Boredom: The Bodybuilders Enemy

Yes, the excitement is high and the drive to win is a tremendous motivation. But what about the iron pumper who is not slugging it out each day with his sights set on competition at the end of the year?

What happens to the majority of us who must put up with the “battle of the workout beast” each day when we don’t have any contest dragons to slay.

How do we keep going day after day, year after year. In short, how do we find the enthusiasm to over come the boredom of training?

Most of us know how to handle boredom in other areas of our lives, when it comes to bodybuilding however, we say to ourselves:

“A real champion would not let boredom even be a factor. I must continue no matter what. It’s the day after day regimen that is important”.

Unable to train with championship consistency, we reason, “I guess I must not be made of championship caliber.” Boredom can drive one out of the club and make even the thought of training repulsive. It is only the pain of seeing our bodies turn to putty that drives us back to the iron again.

In the essay entitled What a Man is, we are reminded “The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom”.

We always do better at those things with which we are excited. As soon as boredom sets in, our efficiency begins to drop off sharply.

Let’s use this phenomenon to our advantage. It’s really a blessing in disguise if we can learn to take advantage of it. We must become much more sensitive to the onset of boredom in our training. Let me give you an example.

Just last week I received a phone call from Bill Barton one of my personal consultation students.

“Larry, I haven’t been training now for the last month. I felt I needed a layoff. I know my weights haven’t gone up. As a matter of fact I think they are even lighter than the last one’s I sent to you. What should I do. Should I stick with the old program and the weights on it or should I switch to lighter ones that I can now use.”

“What do you mean you haven’t been training for the last month. Why is that?” I asked.

“Man, I have just felt burnt out. I needed a rest. Why, is it wrong to take a layoff when you feel like you need it?”

“No, Bill it isn’t wrong to take a layoff occasionally to add variety to the training regimen. A month however seems like a long time for a layoff. How long were you on your last program?”

“Oh about 4 months, I guess” he replied.

“4 months! No wonder you needed a layoff. When did you first start to feel bored with the program you were on.”

“I don’t know. I suppose about half way through I started to get a little stale but I thought I would just work through it.”

“Bill, I sent you two programs. You were supposed to use one of them for a week and then switch over to the other one for the next week and then back again. You were also supposed to send for your new programs months ago why didn’t you do it?”

“Well, the first program you sent was so good at first I thought I would stick with it. Frankly, I didn’t think changing the program would make any difference.” He explained.

“Bill, you have to keep changing your programs continually in order to present fresh stress to the body. Otherwise it will adapt to the training and stop making progress. Once this happens you will feel a ‘stale’ feeling. Sort of a bored lack of drive attitude. Don’t ignore this feeling. It is your body trying to tell you something very valuable. As a matter of fact the better you get at listening to this quiet voice and responding to it, the better your gains will be.” I assured him.

I have seen it happen so many times with the fellows I am training.

They try to train thru the boredom. It is crazy. It is the very signal one is looking for in order to know when to switch training systems.

Granted, I have everything computerized now so it’s easy to keep their programs fresh and current.

One doesn’t need to be a student of mine in order to use the same system however. Just remember, boredom can be a friend or an enemy. It all depends on whether you are looking for it or trying to ignore it.

Nothing excites us as much as seeing ourselves look better. Make boredom your friend and there is no end to your progress.

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