How To Make Going To The Gym Interesting

I regularly work out at the gym.  My two sons have just joined me and we have been going now for about 6 weeks, 3 times per week.  After a session at the gym whilst walking down to the car one of my sons advised me he got a little bored when going round the gym.  I advised him:

“That’s because when you go to the gym, you stay in the gym”

“Eh?” He gave one of those strange looks with a little twist in his mouth.

“Well, I’ve noticed that you’re looking at everybody in the gym whilst you’re working out.”

“Yeah, what else is there to do?  You just close your eyes and don’t open them until you finish your set.”

So I told him where I went when I closed my eyes.

Not being in the gym at the gym

1. The rowing machine

I am in Australia, China, or Greece and sometimes I am even in Glasgow on the Clyde River competing in the Olympics.  I am an unknown and nobody has given me a chance and I only got through to the final on a technicality.  However the commentators are astounded when I am in the bronze medal position and catching up on the Australians and the great British rowing team.  I can see my wife, Sharon and my two sons jumping up and down and hear them calling for me all along the river banks.

With 200 meters to go I am level with the British team and the commentators are calling this “one of the best races I’ve have ever seen, and Steven Aitchison is about to go in front.” I win the race by about 2 metres and the crowd surround me.  I see my wife’s face and my two sons behind her, smiles as wide as the Clyde.

2. The Weights

I find this the most tedious and most strenuous.  With the weights I want to push myself harder and harder.  The only motivation I can think of when I close my eyes is:

My wife and two sons have been held captive by two murderers after being caught up in a foiled bank robbery.  They are in a storage container and they are going to be killed if I don’t pass a series of challenges they have set me.  They make me lift weights and use all the different muscle groups on the various machines except I have to do reps of 12 each time and instead of the weights being taken off they go up by 2.5 kilos after each rep.

My face is nearly purple by the end of the 20 minute session but my wife and kids are safely in my arms and the two bank robbers have been safely put in jail with a few mysterious bruises and a broken jaw and nose (violence doesn’t solve anything, but it’s my wife and kids we’re talking about here.)

3. Cycling

I go for the fat burn here with a target heart rate of 165 and the mountain view (you get a nice little picture of you climbing a mountain as you’re cycling).

I am in the Tour de France.  I am an unknown and I hear the commentators talking as I am cycling.  I start off at the back of the pack of 100 or so cyclists but slowly make my way through the pack to reach a breaking pack of about 30 or so cyclists.  The commentators have now picked up on the fact that I am in 30th position and I am an unknown so they start to find some facts about me.

I see my wife and two sons at the side of one of the roads and cheering me on.  My wife places her hand over her heart, to tell me she loves me, and this spurs me on even though my legs are burning up.

I am on the last 2 miles of a 7 mile stage (hey, it’s my thoughts :)) and I am in 9th place.  My son’s voices are ringing in my ears pushing me a little harder.  I climb to 4th place, the commentators are almost screaming, there’s one from Scotland there and he’s nearly wet himself with excitement.  Third place, 1 mile to go.  The camera’s are on me, I can hear everyone screaming.  I am just behind the second place rider and can see Lance Armstrong in front of him.  The crowd are going wild; the Scottish commentator has passed out.  I am right beside Lance Armstrong as we come to the last 200 metres, he glances to the side and smiles and edges 1/2 meter in front of me, I respond and kick my last kick and we finish the race neck and neck.  Lance shakes my hand and hands me the yellow jersey.

You don’t have to be in the gym

All of the above is honestly what I do when I go to the gym and the time flies by and I really enjoy it.  Of course I use other machines but I didn’t want to bore you too much.

What do you do to pass the time in the gym?

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About Steven Aitchison

I am the creator of Change Your Thoughts (CYT) blog and love writing and speaking about personal development, it truly is my passion. There are over 500 articles on this site from myself and some great guest posters.
If you want to learn more about my products you can check out Steven Aitchison's Products or check out my books and Kindle books on Amazon


  1. These are great tips Steven. I am using the same principle when I am working out at the gym. When I am on the elliptical I imagine that I am climbing a very steep hill and that once I get there I will see a magnificent view of the towns and landscapes spread out underneath it. On the treadmill I always compete in some type of race and I like pushing my limits at the end of the workout. I imagine that I have a competitor who is running right beside me and I need to run really fast to beat him/her to the finish line.
    .-= Anastasiya´s last blog ..There Is More to Life than the Corner Office =-.

  2. I enjoy exercising for it’s own sake, but this is a great way for people who don’t enjoy it the same way to make it more exciting. If applied right, it can also improve your progress. This type of visualization is used a lot by many serious athletes. One thing that I find helpful when I’m lifting weights is to imagine that I’m lifting an amount of weight that’s much heavier than what I’m really lifting. It helps to trick the brain into recruiting more muscle.
    .-= Vin – NaturalBias´s last blog ..Why the P90X Exercise Program is Overrated =-.

  3. Hey Steve, I love to workout, but lately it’s been hit and miss. Then I got P90X and it tore me up and got me focused and motivated. I like to push myself to accomplish new challenges and switching things up in the workout department really did the trick. Thanks for this inspiring article, I’m pumped to go work out.
    .-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..Are You Pursuing Your Passion or Just Being Practical? =-.

  4. Great examples. What an awesome demonstration of applied imagination.
    .-= Justin-´s last blog ..What Makes a Great Leader? =-.

  5. Hi Latoya, can you still do workouts when you’re pregnant?

  6. :) very nice

  7. WOW!! That’s goooood! I’ve been getting bored at the gym lately and have been using pregnancy as an excuse not to go for the last week.. I think not being at the gym while I’m working at the gym will be just what I need to get me through my workouts for the next 9 months!! Thanks
    .-= Latoya´s last blog ..Do you wanna win!? =-.

  8. This is a really good idea as the gym CAN be boring. But once you are fairly addicted and failing to go equals depression you gotta do what you gotta do!

    Switching on the TV works too, as does putting up aspirational images of people who you aim to look like.

    • Hi Rosie, it does become addictive in a sense. I have found when I have missed the odd day I miss it and start to feel I am losing out somehow. Thanks for visiting.

  9. Nice tips Steven. I never thought of imagining myself being somewhere else during my workout in the gym. I guess it’s too late now since I quit.
    .-= Karlil´s last blog ..How To Be Interesting =-.

  10. I’ve always enjoyed working out so getting to the gym hasn’t been a big issue. Especially now as stretching is one of the most beneficial activities I do during the day.
    .-= Steve´s last blog ..VistaPrint – 250 Free Business Cards =-.

  11. Hey Steven, nice post. I used to think that going to the gym was boring too. It was when I started imagining things that gave me motivation that helped me push through tough workouts. Energetic music also helps with this process as well.
    .-= Tristan Lee´s last blog ..Important Reasons Why You Should Cut Your Time =-.

    • Hi Tristan, there’s always dance music blaring out at our gym, you know for the people doing the spinning classes (jees, I’d kill myself doing one of them). I love trance music as well, particularly when I’m doing the Tour de France :)

  12. I do not go to the gym Steve, but found you imagining stuff while lifting weights etc terribly interesting!

    When I am in a bus, or in a train with nothing to do or read, though – I sometimes close my eyes and picture wonderful things happening to me. For example – I might imagine that I am hugging the girl I love and we’re very happy, or that my website’s getting a lot of traffic, or that I am simply having an ideal fantastic day or that I am living simply in the woods and am happy and contented……:)

    But thank you for the post. I LOVED it. The concept.
    .-= Meghashyam Chirravoori´s last blog ..Oct 4, Why Find Out Your Fears and Why Face them if Life is Good? =-.

  13. I love the passion you put into workouts. I’m a bit more primitive, but the concept is the same.

    When I’m doing cardio, I’m racing a pro. When I’m lifting weights, I’m building the strength for a fight against someone huge. I’ve always loved a good underdog match, so naturally I assume that role…

  14. Steven, great tips for turning boring exercise into fun adventure.
    About the weight lifting, how about you being a superman, rescuing people from underneath cars while you lift up your weight.

    I give you my favorite (I use another version of this, when doing exercise). Lifting the weights I see rays of power coming from the weights into my body. The more I lift and the more force I need, the stronger the rays. This could be rays of power, health, love, health, etc. The more I push, the more these get into me, showering my whole body. Therefore the more I push, the more I grin, because it feels so damn good inside my body.
    .-= Patrick @´s last blog ..Shut Down Your Minds Chatter Through Superhero Power =-.

  15. Steven, I really like how you bring your family into your workout. It gives the term “a family affair” a whole new spin! For me, my imagination is mostly turned off at the gym. I tend to lose myself pretty easily practicing yoga or watching a cooking channel or listening to my trusty ol’ iPod while doing my reps or on the treadmill.

    • Hi Belinda, yeah it really is a family affair :) I stopped using the ipod when my sons started as they would be asking a lot of questions when they first started, now they do their own thing and I’ve got used to closing my eyes and transporting myself.

  16. I appreciate all kind of sports, but I prefer doing it outside
    .-= Haim MYS´s last blog ..Project Time Management =-.


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