3 ways to avoid boredom in the gym
Some of us will admit to having a love/hate relationship with the gym. With busy work lives, it can be easy, at times, to get stuck in a workout rut, doing the same thing over and over again. Well not any more! Follow our simple tips below help in the gym by refreshing your workout and helping you to find new quick, easy and effective ways to maximise your fat burning and muscle building. You’ll rebuild your relationship with the old weight house in no time!
Tip 1 – circuit train in the gym
When we’ve been working hard in the office and are hitting the gym later than usual, it’s easy to find yourself sitting on an exercise bike, peddling at a moderate speed, but not really reaching your full potential. A great way to heighten the intensity of your work out is using the machines to do circuit training. A particularly effective one is 5-4-3-2-1. This workout requires the use of the cross trainer, the bike and the treadmill.
• Start on one of the machines and do 5 minutes of exercise at a low intensity e.g. jog at 6 MPH on the treadmill for 5 minutes.
• Move to the next machine and repeat e.g. cycle at 60 RPM on the bike for 5 minutes.
• Move to the final machine and repeat e.g. 60 RPM on the cross trainer for 5 minutes.
• Move back to the first machine and increase the intensity of your work out, but only complete 4 minutes e.g. jog at 6.5 MPH on the tread mill.
• Repeat, doing 4 minute exercises on the exercise bike and cross trainer but keeping above 65 RPM this time.
• Repeat until you’ve been on each machine 5 times, increasing your intensity every time but reducing your speed by 1 minute. You’ll end up doing a very high intensity 1 minute exercise on each e.g. sprinting for a minutes on each machine.
The result of the 5-4-3-2-1 is a 45 minute circuit exercise regime that is perfect for people with a low attention span or who are less motivated.
Tip 2 – challenge yourself to use a new machine
It’s highly unlikely that you are using every piece of equipment that your gym has to offer. So, if you’re getting bored of your usual routine of treadmill, exercise bike and a few weights, spend an evening acquainting yourself with something less familiar. You may just find your new best friend!
The stair climber
With a concept as simple as the name would lead you to believe, the stair climber is a small revolving staircase so that you have to continuously climb the stairs (think running up the escalator when you were a kid (or drunk in your thirties). With it’s looming stature and intimidating-looking concept, it is one of those machines that you may have looked at and recoiled in horror. Don’t be fooled! The stair climber is actually quite a low intensity work out that will burn fat at a steady rate whilst allowing you to tone your bum and thighs. You also don’t have to exert yourself to feel the benefits, so you can exercise at a pace that suits you. You’ll still feel the lactic acid burning! A 20 minute session will burn about 250 calories. Another great advantage is that stair climbing is a weight-bearing exercise that strengthen bones and helps prevent osteoporosis.
The Power Plates
Power Plates come as standard in most gyms now and are a great way to encourage you to try new lengthening and toning exercises. The vibrations caused by a power plate means that your core muscles need to engage to maintain whatever balance your creating on it. For example, if you’re looking to build core strength, alleviate back pain and create a more lean silhouette, a session of Power Plate exercises is sure to help. Try holding a plank with your feet together on the floor and your forearms resting on the plate for 1 minute. You’ll soon notice the difference those tiny vibrations can make.
Tip 3 – update your playlist
It’s as easy to get stuck in a workout play list rut as it is the workout itself. Soon enough, the songs that you once found inspirational ignite a feeling of doom in you as soon as they come on. You begin to learn the track list off by heart and always know what’s coming next. Getting bored of your workout play list doesn’t just affect your motivation, but it can lead you to skipping songs, finishing your play list and, consequently, your workout more quickly.
A great way to make a visit to the gym more enjoyable is to download an album that you’ve wanted to listen to for ages. Try and stay for a fixed amount of songs and make sure that you utilise your time in the gym well for these. E.g. “I’ll work out solidly for 8 songs and rest for 2 to stretch.”
Another top tip is to try listening to a podcast or audio book instead. Sure, it may not be the electro-pop that normally motivates you, but you may notice you’re staying on the machines longer and looking forward to your gym sessions more than usual when you know you’re going to find out what happened to Harry Potter next!