10 new ways to overcome workout laziness

Bored by your workout routine and can’t seem to get yourself to the gym? Men’s Fitness has you covered with 10 tips to get you back to buff in no time.
© 2013 Weider Publications // © 2013 Weider Publications

So you skipped a few workouts, and now anything—even shoe shopping with your girlfriend and her mom— sounds more appealing than getting back to the gym. And with the highest-stakes (shirtless-ly speaking) season having come to a close, what’s the big deal with putting on a little extra pudge, right?

Come on. Snap out of it and get your lazy butt back on track. The longer you avoid the gym the harder it’ll be to get back into your workout routine, says Mike Gray, General Manager of UFC Gym. And truthfully, sometimes all you need to overcome the workout blues is a little switch-up in your routine. Luckily, Gray helped us put together a list of the best ways to help you start fresh. Read this, and you’ll be back at the gym in no time.

--By Sara Greenfest

More: The 14 best things you can do for your body

1 of 12 Man watching TV (Abel Mitja Varela/Getty Images)

Keep your playlist fresh

It’s really that simple. A recent study by the University of Wisconsin La Crosse Exercise and Health Program reported that listening to upbeat music while working out can reduce the perception of effort and increase endurance by 15 percent. You won’t feel like you’re working as much—meaning you’ll go longer and harder. So, whether you like listening to hip-hop, rap, techno or pop, keeping your playlists updated is one of the major keys to steady workout motivation.

More: The best workout playlists to power your workouts

2 of 12 Man listening to music (Vetta/Getty Images)

Try a boot camp workout

First off, any new workout is going to reboot your motivation, period. But recent research from the American Council on Exercise found boot camp workouts in particular to be the most effective fitness style. Why? Since they’re team-oriented—boot campers feel united by having to “survive” the workouts together—it pushes participants to exercise even harder.

More: Every total-body workout you could possibly need

3 of 12 Man doing tire-flip exercise (Hero Images/Getty Images)

Get a workout partner

Whether it’s a lifelong friend or an office buddy, gym partners give you a real boost. “Partners not only help with the motivational aspect, but they can help in getting you better results, too,” says Gray. “They push you a little harder than you’d normally push yourself and make sure you actually go to the gym even when you feel like going home.” And to make sure you both keep each other motivated—make a game out of it: First guy to flake on the gym buys the other a beer (a light one, of course) at happy hour. Make sure to hold each other to it!

More: Six reasons to work out with a partner

4 of 12 Man and woman training at gym (Mediaphotos/Getty Images)

Set realistic goals

In order to stay inspired, you want to feel like you’re getting results—so keep your objectives practical. “Setting goals is extremely important, but setting realistic goals is even more important,” says Gray. So, as much as you may aspire to get Mark Wahlberg’s pecs, just keep in mind that those puppies didn’t grow overnight. “Celebs are great eye candy, but they have loads of time and money to put into working out,” says Gray. “Look at their lifestyles before looking to them for motivation.” How can you stay inspired? Set small, attainable, performance-oriented goals specific to your abilities. Each week, tell yourself you’ll add more reps or weight to your chest press, for example—and you’ll be feeling like Marky Mark in no time.

More: The new rules of goal setting

5 of 12 Man exercising in a gym (Fabrice/Getty Images)

Talk up your workouts to friends

Once you have the reputation of being a badass gym go-er, you can’t flake out because you’re lazy. “Allow your family and friends in on your workout journey so they can help you stay motivated,” says Gray. “After all, they’ll notice your results before you do.” Plus, the positive feedback from them will help you stay on track—as will the sarcastic quips when they see you enter couch potato mode.

More: 5 ways to get motivated

6 of 12 Friends laughing (Mike Harrington/Getty Images)

Think about how good you'll be in bed

A study conducted at UC San Diego tracked a group of men who were put on a workout regimen of one hour of cardio done three to four times a week. After only nine months of continuous exercise, the subjects reported that their sex lives were way more satisfying—they had better stamina and orgasms. In comparison, a group of men that performed light workout routines, such as walking at a much slower pace, had no major improvement. This reason alone should get you back to the gym—and start working hard!

7 of 12 Couple lying together (Dimitri Otis/Getty Images)

Add some competition

Sometimes all you need to light a fire under your butt is a little bit of trash talk. So sign up for a weekly sports league or join a CrossFit gym. The competitive edge will help you want to push your workout further. Then again, you can always compete with yourself. Apps like Fitocracy, iMapMyFitness and Gym Buddy let you track your workouts, share your progress with friends and compare your routine with others. So, next time you finish a six-mile run in less than an hour, post your time and show it off. Who knows, your buddy might beat your time tomorrow. Game on!

More: Fitness apps to help you keep your resolutions

8 of 12 Men playing basketball (Thomas Barwick/Getty Images)

Take your workout outside

A study carried out by a team at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry found that people who exercise outside feel more energized and rejuvenated after their workout. Outdoors exercisers reported feeling less stressed, depressed and frustrated with the daily B.S. life brings. Plus, they reported they’d be much more likely to exercise all over again. So, instead of drinking your work frustrations away—go for a run! You can always grab a drink on your way home.

More: 4 outdoor activities for an easy and free workout

9 of 12 Runner on snowy road (Stanislaw Pytel/Getty Images)

Institute gym-only TV privileges

Trying to lose weight but hate cardio? Try this sneaky tip. Here’s how it works: Allot one TV  series as watchable during gym-time only. This way you’ll know you need to make it to the gym to watch your guilty pleasure—whether you’re catching it live or downloading it to your phone or tablet. Plus, when you’re trying to burn a ton of calories, it makes the time pass much faster.

10 of 12 Man stretching and operating TV during workout (Biggie Productions/Getty Images)