T Nation

Boredom in Workouts

I try to change programs every 12-16 weeks to help alleviate boredom in my workouts. I’m looking for some new programs, to help peak my interest. Ones that work body parts in a specific order for maximum growth. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

Christian Thibaudeau has written some specialization programs that could work for you. You could do them in order depending on your strengths and weaknesses. Check out his HSS-100 series.

[quote]animalmj wrote:
I try to change programs every 12-16 weeks [/quote]

Maybe try changing programs every 3-4 weeks, like is commonly recommended.

It’s hard to be bored when you’re going full out man.

try some 20 rep full squats. then tell me your bored.

[quote]John S. wrote:
try some 20 rep full squats. then tell me your bored.[/quote]
If I do that every time I do legs, I’d be bored as hell! Thanks for the sarcasm.

[quote]animalmj wrote:
John S. wrote:
try some 20 rep full squats. then tell me your bored.
If I do that every time I do legs, I’d be bored as hell! Thanks for the sarcasm.

[/quote]

Don’t let them get to you. I know what you mean about getting bored with your workouts. Some people can do the same type of program forever and make great progress.

Others (like you and me) need more variety in our training. It’s something engrained in us. In fact, Poliquin wrote about “training types” in one of his article. It’s a little kooky in some regards (are you an Earth, Wood or Fire type?), but if you read the descriptions, you may find that you are one of the types he describes.

Variety is good. It helps prevent stagnation. It helps keep you motivated. That’s not to say that you should change your program every 1-2 weeks (there should always be some sort of consistency present), but it does mean you can make changes every 3-4 weeks (as most people suggest). They don’t have to be huge changes either. Maybe use the same exercise but change the hand or foot placement. Or change to a similar exercise (from barbell bench to dumbbell bench).

Many of CT’s programs make changes every 3-4 weeks as part of an overall 12-week program. I think that’s how you should try to do it. Sure, you may be following the same program for 12 weeks, but within those 12 weeks, you will make enough changes to give the variety you need.

Trust me, I’ve tried some programs and had to quit them almost immediately because I became so bored I couldn’t do another workout. It’s funny because Charles Poliquin talked about it in his article. He mentioned that a Wood type (I believe) would find his GVT program (10x10) boring by the second week and make no progress. That was me exactly! And that happened to me on a few other programs I had done several years back.

Now, I know my body more and know when to change things while still being consistent. But the one thing you always have to remember is to work HARD at all times. Good luck.

Sometimes I get bored and really don’t feel like being at the gym.

One fun thing is to try and get through everything you usually do as FAST as possible, while still keeping impeccable form. This probably means dropping down the weight on some of the lifts. It also means no resting AT ALL. If equipment you need is being used, skip that exercise for the moment until it’s available. Just keep jumping from one exercise to another, even if you have to mix-up your usual order. If one set of muscles gets exhausted, switch to another body part.

Another way to keep interest: Use some equipment that you usually never use. If you usually use barbells, switch to dumbbells. Use some of the machines (GASP! Heresy!) instead of free-weights.

Bored with lifting? Go to DrPhil.com or something. Seriously.

I never meant to imply that I was bored with training. I just feel like sometimes it’s almost robotic to go from 1 exercise to the next without any real interest or enthusiasm because preacher curls immediately follow DB hammer curls. I’m looking for programs that are new to me, to peak my interest and therefore focus my training. Thanks for the advice, Nate.

[quote]animalmj wrote:
I never meant to imply that I was bored with training. I just feel like sometimes it’s almost robotic to go from 1 exercise to the next without any real interest or enthusiasm because preacher curls immediately follow DB hammer curls. I’m looking for programs that are new to me, to peak my interest and therefore focus my training. Thanks for the advice, Nate. [/quote]

It definitely sounds like you’re in a rut. Maybe it’s time to do some stuff completely opposite to what you normally do. If you use a split routine, try full-body workouts or upper/lower body splits. If you’re used to high volume, try a low-volume HIT approach. If you use mostly barbells and dumbbells, try implementing some odd objects (sandbags, kegs, sled drags, farmer’s walks, etc.).

Also, if you have no motivation and desire to train, you could also be overtrained.

Do you keep a training log? I rarely change my workout significantly but I find the challenge of trying to beat the reps or weight I did last time constantly interesting- exciting even.

Do you keep a training log? I rarely change my workout significantly but I find the challenge of trying to beat the reps or weight I did last time constantly interesting- exciting even.

[quote]animalmj wrote:
I never meant to imply that I was bored with training. I just feel like sometimes it’s almost robotic to go from 1 exercise to the next without any real interest or enthusiasm because preacher curls immediately follow DB hammer curls. I’m looking for programs that are new to me, to peak my interest and therefore focus my training. Thanks for the advice, Nate. [/quote]

You need to learn to read your body and do whatever it’s telling you need most at the moment. You say you’ve been training 3 years. I’m going to give you some blind credit here and assume that maybe you’ve outgrown total reliance on somebody else’s rigid prescriptions. Just a thought. The process I’ve just described is half the satisfaction for me.