Autonomy 🤸🍔✊ GMB Fitness

Bored? Good. Here's Why . . .

September 10, 2021 GMB Fitness Season 3
Autonomy 🤸🍔✊ GMB Fitness
Bored? Good. Here's Why . . .
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

"It's time to make the Donuts."

In a few recent polls, we found that about half of you say you move on from a training program when it gets boring. Given that repetition is basically requisite to any physical training, we thought we’d tackle this topic and vouch for the grind of donut making.

Boredom is part of the process. Whether you learn to get interested in the details or just accept the repetition and cruise through it, sexy results come from unsexy efforts. As do delicious donuts.

Key Points:

  • Who Gets Bored? – most of us do at many points, but learning how to continue is essential to real progress
  • How to Define Boredom – assess first why you think you’re bored
  • Goals & Expectations – figure out if you are making values-based intrinsic goals vs. failing at arbitrary external goals or expectations
  • Staying Engaged is a Learned Skill – we can develop the capacity to notice nuance and grow our capacity for boredom
  • Progress Is Non-Linear – we often can’t see our progress while we are in it or without an external marker
  • Know Yourself, Plan for What You Need – set up what you need so you have support for when you do plateau
  • Progress Is Not the Next Step – why progress isn’t the next progression, movement, or fancy add-on
  • The Future: Help us decide which episodes to record next

Resources:

Support the show

Who Gets Bored?

[00:00:00] Andy: Okay. This is Andy Fossett and I'm with Jarlo Ilano here and we are going to be talking today on the Autonomy Show about something that is very exciting, which is boredom.

[00:00:13] Jarlo: Yes. Being bored. This actually is a very interesting topic. And this is something I know you and I have talked about for quite a long time, is this concept of having a high capacity for boredom being one secret to success. And I totally believe that. 

I think that's born out through all of our experience is that if you're able, and this is the difference between forcing yourself to do something right, which is almost always a bad idea versus being able to silence the chattering monkeys that are telling you to do something else. There's the nuance there. And maybe boredom is something that needs a definition for yourself. 

[00:01:01] Andy: I think that's true.

[00:01:02] Jarlo: We asked our clients and community members: have you ever stopped the program because you got bored? And a fair amount of people said, yeah.

[00:01:11] Andy: About half. We asked both on Instagram stories and we asked in a Facebook group and we asked, and our Alpha Posse members as well, and across each group, about half of the people said that they have quit a training program because it got boring. And I'm sure in that group and these groups there's different definitions of what boredom means, probably different definitions of what quitting means. 

And we'll get to some of these things as we discuss this stuff, but it seems like one of those things that we, if we all know that consistent effort is maybe the most important key to making progress, consistent effort that keeps building on itself. We all know this. So then if we let something like boredom stop us from continuing that effort then that's, deleterious to our improvement, right? It's preventing us from making the kind of progress that we want. 

And I think maybe what we'll kind of put down as a thesis is that yes, there are good reasons to quit programs, but boredom as we'll try to zero in on a definition for it, probably isn't a good one. Okay. We'll talk about some ways that you can sort of reframe the experience of things so that they don't feel boring in a way that makes you want to give up. 

How to Define Boredom

[00:02:28] Jarlo: And I think that's a big part of it too, is again, how are we going to define what boredom is? Is it that you're not interested in it anymore? Okay. So say that's it, that's the definition of being bored. You're not interested in anymore. So are you not interested in the act of it or are you not interested in what you thought you were going to get out of it anymore?

I think that's an important thing. We were talking earlier and I truly believe I've never quit anything because I've gotten bored. And we've said that a few times. Yeah, some things just fall apart or fall away, or you just stopped doing it, but it wasn't like a decision that you made because, "Oh, I don't like, I'm not interested in, find it, it's boring." 

But I think a part of it is whatever I had started, say, let's say the example, physical fitness. And I remember, and you remember this, it was running. I started running what 10, 11 years ago. And I started running because I know I didn't like it. I knew I didn't like it. And I remember this, I was like, “I'm going to, I'm just going to run because I don't like it.”

[00:03:37] Andy: Well, we had this conversation because you and I both hated running and you said I'm going to start running. And I was like, are you crazy? 

[00:03:45] Jarlo: Yeah. And I did, and I did it. I did it until I realized I was fine with it. And that was my stopping point. It wasn't cause I was bored. It was actually, I think it was boring. 

[00:03:59] Andy: There's very little more boring than running. It was boring. Let's just be clear about that. 

[00:04:03] Jarlo: Yeah, it was boring. That's why, when people say, oh, you should run without music and listen to nature. I'm like what? No way. And this is, remember we're saying who had an MP3 player before and I had an MP3 player because I was like, I need music when I run. And I remember distinctly I have this little Samsung purple MP3 player that, it's probably an antique now.

I don't know where it is. And then you just let it run for two hours. So I got to the point where I could run a couple of hours and yeah. Did that for a few months. And then that's it. 

[00:04:41] Andy: Yup. And so I think that you brought up an interesting point there and it's boredom with the process versus boredom with the goal. And I think that this or that, the outcome or what you're going towards and I think that is something that definitely is worth investigating. If you find yourself in a situation where you think that the thing that you've started is getting boring for you is there's a couple of things.

Is that one, we love setting goals, we love starting things. We love taking the first step and because it feels good. And then sometimes we discover that we were kind of hasty in these things and we chose either goals that weren't appropriate or things that weren't going to motivate us long-term. 

Maybe your needs change. That's maybe boredom isn't what's really happening as much there as maybe you need to take a better look at how you make decisions about what you start so that you don't find yourself three weeks into something, right on the cusp of starting to make progress and then realizing that you don't really care about that outcome versus the process.

Goals & Expectations

[00:05:50] Jarlo: Right. So that's it was a values based type of goals. That's kind of, I don't wanna say in vogue, but it's actually very pertinent and well researched is the things that you end up doing have to relate to what your true intrinsic values are.

[00:06:10] Andy: Yeah.

[00:06:10] Jarlo: Since this, we're talking about fitness and all that, losing weight is another is one huge thing, right? Losing weight, losing fat, changing your body. Is that what you really value? You can go into that very deeply. " Yeah, I want to lose a few pounds. I don't want to be considered fat or I don't want to be this." And then if you really look into it, it uncovers another whole host of other issues. Self-esteem all these things. And if it doesn't match up...

[00:06:44] Andy: What's the real problem you're trying to solve?

[00:06:45] Jarlo: Yeah. What's the real problem you're trying to solve? And if it doesn't really match up, then you're not going to continue the process that you put yourself on to that goal that you thought you really wanted. 

[00:06:56] Andy: And this happens a lot with fitness goals with different standards and different measurements that we have. And I think, at base it, this isn't necessarily universal, but I think it's very close to universal that humans, as the animal part of us that exists, we want to be able to move freely. That should be the default. And if we are not in a situation where we can, where our bodies just kind of do what we expect them to do, then that bumps up against that, that kind of expectation that we have as animals, that our bodies are us. 

And so we have this kind of innate desire to feel good and to feel freedom and to feel competence and capability in our bodies. I think that what a lot of what we want when we think about fitness is not necessarily to get jacked or to run a certain distance or whatever. But it's just to feel good and to feel healthy. But then when we start trying to define what that means, we start looking at all of these measurements and all of these external validations of this that we attempt to mimic. 

And so we absorbed from our culture and environment, these kind of off the shelf goals of, "Well, I want to lose 30 pounds or I want to run a marathon or I want to compete. I want to complete a Spartan race, or I want to squat double my body weight, or I want to ABCD all of these things."

And none of these are bad goals, but they're all just terribly arbitrary. And they're proxies usually for our real goals that we take from someone else we take from some external source that's usually an authority that tells us "Well, once you are able to deadlift 2.25 times your body weight, then you are strong."

[00:08:44] Jarlo: Exactly. 

[00:08:45] Andy: You're officially an intermediate lifter now. Wow. But that's not the real goal. The real goal is just to feel competent and healthy in your body, for most people. 

[00:08:54] Jarlo: And to feel strong, right. Strong for you doesn't have to be a certain number. And so that's another thing too, is to have that information could be a good starting point. Why not? Especially if you don't have that kind of knowledge or background, your starting point is a true zero and for a lot of people with this, they haven't really done this type of thing since PE in school, which is always the worst thing in the world, PE class. The worst thing. Who liked it? The people that were already kind of good at it. Or already athletic. Those are the only ones, or unless you had, so in our PE, we also had like square dancing and all that kind of stuff is just hilarious.

[00:09:40] Andy: Square dancing was like the most cringe thing that we did and, yeah.

[00:09:44] Jarlo: Dosey doe is so funny but, if you don't know, you don't know. 

[00:09:49] Andy: And so these proxy goals matter for that, they're helpful. 

[00:09:51] Jarlo: They do, they're helpful until they're not helpful. And one of the things that happens is you have this goal, this standard that seems pretty reasonable at first and you go for it and then either the practice, the process gets more difficult or you'd rather replace it with something else in your time. I think that's another thing too. Being bored means you'd rather be doing something else.

[00:10:18] Andy: And that's really what it is. Yeah, it's just that's the danger of not being deliberate in sort of setting these goals is that you do end up at a point in realizing that you are chasing after the wrong thing. And then, you are, well, it might not be boredom. It might just be, the realization that you've been chasing after the wrong thing. And so that's fine. 

[00:10:38] Jarlo: It's a rational thing actually. It's actually what you should be doing. Whether it's a conscious thing, if it's a conscious thing, it's a little bit easier to kind of put a handle on and you wouldn't call it boredom and you would call it what it is. But I think a lot of it is subconscious if you don't understand what your true values are or not don't understand it, but you can't either articulate to yourself or that type of stuff? 

[00:11:03] Andy: And so the real danger here isn't necessarily that you get bored and you quit chasing after the goal that isn't a good fit for you. The real danger is that you don't take that as a chance to sort of look into that or introspect a little bit and you replace it quickly with another goal that's an equally bad fit.

[00:11:22] Jarlo: I think that's actually a very common thing, especially in physical fitness, especially. 

[00:11:28] Andy: We hop from goal to goal, program to program.

[00:11:32] Jarlo: And it is especially so because of the external forces, because you're thinking "Well, that wasn’t what I wanted, I guess. So I'm going to look for something else." And then what are you going to do? You're going to listen to the next guy because what else can you do? 

[00:11:51] Andy: And yeah. And what else you can do is actually, it's hard, is to really try to look in and evaluate what you need to do or what you really want. And then, Jarlo, like you were saying, if you don't have any kind of expertise in how to go about attaining that you basically have to choose someone's version of that answer to try which can be really challenging. Yeah.

[00:12:17] Jarlo: And I think you should try. Well, one of the things talked about, I was in our Alpha Posse community, I was doing Q&A, we had a zoom call for an hour. And one of the things that came up was understanding your expectations, right? So if you place on yourself, reasonable expectations at that time, at the beginning of that six weeks or 12 weeks, you're like, this is a reasonable expectation that I am setting for myself. But two weeks later, it becomes apparent that it was unreasonable. 

[00:12:52] Andy: Okay.

[00:12:53] Jarlo: So what do you do? Do you stop it fully? I think you change your expectations and maybe that's part of what I meant with not being bored. If you have enough kind of experience, if you have the wherewithal to be introspective and kind of be outside yourself and change your expectations. 

So that's the trouble, right? Everyone's saying "No excuses, a hundred percent," all that stuff that's coming out, "don't quit."

"You shouldn't be bored." So that's not what we're saying. Boredom happens. It exists. But it's actually I think you used a good term, a proxy for something else. It's actually, it's a sign. It's a flashing sign that's saying something else. It's not saying you're bored. You're bored because of something else. 

Staying Engaged is a Learned Skill

[00:13:41] Andy: So then let's look at the other side of this, where let's say that you have chosen goals and outcomes and a program or something that aligns with your values that is appropriate for you that is something that you do want to be working on it. 

Let's say, you're a martial artist and you need to improve your flexibility so that you can have better options when you're kicking or rolling or whatever. And you know that you need more flexibility. It's an important thing for you and you have chosen a mobility program that has worked for many martial artists. It's going to be just what you need for your goals and you're doing it. 

And this is the thing that, this is what bites you is to get better at these ranges of motion, you have to put yourself in the same positions again and again, and go to the point where you get stuck. And it's frustrating. You have to do it again and again, and you stay there and that is the practice. That is the process. 

And so this is where people find that they get legitimately really bored with the process of something, even though they know that the outcome, if they stick with it will be positive for them. But it can be a real struggle mentally with how to stay engaged with that because you can't zone out. Maybe to a degree you can, I don't know. This is maybe, I guess what we need to dig into some here is what do you do at that point?

[00:15:09] Jarlo: Everyone can just say, "You have to be patient. These things takes time, six months, six years." But how helpful is that? It's helpful if you are that 10%, that personality some people just have that personality.

[00:15:24] Andy: Sure. Or if you don't know, if you really don't, I don't know how long it takes. And if you find out that it took other people three to five years to get what you're trying to get. And if you know that you've got the kind of endurance to do that, then you can just kind of sit back and be like, well, okay.

[00:15:40] Jarlo: Yeah. It's probably a fairly rare kind of thing. I'll just say it. I have it. And it's, and maybe it's part of this kind of inborn personality, but also maybe it's because I started martial arts and this type of repetitive boring, repetitive, same technique, journey of a thousand steps thing when I was like 12. And so it was just sort of happened, but some people actually have it. We talk about music a lot and that's a really good another good example. 

[00:16:10] Andy: It's a good analog for something that takes deliberate practice.

[00:16:13] Jarlo: Takes deliberate practice. So there's the whole thing of, you're a eight year old kid, prodigy, but also you have the tiger mom or your dad just standing right next to you and with the timer and the metronome. Sure. But there's also people that they can do it. They can do it. You do it, you get in your scales and you just boom boom boom. And one of the things there, and you said that deliberate practice is a thing.

So you can just as zone out and this is the same thing, but you can also reframe that and go, it's not the same thing. It's not the same thing. Every time you practice a musical scale or you do a hamstring stretch. I think it should be different every time personally.

So even though it is repetition, you have to say, let's do the stretching thing. You have to be in your squat. You have to be in your reach forward, make that shape, just hang out there. There's lots of other things to attend to that will improve it and make it better. Like, how is my back feeling at this point? How am I breathing? " Maybe if I shift over a couple of inches" or, "Oh, look, if I do this, is it different than it was yesterday?"

That is probably why things aren't necessarily boring to me, even when I'm swinging a stick in the same way every time when someone else is looking at it. So that's the thing. Someone else could be looking at you and you're swinging a stick and doing whatever. And that would like "he's doing the same thing," but in my head, I'm like, I'm doing it this way. I'm thinking about this now for 10 minutes. So that might be it. There's lots of things in something that looks the same. And if you attend to it and you're deliberate about it, deliberate practice, that's what it means. You're working on a specific thing that's difficult for you at that time.

[00:18:16] Andy: And this is why we always try to stress in our programs and our practice is that you really have to engage with what you're doing. You have to feel where you're at. It's one of those things that sounds really weird. You don't hear that phrase very often because it's hard to even visualize what it means, but you have to really actively feel how your body feels where you are right now, while you're doing this thing and really engage with that and get interested in it and notice. 

Does it feel different than it did yesterday? Does this hip stretch feel a little different than the hip stretch I was doing before? Oh, that's interesting. These positions stretch different parts of the muscle in different ways. 

[00:19:00] Jarlo: And it's a learned skill too. It's something you have to practice, but on its own, like versus any kind of technique you're doing or any kind of stretch or exercise or, musical pattern or steps or whatever, the art of practicing. 

[00:19:16] Andy: And so if anyone's listening to this and you find that you feel bored sometimes, and you feel like you're worried that's going to make you quit something or prevent you from staying consistent with something, this is the part of the podcast you should actually listen to.

This is the important part is that this is a learned skill. And Ryan and Jarlo and I, we were very lucky. We were able to learn at young, through martial arts or gymnastics or whatever, because we. Well, our choices were to quit or to do this, to get better at these skills, but you have the option now, even as an adult, even if you're over 50, if you're whatever age or whatever, your shape you're in, physically, whatever you have the option to develop this skill now. You can.

Human brain neuroplasticity. It is retained all throughout our lives. You can do this and it's to teach yourself gradually how to stay engaged and how to find ways to continue to interest yourself in different parts of doing the same thing again and again. When I was learning how to kick, man, I did hundreds of thousands of front cakes and round cakes.

And like Jarlo said with swinging a stick. Externally, they probably all looked very close to the same, but to me, I was focusing on, lifting my knee a little bit higher, a little harder, a little different path, or, snapping out the foot at a different timing or something like that. And just trying to really feel slight differences and get a little bit more control over those things.

And over time, I was able, because of that, to develop more control over those, but also to stay interested enough in the kick mechanics to be able to practice many more repetitions than the other people that I was training with, which is how I got better.

Progress Is Non-Linear

[00:21:07] Jarlo: All right. I think there's a couple different ways to look at it too when we talk about patience. When someone says, "Okay. You just have to be patient. It takes time." There's the idea that being patient means you have to be patient with how your results are happening over time. You're not going to get it tomorrow.

Be patient. You'll probably get it in, maybe two months, three months, but there's also the other side of it. I think you need to be patient with yourself and be patient with your own expectation. Expectations aren't a bad thing, but they're a bad thing when they prevent you from getting what you value and what you want to do.

There's lots of times you're going to get frustrated. So is boredom also a thing where you're not progressing the way you think you should? I think that's part of it.

In my opinion, another reason why we just kind of kept going or I kept going, you kept going, is that I got better at it. We got better at it. One day you try it and you're like, "Whoa." I've had a lot of those kind of epiphanies. I was not good at it yesterday kind of thing, which isn't true. But then in your head you're like, "Oh, that's not, what happened? I'm suddenly good at this." You're not suddenly anything, but.

[00:22:23] Andy: This is one of the things where having either being in a martial art or a sport or a dance class where you have an instructor or a coach or another player or partner or somebody with you, is that you do have opportunities to see where yesterday that person was faster than you, but today you manage to beat them.

You have a little bit of an external marker against what you can measure yourself. And when you're practicing at home on your own, that's a lot harder. I think that online communities or like posting things to Instagram or whatever, can also be helpful in that respect is we get some incentivization to take video or to share it and get other people looking at it. It can help us recognize those things that we might not have noticed. Cause just like you said, you're not going to make significant progress really in one day to the next usually, but you might pass a threshold at which you notice it against some external-- 

[00:23:19] Jarlo: The feedback and yeah, mentors, coaches, training partners, community, all that thing. The beauty of the internet as it is now is we can upload a video. Someone can see it right away, your friend, your coach, there's literally no reason not to get this kind of good feedback from someone either again, your coach, your teacher, your partners, whatever. Remember when you had to go travel thousands of miles to find somebody right. My teacher right now, I'm learning baguazhang from my teacher Carsten Stausberg and he's in Germany. But I got instant feedback. Great. It's amazing. 

[00:24:02] Andy: We live in a golden age. 

[00:24:04] Jarlo: We do actually. All the people that poopoo all this stuff, I'm like, yeah, I guess. But also man, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. 

[00:24:16] Andy: Yeah. As an aside, yes, there are ways in which technology atomizes and causes disconnect, and it's something that we need to be aware of and guard against, but it can also be a tool for connection and for being able to to communicate with people over even greater distances if we use it that way.

So, all of these things, we were able to have these kind of a community and coaching moments that are more accessible now than they ever have been before because of technology as well, which I think is really fantastic. 

Know Yourself, Plan for What You Need

[00:24:46] Jarlo: I think that's a really good one is and we talked about this before earlier: you have to know yourself. And if you know that you have a tendency to get bored with something. Again, let's frame it, your values match up, the program's good, you can make progress, but you know it in your heart.

You're like, "Yeah. I know I can get bored." Well, there's nothing wrong with preempting that. Don't go to it and then suddenly within yourself the mental fortitude to push through it. That's silly. 

[00:25:21] Andy: If you have trouble compulsively eating peanut butter that's been in the fridge, like I do. You don't put peanut butter in the fridge and say, I'm going to challenge myself not to eat it. 

[00:25:32] Jarlo: Right. 

[00:25:32] Andy: You eat all the peanut butter you have. And don't buy any more. 

[00:25:36] Jarlo: Yeah. 

[00:25:37] Andy: It's the only way. 

[00:25:37] Jarlo: I'm not going to make myself a better person in that moment, right? 

[00:25:41] Andy: Not going to make myself a better person by challenging myself to ignore the peanut butter in the fridge. It's not gonna happen.

[00:25:47] Jarlo: Part of that self sabotage, I remember you once said boredom is a form of self-sabotage. It's cause you, I don't want to say you let it get to that point, but if you know yourself and these things about your personality preempt it. 

And the easiest thing to do is to add more things onto it. Okay, here's the counterpoint to say you're practicing something and you're noticing that if I move my hips this way, or if I suddenly shift my weight this way, that's good, but the opposite or the non-beneficial thing would be,"I'm going to make this fancier. I'm going to start holding dumbbells while I do it." Or "I'm going to add bands to it" or I'm going to, I dunno, I don't even know it's that terrible. 

[00:26:38] Andy: Yeah. If you think stretching is boring, then just add gadgets to it.

[00:26:43] Jarlo: Adding things on is the worst thing, but if you can preempt it, if you know that "Man, if I do this for another couple of weeks, I know there's no way."

[00:26:52] Andy: Well, that's where, yeah, the accountability tricks help, put it on your calendar, set reminders, tell somebody you live with that you're doing this every damn day at 4:00 PM. Join a group that is people that also do similar things and have them watch your back and encourage you. 

All of these things that we know the psychological tricks for now. Use them. There's been many books written about these things and we've all read them. We've all read the blog posts that tell you how to hack your psychology to keep up with habits. We all have. We all have, I know we have clients that have written books about this actually.

[00:27:29] Jarlo: Exactly. And so plan for it and then, throw in a little bit of planned and useful variation or, change up some context of it. 

[00:27:41] Andy: Right.

[00:27:41] Jarlo: It could be as simple as changing the environment if you always practice in one place. And so, okay. Here's the thing too. It's also very good to have a practice space and make it a thing, but it's also very good to be able to get out there and try something new. This is the nuance of everything.

[00:27:58] Andy: Yeah. It's somewhat paradoxical that consistency is great and variety is great. 

[00:28:03] Jarlo: They're both great. 

[00:28:04] Andy: These are both true statements.

[00:28:06] Jarlo: It's always within the context of where you are at. You should actually be doing probably the same handful of exercises your whole life. You probably should. But at the same time, man, if you're only doing that same handful of exercises your entire life, boredom is going to happen. It is. And the "I'd rather be doing something else" is going to creep up pretty quickly with that. 

Progress Is Not the Next Step

[00:28:30] Andy: And so that's where, maybe if we did find like the holy grail of the ultimate program that is perfect for all people and you can follow for your entire life and you would, it would always keep you in optimal health. But how many people realistically would do that. And it's hard because we have a sort of psychological makeup that makes us seek variety at some points.

And so that's where the answer ends up, like you said, nuance where the real answer is to do that optimal program, a certain amount of the time and allow ourselves to explore other things other times. And that's why we have our programs that people repeat again and again and again. We have people who have done the Elements more than 10 times.

People have done Vitamin five or six times. And it's because what they do is they keep that as a base that gives them that stability that they can then go and explore and play with other things and come back to that 

[00:29:24] Jarlo: And come back to it with a different perspective. There was there was this woman, I forgot her name but it's like clockwork. Every year and a half, every two years, she emails in saying I've done the Integral Strength again. 

[00:29:36] Andy: Yes. Yeah, I, yeah, I know. Yup. 

[00:29:39] Jarlo: And over the past 10 years or however long Integral Strength's been out. 

[00:29:43] Andy: I think six times or something maybe. Yeah. 

[00:29:45] Jarlo: Exactly, but she, I love it because she always mentions getting something new out of it. And it's just calisthenics. It's just body weight exercise.

[00:29:57] Andy: It's pushups. It's pull-ups I've already seen all those. 

[00:29:59] Jarlo: "Already seen all these exercises." Oh my God. I've done all of this. And this is why I've said it how many times you've heard, like it's good Elements should have a end point. Our programs should have an end point because you should have a feeling of completion and you shouldn't stop. 

We shouldn't tell people to repeat Week Three, if they don't feel good about it. No, you keep going. You go to Week Four, you go to Week Five, you finish it because you're going to come back. That's what I always think. You're going to come back. You should come back. So don't stop yourself because you don't feel like you're progressing. No, you keep going in the program. 

[00:30:36] Andy: Right.

[00:30:37] Jarlo: You keep going. And this is part of it, because if you repeat that until you feel you're getting better, man, the percentage of that is very low.

[00:30:47] Andy: It's very low. And especially when we compare to things that we see out on it, and I'll go on and say that GMB has contributed to this somewhat too, because we create tutorials where we break things down into steps. And there is a specially in like skill-based, body weight kind of fitness training stuff, there's a lot of this idea of progressions and, you do level one, then you do level two, then level three, level four.

Just to give an example, you might be like, "Okay, there's a wall pushups and knee pushups, then a half pushups, then full push-ups, then knuckle pushups, then a side-to-side pushups, then one arm pushups. Then like one hand pinky finger inverted pushups" or whatever.

[00:31:31] Jarlo: But how are you gonna do that?

[00:31:33] Andy: So the thing is you see the Instagram of 98 pushup variations from easiest to hardest in 59 seconds. This is considered good content out there. I know it's good content because all five of the top fitness YouTube channels all have for multiple exercises, easiest to hardest variations, rank of pushups, pull up to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. 

So clearly this is content that the people want. Cali Move has this video FitnessFAQs has a video Athlean- X has the same damn video of pushup variations ranked.

That means people want to watch this video, right? It's a terrible video. It's insidious. Don't ever watch it. It will trap you. Okay. Well, they're good videos maybe, but it gives us this expectation that what progress looks like is getting to the next step. 

[00:32:18] Jarlo: Exactly. 

[00:32:19] Andy: Progress sometimes is doing the same step, a little more easily, feeling a little stronger, having a little better form. Progress is not the next step.This is one of the things that makes us feel bored is that we feel like progress means we should get to the next step. 

[00:32:36] Jarlo: We should be doing something different. Exactly.

[00:32:38] Andy: We should be doing something different. And if you hold yourself against that expectation, yes, you are going to think your progress is slow. Yes. You are going to get bored. Yes. You are going to feel like you were not doing what you are set out to do. But that's an unrealistic,.

[00:32:55] Jarlo: Right. If adding things is the metric, then you need to be adding things; it becomes a tautology. Going back to the whole martial arts thing. So I teach a women's self defense workshops and all this stuff. And one of the things I tried to do is when someone comes in and they do either my workshop's an hour and a half, or they take my class, I teach the same thing. I teach the same thing every time. And my mentality is I'm never going to see them.

I'm never going to see them again for lots of reason. Maybe they'll come back, but one of the things is I was just mentioning this because I was teaching the bear hug from behind. Someone grabs you from behind. There are literally a thousand, 1500, ways to get out of it.

[00:33:40] Andy: At least. 

[00:33:41] Jarlo: At least, literally, but I teach the one thing that fits with how to get out of a headlock, if someone that has you in a headlock, which is almost same thing as someone who has grabbed your hair or grabbed your arm from behind. And the concept is: do what it takes to get in front of them. Don't let them get behind you, get in front of them. The concept. So if you have that in your head versus I should learn 500 ways to get out it because that's how I'm going to get better and how I'm going to improve. Because if you don't know-- 

[00:34:18] Andy: What if someone taller grabs me? 

[00:34:20] Jarlo: Exactly. 

[00:34:21] Andy: What if somebody super strong grabs me? 

[00:34:23] Jarlo: You have to do all the combinations and situations. And, just said, if you're on your knees? What if you're . . . But they all have to have the same concept, right? The pushups is a great thing. What do all of the push-ups in the world have in common? That's what your coach and your teacher has to tell you. Or you, if you can figure it out yourself.

Here's another tangent. Our friend, Steven Lowe with Overcoming Gravity, that omnibus that encyclopedia of every variation you're ever going to want of dip of a pull-up or anything. And what he's doing is awesome. He's giving you it all. He's giving you it all because he knows that's what he wants. He was like, this is what it is. I'm giving it to you all. But he also knows this is not a program. He'll say it to you. This is not a program, you have to make it for yourself. 

[00:35:20] Andy: Yeah.

[00:35:20] Jarlo: So it's the same thing with all of these. You're on your program and you're doing what you think is good. And you're like, well, I'm going to keep adding stuff because that's how you get better. Why are you getting bored? It's because you feel like you need to be doing something else. 

[00:35:37] Andy: Yup. It's the FOMO. You see, you see somebody swinging a tennis ball on a string and you think, "Oh man, I am not doing that. I'm screwing up." You see somebody doing bridges and you think "doing bridges. I'm screwing up." You see somebody doing kettlebells? "Oh man, I'm screwing up." Somebody is doing rings, "I'm not doing rings." 

[00:35:54] Jarlo: Dude, it's a very natural, that still happens to me. That's when I have the mental fortitude to go. "No, I'm not going to do that." 

[00:36:03] Andy: Well, it's important because you have an equipment buying problem too. 

[00:36:06] Jarlo: Oh, dude. I love it. My garage is awesome. It's so good, man. I have everything. Oh man, I got ropes. But you know what I use? I use the bar bell, the pull-up bar, the rings, and I use the same thing. 

[00:36:19] Andy: Wait, you mean you don't use every single piece of equipment in every workout?

[00:36:23] Jarlo: Oh man. Nope. 

[00:36:26] Andy: That would take five hours.

[00:36:28] Jarlo: I was actually, I remember this too like maybe 15, 20 years ago. I met this guy in a seminar. We went to his house cause he's all, "Come over." And he literally had everything in his garage, everything. But I'll say it now because it's so far away from now, he was also fat, out of shape. I was like, "You got a lot of good stuff here, man." He's "Yeah. I got it." And I remember in my head, I'm like, you don't look like it. And it's not even you don't look like he couldn't perform. I don't even care look like. He couldn't move well. Hecouldn't do any of that stuff like dude. That was a light bulb moment for me.

[00:37:08] Andy: And that's the thing. If you replace achievement with acquisition of the tool or, “Oh, I bought the new program” or “I learned the new trick” or whatever, it's still isn't always adding up cumulatively to, again, like we're saying damn near, like 30 minutes ago now is giving you that sense of being able to do what you really want to be able to do, giving you the sense of physical confidence that you are healthy enough to take care of yourself. And if that isn't adding up to that, well, then, that's a signal that acquisition reflex that we all have, that instinct to grab the next thing is actually short-circuiting our real progress.

[00:37:48] Jarlo: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's another marker of what would it be the theme of what we're talking about is boredom actually means something else. Most likely. Sometimes it so, you're just bored, but know, a lot of it means something. 

[00:38:03] Andy: And so if you find yourself struggling with boredom, then this is really, the thing is, we kind of accidentally identified this pretty early on and we've talked about both sides a lot here, but is it boredom with what you've set out to do because you've chosen the wrong path?

And in that case, you do need to introspect a little bit and make a change and just be careful not to choose something. Another thing that's the wrong choice, right? Or is it boredom in the process where you just need to teach yourself how to get interested in the minutia of learning and spending time in these positions and exercises and movements and any situations that you are benefiting from because you know that it is taking you where you want to go.

[00:38:50] Jarlo: And I think a lot of those solutions again, this is generic and you have to find it for yourself. But a lot of the really proven solutions are either getting some accountability from someone, telling somebody you're going to do it, getting feedback, having a trusted partner or a coach.

I was listening to  another podcast.  It was a power lifting and they're power lifting coaches and they're great, world champion and all that stuff. But one of the thing they said was, " Sometimes a coach is just there to listen to you and tell you something that you already knew." 

[00:39:26] Andy: Yeah.

[00:39:27] Jarlo: Right. Kind of nudge you. The programs are good, their programming. Everything is good, but sometimes it's just, "Hey man. Yeah. I know." And these are world champion athletes and world champion coaches. And they're saying that. Sometimes coaches, they are just to give you a little bit of a nudge, a little bit of a reality check. know you have to just keep doing what you're doing here. You're doing fine.

[00:39:50] Andy: Yeah. And again, if on the flip side of that is if you expect your coach to be dropping like amazing pearls of wisdom with utterance, that's a really high bar to set your expectations again.

[00:40:01] Jarlo: No, it's true. I think a lot of this is born out of experience. I'd be interested in understanding more about half the people that said they quit something out of boredom or what were the situations there? Have they been doing this a long time or been doing that thing a long time or maybe they do?

Maybe they had the epiphanies that we talked about that they realized what they were doing wasn't really in line with what they really wanted and all of that. I bet you that's the case. 

[00:40:28] Andy: Yeah. So yeah, I think this is a good place to wrap up. We sort of talked in and around a lot of different things and shared some different experiences that I hope will be valuable and interesting for people. But the main point is, boredom is not really just one thing. It can signal a lot of different things, but you need to sort of investigate that rather than just saying, "Oh, I'm bored, I'm going to stop. Or I'm bored, this isn't working." Investigate that and figure out what to do about it. It's an emotion or a sensation that's trying to tell you something. 

[00:41:03] Jarlo: Like pain. 

[00:41:06] Andy: Yep. 

[00:41:07] Jarlo: Absolutely. 

[00:41:09] Andy: Okay. All right. Well, thank you for listening and get bored. 

[00:41:16] Jarlo: Thanks. See you later.


Who Gets Bored?
How to Define Boredom
Goals & Expectations
Staying Engaged is a Learned Skill
Progress Is Non-Linear
Know Yourself, Plan for What You Need
Progress Is Not the Next Step