Losing our drive, getting into a slump, a drought, losing our edge. Those are all terms we use when we often get stuck in limbo with our workout routines. People lose motivation from their workout routines for a variety of reasons. This is often times one of the culprits for why people quit working out for substantial periods of time. Having strategies in place to combat your potential boredom can make or break a long term, sustainable workout routine. Here is five strategies you can use to allow you to stay excited to go workout!
Pick Out Some New Workout Clothes
Getting out of a funk often is best done looking your best. This one is admittedly ‘short term fix’ by default. But for mild cases of unmotivated feels this one may work wonders. If you want this to have a great impact on you its best served by showing quantitative progress. Perhaps get some new clothes that you originally could not fit into? Show yourself that you went down a pants size or a dress size! Don’t go out and spend a whole week’s pay on clothes, but treat yourself to a few new articles of clothing. Highlight something that you have never worn before. Trying new things, no matter how small, are center pieces to creating long standing changes.
Update Your Music
Listening to the same five Taylor Swift songs?
Don’t listen to Taylor Swift?
What is great about apps like Pandora and Spotify is that it allows you to really explore other genres of music with little to no financial commitment. If you tie yourself down to one artist or one genre…you may find that as a contributing factor to stagnating workouts. Feelings of them being a job instead of something you actually enjoy doing. We often times attach music to the time we hear it. So if we’re doing the same routines over and over, you’ll eventually get bored of the tunes if you listen to the same songs or types.
I am a huge fan of music, I love multiple genres. But over the past few years the music that has kept me going is any sort of electronic trance music.
It’s classical sound is something along these lines.
This music is very versatile. It caught my ear a couple years ago and I have been sticking to it ever since. My favorite music app is Sound Cloud. It can allow you to listen to a variety of these DJ mixes which keep you focused and prevent skipping around and indirectly distracting you. I recommend exploring first with Pandora or Spotify to dabble with various artists and sounds before committing to Sound Cloud. Once you find who and what you like, Sound Cloud will provide dozens, if not hundreds of studio and live mixes from that artist that range from 30 minutes to two hours! One of my all time favorite artists is Deadmau5 (dead mouse). I can listen to a live mix that he made at a music event. So there’s no skipping needed, just all my favorite tunes blended into an hour long set. Just click it, forget it, and zone in on your workout!
Change Your Training Program
Have you been doing “bro split” body building routines for years? Are your results declining or are you just bored with your workouts? The saying goes…
I applaud you for sticking through your workouts despite the dark times but it maybe time for you to change it up a bit. Incorporating more heavy lifting into your routine could be the spark you need to positively push you forward. If you’ve always done Powerlifting/Olympic lifting, then perhaps training for physique maybe a good option for you. Or if you were always doing body building, then doing some more heavy strength training maybe a good change for you.
Variability Is Key
Adding some variability into your training is not just something that you should do to cure your boredom in training. But, there is plenty of research out there that shows that adding variety to your training in repetitions and/or weight used will yield greater gains in strength and size over time (1). If you consistently hang around and lift in certain rep ranges, you’ll miss out on the benefits from the other training loads. Low reps with more weight typically produce more 1 rep maximum strength. Mid range 6-12 reps produce more muscle size. Then, higher reps above 15 produce more endurance and work capacity. Find your sweet spot to keep your workouts progressive and exciting!
Lift with a friend
Lifting with peers can promote accountability. Having someone who shares a common interest in working out can truly help build that camaraderie to make it fun long term. It does not have to be someone who is exactly your fitness level, they could be slightly below, or well above you fitness wise. Having a friend to push you everyday will keep you accountable. Plus, having that mild pressure of needing to go to the gym to keep the friend happy is a way to promote adherence to your program long term.
If for nothing else, being able to have someone to chat with can take the pressure off making your workout feel like a second job to you after a hard 8-10 hour work day.
Hire a coach
Investing in someone to do the thinking for you removes the stress of you needing to program them on your own. Plus daily, weekly, or monthly check ins (depending on program and goals) promote more accountability in yourself. So your not just doing this on your own, your coach is your wing man. They’ll be able to provide objective feedback to you, which is invaluable all its own. If you’re truly overworked, they’ll tell you to back off. If you’re under worked and making excuses, they’ll remind you that you need to push yourself! This coach could be in-person personal training or it could be online.
“But I know What I’m Doing?!”
Online provides flexibility to work within your busy schedule. Often times online programming is a great tool for the intermediate/advanced clients who are looking to push past their plateau. Often times, fitness professionals such as the person writing this blog utilize the service. If you’re newer to the game of structured workouts, hiring a personal trainer in house is a wonderful option. Having a scheduled appointment improves accountability. Scheduling time automatically puts you in the mindset that you must adhere to it. If your day is filled with a family full of scheduling and appointments, often investing in the time to workout could be what is needed to stick to your program long term.
I welcome anyone to reach out if they are in need of revamping their programming. I take clients in-house at Beverly Athletic Club and accept clients online.
This is far from a one-size-fits-all approach. But the one true, time-tested method to breaking out a slump is hiring a fitness professional to motivate you for the long term. Invest in your health and it will serve you well down the road.
1.Holm L, et al, Changes in muscle size and MHC composition in response to resistance exercise with heavy and light loading intensity, Journal of Applied Physiology, Nov 2008, 105:1454-1461
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