I hear it all the time – exercise is boring, exercise is too hard, exercise is too much work…

And in some cases, I agree.  I too used to hit the gym, completed the exact same routine, and then left feeling sweaty but…well…blah.

We know in our minds that we need to exercise to be healthy, but defaulting to a set period of time on a treadmill, stationary bike, rower, stair climber, elliptical, or the “get fit now” video series just doesn’t cut it.

In an article called “World Class Fitness in 100 Words” written 2002, you find the following phrase about exercise:

“Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.

Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.

Regularly learn and play new sports.”

You see, the problem is not exercise.  It’s intent.  We love the familiarity of a routine. We love the novelty of the newest fitness gadget, workout routine, or exercise move. But…

We forget the beauty of the basics. We don’t train with the intent to have fun with our training. We don’t train with the intent to make the other fun we want to have (hiking, cycling, playing with our kids, the sports we love to play) more fun!

The human body was made to do amazing things!  But as we’ve developed as a society we’ve forgotten that. We’ve become fat, lazy, and uninspired.

The biggest problem I see (and I’ve been at this a long time) is that we’ve been conditioned to believe that exercise is about form, as in the form of our bodies. We want our bodies to look like fitness models. And we want to look like that yesterday.  The problem with that is, there’s little to no excitement to that.

What if, instead of training to look a certain way, you trained to perform a certain way? Train to be strong. Train to be fast.  Train to be nimble. Train to be all of them!

The truth is, the reason routine is the enemy in training is because life throws things at us physically and mentally that we need to be ready for and we almost NEVER know what it’s going to be.

Which means, if your body is fully capable of all kinds of physical things; strength, endurance, agility, speed, resilience, you’ll build a mindset that you can handle and conquer anything!

That seems way more inspiring than getting a 6 pack or having “toned” legs and arms.  The cool part about training for function and capability over aesthetics (aka looks) is that often, the looks come with it.

Want to stop hating exercise? Change why you train. Then, shift to training to make your body strong and capable. Find out what your body can do. Push the envelope of what you think is possible.  Then, when you plateau, push a little further.

Routine is the enemy. Inspired training is the antidote.