The importance of having fun in the gym

April 10, 2016

The gym should be fun. Working hard and having fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive. There is no reason why when you are working, sweating and grinding you can’t have a smile on your face at the same time.

The best way to have fun at the gym is to see measurable improvements. Here are a few steps to make sure you improve:

Step 1) Set definitive goals.

Start with a long term goal (i.e. fit into your wedding dress by May). Then break it down into short term goals (lose 5 pounds this month).

“What gets measured gets improved.”
― Robin S. Sharma, The Greatness Guide: Powerful Secrets for Getting to World Class

Step 2) Track against your goals.

If you aren’t improving you will eventually burn out. Depending on your goals here are some items that most people should consider tracking:

Step 3) When you stop improving make a change.

If you stop losing weight or if your lifts all stall there is a cause. Start by examining your routine, diet and the amount of rest you are getting. Change one and continue tracking. If you still aren’t improving try changing something else. If you still are stalling get a second opinion. Talk with a friend, spouse, trainer or a doctor. You may be stalling for reasons that aren’t even under your control.

Step 4) Don’t get injured.

An injury derails your progress like nothing else can.

Other ways to make sure you keep having fun:

Do your cardio outside. Play tennis, run sprints in a field, play a pickup basketball game. As a kid we play all the time. Adults tend to be sticks in the mud. Act like a kid and you will have more fun while getting just as fit as the guy frowning on the treadmill.

Get a workout buddy. I just started working out with my wife. It has been a great change of pace.

Don’t be afraid to talk to people. It doesn’t mean you want to be their best buddy. If you see someone in the gym say hi it won’t hurt you. :)

Don’t do anything you don’t want to if there is an alternative. For example, if you prefer to do dips instead of bench go for it. If you don’t want to do squats then don’t do them. There is always an alternative for exercises. If you force yourself to do an exercise you truly hate you may start hating going to the gym at all.