Workout Boredom, What to Do About It?
Workout boredom isn’t something new, it could happen at any time in your fitness journey, and even more often than you could think. Let the self-discipline part besides, in this post we will be going to talk about the reason for workout boredom and how to deal with it.
When the time you no longer enjoy the workout. Sometimes, it’s not the problem is your own motivation, our brain is wired to get bored. And it’s good because it’s a great signal you should change something in your workout.
Why We Usually Get Bored With Workouts After 3 Weeks?
The recommended frequency to change your workout (well, don’t change the entire workout, just shift something up) is to do it every 3-4 weeks.
For this, I can predict the reason. Let’s plot out my observation on how I experienced my workout in terms of satisfaction and excitement, so then we can find out why workout boredom is a thing and you should not be blamed.
1st week: The register phase
Trying new things.
Your muscles is exposed to new stimulus and they are registered in your mind. You might have bad performance with the new weight or feel awkward with some movements that you never mastered before. But at this phase, all you need to do is try hard, focus and allow yourself to make some mistakes.
2nd week: Second exposure to the challenge
Second try on.
Due to the (usually this is the week that gets you more satisfaction compared with the other four weeks). At this phase, your body had recovered and gain some strength from the past training. And it is prepared to handle the same intensity. Therefore all of sudden, you’ll notice that you’ve gained strength or gotten better, and the satisfaction pays off!
3rd week: Returning to the same challenge
As our mind will release dopamine from things that bring satisfaction to us, your last workout had giving you a feeling of happiness. And I could say this is the most exciting day for you to start the workout (in my own case). You know that the last session had bringing you satisfaction and you wish to come back.
4th week: Adapted
Your body already adapts to the stimulus and everything goes easy. This is a good thing because you are gaining strength or mastering new skills. Carrying out the same intensity will be easier for you this time. But, weird to say you will feel the sudden drop of excitement because there is nothing new.
Above, it’s the sign to change something!
That’s Why You Should Progressive Overload
Well, it seems that is neuroscience that is working out, but in fact, both psychology and biology work together and is constantly giving out a signal so that we can decide what to do about it. When you feel bored, it might be some external factors such as environment, stress, or don’t have a workout buddy. However, there is one thing that might also cause you to feel unmotivated for a workout–you did not progressive overload.
I never realised this for a long time, but in the near recent when I’ve get bored with a current program that I’ve felt excited about before, this lead me to think about the reason. it turns out that the reason is I am staying at the same weight for too long. Or, the weight is too light for you that you can finish up to 15 reps.
Everyone has a different set point on when you should change your workout, but there would be some common signs for it. Is when you are no longer excited for the next workout.
However, changing the entire program is not recommended. The first reason is that if you change everything and start from scratch, you did not build up the fundamental skills that allow you to bring up to a higher level. As skills required up to a few years to really become muscle memory.
Another reason is you no longer have the reference point to progress your strength. It’s like you are learning drawing, and after 4 weeks you think that you mastered drawing, but you did not keep it up. But you end up unravelling into another thing. As the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ suggested, it is also not a good idea in the long term.
To train is to constantly break through new challenges. There is always something new in your workout, fixing your skills, trying to do one more reps, trying to hit the perfect form… These progressive overload act will provide enough new stimulus for you to keep excited, but still, let you able to progress over time. You only need to change ONE variable of it.
Intensity, load, tempo, form or add in one more set. Adding weight would be the most obvious option to make the movement challenging, but for those that think they still did not confident with the heavier weight. Here are different ways to progressive overload.
Let’s take squats as an example. This, as the staple move should not be changed even if you change your entire program. Therefore the solution is to change the intensity by correcting form, and training structure (pyramid, superset, exercise sequence etc.)
For those that found themselves more easily bored than you are supposed to, this might be another reason. You dont treat your workout seriously. Just that you did not pay attention to your workout and are not constantly ‘fixing’ to be better. That’s why the workout turns out to be a routine rather than training.
Many people mistake working out for some way just to shed some extra pounds, although it’s the case for weight loss goals, but, if your goal is to gain muscle, this should not be the case. To build muscle, you need to have a mind-muscle connection in every single exercise.
As long as you find out the reason why you lose motivation for a workout. It’s time to work on it. Of course, sometimes if the case is you really stressed out or reach overtraining. Taking a break from your routine would be a better option. Or perhaps, learn some new skills or other forms of sports. You’ll always be able to return to your previous routine at any time.