The Secret No One Tells You to Beat Boredom in the Gym

Written by Camilla Dempster

We’re in an age of magazine titles telling you exactly what to do to lose weight to be happy.  Which mostly isn’t true – your happiness is not linked to your body weight, shape or strength. But that’s another article.  When was the last time you stopped to actually think about what you really want to do in the gym (or outside of it?)


I ponder what movement and exercise you’d do if money and/or appearance was not part of the equation? Would you spend hours on the treadmill?  Or doing classes that leave you feeling drained or embarrassed jiggling you bits?  Or lifting weights because you’re trainer told you to?

If that is your jam then that’s freaking cool, but if not you may be left bored, lacking motivation and hating every moment.  There is nothing worse than getting to the end of you day and dreading that drive to the gym because you’re so bored of it. Or dragging yourself out of bed to go do that spinning class before work when you hate it.

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Now there are a number of things you can do, like exercise with friends, not go, push yourself to go an ultimately burn out or something new. That’s what I’m introducing to you today.

Use my signature method to work out your exercise personality and then pick exercises that suit YOU.  Everyone is individual so let’s use that information to individualize the type of movement you get so that you can truly be energized and motivated to go do your thing.  And you know what? Every single one of the thousands of people I train at NLPerform improve their exercise consistency from 17% to 93% when they commit.  That’s because they love what they do.

So to work out your exercise personality ask yourself the following three questions:

A. Is it more important for you to feel challenged or feel structured during your workouts?

  1. Challenged = Progressive

  2. Structured = Traditional

B. When you need to reduce stress are you more likely to do activities that are exciting and adventurous or activities that are calming and practical?

  1. Exciting & Adventurous = Progressive

  2. Calming & Practical = Traditional

C. Do you enjoy exercise more when it involves a routine that you can adhere to or one that offers variety?

  1. Variety = Progressive

  2. Routine = Traditional

If you scored ALL answers either one or the other you are as stated, if you stated 1 or 2 or each of answered ‘both’ to some of the questions you are hybrid. This means that:

Traditional Exercise Personality – You like more traditional structured based exercise routines  and known movements. They like using equipment such as DB, BB, Benches, Speed ladders, Medicine balls and cable machines. The exercises are preferably organized, with rules to follow that are goal driven and include competition.  Go to the gym, get a routine and smash some traditional weights, cardio or whatever gets you WANTING to move.

Progressive Exercise Personality –  You prefer unknown movements with tennis balls, balloons, ViPR, Sandbells, Dance classes, Ropes and Kinesis machines. The movements will be less organized, with minimal rules, fun and emotionally driven.  Go wherever you want and move in a way that gives you variety and helps you to have FUN.  You can be outside, in a pole dancing class, hitting some gymnastics or even Zumba.

Hybrid Exercise Personality – You really get to choose between the two.

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Some of you will prefer to have a very specific and practical purpose for every movement and that means you are more the traditional style. Or maybe you’ll prefer to go on an adventure with your movements and exercise without needing a practical reason and you are a more progressive style. If you enjoy both once again you are more of a hybrid style.  Mostly you may float along a traditional to progressive continuum that changes day to day, your lifestyle and your stress levels.   By remaining adaptable to your daily needs and desires ensures that you will remain consistent with your training.  To find some example exercise programs written specifically for your exercise personality click here

When you are intrinsically motivated and emotionally attached to go move, in a way that you find enjoyable, you will find a way to get out and do that movement. Be more active doing the things that you love. The gym doesn’t have to be a chore.

Moral of the story?  Do what you love, and you’ll love what you do.  Show up, do it, get your results. Join thousands of like minded folks just like you in our conversation community about all things fitness, food, dogs and motivation here

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Camilla Dempster

My name is Cam – I’m your health and lifestyle companion. I run, with my husband, an online and in person health and wellness coaching service. We get next level results, accelerated, for life. I run marathons, fell run, lift heavy stuff around and love to cook and walk with my Huskerman (Husky cross Doberman). I believe that everyone can live their best life; I provide the tools, accountability and fun to be able to adopt a healthy lifestyle for life.