How To

How To: Beat the boredom

Okay, confession time. Remember a month or so ago when I said I would do some sort of “how to” post on Tuesdays? Yeah… The thing is, I want to make sure I only talk about things on here that I feel confident talking about.  I will NEVER give suggestions about how to find the perfect skin care routine (cause I barely ever wash my face, except a quick wash with shampoo in the shower) or how to apply make-up (I don’t even remember the last time I wore it) or how to put together the perfect outfit (my wardrobe is straight from high school).  I don’t feel comfortable talking about how to cook meat (don’t eat it) or about finance (enough said).  BUT I have beaten my fair share of workout boredom.  That is something I feel very familiar with 😉

If you read the above sentence and nodded your head, than this post is for you.

Lately I have been trying to mix it up when I visit the gym. Because let’s be honest, the gym can be so boring. And if you are anything like me, boredom usually leads to leaving the gym long before I am finished.

Here are my tips and tricks to beating the boredom!**

– Variety

Doing anything for too long can lead to a serious snooze fest, so mix it up.  Do 5 minutes of cardio (at a moderate or intense level) and then do 5 minutes of weights or body weight movements.  Just repeat 3-5 times for a high quality workout that is sure to leave you sweating.  Switching activities every 5 minutes ensures that just when you start feeling sick of one activity, it will be time to move onto the next one.  This is also a great way to get a good mix of cardio and strength, and work all those muscles 🙂

– Intervals

I love intervals when I need to run for a while on the treadmill.  I actually don’t mind the treadmill, but I cannot stand it if I am running at the same speed or incline the whole time.  There are lots of ways that these intervals can be structured, but here are some of my favorites:

  • The Pyramid: Start out with a 5 min. warm-up at an easy pace.  Then, increase your speed a set amount and run at that pace for 5 min.   After that, increase speed by the same amount and run for 4 min.  Increase again for 3 min, than 2 min, than 1.  Once you reach your fastest pace, either start over from the bottom, or work your way back down.  I usually increase my speed by .2 mph each time for a moderately hard workout or by .4 mph if I really want to knock out the speed work.  For me this might look like:
    • 5 min @ 6.6 mph
    • 4 min @ 6.8 mph
    • 3 min @ 7.0 mph
    • 2 min @ 7.2 mph
    • 1 min @ 7.4 mph

Repeat 2x for a 30 minute workout, or 3x for a 45 minute workout!

  • The Staircase: Start off with a 5 min. warm-up jog.  Then, increase your speed every minute by a set amount until you feel like you need to start working your way back down.  Go up and down as high or low as you would like, and for as long as you want your run to last.  I like this format as a very unstructured way to get in some speed and beat the boredom.  Changing my speed every minute makes the time fly and keeps me focused on the minute I am at instead of thinking about how much longer I have to go.
  • Hill Climber:  Sometimes I want to get in some hill work, but am forced to the treadmill because of the rain (hello PNW).  When this happens, I try and simulate a hilly course on the ‘mill.  I just switch up the incline every three minutes or so (or however often you would like) and it breaks up my run into smaller increments.  Keeps the boredom at bay!
– Try Something New

You know that piece of gym equipment that you always eye when you walk past? Give it a try! I loveeeeee a good routine, but it never hurts to try something new! Spend a day trying out all of the equipment that you have always wanted to try, but never have.  For me, one thing I always had my eye on was the stair climber.  One day, I got on and hit “go” and jeez, it was so hard! Hard in a good way! In a not bored way.  If you are dreading the gym, there is a good chance that you just need to spice things up a little.

– Kick it old school

Sometimes, simple is best.  Try this quick body weight workout that will have you throwing it back to high school P.E.

  • 1 min jumping jacks
  • 1 min push ups
  • 1 min plank
  • 1 min jump rope (if you don’t have a jump rope, just do the same movement without the rope)
  • 1 min squats
  • 1 min bicycle crunches
  • 1 min mountain climbers
  • 1 min lunges (walking lunges, or alternating legs)
  • 1 min leg raises
  • 1 min burpees

* Rest as needed.  Repeat 2-3x for a killer, yet simple, workout!

– Music/Podcasts/Netflix

When I am bored or unmotivated, music always does the trick! It allows me to get in the zone, and my legs move faster with a faster beat.  I am also loving podcasts during less intense days, or when I want a story to distract me from my workout.  Also, Netflix now allows you to download episodes on your phone to play without wifi/data!  I have watched my fair share of Friends episodes during my treadmill runs.

– Mind over matter

I have always believed in the power of my brain over my body.  When I am grumpy, everything is always harder.  If I tell myself a workout is going to suck, than it will.  If all I think about is how bored I am, I am only making the problem worse.  Instead of focusing on the negative, come up with some POSITIVES! You aren’t injured, you’re getting some endorphins, you are healthy and able.  Tell yourself you can do it, and your body will listen.

– Rest

If you are really lacking the motivation to workout and hating every second you are there, take a couple of days (or as long as you need to) off! It’s so much better to take some time off and then get back at it than burn out and quit for good.  Listen to your body and rest when you need to.

**I am not a registered trainer, or a professional.  This is just what works for me.  Make sure you listen to your body and adjust these suggestions to your current level of fitness.  


Happy Tuesday friends! I hope your day was great!

Tell me:

  1. What is your favorite way to beat workout boredom?
  2. What was the highlight of your Tuesday?

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3 Comments

  1. Hey Jenny, can you tell me how to put together the perfect outfit? I want it to match my makeup. 😉 On a more serious note, do you find that the show or music you pick effects your workout? I can’t imagine working out to friends. And last, but not least; favorite Friends character?

    1. I usually just pick a color and try style my look around it. For example: purple sweater, purple socks, purple eye shadow. I get a lot of stares so I think people are in awe of my skills 😉

      I think that music motivates much more than shows. The music just gets me moving. And I think my favorite character would have to be Phoebe or Chandler.

      1. I just wear whats at the top of my basket. I also get stares, but I’m not sure they are as positive as yours… Very true, its pretty hard to get focused on an activity when you are invested in a show. Oh thank god, I was worried you were going to say Ross. Ross sucks.

I would love to here from you! Leave reply below.