30 Dec 10 Tips for Preventing Workout Boredom
This is one of the reasons that people quit soon after starting, especially if they don’t feel they are seeing the results fast enough. What happens all too often is we repeat the same exercise routine (same sets, reps, intensity, etc.) over and over for a particular body part or muscle group, the body and muscles adapt and things get stale. How boring is that? I have to admit, I have fallen into this trap before. It’s a lot more fun when things are changing, challenging, and different.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” -Einstien
I usually change my exercise routine at least every 4 to 8 weeks or even every week to keep it interesting and exciting. You can really vary your workouts to keep things fun and to keep your body responding, as well as make your workouts much more enjoyable. You gotta have fun with it! It’s essential to mix up exercises and equipment for variation. If you keep repeating the same things, you’ll get the same results. This is called many different things, but what you are doing is continually surprising your body with your workouts. If you do the same things, you really don’t challenge yourself and you won’t get the progress you are capable of. Even if you exercise for maintenance, I still recommend changing up your exercise routine. Now, you can still keep the foundation of your program consistent, but simply change the variables.
For example, if you are now training with kettlebells or dumbbells, variables you would want to change could be the reps, exercises, sets, intensity, duration, or exercise order, to name a few. Change the variables, not necessarily the method, although you might.
There are many ways to change your exercise routine. Be creative. Try creating a simple six-week training cycle in which you alternate between heavy, medium and light training sessions for each body part. Each time you try a heavy day, push your limit (higher intensity), leaving your medium and light days for a bit of recuperation and working on perfecting your form.
At the end of your six-week cycle, take a few days off or a few light days to re-new and allow your body to recover. This prevents overtraining and will help your body with improved performance as you ramp it up you again for the next training cycle. The cycling approach will be particularly effective for preventing injuries to muscle groups and connective tissue and keep you fresh.
Your goals will determine the number of reps you typically use. Different numbers of reps serve different purposes. First, know what your goals are in your training. What are you trying to accomplish? The standards typically are as follows:
- for maximum strength train in the 1 to 6 rep range
- for muscular endurance at 15 to 20 reps (or more)
- for overall strength and conditioning in the 10 to 15 rep range
- for mass and size 6 to 12 rep range
There are also other factors to training, in addition to reps. The number of sets is how many times you do the exercise with rest in between. Intensity is the level of difficulty in performing the exercise usually stated in a percentage of a 1 to 10 rep maximum. Rest (another important training variable), is the amount of time you wait until you do another set. All of these factors are controlled variables in an exercise program. Knowing your fitness goals will help you determine what the best mix is for you in designing your exercise program and keeping things from getting stale.
In Summary, Here’s 10 quick tips to keep you from getting bored:
- Vary Your Exercises
- Vary what you exercise with (ex. Dumbbells vs Kettlebells vs Bodyweight)
- Vary your time of day you exercise, (see what works best for you)
- Change Your Reps
- Change Your Sets
- Vary Your Intensity (Heavy vs Light)
- Cycle your regimens every 4 to 8 weeks
- Vary your location (change environments: indoor vs outdoor, different settings)
- Learn to do something new (ex, Plyometrics, Kettlebells, Suspension Training, etc)
- Take Time Off to re-cover and re-new
Preventing workout boredom will keep you motivated, refreshed, and energized! Variation is the key to preventing your boredom and to keep it fun and exciting.
What a month! 30 Days of continuous posts. When this is over, I will write a post on this whole process and what I learned. That’s it for Day 30 of 31 Days of Smart Fitness.
The final post for the month and the year is coming tomorrow. It will be a good one! Be sure to check back then.