3 Ways to Make Your Workouts More FUN
Welcome back to our “Q&A Tuesday” series, where each week we take a question that we get asked all the time and share our expertise. Last week we covered, “5 Ways to Get the Scale Moving Again” In case you missed it, you can catch it HERE.
This week we are talking about ways to make exercise a little less daunting and a little more exciting. It can be easy to fall into the mundane trap of your workout…same ol’ workout each time. After a while, it’s tempting to just throw in the towel. I mean, who wants to exercise when peeling potatoes sounds more riveting?!
I get it, exercise isn’t always fun. In fact, most people would laugh if they even saw the two words “fun” and “exercise” in the same sentence. They would probably think the writer was in the fitness industry or something 😉
Exercise may not be the most exciting activity you will do in your life, however, there are certainly ways to spice it up and make it less daunting and dare I say…maybe even a little fun!
There are obvious ways to mix it up and get out of the mundane gym atmosphere such as hiking, ice skating, running or power walking, dance class, rock climbing, spin, etc. These are all great ways to do something different, have a little fun and give your body the benefit of exercise.
Aside from the various activities you can do, in today’s post, I want to share 3 different ways that you can make your traditional workouts a little more exciting. In fact, these are all workouts that I do and continue to do when I travel, want to mix it up or just do something different.
This is a classic game and one that I use often. The premise is pretty simple – select four different exercises and assign each exercise to a different suit. The number on the card relays the number of reps. To keep things simple, I like to assign all jacks/queens/kings ten repetitions and aces, fifteen repetitions.
Once you have your exercises selected and assigned to the four suits, shuffle the deck and flip the cards over one by one. For each card, you’ll perform the indicated exercise and amount of reps. Tip: when selecting exercises, make sure to vary the movements so they aren’t all legs, arms, etc….because that is NO fun 🙂
I enjoy this game for a few reasons. The first being that you don’t know what exercise is coming next which adds an element of unknown and variety. It’s also nice to just go on autopilot during the workout and not think about what you have to do – just flip the card and perform the exercise. The second reason is if you’re on a time limit and cannot do the whole deck, you can easily set the timer for a given amount of time and run through the deck until you hit it. The third reason why I enjoy this game is that it’s not easy and I always feel accomplished when it’s through.
Pyramids are another different way to mix things up in your classic workout. Like the card game, the premise of pyramids is simple as well. Pyramids can be descending or ascending, although I would much rather work my way down in reps, rather than up. They can also be done with any exercise or piece of cardio equipment.
To begin, choose a few exercises, two – three generally works the best. Or choose a piece of cardio equipment or a mode of cardio. You can even mix the two together, I’ll provide some examples below.
If you’re doing descending pyramids (which I recommend over ascending), pick either an amount of reps to begin with or a length of time. For easy counting, reps are more simple. Start out with the highest amount of reps, perform each exercise and then move down to the lesser amount of reps, until you hit zero.
Here are a few different examples:
Example 1: Squat, TRX Row, Mountain Climber
Reps: Starting with 10R
Perform: Squats x 10R, TRX Row x 10R, Mountain Climber x 10R (each side is 1R), Squats x 9R, TRX Row x 9R, Mountain Climber x 9R, repeat until you get to zero
Example 2: Kettlebell Swing, Jump Rope
Reps: Starting with 10R for kettlebell swings, starting with 50R (decrease by 5R every round) for jump rope
Perform: kettlebell swings x 10R, jumprope x 50R (skips), kettlebell swings x 9R, jumprope x 45R (skips), repeat until you get to zero
Example 3: Walking Lunges, Bench Press, Incline Treadmill Walk
Reps: Starting with 10R for lunges and press, beginning at incline 10 for walk
Perform: walking lunges x 10R, bench press x 10R, incline walk level 10 (you choose the speed) x 1 min, walking lunges x 9R, bench press x 9R, incline walk level 9 x 1 min, repeat until you get to zero
Last but not least is a game called, “100s.” I saved this one for last as most would argue that it’s not exactly “fun”, because it’s tough! However, it’s an interesting way to mix things up and push yourself a little harder.
As you may have guessed, this game is straightforward – pick a group of exercises (3-5 can work well) and perform each one for 100 repetitions. Once you hit 100, you’re done with the exercise.
100s can be approached two different ways – the first is splitting up each exercise into groups of more manageable reps. An example would be 20R, shuffle through each exercise and repeat for five rounds until you’ve hit 100R.
A more progressed approach would be to complete each exercise for 100R, taking as much rest as needed, before moving on to the next exercise. Obviously this way is more taxing on your muscles but it’s also a great way to progress the game.
In conclusion…exercise doesn’t have to be so dang boring all the time. In fact, there are many ways to spice it up and add a little more fun and excitement to your workout. We’ve shown you a few ways to do just that but if you have some other ways, we would love to hear about them!
⇒ Do you have more questions about how to spice up your boring workouts? If so, drop us a line and let us know! And make sure to tune in next week as we will be answering our next question…
Written by Sophie DeHenzel
3 Ways to Make Your Workouts More Fun
Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Bigstock (wanton), Bigstock (maridav), Bigstock (olegsnow), Bigstock (kasto), Bigstock (milkos)
Hi, I’m Sophie. I’m Co-Owner of DeHenzel Training Systems, Precision Nutrition Level 1 ProCoach, Certified Personal Trainer and Pre/Post Natal Specialist. I’m also a wife, mom, tennis beginner and ice cream lover.
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