One Easy Way to Make Working Out Suck Less
As someone who struggles more with taking days off than getting workouts in, it can often be difficult to empathize with someone who claims to not enjoy working out. After all, who doesn't like getting in the gym and lifting some heavy weights!
For many avoiders, the problem is trying to find purpose in lifting something heavy, only to put it back down and repeat until they are bored. By that definition of working out, I agree - it doesn't sound great.
Anything we choose to do we do because we find value in it. You read your Bible because you value the word of God. You go to work because you value a pay check. You play with your kids because you value your family.
To make working out more enjoyable, you need to add value, or purpose to it. It's not enough to simply want to look better - that takes time and in a world of instant gratification, waiting is not fun. It's going to take more than one workout to reveal the hard work you've put in.
Track, Track, Track
Instead of going in and mindlessly lifting weights, keep track of the weight you lift, how many times you lift it and try to get better over time.
Laying down to do a bench press with an arbitrary weight for an arbitrary amount of reps is boring. However, if you know that last time you lifted 135lbs five times, you can now challenge yourself to try and lift that same weight six times. Or, maybe you try to lift 140lbs five times.
Tracking your workout volume (sets x reps x weight) gives you a mini goal each workout - get stronger. It is not only motivating but it gives you objective data that you are changing. If you are able to do more total volume over time, you are getting stronger - change is happening.
This idea is called progressive overload. It's the idea that, over time, you are adding weight and/or repetitions to your lifts. It's the number one driver behind building strength. Pursuing progressive overload doesn't mean that you have to get stronger every workout, but over time you should be looking to add weight, improve form, or feel more stability in your movement - those are all indicators of increased strength.
You don't have to track all of your lifts (although lots of people do), but I would suggest doing at least your big compound ones: bench press, squat, deadlift and overhead press. If you workout at home, counting push-ups, chin-ups or squats is also a great idea.