How to Get Out of a Rut

Those last few weeks of summer can be brutal.

You’re squeezing in the last vacations, family visits, BBQs …

Then, BAM—school starts.

All the sudden there’s traffic everywhere, you’ve got a new commute to deal with, and life has spun up again.

But … it still feels like summer! The sun is shining bright, the days are still long, and there are still festivals and BBQs to attend.

The last thing you’re worried about is your fitness.

A few days turns into a week, then a few weeks …

But you don’t want to lean out too far over that edge.

After a solid five months of progress, vacations and illness put me right into that rut.

Here’s how I get out of it.

1) Figure out what has worked in the past.

Have you had success in the past? What were you doing? How did you start? What was the one habit that made the biggest difference?

For me, it is:

2) Show up and do the minimum requirement.

When it comes to fitness, only three things matter: training, nutrition, and recovery. We’ve found that training comes first because when you train, the other stuff eventually falls into line.

So, we start by suggesting you train every day, doing the minimum required to say that you showed up.

The minimum for me is showing up to class. I don’t tend to care about how much weight I lifted or how fast I go during this stage. In fact, I will try to do LESS than I’m capable of to make sure I can recover for tomorrow’s workout.

Often you find that you haven’t “lost” everything, and you aren’t “starting over,” you just haven’t trained for a little while and feel a little rusty.

Do this often enough and you …

3) Build a streak.

The first workout back after a long layoff is terrible. The second one is bad, and the third one is mildly uncomfortable.

By the time you get to the 4th or 5th one, you’re kinda back! You aren’t feeling amazing yet, but your body adapts and the rust is knocked off.

That’s why it doesn’t matter how you perform in that first week back. The only goal is to get to the point where you feel like you are back on track with a habit.

Each workout you do in those first few days:

– Builds confidence that “yes, you can still do this.”

– Reminds you that you aren’t in as bad a shape as you thought.

– Encourages you to show up for the next one.

Once you get 5-10 days under your belt, it’s time to:

4) Get motivated.

The success you experience by building your confidence leads you to ask for and want MORE. This is where the motivation kicks in and you should start setting goals.

This is also the time to start looking at your nutrition. Are you eating enough? Is it in the right ratios? Does it support your goals?

Once you have a goal and next actions, do exactly what you did to get here, and focus on (1) figuring out what has worked in the past, (2) doing the minimum, and (3) building a streak.

These steps will get you out of a rut in less than two weeks and get you back on track and motivated to go crush your fitness goals.

Coach “rut buster” Jay



Outdoor WOD Saturday, September 21

Guests, family, friends, and teens welcome. The workout will be beginner friendly. FREE! Meet at Albany Middle School/Cougar Field Track. Classes at 8 and 9 a.m.

Other Cool Events, September 21

Kenny is competing out at the Battle on Sunset.

Golden State CrossFit • 401 Sunset Dr., STE K, Antioch, CA 94509
Sat, Sep 21, 2019 8 a.m.
A handful of us are also swimming Alcatraz that morning with Odyssey Open Water. They are calling for more kayak/paddle board support. If interested, email

Workouts for the Week:


A. Deadlift for load:
5-5-5 at 65%
3-3-3 at 75%
1-1-1 at 85%

Take a set every 2 minutes. Work the set up. Make it solid.

Training Day. Lift heavy! Just getting a few solid reps at heavier weight. Practice some touch-and-go sets, and work up to a few heavy singles 🙂

B. 500-m row for time

C. 250-m row for time

Not expecting a new PR, but try to stay within a few seconds. Rest 5 min, then hit the 250-m row … at a FASTER split pace


5 rounds:
2 min on, 2 min off:
15 wall balls
100-m run
Max burpee to plate in remaining time

Transition times matter on this one. RUN out, RUN in, and get straight to the burpees. Score is total number of wall balls + burpees each round.


A. 12 min for quality:
10 cal row
10 PVC muscle snatch
Crab walk
10 banded pull-aparts

Get shoulders warm and ready to get PUMPED.

B. 15 min to hit 5 rounds:
10 bench press
6 rope pull-ups
Scale to toenail version w/negative
(3-2-1 down; alternate top hand 3/3)

Add weight to bench press as you go. Weight should be moderate today, and nothing you feel like you’ll be close to failing at 10 reps. Note final weight.

C. 1-2 Rounds
Bicep curl 21s (empty BB or slightly heavier)
7-half way to full up
7-bottom to half way
7-full curls

Hands out to ring–work on full elbow extension at the bottom. To be done unbroken.

Pec smash: 3 mins/side


A. Gymnastics skills day!

10-min EMOM:
C2B/Pull-up practice, 3-7 reps

If you’re not to kipping pull-ups, choose an option that will get you closer to your strict pull-up:
Banded pull downs (with PVC)
2 negatives (only as you can maintain quality!)

B. 15-min AMRAP:
20 double-unders
10 DB weighted step-ups (1 x 50/35)
5 C2B

Rx+: 3 BMU

MissFit: Double-under attempts/jumping CHEST-to-bar.

Train—Gymnastics skills. Goal is to keep C2B unbroken as long as possible under grip and shoulder fatigue! This is good practice for holding together gymnastics to be smooth + steady in the Open.


A. As a warm-up:

Every minute for 10 rounds:
1 snatch (power or squat)
3 overhead squats

Work up to and beyond your weight for the workout today—you should feel smooth and stable!

B. “Nancy”

5 rounds for time of:
400-m run
15 overhead squats (95/65)

PERFORM: CrossFit main site generally gives some clues to the Open–they’ve done a version of this workout TWICE in the last week. We’ve also had repeat workouts with OHS and C2B. It’s been a while since we’ve hit some OHS—let’s get sweaty and get after it!


In teams of 3:
20-min AMRAP:
50 push-ups
75 sit-ups
100 lunges
50-m buddy carry

8-a.m. and 9-a.m. at Albany Middle School/Cougar Field. Guests, friends, family welcome and encouraged to attend!


For time:
40 synchro toes-to-bar
40 synchro single arm dumbbell hang clean and jerk (35 lb.)
40 synchro box jump-overs (20-in)
40 synchro single arm dumbbell hang clean and jerk (35 lb.)
40 synchro toes-to-bar

Grab a buddy and see if you can stay in sync!

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