Harley Pasternak Blogs: How To Break Out Of Your Workout Boredom

Are you bored with your fitness routine?

Workout boredom is no small problem. It’s actually in the top five reasons why people stop exercising (after time, money, weather and self-consciousness). The Make Boring Brilliant workout survey conducted by vitaminwater zero in August found that more than 50 percent of people are bored with their workout.

Before you let boredom slow you down, try some of my top tips to beat boredom and re-energize your workout!

Change the Beat

Nothing can change my mood quite like music especially in the gym. While I love my everyday workout mix, sometimes it just doesn’t quite do it for me. When I need a change of pace, I switch it up and pump up the volume, and it always surprises me how a little thing like that can completely change how I feel and move. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Neuropsychology found that a strongly rhythmic beat has the power to encourage a person to move faster or slower to match it even if it’s not at the preferred pace of the exerciser.

Change Your Workout Time

I’m constantly asked, “What’s the best time of day to exercise?” My answer is usually “whatever time you’re most likely to do it!” If you’re a regular exerciser, though, changing up the time of day you work out can give your routine a totally different feel. Opinions in the health community range widely on what time is, so it’s all about what works for you. Morning gym-goers report better, deeper sleep and lower blood pressure, but afternoon exercisers are more awake and alert, which decreases the likelihood of injury. If you work out at a gym and have the luxury of a flexible schedule, try going at off-peak hours (generally between 1 and 4 p.m.). You may be surprised how having access to more equipment can inspire you to change it up.

Location, Location, Location

Maybe all you need to liven up your workout is a change of venue. As the weather gets cooler, many of us are forced back inside to exercise, but if you’re sick of the gym, try working out at home! If you can’t escape the distractions at home, try a local school or get together some friends to play basketball, go for a hike or go dancing.

Partner Up

Having someone to talk to during your workout will certainly make your workout less boring, but working out with a friend has some other major bonuses. A friend can keep you from canceling, encourage you not to skip that last set, and even add a competitive element to your tired routine. Not only that, it can help you lose more weight! A two-year study out of theUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that participants who worked out with a friend lost more weight than those that did not.

Tune In

One of my favorite tricks to get my clients to do cardio is to get them started on an exciting TV series like Homeland, Girls or Breaking Bad and making them promise not to watch the show unless they’re doing cardio. If I prop my Surface tablet up on the elliptical or stationary bike, I’ll get so engrossed in a show that I’m at 30 minutes before I know it! If videos distract you too much, try an interesting podcast, stand-up routine, or audiobook.

Tools of the Trade

Bored with dumbbells? Try barbells, kettle bells, a medicine ball, resistance bands, or your own body weight as resistance. Sometimes new tools, means new, fun, interesting exercises!

Get in to the Spirit of Competition

My wife and I are in a healthy FitBit competition. A FitBit is a digital pedometer that syncs with your phone and keeps track of how much you move (and how many calories you burn each day). By challenging your friends, coworkers, family members, or yourself, you can make getting more physical activity fun.

You can also do a variety of activities outside the gym, like hiking, walking, dancing, gardening, or household chores as a way to hit your daily step goal.

Mix up Your Variables

May years ago I was an exercise scientist for the military. During those “nerd years,” I devised a workout plan called Multiple Variation Training. The program was based on the scientific principle, if you want to your body to keep changing, you need to keep changing up your workout. I created a formula that divided work done by time it took to do it. So, you would take the number of exercises you do times the number of sets per exercise, times the number of reps per set, times the amount of resistance per rep, and divide all of it by the number of minutes the workout took to complete. The goal was to keep the total number the same every workout, every week, while changing the variables to get you there.

For example, if you do 2 exercises, 3 sets of each, 10 reps of each set, with 10 pounds in 20 minutes, the total would be 15 (units of intensity). Similarly, if you did 3 exercises for 2 sets of each, and 20 reps with 5 pounds in 20 minutes you would also get 15, but you would have a very different workout.

Take a Break from the Treadmill

Thirty-eight percent of the people in the vitaminwater survey said the treadmill was the most boring part of working out. But who says you need to use the treadmill, anyway? Not only can you skip the gym and just walk/run outside or use the stairs in your office building, you can opt for one of the other cool cardio machines at the gym!

Cybex Arc Trainer burns more calories at a given intensity than an elliptical and easier on your knees than most cardio.

Helix Trainer Sort of a lateral elliptical … really works the butt and hips.

Nexersys this virtual martial arts/boxing instructor can help you release your aggression while torching calories.

Precor Recumbent cycle perfect for the times when you’re just not in the mood to workout.

These tips work for you? Tweet me @harleypasternak[5].

RELATED: Lunges for Killer Legs[6]

RELATED: Four Modified Yoga Poses to Boost Strength and Flexibility[7]

MORE: All Harley’s Blogs and Training Advice[8]



  1. ^ Journal of Neuropsychology (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  2. ^ two-year study (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  3. ^ University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (www.med.upenn.edu)
  4. ^ vitaminwater survey (www.vitaminwater.com)
  5. ^ @harleypasternak (twitter.com)
  6. ^ RELATED: Lunges for Killer Legs (www.people.com)
  7. ^ RELATED: Four Modified Yoga Poses to Boost Strength and Flexibility (www.people.com)
  8. ^ MORE: All Harley’s Blogs and Training Advice (www.people.com)

Original Story Here


Step It Up – Tips to Pump Up Your Workout

The American Heart Association explains how to step up to the next level of fitness by increasing your workout. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/Step-It-Up—Tips-to-Pump-Up-Your-Workout_UCM_456763_Article.jsp

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    • XP
    • October 15, 2013

    Can I Have Some Good Workout Tips? Hey could I get some good workout tips. I’m medium built but i want to be lean and fit. I also want to tone and shape my legs a lot. Please tell me if you have any good tips!

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    1. Reply

      Yes,visit the following sites for fitness.You may not need a full-fledged diet right now, but you can still incorporate some slim-down strategies into your daily life.

      Eat breakfast. Studies show that eating breakfast is associated with keeping weight off once you’ve lost it.

      Fill up on low-cal foods. Start every meal with the items on your plate that are lowest in calories. By the time you get to the other foods, you won’t be so hungry, possibly decreasing your total intake.

      Begin with soup. Starting lunch or dinner with a broth-based, vegetable-filled soup will curb hunger so you’ll be less tempted to eat higher-calorie foods.

      Arrive fashionably late. Without as much time near the buffet table at parties, you’ll eat less.

      Divide your lunch. Afternoon snacker? Cut your lunch in half: have part at mealtime and the other half later in the afternoon.

      Swap mustard for mayo. A tablespoon of mayonnaise has 100 calories, compared with 10 calories for a tablespoon of yellow mustard.

      Duration of Exercise
      You may not be exercising long enough. The rule of thumb is cardio for 30 minutes, three times per week. If you really want to reach your goal, try five 45-minute cardio workouts per week. That sounds like a lot of exercise, but remember this is in order to meet your goal, not necessarily maintain it.

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  1. Reply

    Can You Give Me Some Workout Tips On Buns? I have a big butt and I don’t know how to lose the waight. Can someone help me out? Can you name some workout tips that might work for me?

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    1. Reply

      Squats….work a treat, trust me!

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  2. Reply

    Can You Give Me Some Workout Tips On Buns? I have a big butt and I don’t know how to lose the waight. Can someone help me out? Can you name some workout tips that might work for me?

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    1. Reply

      I suggest you eat bread buns for lunch daily. the buns will give your butt a boost in self confidence. it will then want to sit more and you will make more biscuits. dogs love biscuits. and i love dogs. i dont understand how hard it is. by the way, dont use recycle bins..use regular bins to dispose your old buns. or take then to the local park to feed to the birds. its great to give back to nature!! give back! NOW!i demand you leave at once. you are breaking and entering!!

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    • Ben
    • October 15, 2013

    How Can I Get A Good Source Of Carbohydrates And Proteins, Plus Workout Tips? I am wanting to start working out and getting healthy and gain lean muscle mass but i don’t really know what foods i should eat before and after a workout to get a good serving of protein and carbohydrates. so anyone who is maybe an athlete or just trying to get healthy too share some meal ideas? and maybe a few workout tips? thank you.

    By the way I’m a 19 year old male weighing in at about 164lbs and about 5’7″ if that helps
    Oh and i have access to workout equipment like dumbbells, that machine where you work out your legs by pushing weights with them, (don’t know what its called) treadmills, and those stationary bikes and an elliptical.

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    1. Reply

      I’ll give you a list of some common foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and take notes because it’s great for you to add them to your meal plan:

      Home-Made Pizza

      The above mentioned foods make your stomach full for a few hours. They make you have a slow digestion. So it’s good for those who want to slow down their metabolism. These foods are also beneficial for those who want to build muscle because they are great sources of energy for your body and muscles.

      Now I’m going to give you a list of foods high in protein that you should make sure you add to your meal plan. These foods are very important to build muscle mass.

      Here is the list:

      Sausages (healthy choices)
      Seafood (Fish, Calamari, Octopus, Salmon, etc.)
      Poultry (Chicken, Turkey, etc.)
      Peanut Butter
      Dairy Products
      Protein Shakes
      Protein Bars
      Liquid Protein

      As you can see there are many sources of proteins. So I recommend that you choose various, not just one.

      Doing combinations of these foods high in complex carbs and proteins will be the best way to create your meal plan.

      Three other foods you might want to add to your meal plan are:

      Ice creams

      These 3 are very good and delicious.

      Workout Tips:

      Get your form straight before you go heavy
      Progression is key – Add weight or reps when you can.
      Don’t get greedy – This is a long game. Adding too much too soon can leave you injured
      Eat. Adjust as needed.
      Focus. Gym time is work time. Socialization is fine, but spend time under the bar.
      Don’t buffet train – You don’t need to hit your biceps from 8 different angles, you need to get your primary lifts up.
      Get brutally strong – Your chest isn’t impressed with 15 pound flyes. Get your lifts up and good things will happen.
      Have fun – If you hate your time in the gym, you aren’t likely to make much progress.

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  3. Reply

    Does Anyone Have Any Good “at Home” Workout Tips To Tone Stomach, Thighs And Butt? I’m not overweight or anything, I would just like to have a body that is more toned and healthy looking. I just need some workout tips that i can do at home in order to get rid of the fat; and tone my belly, thighs and ass. I DO NOT WANT ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH DIETING, JUST EXERCISE. Thank-you 🙂

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    1. Reply

      I know this sounds vague, but just use youtube. it’s awesome because you don’t have to buy an expensive dvd or anything and because you can specify exactly what you want to tone. You can search like “inner thigh workout” then choose from a bunch. Same with butt and stomach. There are some great variations. But, don’t expect perfect results from just working out. How you look is mainly due to your diet. Exercise just aids in that and tones you.

      Good luck

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  4. Reply

    How Do I Get A Body Like This? Any Workout Tips? I wanna get a body like hayden panattieres from the kohls candies ad. Or a body like Miley Cyrus for that matter. I carry lotsa weight around my middle waist, upper arms, thighs and calves, back, and neck. pretty much everywhere! any workout tips for a teen who totally wants a flat stomach and cute body?

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    1. Reply

      Try counting calories. 2400 is the maximum a person should usually intake per day (and I say usually because there are special occasions like birthdays and weddings where it’s kind of hard to stay under 2400 calories), and eventually (I say eventually because your diet probably gives you 4000-5000 calories right now, that’s what mine was) if you want to lose weight faster stay between 2000-2200 calories. Of course, if you’re diet includes fast food and Starbucks, 2400 is fine. Go to http://www.calorieking.com and look up calorie content of foods you eat, or you can buy their book, which might be handier. Combined with exercise, this is a great way to lose weight and isn’t risky like diet pills or miracle diets.

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