Many of us would say that going to the gym can be difficult at times. Waking up and getting a workout in before work can be tough. Taking a right on the way home to get a workout in instead of plopping it on the couch to watch Netflix can be tough.
Going to the gym and eating well isn’t difficult. Doing those things on a consistent basis, day after day until it becomes a habit is where the real challenge lies. In health and fitness, consistency is key. Consistency is what separates the winners from the losers. If you’re unable to be consistent, it shows. If you’re the master of consistency, it shows.
Anyway, there are a few different things that get in the way of consistency, one one of which is boredom. Whether you’ve been training for 20 years or 2, you’ve most likely hit a point in your life where you were no longer excited, motivated, or even slightly moved to go to the gym. That’s not a good place to be.
Having excitement for your workouts and looking forward to what you will do is one of the best things you can have in place for your success. If you are genuinely looking forward to your time in the gym, the chances that you will bail are far lower.
So, what can you do to make your workouts more enjoyable?
Tip #1: Change Your Goal
One of the biggest reasons we go to the gym and eat well is because we want to change the way we look. We want to improve our appearance. There is nothing wrong with that whatsoever, but if you stop and think about it, it doesn’t really end. You’ll spend your time losing 10 pounds. Then you’ll want to lose 10 more pounds. Then you’ll want to gain 5 pounds of muscle. On and on and on, you’ll find yourself changing the same kind of goal your entire life. This will most certainly lead to boredom.
One of the best things you can do in order to enjoy your workouts is change your goal. Find a goal that has to do more with movement or performance. Set out to increase your strength in your bench press, squat, and deadlift. Train to make your back stronger so you can do 10 pull-ups by the end of the year. When you place your goal on movement or performance, the exercises you will do in your workouts will feel more like practice that directly translates to your goal, rather than something you have to do in order to look better.
In fact, you will most likely reach aesthetic feats when you focus on your movement and performance. Getting stronger in your squat will translate to better looking legs. Improving your pull-ups will translate to a more defined back. It’s a win win, and you don’t fall into the trap of dreading your workouts.
Tip #2: Move in Different Planes
There are several different planes that our bodies can move in.
The sagittal plan divides our body into left and right halves. The movements in this plane are up and down movements.
The frontal plane cuts our body in half, front to back. The movements in this plan are side to side.
The horizontal or transverse plane splits our body in half, top and bottom. Movements in this plane include rotational movements.
Most of us spend our time in the sagittal plane moving our limbs and body up and down. We do curls, squats, lunges, rows, and other movements that keep us moving in one direction. Staying in this plane keeps us limited to certain movements that are very similar. This also keeps us closed off to a seemingly limitless world of movement and exercise.
Just because one movement usually happens in the sagittal plane doesn’t mean it you have to get rid of it to enjoy your workout again. You can still get the same benefit of some movements while incorporating them through different planes. Let’s say you keep lunges in your routine because they are helping you create strength on individual legs and aiding your balance, but you are sick of the same thing over and over again. You can take that lunge that would normally happen in the sagittal plane and bring it to the frontal plane by stepping to the side.
There are tons of different movements you can incorporate to get the same results you’re after. Don’t limit yourself. Have fun.
Tip #3: Be a Kid Again
I strongly believe that one of the reasons we tend to lose enjoyment in our workouts and in life is because the older we get, the less we play. Feeding your inner child through play is essential for your workouts as well as your spirit.
Why do you think Crossfit got so popular even in older generations? It’s because they play! They celebrate movement, and they do it well. They move in many different ways. The lift, they run, they jump, they hop, they row, they nearly do it all! Sometimes, you literally need to treat the gym like your adult jungle gym.
Go do some plyometrics. Jump on boxes. Do some agility work. See how fast you can move your feed through those cones or ladders! Jump rope and practice jumping on one foot, and then alternate. Make your movement an art.
Now, don’t go doing these things without a strong foundation of strength and stability. Although it’s important to play, It’s important to keep from injury as well.
Regardless of where you’e at in life, there is plenty you can be doing to enjoy your workouts. The main takeaway is this: celebrate exercise by improving your movement and strength while incorporating different movements that allow you to play just like a kid would.
About the Author
Adam is a fitness professional, baseball fan, and cookie fanatic based in Fort Collins, Colorado. After hanging up the cleats, he found a strong interest in the human body and how it performs. Since then, Adam has been transforming lives through fitness in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As an ACE CPT and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, he is constantly moved to help people improve in all walks of life. If you’re interested in hiring Adam as your coach, fill out an application here.