Spicing up the old workout

No matter how dedicated one is to their fitness endeavors, we all invertibly run into a wall at some point.

No matter how dedicated one is to their fitness endeavors, we all invertibly run into a wall at some point. Sometimes this can be the avoidance of one particular workout, or a rut that last for weeks on end. Either way, here are some easy-to-implement tricks that may potentially help trainees push forward when they’re running short on enthusiasm.


Listen to music

How some people manage to train without music is beyond me. I’ve always found the right song and the right moment to be of great help. I can’t imagine attempting to move heavy poundages without the sound of thrash metal in my ears. For others, it may be rap, hip-hop, rock, pop or even musical scores. Whatever a trainee’s preferences, the right music can be a great motivator. Music has also been shown to make individuals more compliant with their routines, probably because we’re more likely to stick with something when we find it enjoyable.

In my personal experience, music is great for “psyching up” before attempting a heavy lift. I save my favorite songs for just before attempting a working set. The only drawback to this method is that eventually, the songs get stale. No worries, though, just load some tunes on the mp3 player or iPod before the old songs completely lose their appeal. This especially helps keep things interesting during longer cardio workouts.


Listen to audio books

Right behind music are audio books. I don’t recommend audio books for weight lifting, but for those who engage in long-duration cardio, audio books are fantastic. They provide something to focus on, making the cardio session seem much shorter and more enjoyable. I’ve even used audio books as a way of increasing my study time during the day, since it is possible to find textbook overviews, such as Vango Notes, in audio form.


Work out with a partner

I’d actually rate a workout partner above music. Music is of course more practical, but I highly recommend finding a training partner if possible. A partner not only makes the workout safer by acting as a spotter, but we’re always more motivated when we have someone to impress. In the instances in which I’ve had a training partner, I always found myself trying to compete with them or trying to impress them during my sets. Immature and overly macho? Perhaps, but it also makes for some extremely effective workouts.


Get wired

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, stimulants are always an option. I don’t recommend anything too extreme—just plain old caffeine. Coffee is a fine option, but it tends to run right through the bladder. That said, I prefer caffeine anhydrous, which is available over the counter in those little yellow tablets. The brand name stuff is Vivarin, but I recommend saving some cash and getting the generic brand. It’s ultra cheap, even more cost-effective than a cup of black coffee. Just be sure not to consume too much. Most people do well with 100–200 milligrams. By consuming over that amount, there is a greater chance of running into caffeine intoxication. And of course, those sensitive to caffeine or with health problems will want to avoid it.


Look up to someone

Many a skinny young lad was motivated by Charles Atlas in the days of yore. Times have changed, but it’s still easy to find athletes (or celebrities) with physiques we can admire. I will often watch YouTube videos of professional athletes working out before heading to the gym myself. There’s something motivating about seeing an elite physical specimen at work. Find someone inspirational and let his or her passion and performance be a motivator. ?