Change It Up!

Are you burned out or bored with your fitness routine? Did you start out eager to make improvements to your strength, conditioning, and healthy lifestyle, but now find yourself sidetracked?

What if I told you that there is light at the end of the bored-with-my-fitness-routine tunnel? With just a few adjustments, you’ll have new energy and enthusiasm.

Train smart 

Boredom can sideline even the highest level athlete. When the mind is experiencing boredom with the same old training routine, it may be the body’s way of saying it is time to change things up.

This goes far deeper than just keeping your brain stimulated. One of the first signs of overtraining is an inability to complete the training session. This is usually accompanied by a lack of energy and a decreased sense of purpose. Doing too much of the same thing for too long may backfire, holding you back from completing your ultimate goal.

Just tweaking your training program to suit your needs can wipe away boredom and breathe new life into your workouts. If the ultimate goal is to change your body’s composition through weight loss or increased strength and muscle tone, the end result may not be all that matters.

Set personal records 

Setting personal records will give you the motivation to seek improvement by competing against yourself. This means building on each aspect of your program to improve your results from week to week.

If, for example, in week one you completed a total of 10 push-ups (for a personal record of 10), then the following week you could aim for 12 push-ups to set a new personal record. Making progress is very motivating.

This strategy can be utilized with each part of your routine. Every time you hit the gym, new personal records can be set with a few more reps of an exercise or an increased amount of weight. Competing against yourself will keep you focused and determined to improve.

Switch it up 

If you are new to workouts at the gym, switch up your training every three to five weeks. This can be accomplished by rotating exercises or by doing the same exercises in a different way.

For example, if you have been performing barbell back squats for three to five weeks, rotate the training movement by switching to barbell front squats. Although you’re still squatting, the body will feel like it’s doing something completely new.

Try something new 

In extreme cases of training boredom or fatigue, the very sight of traditional weights can put a knot in your stomach. This is where cross-training comes in. Sometimes doing a completely different workout activity for a week or two will enable your mind to experience something totally different while your body continues to make progress.

“Odd object” training is a form of low-impact exercise that has long been used as a form of cross-training for people whose fitness routines are primarily gym-based. If you’re training at a commercial gym, look out for odd objects such as kettle bells and sandbags.

Anyone at any level can participate. Start out with 14- to 18-metre carries with a weight you can handle. You can adapt this form of exercise to home as well (see sidebar). When finding new excuses not to exercise takes all your creative energy, it’s a good time to re-evaluate. All that creative energy can come in handy to spark new life into your fitness routine. Try something new, set new goals, and you’ll be earning new personal records in no time!

Odd object train at home 

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells that are heavy enough to fatigue your body. 

  • With an upright posture, perform your dumbbell carries with a controlled walk tempo for a 14- to 18-metre distance. 

  • Once you cover that distance, grab a jump rope and skip for 30 to 90 seconds. 

  • Work up to four carry and skipping sessions with a one to two minute rest between each.