Sick of Training? Here are 5 Ways to Reignite Your Passion for Exercise

Of course you love exercise.

But right now, it sure doesn’t feel like it.

You’re tired. You’re worn out.

Taking a break from formal exercise, by running a 5K dressed like a zombie in full military gear.

Taking a break from formal exercise, by running a 5K dressed like a zombie in full military gear.

You’re bored.

Part of you wants to stop training. But you don’t let yourself.

You’re an athlete, and you’ve been training hard for months, even years. You don’t want to lose all of your hard earned progress. You don’t want to turn into a sedentary “blerch.”

If you don’t change something soon, you’re going to crack. You won’t be able to drag yourself out of bed every morning to complete another boring, miserable workout.

Here’s how to stay active and fit when the very word “exercise” makes you want to crawl into bed.

1. Try a new sport.

When you get really obsessed with one kind of exercise you get tunnel vision. You view yourself as a “runner”, or “weightlifter” or “football player.”

It’s hard to imagine yourself doing anything else.

But you can, and you should if you’re tired of your primary sport.

If you’re a runner, try cycling.

Kayaker? Try stand up paddleboarding.

Wrestler? Try football.

Basketball player? Try ultimate frisbee.

Triathlete? Try bodybuilding.

You can still be your obsessive, driven, passionate self, you’ll just be applying your talent to a new sport. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels.

One of the other benefits is that because you’re a beginner, you’ll make rapid progress.

Sometimes, however, you need to take all of your sports less seriously.

2. Try a sport for fun, instead of performance.

You want to get outside and stay active, but you’re tired of pushing yourself to the limit in every workout.

You’re tired of meticulously tracking your workouts, trying to improve every time.

Here’s the solution: Take a break from competitive sports, even ones where you only compete against yourself like recreational bodybuilding. Try something for fun.

Play ultimate frisbee with your friends.

Play a game of pickup soccer or basketball.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Here’s an example: For years I thought the only fun part about volleyball was that it generally involved hot tall girls.

In the past few months, however, I’ve devoted almost every Saturday to all-day pickup volleyball. It’s one of the best parts of my life right now, because a) watching drunk people try to hit a ball is funny, and b) there’s no pressure to do well — we’re all just having fun.

Of course, there’s no reason you need use sports to stay active.

3. Stay active without formal sports.

When you train for a single sport, you almost forget that there are other ways to exercise. Or, you don’t forget, but you don’t have the time or energy to focus on other things.

Here are a few ways to stay active without training for a formal sport:

Go dancing.

It’s a lot harder than you think, and even funner than it looks.

Dancing also gives you an excuse to get out of the house and have fun with other people. Dance classes are also usually cheap, so you can take them for a while, get pretty good, and not spend that much.

Seriously, doesn’t this look awesome?

Take long walks.

Easily one of the best kinds of exercise on earth. Walking is easy, so you can do it when you’re tired, sore, or unmotivated. You don’t need any equipment, so you can do it when you’re traveling or any time of day.

You can also talk to other people while you’re walking, which makes the time go by much faster.

Go hiking.

Exercise doesn't have to suck.

Exercise doesn’t have to suck.

Hiking doesn’t feel like a “workout.”

It’s an adventure and an experience, which makes it more enjoyable.

Every time you go on a hike, even if it’s through the same area, you’ll find something new. Hiking is usually free, requires no training, and is even better with friends. It’s also a great way to get away from your computer and people in general, except for the ones you take with you.

And sometimes you find rope swings over dried up river beds, which become endlessly entertaining.

Take yoga classes.

Like dancing, yoga is harder than it looks.

Like walking, you can do it almost anywhere, and it’s fun to do with someone else. Even if you’re not really into meditation (I’m not), yoga is a nice way to relax.

There are countless other ways to stay active without participating in a formal sport. Get creative.

Sometimes, however, even a walk is more than you can handle, and that’s fine.

4. Stop working out.

You make yourself train when most people are home.

We've all had those days.

We’ve all had those days.

You don’t let yourself take breaks, and that’s a problem.

Everyone, including Olympic athletes, takes breaks from their training. When you’re completely unmotivated to workout, you’re not going to make much progress anyway. Over the long-term, you’re better off taking a break from exercise and focusing on something else.

There’s a reason the best child athletes always don’t become the best adult athletes — they burn out.1,2

The key to taking time off is to find other that make you happy and fulfilled, instead of vegging. (Though some of that’s fine too).

I get it, you’re worried that if you take a break you’ll get out of shape and won’t have the motivation to get started again.

You won’t let that happen. You love working out, and when you’re ready, you’ll come back stronger than before.

If you’re still not convinced, which of these two situations would you prefer?

1. Take three months off, and then have three months of consistent progress and fun workouts.

2. Force yourself to train through miserable workouts, making almost no progress or even regressing, for six months.

You’re smart, which is why you’ll choose the former.

5. Find a training partner.

You like to workout alone. You come to the gym to train, not to talk.

But you also get bored. You have days when all it would take to make going to the gym fun, is someone to go with.

As someone who’s gone months without a workout buddy, I can tell you that one of the best ways to get back into your routine is to find someone to train with.

Just like you, your friends might cringe at the idea of having to match their schedules with a training partner.

However, as long as you’re upfront and you tell them that you just want some accountability, and you don’t want to talk to the whole time, they’ll probably be happy to join you.

Staying active should be fun, so don’t make it miserable.

Exercise is important, and everyone should do it.

However, you should also enjoy it. It’s understandable that you’re tired of training. You’re sick of going through the same routine every week, and you’re ready for something new. You would, except you feel trapped.

You feel like if you stop your normal workout program, you’ll get completely out of shape, get fat, and it will be that much harder to get fit again.

The fact is that you’ll be able to stay much healthier, happier, and leaner in the long-term by taking a break from your normal routine, or making it slightly different.

You love exercise, so do what’s necessary to make it fun.

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References

1. Baker J. Early Specialization in Youth Sport: a requirement for adult expertise? The Journal of High Ability Studies. 2003;14.

2. Côté J, Baker J, Abernethy B. Practice and Play in the Development of Sport Expertise. In: Handbook of Sport Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2007:184–202. doi:10.1002/9781118270011.ch8.

How to Cure Your Anxiety with One Simple Technique

We’ve all had those moments.

Those moments when we’re so stressed it feels like the world is falling apart.

As a type-a, highly motivated person, you’ve probably felt overwhelmed before. Maybe you’ve dealt with anxiety your entire life.

If you let it, anxiety can ruin every aspect of your life. 

In this podcast, you’re going to learn how to change that. You’ll hear from Charlie Hoehn, a marketing advisor and author who’s worked on massive projects like marketing multiple best-selling books, including The 4-Hour Body.

Charlie will share how these challenges started to cause anxiety, and what he finally did to fix it for good.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to tell if you’re the kind of person who’s at risk for anxiety.
  • The most common ways people convince themselves they don’t have anxiety.
  • The single greatest discovery Charlie made that finally helped him cure his anxiety.
  • How to eliminate people in your life that cause you anxiety.

Click the Player to Listen:

Show Notes

Charlie Hoehn

Charlie’s list of ways to add more fun to your life.

Recession Proof Graduate by Charlie Hoehn

Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure for Anxiety by Charlie Hoehn

The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss

 The 4-hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

The 4-hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss

Preventing Burnout: A Cautionary Tale

How to Systematically Cure Your Anxiety

How I Cured My Anxiety

How to Cure Anxiety — One Workaholic’s Story, Six Techniques That Work

Seth Godin

Ramit Sethi

Modafinil

Benzodiazapine

8 Female Health and Fitness Bloggers You Should Follow Today

Finding great health and fitness information online is hard.

One of the best ways to save time and energy, while staying informed, is to follow a very small number of knowledgeable people. That opposed to wasting time with all of the wannabes who happen to be right every now and then.

You already learned about some of the most credible people in the fitness industry, but there’s a flaw with that list. Being a dude, I tend to read sites that are written by guys. It’s nothing sexist, I just relate to them better.

The result – I only included one woman on the list. My mom would not be happy.

Catherine, one of the commenters, rightly called me out:She’s right.

Take closer look at my website stats and you’ll realize how right she was:

Almost half of my readers are female.

Male and female fitness bloggers are generally cover much of the same information, but you’ll always learn better from people you relate to.

This article gives you eight of the best female health and fitness writers you should be following.

Joy Victoria

Joy Victoria

Joy Victoria

It’s hard to find someone with this much common sense.

Joy shares her knowledge of strength, conditioning, and nutrition in a fun, yet assertive writing style that you can’t ignore. Her writing is extremely practical, meaning she doesn’t just share her opinions on various diets and training programs — she tells you how to implement them.

Joy also practices what she preaches in diet and training (aka — she looks great, lifts heavy, and is completely honest about her struggles getting there).

One of her most popular articles is Your Problem With Sugar is THE Problem With Sugar, which you should absolutely read.

Joy was also kind enough to do an interview with Evidence Radio not too long ago.

Leigh Peele

Leigh Peele

Leigh Peele

If you don’t know about Leigh Peele, then you please pull your head out from under that rock.

Leigh has been writing about diet, training, and psychology for years, and has helped thousands of people transform their bodies. Leigh has also written several books on dieting and cooking to get lean, all of which you should read.

Her article on estimating body fat percentages is my go-to resource for that topic.

Leigh is also a musician, which is pretty cool.

As with Joy, Leigh’s been on Evidence Radio as well, where she talked about “metabolic damage,” from dieting.

Not too long ago, Leigh expanded from just health and fitness to general self improvement, creating a site called The Clutch Society, the goal of which is to be a place for “… flawed human beings who are desperate to be more than who they already are.”

Sounds good to me, check it out.

Nia Shanks

Nia Shanks

Nia Shanks

Aside from having one of the coolest names in the world, Nia is also a top notch writer and coach from Kentucky.

She’s been through her own ups and downs with body image problems, obsessive dieting, and overtraining, and now helps others overcome these obstacles.

Nia writes to help other women achieve the body they want without falling into disordered eating habits, wrecking their sanity, and obsessing over their health and fitness.

Here are a few of her best articles:

How To (Once And For All) Break Free From Obsessive Eating Habits, Regain Your Sanity, And Eat To Build A Better Body, Simply.

8 Reasons Women Should Strength Train (And Number 8 May Be The Best)

Nia is also one of the cofounders of Girls Gone Strong, “a community with the goal of breaking down the barriers of exercise for women.”

Nia also did an interview on Evidence Radio on strength training for women.

Neghar Fonooni

Neghar Fonooni

Neghar Fonooni

Eat, lift, and be happy — that’s what Neghar Fonooni is all about.

Her training tips, recipes, and thoughts on just about everything in the fitness industry are useful, yet also hilarious. She uses a minimalist writing style, which makes her work easier to read and much higher quality.

If you want to learn more, check out these two articles from Neghar:

The Lean & Lovely Recipe: Part One

The Lean & Lovely Recipe: Part Two

Jen Sinkler

Jen Sinkler

Jen Sinkler

Where to start — Jen’s writing has been everywhere.

After working for about 10 years as the editor and editorial director of fitness at Experience Life magazine, Jen primarily focuses on writing on her own site, JenSinkler.com.

Not only does Jen give simple, accurate advice, she also gives you the details you need to trust her. For instance, in her article “Close the Thigh Gap, I expected it to be another “ignore stupid advice, love yourself,” kind of article. True, but not very helpful for many people.

Instead, she goes into detail about why, physiologically, trying to achieve a thigh gap just doesn’t make sense — everyone’s body is different, and some things you just can’t change. In short, “There is no wrong way to have a body.”

Jen also gave a great breakdown of the pros and cons of Crossfit in this interview with my buddies Jon Fass and Bret Contreras.

Follow her.

Amber Evangeline Rogers

Amber Evangeline Rogers

Amber Evangeline Rogers

Amber has one of the most profound transformation stories of everyone on this list. Formerly obese, in a matter of a few years she completely changed her health and physique and is now a lean, powerlifting badass.

One of the things I like most about Amber is she doesn’t take any crap. She tirelessly stomps on nutritional dogma and trolls to help others figure out what’s true and what’s not. Her advice is simple, accurate, and blunt.

Why is her website called GoKaleo? You’ll like the answer.

Molly Galbraith

Molly Galbraith

Molly Galbraith

Molly is another one of the co-founders of Girls Gone Strong, and works as an online and in-person strength and conditioning coach.

Like the other women on this list, she offers her own perspective on a lot of the problems unique to females when it comes to strength and general well being.

For example, most guys can stay leaner with less effort than girls, so how lean is too lean for women? You’ll have to read this article from Molly to find out.

Kate McKay

Brett and Kate McKay from The Art of Manliness.

Brett and Kate McKay from The Art of Manliness.

Kate and Brett McKay are the people behind Art of Manliness, one of my all time favorite websites. Despite the name, it’s a great website for women, too.

While it’s often hard to tell who’s writing which articles (they usually list “Brett and Kate” as authors), she definitely deserves to be on this list.

AoM, as it’s referred to, has a ton of great information on basic health and fitness, often with a vintage, classy spin. This is one of their best recent articles.

What Experts do You Follow?

Who are the people you trust in the fitness industry, and why?

It doesn’t matter if they’re a man or woman, if you had to choose three people to follow online (not counting this site — that’s a given), who would they be?

Leave your recommendations in the comments section below.

P.S. If you like the people on this list, please help others find them by sharing this article on Facebook and tagging them in the update.