Break Workout Boredom and Keep Exercise Fun and Effective


Is there anything worse than a boring workout? It’s bad enough that working out costs you time and energy, but it’s almost a form of torture when it’s as boring as counting grass. Plus if you’re working out in a gym then you’re actually paying for the experience. You’re paying money to be bored!

The worst part of it all is the fact that boring workouts have a fraction of the effective power to change your body when compared to mentally engaging activities. Most of the time, they are not even very effective at all except to just burn off time and energy.

Lastly, boring workouts require a whole bucket load of self-control and energy to force you through. This sort of energy is usually in short supply because we use the same energy to put up with all of the other issues in life. Keeping your temper in check at work can leave you feeling drained and without the energy to force yourself through that boring workout.

So over all, boring workouts cost you more energy, are more difficult to stick to in the long-term and bring only a fraction of the results. They are hardly a winning situation for anyone who wishes to get in the best shape of their life. This is why I’ve written this article on how to kill off your workout boredom and make your workouts at least 10X more effective to boot!

The first thing to killing off workout boredom is to toss out this idea that workout misery means a more effective workout. For some reason, we sometimes get on this train of thought that if a workout is more difficult to endure then it’s more effective. Sure a workout should be a challenge, but one that provides that challenge through monotony is not an effective workout.

Boredom comes from a lack of mental stimulation and engagement. It’s why some folks like to watch TV or read magazines while working out. It gives their mind something to do while their body is in motion. But while a movie may give your mind something to do it still doesn’t mean your workout is top-notch.

workout-boredom-focusThe human body is a pretty simple machine when it comes to fitness. It simply does whatever the mind tells it to do. If the mind is focused on being fast and balanced then the body will follow suit. The question must be asked then, what sort of instruction is the body receiving when the mind is focused on reading the tabloids?

When the mind isn’t fully engaged in the exercise, the body can’t be fully in gear either. Sure it’s working hard and putting forth an effort, but is it enough to just simply work hard? Keeping the mind engaged and stimulated is not a luxury in the gym. It’s 100% essential to training your body for the levels of fitness you want.

Many folks may suggest breaking up workout boredom by doing something new or different. This can include using some new equipment or picking up a new routine. It can also include going to a different gym or just doing your workouts in a different order.

Changing things up can alleviate the boredom for a bit, but it’s only a temporary fix. It’s sort of like giving a bored child a new toy. It makes them happy and engaged but then they get bored with that toy and ask for another. Before too long they have a room full of toys and still claim there’s nothing to do. This is why we have mega gyms with millions of dollars worth of equipment and loads of classes yet people still say going to the gym is boring.

Besides, there’s no guarantee that doing something different will ever bring you closer to your goals. Just because the scenery is changing doesn’t mean you’re actually on the path towards your destination.

Thankfully, the solution to killing off workout boredom is the same solution to ensure that you’re getting closer to your goals. That solution is the simple art of workout progression.

Remember, you don’t get in better shape because you do different exercises, or do them in a different way. You get in better shape by doing the same exercises in a better way.

workout-boredom-pullupsBy striving to improve your technique and performance, you’re having your brain instruct your body what characteristics of fitness it needs to adopt. If your mind is looking to add stability to your push ups, your body will become more solid and stable. If you’re looking to make your running gait smoother you’ll find ways to do just that.

The difference between working out and training is that training is done with the mental focus on practicing the technique of exercise. It’s done with the intention to become better at the physical performance of the movement.

The focus on becoming better at doing the exercise will bring you far further in your fitness in comparison to simply going through the motions. Just moving the body doesn’t make much happen even if those movements make your muscles work really hard.

By focusing on progression and doing the exercises to another level, you’ll explode your potential to levels you never thought were possible. As a bonus, you’ll also never be bored for a single minute in any workout. When the mind is engaged towards doing the exercise better it can’t possibly be idle and looking for distractions like a TV or smart phone.

Lastly, keep in mind that keeping your mind focused on progression and engaged is your own responsibility. It’s not your trainer or coach’s job to make your mind excited about the activity. Focusing on doing the movements better is only something your own mind can do. No one can make you engaged and focused. They may be able to slap your wrist and bring you into the moment for a few seconds, but they ultimately can’t hold you there.

So don’t worry about keeping the mind engaged. If you put it to the task of looking for ways to do that exercise better it will be plenty busy. When that happens, distractions like the TV or a magazine will be unwanted distractions rather than welcome ones.

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About Author

Matt Schifferle

My name is Matt Schifferle and I'm an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer, CrossFit Level 1 coach, underground strength coach and I'm a 5th degree black belt in Taekwon-Do. I specialize in outdoor and playground based underground and CrossFit style bootcamps. See my profile page for more information!

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