Archive for the tag - pleasure

8 Tips: How to Make Strength Training More Fun!

Dear Davey,

I love doing cardio because I have so much fun with it – I even teach a Zumba class. What can I do to make weight lifting more fun? I can’t stand just staring at the walls and just repeatedly lifting weights.

Bored,
Randall

Randall, you certainly aren’t alone in your disdain for the monotony of weight lifting. And as a fitness instructor, I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you about the importance of doing both cardio AND strength training. So, here are a few tips to make your strength training program a bit more enjoyable:

  1. Bring your iPod! If you’re just staring at walls and repeatedly lifting weights, at least do it to some good music. Create a strength training playlist with your favorite tunes. For a while, I was on an audio book kick – I love listening to stories while at the gym.
  2. Lift with a friend! In Toronto, I have the luxury of exercising with my boyfriend. The time goes by so much faster when you have someone with whom to chat.
  3. Join a class! Since you love Zumba, you may also enjoy a strength training class – most gyms have them! Generally, the lifting is fairly light (so you won’t be building a ton of muscle), but it’s a great class for beginners or people looking to get toned.
  4. Strength train in front of the TV! There are plenty of great strength training exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home (like push-ups, for example). Do 30 push-ups during commercial breaks while watching Glee.
  5. Try something new! Sure, lifting is repetitive by nature. But it doesn’t mean that you need to do the same exercises over and over again. Search on Google for some different exercises to try. Breathe new life into your fitness program.
  6. Set goals, and then achieve them! Why not get competitive with yourself? Challenge yourself to reach a goal (i.e., bench pressing 120 lbs for 8 reps) and then slowly build up to it. You’ll enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you finally reach your goal.
  7. Just do one or two sets! Did you know that the vast majority of strength training benefits come from the first set? The added benefit of each additional set is relatively small and diminishing. Limit yourself to two sets (or even one) if your attention span is short.
  8. Lift in between cardio intervals! Since you enjoy cardio, why not break up your workout and add a strength training exercise or two in each 5-minute cardio interval? It just may be enough to keep you interested.

At the end of the day, working out isn’t really about it being fun. Though throwing a few weights around is more fun than living with diabetes or debilitating back problems (the risks of both are minimized by strength training).

If you can enjoy your workout, great! But it’s really more about the benefits of being healthy and fit than it is about fun.

Blog buddies, if you have any tips for making exercise more fun, then please share in the comments below!