Do You Find Lifting Weights Boring?
“How can you go to the gym so much, it’s sooooooooo boring.”
I’ve been asked this question, in one shape or form, by quite a number of people in the 13 years I’ve been lifting weights.
And in many ways, I get it…
To the uninitiated, lifting weights might seem like an exercise (no pun intended) in endless tedium.
Picking heavy things up and putting them down. Boring, boring, boring.
Really, there’s A LOT more to it than that, but I’ll get to all of that in just one second…
So, back to the problem, if something is boring, but you know that you should be doing it, what is the solution?
Simple, you need to find a way to make it more interesting.
That is all well and good, in theory at least, but there are smart ways to make working out interesting, and then there are not-so-smart ways.
Unfortunately, too many people strive to make working out interesting in all the wrong ways – jeopardizing their progress as a result.
Let me tell you how this tends to happen.
The Downfall Of Switching Things Up
Variety is the spice of life, right?
Wrong! At least where weight lifting is concerned…
You see, one of the main ways that people attempt to keep their workouts interesting is by switching them up.
They’re bored with the exercise that they’ve been doing for the last 2 weeks, so they find some obscure variation online and do that instead.
Part of this is based on the false notion that swiching things up will confuse your muscles, making them grow more (it won’t).
But another part of this is striving for variety just for the sake of variety; as a way of keeping the workouts interesting.
Well, if you do this, I’ve got some news for you…
You are only making things more difficult for yourself.
Instead of making consistent progress – getting bigger, stronger, and more muscular – you’ll be much more likely to find yourself running in place.
What You Should Do Instead
OK, so if switching your exercises up haphazardly isn’t an effective way to keep things interesting, then what is?
The answer is surprisingly simple…
The best way to keep your workouts interesting is to have a clear, focused objective every single time you set foot in the gym.
This means that you should approach each workout as if you were going into battle.
Who is your opponent?
Well, you are actually battling yourself – or, rather, the previous you. The you that wasn’t as strong as you are now.
In practical terms, this means keeping track of your workouts, and then systematically trying to progress each time you go to the gym.
If there was one secret to working out, this would be it. Doing a little more than you were able to do the last workout. And then doing that again next week.
If you do this, you’ll find that your workouts suddenly become a lot less boring…
You won’t just be going in and banging out the same routine sets that you do every week.
Each set will be a challenge; and each time you do another rep or increase your weight, you’ll feel the rush of accomplishment – a sense of victory over the weights and over your weaker, former self.
And victory is never boring.
So I Should Never Switch My Exercises?
Not so fast…
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here. I’m certainly not saying that you should do the same exercises forever.
There are situations where you’ll make changes to your workout plan – but do it for the right reasons, and not merely as a way to alleviate boredom.
For instance, if you are new to working out, you might start with dumbbells, until you are comfortable with the basic movements.
After you have been lifting for awhile, you’ll likely progress to barbell exercises. This makes sense, as you’ll be prioritizing the core movements that will allow you to see the best results.
But what you shouldn’t do is walk into the gym, not wanting to be there, and then say to yourself “what should I do today”.
You should always know what you’re doing before you get to the gym – and in most cases, it should be trying to make progress on the same exercises that you were doing the week before.
Other Ways To Keep Your Workouts Interesting
Ok, I hear what you’re thinking.
“Chris, I get what you’re saying about this whole progress thing, but I still find working out boring. Anything I can do to spice it up?”
Why yes, there is, my dear wearied weightlifter.
First of all, if you aren’t already doing this, I would highly suggest listening to music while you lift weights.
But don’t just put on any old music – or, worse, allow the insipid pop they play at the gym to guide your workouts.
You want to put some thought into it, and create a playlist that will inspire you to attack your workouts with fervor.
I can’t say what this is for you, but everyone has certain music that psyches them up.
So, figure out what gets you going, and put together a playlist of enough songs to keep things interesting, and then let it play on shuffle during your workouts.
Trust me, the difference that this can make to your workout intensity is huge.
Finally, if you are following all of this advice and still finding your workouts boring, you should take a look at how long you are spending at the gym.
I find that people who tend to have marathon workouts – often lasting for hours – are much more likely to get bored.
And that’s completely reasonable – spending a good chunk of your day at the gym is boring (and unnecessary).
Instead, keep your weight training workouts to no more than 1 hour.
Each one should be short and intense, rather than lengthy and monotonous.
“I’m focusing on progression, have an awesome gym soundtrack, and my workouts take no more than an hour, but I’m still bored.”
Hard to please, huh?
OK, if you are doing all of the above, and you’re still bored, then I have a final piece of advice for you…
Suck it up.
That’s right, man up and accept that not everything has to be fun or exciting to be worth doing.
Do it even if you find it boring, because you care about the results…
You care about feeling strong and capable.
You want to be healthy – for your own sake and for those those that love you.
You want to look good naked.
Whatever the motivation, start focusing on that instead of whining to yourself about how much you hate lifting weights.
Just like eating your vegetables, sometimes you just need to embrace what is good for you, without demanding anything more from the experience.