stairs not the lift, some morning press-ups and sit-ups) because otherwise, it stands a chance of becoming a new habit, and gets harder to break.

  1. Some people are motivated by the thought of priorities, so this may help you: in the same way you can’t have an apartment in London with a sea view, you can’t move forward to your goals and have your excuses, they’re just not compatible. And yes, that does sometimes mean stepping out of your comfort zone, but nothing fun or beneficial actually happens there anyway. Good stuff comes when we grow, and humans crave growth and development, even if you don’t think you do right now.


  1. Do visual cues and incentives inspire you? Make a simple monthly planner with boxes to tick based on how many times you exercise/eat better/meditate etc. Have a row for each week of the month and at the end of each week have a reward box – something small for the end of each week, should you hit your targets. You can add in a larger reward for the end of the month should you hit all four smaller rewards.


  1. Are you more motivated through accountability? I can’t condone this, but that’s more because it doesn’t resonate with me but I have heard of people committing to donate some money to a cause that they don’t support, if they DON’T hit their targets. To make this even more real, they transfer the money to a friend who holds the cash and – for the reverse incentive to work – has to really intend to donate the money to the cause if their friend doesn’t stick to what they said they would. It’s a bit icky, but I can imagine it working in some scenarios.


  1. A change is as good as a rest – it’s a cliché, but humans do need new stimulus and if your current gym/gym buddy/workout clothes/meal prep isn’t filling you with joy, then it’s ok to change them! I changed gyms recently and just being in a new venue with different people and a different energy has completely reinvigorated me and how I feel and approach my fitness.


Matt created and runs Fitter Confident You – online personal training tailored for gay, bi and trans guys (he’s now working on the L too! – watch this space.)