Ideas on How to Mix Up Your Workout Routines

We’ve all been there with boring fitness routines.

You’re on the treadmill with a sweaty towel over the display trying hard not to think about how much longer you told yourself you’re going to run. It feels like every second takes forever and you can’t wait for it to be over.

You’re bored. Your exercise routine is unfulfilling and monotonous. It happens to the best of us, but if you’re experiencing this every time you think about hitting the gym, it may be time to try something new.

How do you combat fitness boredom? It’s easy - change it up.

Circuit Training

Step away from standard cardio equipment and give circuit training a try. Circuit training is essentially a sequence of exercises done in fairly quick progression to provide a  callisthenic or toning cardio workout. A circuit that can either work a single part of the body or provide a total body workout depending on how the circuit is designed.

If you’re new to circuit training, you’ll find that many of the boot camp style cardio classes at local gyms use circuits for their routines. If you’d like to learn how to design a cardio circuit on your own, I suggest checking out Jillian Michaels’ Hot Bod in a Box. It’s a collection of exercise cards and circuit training workouts that fully illustrates movements and gives tips on how to get the most out of your workout.

Cross Training

Spending too much time doing the same workout over and over again is terrible for your training. Not only will you get bored, but your body will adapt and you will not get the results that you want. Cross training is key to improving your physical conditioning.

How do you identify cross training opportunities? Think about what your fitness goal is and compare it to your normal workout. Define where deficiencies are in your performance and figure out where you need to improve. From there take a look at some of the exercises or workouts that would compliment the goal you’re trying to reach.

For example, when I started martial arts, my upper body strength was pitiful. I started weight lifting but it bored me to tears. So, I thought of what else I could do to promote better upper body strength and found indoor rock climbing. As a result, I fell in love with climbing, improved my upper body strength and started to get motivated to lift weights.

Fitness Accessories

Add some spice to your workout by trying something completely new. Go to Amazon or Dicks or the fitness section of your local Walmart and find something that you never tried before. Model your workouts around your new found toy and get creative.

For example, I use my heart rate monitor with a sports watch to see how hard I can push my heart rate during sparring rounds on the punching bag. This helps me keep on track with intense interval training while keeping me interested.

This Infobarrel article talks about some of my favorite fitness accessories.

Need ideas on interesting fitness accessories? This link will show you some ideas for exercise accessories available on Amazon.

Take a Class, Make Fitness Social

Maybe boot camp isn’t your style, but what about Pilates or Yoga? Have you ever tried Zumba, TRX or kickboxing? What about Jazzercise, country line dance or pole dancing?

Also, take some time to check out your local groups. You’ll find that there are free running and hiking groups near you that make fitness activities a lot more fun in an open, social atmosphere.

There are a ton of options out there. Take advantage of what your community has to offer and use other fitness-minded people to keep you motivated.

Interesting Downloads

Next to my heart rate monitor, my iPod keeps me sane during monotonous workouts. Try downloading free podcasts from iTunes. You’ll find a wide variety of high-quality free shows from television and radio.

If you didn’t guess it from the exercise cards, my favorite podcast: The Jillian Michaels Show. It's completely free and full of interesting information.

How do you keep your fitness routine fresh? Log-in or join to comment!