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Tired of Your Strength Training Routine? Here Are Three Ways To Break Through the Boredom.
“I actually find it incredibly boring…if you’re just doing the same weights over and over again, it can be so boring.”made this admission on a recent episode of the Practically Fit podcast where we talked about getting started with strength training. Her comment stuck with me. It makes sense.
Recently, I’d felt bored with my strength workouts, too. I’d fallen into a rut of the same, predictable routine. Workout after workout I was repeating the same movements: dumbbell bench press, dumbbell Arnold press, goblet squats and so on. Maybe I’d mix in kettlebell swings or some banded movements. But the base of my workout remained the same, and I felt like my progress was stalling.
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This is normal, and it happens to all of us, but there’s a problem. If boredom creeps in, decreased motivation can follow. Your workouts may get less frequent or less intense. Maybe you feel like you’re sleepwalking through your routine. Suddenly, you realize you’ve stopped working out all together. You struggle to find the motivation to get back on track.
When it comes to strength workouts, boredom is your enemy. You need a battle plan to combat apathy. Here are three tips to spice up your strength training and maximize your motivation.
#1. Diversify Your Workouts
Commit to reassessing your strength training routine on a regular basis and changing up the structure of your workouts. I’ve decided to do this moving forward, and for me, every two months seems like a good time frame. For you, it could be different. But pick a cadence to reevaluate your approach and stick to it.
The internet offers an unlimited supply of new workout ideas and movements, so the opportunity to change the structure and composition of your workouts is only a search away. That said, here are a few basic concepts you can use to spice things up up:
Switch up your sets. Change the number of reps per set. Want to get stronger? Lower your reps and increase the weight. Want to work on muscle definition? Increase the reps and lower the weight. Try supersets, drop sets or burn-outs.
Try exercise snacks. Why not experiment with breaking up your workout throughout the day, if you’re able to? This is especially doable if you’ve got a home gym, or if you…
#2. Drop the Weights
To break out of my recent strength training rut, I’ve turned to bodyweight training. Most people equate calisthenics with simple movements like pushups and pull ups, but the truth is that bodyweight is its own genre of strength training, and there are numerous ways you can challenge yourself and progress.
Wouldn’t you like to be able to do a one-arm pushup or pull-up, or a pistol squat? These are just a few examples of the impressive movements that you could progress to through calisthenics, so if you’re motivated by a challenge and sick of traditional weight training, bodyweight fitness might be for you. If you’re interested in learning more about what’s possible in bodyweight training, I highly recommend the book Complete Calisthenics.
Best of all, you’ll need minimal equipment, like a pull up bar and dip bars. And, bodyweight training allows you to…
#3. Take it Outside
When it comes to maintaining your interest level, strength training is at a disadvantage compared to other fitness activities. Take cycling or running, for example—they benefit from the opportunity to find new routes and see new things along the way. There’s no new scenery in your favorite gym.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get can’t get a change of scenery when it comes to strength training. Even though you probably can’t take your barbells to the park (at least, without significant effort), a light set of dumbbells, a kettlebell, a weight vest or resistance bands serve as your mobile workout partners (along with sunscreen and a hat, for those of us who are bald).
As mentioned above, bodyweight training is a great outdoor activity. Check out your local parks for “outdoor gyms,” including pull up and dip bars. If you can’t find an outdoor gym, playground equipment usually offers a way to do pull ups, too—just don’t scare the kids with your epic gains!