How to Beat Gym Boredom: 5 Workouts that Kick Your Butt in Under 30 Minutes

If you’ve ever committed to a gym routine only to find yourself bored and unmotivated a couple months later, I feel your pain. I myself used to be less than excited about going to the gym regularly, but kept coming back only because I knew that the gym was charging me every month regardless of the frequency of my visits. Running saved me from quitting exercise back in those days, but that’s a different story.

Today I’d like to tell you about the little tweaks I’ve implemented into my workout routine that get me excited about going to the gym almost every day, plus share with you 5 workouts that bust gym boredom and keep things interesting.

5 Workouts to Bust Gym BoredomIn the past year or so, I’ve changed my approach for gym workouts, and finally started seeing results while spending less time at the gym! These are the 3 steps that made the difference:

3 Easy and Effective Gym Routine Tweaks

1. Change it up – every day! If you do the same set of exercises every time you step into the gym, it won’t be long before you get bored out of your mind and stop seeing any progress. I did that myself for years! A much more challenging and interesting approach is to do something different every time – read on for some ideas!

2. Break up with exercise machines, and fall in love with free weights. Machines can be great if you know what you’re doing, but if your gym routine is stuck at using the same 3-4 machines every time you’re at the gym, it’s no bueno. Cut your overall time at the gym by doing full-body exercises with free weights to work more than one muscle group at a time.

3. Aim for a workout that’s short but intense. Let me guess: you don’t have 1.5 hours available every day to spend at the gym, but you’d love to see progress even with shorter gym visits? I hear ya! The workouts below allow you to break a sweat and work your major muscle groups in about 30 minutes or less, so you don’t have to spend all of your free time at the gym!

My relationship with the gym has changed quite a bit in the past few months thanks to these gym tweaks, and I’ve got to admit that I love my gym visits now! As promised, today I’m sharing my 5 favorite gym workouts that keep me challenged and excited. You’ll find that you can do all of these outside of the gym if you have some dumbbells or kettlebells on hand. Running on treadmill can be substituted by running around the block in your neighborhood, or on a local track if you have one nearby.

How to bust gym boredom - 5 workouts to change things up!5 Workouts That Bust Gym Boredom

1. The Basics. Run ¼ mi, then do a set of:

  • – 15 goblet squats* (use a moderately heavy dumbbell or a kettlebell, start with 15-20 pounds if you’re new to weights)
  • – 20 pushups
  • – 25 tricep dips
  • – 30 butterfly sit-ups

*If you’re not sure how to do these moves, please see the videos below.

Repeat this circuit 4 times, including the running part. Go from one exercise to the next without rest, but allow yourself to rest up to 1 min between rounds.

2. The Ladder: use the same exercises as above (skip the running part), but do rounds of 15-20-25-20-15 reps of each. Skip rest between exercises, but use up to 1 min of rest between each round.

3. The Cardio Blast – ideal for when you want to add some upper body work to your running routine:

Run ¼ mi (or around the block in your neighborhood), then do 10 burpees. Repeat until you reach 8-10 running segments, or 2-2.5 miles.

4. AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) – use exercises from the workout #1 above, but do 10 reps of each to complete one round. Repeat as many rounds as you can within 20-30 minutes, or any stretch of time you set for yourself.

5. The 10-Minute Scorcher – yep, this one kicks some serious butt in only ten minutes! Big thanks to Jess from the Blonde Ponytail blog for sharing this workout on Facebook a few weeks ago.

Set a timer for 10 1-minute intervals, or keep an eye on a reliable clock (that’s what I do at the gym), then do without taking a break:

  • – 5 burpees
  • – 5 goblet squats with a moderately heavy weight

Rest until the timer/clock hits one minute, then repeat the routine. The full workout will only take you 10 minutes, but it’s challenging because if you do the exercises slowly, you won’t have a lot of time to rest before the next round; if you do them fast, you’ll feel like your heart is going to jump out of your chest! My arms and legs are shaking every time I’m done with this workout!

Explanations of the Moves

Yes, I saved you from searching for stuff on YouTube! These videos will explain how to do each of the exercises mentioned above:

Goblet squats:

 Pushups:

Tricep dips:

 Butterfly situps:

Burpees:

Hope these workout ideas help you spruce up your gym routine and make it less, ahem, routine!

See more workouts from the blog over here.

Question for you: Have you ever lost motivation to work out only to regain it later? What helped you overcome the slump? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them in the comments!

*An important note: I am not a certified fitness trainer, and all workouts found on my blog are based only on my own experience. Please check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine to avoid possible complications.


The SkinnySkinny giveaway is over now, and it’s time to announce the winner: Mary Beth I.!

Congratulations Mary Beth, be on a lookout for an email from me!

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About Alina

Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Being vegan eventually opened her eyes on the issues of animal welfare, environmental protection, human rights and feminism. Alina hopes that her blog will help its readers on their path to making this world a better place.
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3 Responses to How to Beat Gym Boredom: 5 Workouts that Kick Your Butt in Under 30 Minutes

  1. Brendan says:

    I love Kettlebell goblet squats. Though they never seem to get easier 🙂
    Brendan recently posted…JT Torres vs Rory MacDonald – Metamoris 5 CountdownMy Profile

  2. Lasse Stølen says:

    Dear friends,
    We are Publishing a non-profit Health Magazine in Norway and Wonder if we can use articles from vegeanrunnereats in Our Magazine? We will refer to Your website and give proper credit.

    Best wishes
    Lasse Stoelen, journalist

    • Alina says:

      Hi Lasse, I usually don’t do things like that, but may be interested if you send me a link to your publishing company and magazine site. Feel free to email it to me at veganrunnereats (at) gmail (dot) com.

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