How Can One Make Their Workout Fun?

How can one make their workout fun? Building muscle and losing fat are great in the long-term, but can be far from fun in the short-term. Here are some great ideas and workouts to keep it enjoyable. Check them out now.


TOPIC: How Can One Make Their Workout Fun?

The Question:

Building muscle and losing fat are great in the long-term, but can be far from fun in the short-term.

How can one make their workout fun?

What is a good routine for someone looking for a little fun in their workout? Be specific.

Which is harder to make fun; weightlifting or cardio?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Justin @ justin.podzimek@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - soundcheck129
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Building muscle and losing fat are great in the long-term, but can be far from fun in the short-term.

Waking up at 5 a.m. to get in a workout before heading to school. Skipping dinner with the family to hit the gym on the way home from work. Cycling until your thighs burn and your shirt is 50% cotton, 50% sweat.

Pressing weights toward the ceiling until your muscles tear, your joints groan and you let loose a grunt. When you stop to think about it, it's surprising that there is any enjoyment to be expected from fitness.

Nevertheless, many people enjoy it. There are times, though, that the fun seems to fade. But don't despair, there are plenty of ways to get back to enjoying your workouts!

There Are Times When The Fun Seems To Fade.
+ Click To Enlarge.
There Are Times When
The Fun Seems To Fade.


How Can One Make Their Workout Fun?

Making working out feel less like, well, work, is pretty simple if you implement a few strategies.


On Your Own

    Have A Soundtrack

      There's one thing I make sure I never hit the gym without - some music. In addition to motivating me to get into the zone, listening to music keeps me entertained. You can easily get lost in some of your favorite songs, distracting you from the hard work you're doing. Think about it - if pumping some tunes can make a cross-country road trip fun, there's no way it can't spice up your workout.

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    Track Your Progress

      Nothing can be more satisfying than success. While taking progress pictures or writing down your lifts may seem like a lot of work, it can be rewarding when you watch your body transform.

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[ Video Tip Of The Week ]

      Going from bony and weak to big and strong is a great accomplishment, and seeing the gains will give you more motivation and put a smile on your face. Similarly, setting goals gives you something positive to work toward and gives you a reason to give it all at the gym.

    Start A Journal

      If you're making progress you're proud of, there's no reason to keep it to yourself! One great feature of Bodybuilding.com is the Training Journal section of the forums. Here, you can log your workouts and get comments and ideas from other forum users.

      Having people to share your training and diet with will keep you motivated, and you'll have the opportunity to receive advice on how to improve yourself every day.

BODYBUILDING.COM FORUM: TRAINING JOURNAL
Liftingbuddy1's Training Log.
[ Click To Join The Thread. ]
Liftingbuddy1's Training Log.
GOALS
-Stay healthy
-Enjoy my workouts/rely on insticts
-Build muscle/add LBM
-Help others
Started By:
liftingbuddy1

    Switch Up Your Routine

      Doing the same thing, day in and day out, is a sure-fire recipe for boredom and stagnation. Don't get into a rut - you can switch lifts every time you enter the gym, or overhaul your entire split every few weeks. There's nothing like a new challenge, and trying to master a new machine or technique will brighten your day and make your workout exciting.

      Try switching to some HST or a 5x5 routine, or go from predominately full-body workouts to body part splits. How about a push/pull or upper/lower routine? The possibilities are endless.

      But the changes don't have to be limited to lifting. If you're doing cardio, just switching from the Stairmaster to a stationary bike can make a world of difference. And remember, cardio doesn't have to be done in the weight room. Go for a swim or play some basketball for variety. In addition, even switching what time you hit the gym can have a big effect - you'll find a whole new set of people and maybe meet some new friends!

    Try A New Supplement

      When you were a kid, there was nothing like getting a new toy. Now that you're older, you can get a similar thrill from trying out a new supplement.

      If you feel like your progress has stalled or you're not enjoying yourself, treat yourself to a fancy protein blend or an explosive pre-workout product and your enthusiasm may magically be restored. Having a new, different supplement can make you look forward to your workouts again.


With A Friend Or Two

    Find A Training Partner

      If you're always working out by yourself, things can get boring quickly. However, having a partner is a simple way to solve this issue. This way, going to the gym is also a social event, and you can discuss form and diet as well as things completely unrelated to working out.

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      Your partner will always be there to spot you on difficult lifts and motivate you to pump out one last rep. Once you see how much fun it can be to have a partner, you'll never want to work out without one again.

    Have A Competition

      Having a partner can also bring out your competitive side. In addition to tracking your individual progress, it can be fun to make a game out of lifting. Have some head-to-head challenges to show off your strength and endurance.

      Who can run a mile on the highest incline? Who can bench press 200 lbs for more reps? Who can hold a 50lb weighted dip longer? Obviously, safety precautions should be taken, and common sense is key. One thing is certain - vying for bragging rights can freshen up even the most stale routine.

Who Can Hold A 50lb Weighted Dip Longer?
+ Click To Enlarge.
Who Can Hold A 50-pound Weighted Dip Longer?

    Get Outside The Gym

      Another thing to remember is that all training doesn't have to be done inside the gym. Let's be honest - some gyms are so dingy that you wouldn't want to spend any time there if it weren't for all the weights. You can still train for strength on your own, with body weight exercises and resistance bands.

      Perhaps the most fun thing to do is have your own strongman competition. Get a few friends and do some tire-flipping, empty keg tossing, wall-climbing, sled-pulling or make an obstacle course out of the nearest playground - you're never too old for the monkey bars! Why let the guys on ESPN have all the fun?

    Take A Break

      This can be hard to accept, but it's possible that you may be spending too much time at the gym, and you may regain your enthusiasm with a little time away. Spend some time with friends or family you haven't seen in a while. Whether it's hanging out at home or going out to a bar or sports game, this will get you out of your rut and you may start missing the gym.

BODYBUILDING.COM FORUM: TIME OFF THREAD
Taking Time Off From The Gym.
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Taking Time Off From The Gym.
What's the real scoop on taking a week or some other time period off? Do you only take time when illness, injury or vacation happens?
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      If you want to stay active on your break, grab a friend and try something new such as Muay Thai or Mixed Martial Arts. Or, you could play a more familiar sport such as basketball or baseball. Too much of anything isn't good for you, and constant training can be physically and mentally draining. If you let anything, including bodybuilding, take up too much of your life, your social life and happiness will suffer.

    Adopt A New Technique

      Going to the gym with a friend or two is the perfect opportunity to try something new. Having someone to buddy with will give you a boost of confidence, a permanent spotter, and a watchful eye to help you correct any mistakes on form. Therefore, this is the perfect time to try a new technique, such as incorporating drop sets, supersets, an alternate grip, or even some lifts on the Bosu Ball into your routine. Such techniques are great for breaking up a mundane routine. They are both fun and challenging.

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What Is A Good Routine For Someone Looking For Some Fun In Their Workout?

Trying a new routine is often a sure-fire way to get out of a rut, whether it's affecting your muscles, your mood or both. It doesn't have to be a radical change, just adding a few things you don't usually incorporate can do wonders.

Having set days during which you concentrate on just one or two muscle groups with isolation exercises sometimes gets stale, at least for me. At that point, I like to switch to some full body days, because then I have the freedom to bounce around the gym and do a large variety of lifts. In addition, I love doing dedicated leg days, because I can feel the burn all day.

Lastly, I'll throw in an 'ego boost' day; this is basically an upper power day, on which I try to set some new personal records. Seeing big strength gains and doing a little showing off is always entertaining.

FEATURED PERSONAL RECORDS
Leaf_Longbottom's Personal Record
Workout Name: Legs GVT
Workout Date: May 7, 2009
Exercise: Narrow Stance Squats
New Record: 286.7 lb
[ Click here for complete workout tracker. ]
By: Leaf_Longbottom

papasmurf454's Personal Record
Workout Name: Chest Back LEgs
Workout Date: May 7, 2009
Exercise: Dumbbell Bench Press
New Record: 49.1 lb
[ Click here for complete workout tracker. ]
By: papasmurf454

freeskng's Personal Record
Workout Name: Bi Back
Workout Date: May 7, 2009
Exercise: Dumbbell Bicep Curl
New Record: 61.2 lb
[ Click here for complete workout tracker. ]
By: freeskng

I view cardio as a necessary evil - I like to stay in the best shape possible but I hate slogging it out on the treadmill. However, mixing it up with sports on off days makes me forget I'm even doing work.


Monday - Full Body A


Tuesday - Cardio

    Any of the following:

  • 30-60 minutes of pick-up basketball
  • 30-60 minutes of roller blading/ice skating
  • 30-60 minutes of treadmill in front of PlayStation
  • 30-60 minutes of football
  • 30-60 minutes of tennis
  • Cardio Circuit:

  • 25 Burpees
  • 25 Medicine Ball Slams
  • 25 Pull-Ups

  • Repeat 4 times.

Burpies Burpees
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Burpees.
Video:
WMV (700 KB)


Wednesday - Full Body B


Thursday - Cardio

    Any of the following, preferably not the same as Tuesday:

  • 30-60 minutes of pick-up basketball
  • 30-60 minutes of roller blading/ice skating
  • 30-60 minutes of treadmill in front of PlayStation
  • 30-60 minutes of football
  • 30-60 minutes of tennis
  • Cardio Circuit:

  • 25 Burpees
  • 25 Medicine Ball Slams
  • 25 Pull-Ups

  • Repeat 4 times.

Burpies Burpees
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Burpees.
Video:
WMV (700 KB)


Friday - Leg Day


Saturday - Upper PR Day


Which Is Harder To Make Fun; Weightlifting Or Cardio?

Personally, I cannot stand cardio. I love the rush I get from lifting weights, but something about cardio is unbearable for me; perhaps it is the fact that I ran cross-country in high school and just got sick of it. My dad runs marathons, and I can't fathom how he is able to do that, physically or mentally.

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Another reason why I may not enjoy cardio could be because I don't really see the results of it as easily as I do lifting. Cardiovascular fitness is obviously important, but you can't flex your heart or lungs in a mirror, so at times it can be difficult to feel as if you're progressing or doing anything worthwhile.

Even with interval training, I find cardio monotonous and uninteresting. I can't seem to distract myself from what I'm doing, plus I'm often forced to watch other people lift, which just makes me want to lift more.

The only real solution I have found is playing sports, because it doesn't really seem like cardio to begin with, sports were always a source of fun, not work, to me.


2nd Place - jglickfield
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Making Working Out Fun

I have never met someone who had lukewarm feelings about the gym. They either love it or hate it. A few years ago, I hated it. Weightlifting looked so stupid. Sets, reps, rest time - all so time consuming. Boring. Sure, we all need to exercise, but why not just shoot some hoops to keep the cardiologist away?

Why Not Just Shoot Some Hoops To Keep The Cardiologist Away?
+ Click To Enlarge.
Why Not Just Shoot Some Hoops
To Keep The Cardiologist Away?

Then I discovered why people who loved the gym did so. The best part of the gym is the gym itself. The environment of individual achievement and competition, body transformation, and camaraderie is something unique, and the most fun part of working out.

So, given this, I will now provide three steps to making working out more fun.


1. Find A Partner

    This made a huge difference for me. Just having a friend there makes the whole thing better. You have someone to talk to on the way to and from the gym. Someone who depends on you and is waiting for you.

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    It is important to find someone at your level (or a little above or below) so that you have similar workouts. If you are a novice lifter and he is preparing for competition, his workouts will be too taxing for you (and yours not intense enough for him) so you will be doing different things and that is hardly partnership.

    Get someone who is upbeat and competitive. Someone who you can have little games and competitions with. Bet him $20 that you can do more squats than him or that you can run longer on the treadmill. Have a weekly competition to see who broke more personal records. Chances are, just adding this one new variable, a gym buddy, will make the process of working out a lot more fun.


2. Challenge Yourself Every Workout!

    It is important to challenge yourself if you want to develop more muscle ... and it also makes things a lot more fun. Try new, heavier weights. Go for more reps. Keep a training log so that you know what your 1 rep max is, what your personal records are, and try to break them.

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    Be competitive with yourself. See it as a game. Now, breaking personal records can be hard the way most people train. You will not be breaking any records on dumbbell flyes if you have just done 12 other chest sets before. But I will get to describing a more fun, exciting way to train in the next section.


3. Take Pictures And Measurements

    If you are just getting started this must sound preposterous and embarrassing. Why would you want a record of how skinny or fat you were? How pale and sickly you look. You want these pictures so that you will know how far you've come.

    Wouldn't it be awesome to be featured as Bodybuilding.com's Transformation of the Week? How good would you feel. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and believe me, there is nothing more fun than knowing how far you've come. The same goes with measurements.

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    It is a lot of fun to tell yourself, friends and family that you have put 4 inches onto your arms, reduced your body fat by 8 percent or gained 12 pounds of muscle. Bodybuilding is really a process with no actual end - no one has a perfect physique - and the most rewarding part is the process itself.

    The process of self-improvement can be a lot of fun, but only if you keep accurate measurements to know exactly how far you have come.


A Good Routine For Someone Looking To Add Fun To Their Workout

I find that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) addresses all of the problems of people who don't find the gym fun, and for those who do, lets them add a new dimension to their training. In my experience, it also produces greater gains in size and strength.

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Why is it more fun? Three reasons: it is faster, focuses on strength gains and increasing weights with every workout, and does not overtax your system, leaving you more able to participate in sports and other physical activities without feeling fatigued from performing 30 sets per workout, 4-6 times per week.

For cardiovascular training I suggest playing sports (basketball, football, swimming, tennis, etc) if traditional outlets like jogging do not appeal to you.

Many people also like to go for hikes, walk a pet or ride a bike through a park. Rollerblading and dancing may appeal to female trainees (or male, no one's judging).


A HIT Workout To Add Fun To Your Training!

    This is a weekly training split, make sure that you have at least one day off between workouts, take more time off if needed. Every week attempt to raise weight on at least half of your exercises. Use strict form, doing reps slowly and deliberately.

    This system will have you going to the gym three times per week and doing an average of 11 sets (if we are counting warm-up sets as sets), less than half of what your average training split would require.

    This is great for someone who wants a quicker, more fun workout.

TERMS YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW
Failure - That point in an exercise at which you have so fully fatigued your working muscles that they can no longer complete an additional rep.
Drop Sets - Also known as strip sets, drop sets involve the immediate reduction of weight between sets with no rest. This will thoroughly burn out a muscle.
Forced Reps - Forced reps are a frequently used method of extending a set past the point of failure to induce greater gains in muscle mass and quality. With forced reps, a training partner pulls upward on the bar just enough for you to grind out two or three reps past the failure threshold.
Rest-Pause - Do a set to failure. Rest for 5 to 10 seconds then do a few more reps with the same weight. Do this once or a few times depending on your energy levels and how far you wish to push. With this technique you can take a weight you can only do for a certain number of reps and increase that amount.


Day 1: Chest And Back

  • Incline Bench Press*: Do two-three warm-up sets followed by 1 set to failure, followed by 2 forced reps.
  • Incline Chest flyes*: One light warm-up set, 1 set to failure, with a drop set where you reduce weight by 25% and continue a second time to failure without rest.
  • Bent-Over Barbell Row**: Do two-three warm-up sets followed by 1 set of 6-8 to failure, put the barbell down, use the rest/pause method of counting to 10 and then continuing on to failure once again.
  • Reverse Grip Pullups: 2 sets to failure. Use assistance if necessary to get at least 6 per set.

  • Click Here For A Printable Log Of jglickfield's Day 1 Workout.

    * On alternating weeks switch Incline presses/flyes with decline presses/flyes. Same protocols.

    ** On alternating weeks switch rows with deadlifts. Same protocols.


Day 2: Arms And Shoulders

  • Barbell Curl: Do one warm-up set followed by 1 set of 6-10 to failure, followed by 2 forced reps.
  • Dumbbell Curl: One light warm-up set, 1 set of 6-10 to failure, with a drop set where you reduce weight by 25% and continue a second time to failure without rest.
  • Close-Grip Bench Press: Do two warm-up set followed by 1 set of 8-10 to failure, followed by 2 forced reps.
  • Dips: 2 sets to failure. Use assistance if necessary to get at least 6 per set.
  • Upright Rows: Do two warm-up sets followed by 1 set of 6-8 to failure, put the barbell down, use the rest/pause method of counting to 10 and then continuing on to failure once again.
  • Bent-Over Lateral Raises: One light warm-up set, 1 set of 10-12 to failure, with a drop set where you reduce weight by 25% and continue a second time to failure without rest.

  • Click Here For A Printable Log Of jglickfield's Day 2 Workout.


Day 3: Legs

  • Leg Extension: One light warm-up set, 1 set of 10-12 to failure, with a drop set where you reduce weight by 25% and continue a second time to failure without rest.
  • Leg Press: Two warm-up sets, followed by 1 set of 10-15 to failure, with a drop set where you reduce weight by 25% and continue a second time to failure without rest.
  • Squats: Two warm-up sets, followed by 1 set of 10-12 to failure, with one forced rep.
  • Lying Leg Curls: One light warm-up set, 1 set of 10-12 to failure, with a drop set where you reduce weight by 25% and continue a second time to failure without rest.
  • Standing Calf Raises: One light warm-up set, 1 set of 12-20 to failure, with a drop set where you reduce weight by 25% and continue a second time to failure without rest.

  • Click Here For A Printable Log Of jglickfield's Day 3 Workout.

For cardio use sports and games, like I mentioned above.


Which Is Harder To Make Fun; Weightlifting Or Cardio?

For sure weightlifting. Some people hate it and always will, but everyone likes some sort of cardio. Who dislikes every sport? Who hates walking through a nature trail or with their pet in the park?

There is some type of cardio for everyone, but weights are different. They are also more repetitive (no pun intended). A bench press is always a bench press, whether you do it in a gym, in a forest, or on Muscle Beach. You can paint the bar pink if you want and play any type of music. It is still a bench press. But if you jog through a gym, a forest, or down Muscle Beach, it is a totally different experience.

A Bench Press Is Always A Bench Press No Matter Where You Do It.
+ Click To Enlarge.
A Bench Press Is Always A Bench
Press No Matter Where You Do It.

Cardio might be inconvenient and time consuming, but there is some way for everyone to do it. In fact, for those who are put off by how time consuming it is, there are countless articles on this website about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which burns calories in less time.

As we have seen, there are literally dozens of options to spice up your workout and countless ways to increase the fun. Just find what works for you and the rest will happen by itself.


3rd Place - Silver-Wolfe
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Everybody, even the best of bodybuilding, starts with one goal in mind: to become the best. The best meaning being huge but also being shredded to the bones. That is all long-term goals. So everything sounds great. You have your long-term goal in mind. So now the short term goal is to consistently going to the gym and force those muscle fibers into growth.

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So you have been doing 8-12 reps of 3 sets and progressively increasing the weights as it gets easier. Great! You increase the weight but you feel as if the workout did nothing to stimulate the muscles and when you look in the mirror you don't see the results for you hard work.

As you keep going everything seems dull and boring as your rep range, sets and intensity are always the same. Now instead of being fired up and psyched during a set you're just going through the motion and just there to lift.

Now is the perfect time to jack up the intensity and grow like never before.

Now Is The Perfect Time To Jack Up The Intensity.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Now Is The Perfect Time
To Jack Up The Intensity.


How Can One Make Their Workout Fun?

There are several things you can do to make a workout fun. It all depends how your personality fits the intensity. But the only factor that contributes to a fun workout is a challenging one.

Doing 8-12 reps of 3 sets of the same 3 exercises day in and day out will get boring. Why does it get so boring? Well your body pretty much adapts to the movement, the rep range, the set and the weights. Now the only thing you might do is increase the weights, but you can only pile on so much. Before you know it you will plateau.

If everyone can keep piling plates to the bar then the world would be benching or squatting 2,000 pounds and curling 300 pounds. So now you need to not only increase the weight but jack up the intensity to stimulate the muscle and not just lifting from point A to point B and back.


Decrease Rest Time

    By decreasing the rest time you can bring more intensity to your workout. This will keep the muscle pump, but this time you'll have to lower the weights. Just lower the weights and really feel the muscle working.


Manipulate Rep Speed

    Most people either do fast concentric and eccentric or slow eccentric and fast concentric. You can change things by making both the concentric and eccentric slow or you can make the concentric slow and eccentric explosive.

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How Important Is Rep Speed?
Does it make a huge difference if I start doing all my reps for every exercise slow on the contraction and also on the relaxation? How fast do you guys do them? Explosive then slow or what?
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Superset

    A superset is a classic among old-school bodybuilders. A Superset is doing two exercises without rest. You can do them with two antagonist muscle groups or protagonist muscle groups. Antagonist muscle groups are done with opposing muscle groups like the biceps and triceps.

    For example: do a barbell curl and after your last rep you go straight to cable pushdowns for triceps. These are a great time saver and can cut your workout time in half. This also keeps the intensity high.

    A protagonist muscle group is the same muscle group. For example: you are working the quads. You start with an isolation movement like the leg extension and do them for high reps around 12-20. Whatever your preference is. Then immediately go to the squat rack and squat away. With that you can also save time from doing an isolation later on and helps you feel the quads working more in a compound exercise like the squats.

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Superset Video Guide!

Are you trying to bust through a plateau or increase the intensity of your workouts? This is a good way to train if time is limited. Supersetting involves doing two exercises with no rest in between. There are a number of different types of supersets.

Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
Or Download Here:
WMV (7.9 MB) MPEG (6.2 MB) Video iPod (.8 MB)
[ Intensity Building Techniques ]


Giant Set

    Giant sets are 3 or more exercises that are all done without rest. These are great for big or small muscle groups. I may recommend this more for smaller muscle groups like calves, forearms and abs. For big muscle groups you should focus on heavy compound movements.

    Here is a sample workout for calves:

    1. Do one set of standing calf raises for 12-15 reps
    2. Then do seated calf raises for 15-20 reps
    3. Then on an elevated surface do body-weight calf raises focusing on the stretch at the bottom and the contraction at the top going to failure
    4. Then do one-legged calf raises to failure

    Remember to focus on the stretching eccentric portion as well as the contraction portion throughout the exercise. As you can see you will get an absolutely out-of-this-world pump and the burning sensation is crazy! Try it out and have fun!


Drop Set

    This is absolutely my favorite. If you are up for a hardcore workout then you must try this. A drop set is when you use your current weight and you go to failure then you immediately strip of a weight/plate and then do more reps until you hit failure again and then you can go again or stop from there.

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Drop Sets Video Guide!

These are done with barbells. Do a set then, pull off a preset amount of weight. Continue with that weight. Keep stripping as desired. This will thoroughly burn out a muscle.

Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
Or Download Here:
WMV (.6 MB) MPEG (4.9 MB) Video iPod (.6 MB)
[ Intensity Building Techniques ]

    I recommend you do this as your last set to really fire all the muscle fibers. If you have been on the same weight then try this. This will absolutely kill your muscle fibers!


Rest Pause

    Rest pause are great when you are lifting heavy or hit failure and just want to get in more reps. Here is how it works. You lift until failure or near failure, rack the weights rest for about 10-15 and go again until you have to stop again - keep going if you want to. Again, like I said, great for heavy weights - instead of 4 reps you can do 8 reps.

RELATED VIDEO


Rest-Pause Video Guide!

Rest-Pause Training works very well for high rep training as well when lactic acid burn forces you to stop.

Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
Or Download Here:
WMV (1.1 MB) MPEG (3.9 MB) Video iPod (.6 MB)
[ Intensity Building Techniques ]


Back To The Basics - Old School

    Lift heavier. Do more of the basics like squats, deadlifts and rows. Use really heavy weights and go as low as 4 reps and as high as 6 or even 8. Use rest pause or superset and isolation exercises with a big compound exercise. Go nuts!

    Those are just some of the few ways to get you started. I can't list them all because, trust me, you will get more bored of me than your workout. These are a few things to try and that's good that your workout is boring. That means you are progressing and advancing. Some people just jump to quickly into the advanced stuff and they just get burned out.


What Is A Good Routine For Someone Looking For Some Fun In Their Workout?

There are way too many routines to make your workouts fun. My favorites are the push/pull/leg split and the 5x5 routine. Since I am feeling nice today I am going to give you examples on how to do these. They are simple but effective.

BODYBUILDING.COM FORUM: PUSH/PULL/LEG
Push/Pull/Legs Anyone?
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Push/Pull/Legs Anyone?
Looking for help with this push/pull/legs split that is four days a week and if anyone has tried this method with success or negative things?
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The mistake is that people, young or old, are making things too advanced. Yes, it's nice to challenge yourself but trying to do all supersets, drop sets, and giant sets sounds very bad if you have any common sense.

Yeah, a pro bodybuilder is doing it and has great results but he's a pro and like you his workout is stalling now and he needs to up the intensity. He has gone through everything you hadn't gone through and his body is adapted to all the routines. Anyway just keep that in mind. Let's get started.

A 5x5 is simple ... you basically just do 5 sets of 5 reps. Remember to warm up with some light weights first. Here is a sample chest workout for the 5x5 routine.


5X5 Routine

TERMS YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW
Superset - Alternating back and forth between two exercises until the prescribed number of sets is complete.


A Good Split:

    This is just a sample. If you like you can put the lagging body part for the first day of the week. I put legs so you'll be fresh and can hit them hard. You should put 100% intensity on all body parts. This split will ensure you do not overtrain.

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    Notice that not every one is 5x5. Well, you can keep everything 5x5 but I like it better with some variety. For the 5x5 remember to use a heavy enough weight for 5 reps and 2 reps short of failure too. If you use a weight that hits failure on the first set and rest for one minute on the second set you won't be able to do 5 reps again. So keep it two reps short of failure.

    Now for the push/pull/leg split. You will be working out 3 times a week so you will have plenty of time to rest and that means more growth. OK, so here is a sample workout.


Push/Pull/Leg Split Routine

TERMS YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW
Failure - That point in an exercise at which you have so fully fatigued your working muscles that they can no longer complete an additional rep.
Pyramids - Increasing the weight with each new set while decreasing the number of reps. The weight is then reduced and the reps increased.


Exercises For Your Ab Workout

    Crunches

      Lay down on a mat on the floor, bending your knees slightly so your feet are flat on the floor. Curling your hands behind your head, slowly lift your shoulders off the mat, squeezing your abdominal muscles with each raise. Be sure not to pull your neck upward; rather make it a natural, smooth-flowing motion.


Click To Enlarge.
Crunches.
Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

      Lift only your shoulder blades off the mat and hold that position for a span of two seconds before slowly releasing the shoulders back to the mat. Be sure not to let your shoulders completely rest on the mat before beginning your next repetition. Do three sets of 30 reps, taking only a few seconds of rest between sets.

    Cable Crunches

      Set up a double-rope at the cable machine. With your knees planted on the floor, grab the ropes with both hands, locking them into the sides of your head. Slowly bring your elbows - and the resistance - down to your knees, holding the contraction for a 2-count.


Click To Enlarge.
Cable Crunches.
Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

      It is like your trying to hug a tree log. Then slowly rise up to a position where your torso is parallel to the floor and repeat the motion. Try three sets of 25-30 reps at a moderate weight.

    Knee Ups

      Sit on the edge of a bench, grasping on the sides of the bench with your hands to maintain steady balance. With your legs extended outward, slowly pull your knees into your chest, squeezing the abdominal muscles during the contraction. Hold this position for two seconds and then slowly extend your legs before repeating the motion. Try to keep the rocking and bouncing to a minimum. Do three sets of 25 reps for this exercise.


Click To Enlarge.
Knee Ups (Shown Using Parallel Bars).
Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

    Knee Raises

      Find a firm grasp on an overhead chin-up bar with your arms spread slightly wider than your shoulders. Make sure that your feet are not touching the floor.

      Trying not to swing or rock, slowly bring your knees toward your abdomen so your knees are locked at a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your abs and hold for a moment before slowly releasing your legs back to a straight position. Wrist straps are often used to assure a firm grip on the bar. Attempt three sets of 10-15 reps per set.


Click To Enlarge.
Knee Raises.
Video : Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

    Any of these exercises can be done with your torso twisted at an angle in order to hit those stingy, hard-to-develop obliques. Also, abdominal muscles should be trained as frequently (no more, no less) as any other muscle group, which is on the average of one or two times a week.


Which Is Harder To Make Fun; Weightlifting Or Cardio?

I think neither is harder to make fun. It is just how bad are you willing to work for the results. But that doesn't mean it won't be fun sometimes. But compare weightlifting to cardio, cardio is definitely hard to make fun. If you are cutting you will be increasing your cardio time and frequency.

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The things you can do are to try different machines, do high intensity cardio or high intensity interval cardio. You can also run outside instead of the machines which can make the mood better because of the natural scenarios. That is about it. But we're not pro bodybuilders or competing ... yet. So try some new things out, even if it may sound crazy. Hey, who knows, it might work for you.


3rd Place - big game hunter
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


How Can One Make Their Workout Fun?

Here is a little something that Arnold Schwarzenegger once said about what he felt about exercising and pumping up.

"It's as satisfying to me as, uh, cumming is, you know? As, ah, having sex with a woman and cumming. And so can you believe how much I am in heaven? I am like, uh, getting the feeling of cumming in a gym, I'm getting the feeling of cumming at home, I'm getting the feeling of cumming backstage when I pump up, when I pose in front of 5,000 people, I get the same feeling, so I am cumming day and night. I mean, it's terrific. Right? So you know, I am in heaven." -Arnold Schwarzenegger

This clearly shows that exercising and working out can be a powerful tool which can compare with some of the best experiences of your life.

Working Out Can Can Compare With Some Of The Best Experiences Of Your Life.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Working Out Can Can Compare With Some
Of The Best Experiences Of Your Life.

For some people building muscle and/or losing fat can be a painfully boring experience. This is not good in the long run. It is easier to be committed for a longer period if you enjoy what you do than it is to trudge along wanting not to do it.

Arnold had absolutely no problems with motivation and keeping things working in his favor at the gym. Point is, when you are able to draw so much satisfaction out of exercising, you will not think of quitting.

I bet you come across several early quitters in your local gym. And there a large number of these quitters who quit mainly because their experience was boring. People are always looking for stuff that can help them make their experience more enjoyable - even in gyms. Perhaps they could consider one or more of the points I am going to bring out in the following section.

Now let's take a look at some of the stuff that one can incorporate into an exercise cycle so as to make it more fun:


1. Music

    Portable music players can be real handy for music lovers. People often like to listen to music while they exercise. Carrying your music in your pockets and listening to it while exercising can be a good idea.

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2. Groups

    Join as a group. A group of friend(s) with similar interests often find that they can derive more energy and motivation from each other.


3. Friendly Competition

    Try competing against your partner or against yourself. Try to do things better than you did them the last time around and you will automatically be able to improve.


4. Games

    Play games. Healthy competition amongst fellow fitness friends can be fun and gets the job done too.


5. Educate Yourself

    Teach each other. Form groups of people in the gym. Meet regularly and have discussions. Each person may present a new point or a new finding or share knowledge on a certain area. This way the group is always researching and sharing data.

Meet And Share Knowledge On Certain Areas.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Meet And Share Knowledge On Certain Areas.


6. Entertainment

    Use televisions, music players, motivational music or videos in your gym.


7. Write Down Your Goals

    Have a board in your gym where you are go and write down your goals for the day at the start of your routine.


8. Try New Locations

    Experiment with places. If possible, experiment with gyms, new places for outdoor cardio, etc.

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9. Try New Routines

    Experiment with routines. There are several combinations and exercises out there to keep you interested I am sure.


10. Toys

    Add toys if possible. Balls, hoops, ropes, etc. are fun to work with and exercise at the same time.


11. Go Shopping

    Plan fitness shopping. Equipment and supplements are fun to go shopping for. You get to look at a lot of other stuff at the store as well.


12. Try A New Trainer

    Try learning from different coaches / experts. Meeting new people allows you to learn more and get a wider perspective.

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13. Pose

    If you are into bodybuilding or fitness training, do regular posing routines for a small audience and have them judge you. Invite friends and family to watch and cheer.


14. Make A Video

    Create your own little video series. Record and tape yourself over a one week or one month course and watch yourself on television later on.


15. Cook

    Learn cooking for fitness. Learn to prepare healthy dishes that will help you achieve your fitness goal.


16. Share A Meal

    Have special dinners and lunches with fitness partners.

Have Dinner With A Fitness Partner.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Have Dinner With A Fitness Partner.


17. Relax

    Relax. Examples go for a movie together with your friends after your workout, or hang out in the swimming pool together, or plan your routines for the next week. Find your own ways to unwind after an intense workout.


What Is A Good Routine For Someone Looking For Some Fun In Their Workout?

Here is a sample routine for someone who focuses on cardio.


Day One

    Swimming for 1-to-2 hours. Having friends makes it more fun. I love to play diving for a coin or just catches with a ball in the pool.


Day Two

    Jogging on the beach for 40 minutes to an hour. The portable pocket sized music players come in handy here.

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Day Three

    A relatively lighter day. 10 minutes of brisk walking plus 10 minutes of jump rope.


Day Four

    Mountain biking for one to two hours. Mountain biking always keeps you focused because of the terrain and the extra bit of adventure and adrenaline involved.


Day Five


Day Six

    Another lighter day to round off the week. A game of Frisbee (flying disc) on the beach or in the park.

Play A Game Of Frisbee In The Park.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Play A Game Of Frisbee In The Park.


Day Seven

    Rest

    The above routine hardly ever gets boring because of the variety of activities and challenges on offer. It is an instant hit among several people. Most people normally prefer to take two rest days instead of just one, which is fine too. Adjust the routine according to your needs.

    Now, here is a sample routine for someone who focuses on lifting weights.


Day One: Chest And Back Superset

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Day Two: Shoulders


Day Three: Abs

I Love Going Out To The Juice Bar Near By.
+ Click To Enlarge.
I Love Going Out To The
Juice Bar Near By.


Day Four: Rest Day

    On a rest day it is a good idea to meet up with fitness partners and exchange notes or points on certain topics that each person has researched on. Split up topics among yourselves and exchange views or have discussions.


Day Five: Arms Superset

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Day Six: Legs

    Warm up with 10 minutes of jogging, a few light sets to get each body part going, some stretches and get ready for the main workout.

  • Squats: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
  • Lunges: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
  • Leg Extensions: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
  • Hamstring Leg Curls: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

  • Click Here For A Printable Log Of big game hunter's Day Six Workout.

    Now, the fun part. Leg days are tough. I frequently use motivational sayings or proverbs or a bodybuilding IFBB hero such as Jay Cutler for inspiration. I plan my workout well in advance.

    It is a good thing to have a partner on the leg day especially. Challenging each other on exercises and sets and pushing yourselves to come through is easier.

    At the end of leg day, you probably have legs that feel like jello. I love immersing my entire lower body into cool water. Sitting on the edge of a swimming pool and dipping your lower body inside the cool water, sipping on a cool protein shake is fun at this point. If a pool is not available, a cool shower with the protein drink in your sipper bottle should work great too.


Day Seven: Rest

    Sunday is usually the rest day. It is a good day to hang out with friends and training partners. Go over or have them over at your place and have lunch together and then enjoy a movie or a game on television. Do not waste your rest day. It is an important day in the routine because it helps you unwind for the week ahead. You can also plan supplement shopping on these days.

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    If you want a combo routine where you want to mix weight training with cardio, you can mix up the two sample routines presented above to suit your needs. Here is an example:


Which Is Harder To Make Fun; Weightlifting Or Cardio?

This depends on what the person likes. Some like weightlifting, some like cardio. Weightlifting can give you pumps and strength that you would love to carry around, while cardio allows you build endurance and to explore new places and environments more often.

Cardio offers you lot more options to train and achieve the same results. While weight lifting can be limited to a certain set of exercises or movements. But then again these limited set of exercises and movements per body part are more than enough for certain guys to keep them going all their lives.

But then the beauty of working out is that we can actually mix and match weightlifting and cardio to suit our goals and likes. There is nothing that is going go stop you from enjoying the best of both worlds. It is all in the choices we make for ourselves.

Have fun!