12 Workout Excuses You Can Overcome
As a personal trainer, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard all the excuses in the book when it comes to avoiding a workout! I know there are times when you feel low on energy or your schedule is crazy.
But sometimes these “occasional” workout excuses can lead to bad habits and cause you to miss out on the benefits of having a healthy lifestyle.
Find out what to do when:
I’m going to help you understand why it’s important to know what can trigger these excuses — and how you CAN overcome them!
12 Common workout excuses and how to beat them
Here are the most common workout excuses that I hear, and the best ways to beat them.
I'm too tired
The funny thing about exercise is that it can actually give you MORE energy! You can feel energised even after a quick training session.
What you eat can also play a big part in your energy levels. Did you know that foods high in magnesium can help to give you energy? If you’re feeling flat, try incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet like broccoli, spinach, nuts and seeds.
I compare myself to others
Try to avoid comparing yourself to people around you. Your journey is unique to YOU!
Remember that each person, no matter how fit or confident they might seem — all started somewhere.
Your goals will be different from your friend’s goals, and the person next to you at the gym. Know what your goals are and WHY you have them — and show up for yourself.
If comparing yourself to others is one of your barriers to starting, focus on finding out what really motivates you.
Share your goals with a workout buddy who can support you, hold you accountable and remind you why you started.
It’s too hard
I know that my clients will all say that I have a “tough love” approach as a personal trainer. I truly believe that working hard is what gets you results!
You can continue to make excuses, or you can tough it out and push through. Put in the work to prove to yourself that you CAN do it!
If you have a goal in mind, focus on that instead of how difficult the workout is.
I learnt this when I had to begin again after giving birth to my daughter, Arna. It was hard, but I put in the effort each day and now I’m stronger and more confident than I have ever felt!
I don’t know how to use gym equipment
When you step into a gym for the first time it can be overwhelming.
Ladies, I want all of you to feel confident enough to get your workout DONE. The gym shouldn’t be a boundary to reaching your fitness goals!
If you aren’t sure how to use equipment at the gym — ask someone there who does, like your trainer.
My High Intensity Strength program (formerly BBG Stronger) is a good introduction to gym workouts for beginners.
When you use the program in the Sweat app, each exercise has step-by-step instructions, as well as a video of me demonstrating the exercise which you can watch as many times as you need to.
This means that even if you’ve never lifted a weight or used a leg press, you can learn how.
I don’t have much equipment
You do NOT need a lot of equipment to get your sweat on!
If I can’t get to the gym, I will often just grab one piece of equipment like a step and create a workout around it. You can do this with so many simple pieces of equipment like this jump rope workout for beginners.
You can find more workouts that require minimal equipment on my Instagram.
My High Intensity program (formerly BBG) is perfect if you don’t have much equipment. You can find out how to substitute household items in place of equipment on the Support page on my website, if you don’t have equipment at home.
I don’t have time
Some of the most effective workouts can be done in under 30 minutes — think high-intensity workouts like the ones you’ll find in my High Intensity program.
My workouts are all 28 minutes, so there’s no excuse why you can’t get them done.
If you are short on time, I also have “Quick Workouts” that you can choose to complete in place of the resistance sessions in the Sweat app — they are only 15-20 minutes long.
Remember ladies, if something is important to you — you can always find time!
I’m not feeling motivated
Motivation may come and go — that’s why you shouldn’t rely just on motivation to reach your fitness goals.
You’ve probably heard me say this before. Being healthy is a lifestyle, so creating habits that you can stick to is the key to long-term success.
If your motivation is low, try breaking one big hurdle into smaller, mini-hurdles that feel more approachable.
When you feel like giving up, sit down for 10 minutes and plan your week — it can be as simple as writing a list in your notes on your phone or putting together a playlist of your favourite songs on your lunch break.
Reach out to a friend or family member to see if they want to work out with you so that you can keep each other accountable.
If you don’t have anyone in your family or friendship group to work out with, join a group fitness class! This is a great way to make new friends and connect with people who can motivate you.
The Sweat Community often hold meet-ups that you can find on Instagram or Facebook.
I can’t afford a gym membership
You don’t need a gym membership to work out. You can do exercise anywhere you have enough space to move — indoors or outdoors!
There are even activities you can do that don’t rely on equipment, like the bodyweight exercises I use in my High Intensity Zero Equipment program.
Think back to your physical education class at school and how you would utilise the yard for exercise — I used to do shuttle runs as a warm up when I played basketball. Cardio is perfect because it gets your body warm quickly and doesn’t require a gym!
There are so many ways to stay active outdoors, choose one that makes you feel your BEST and if you have kids — get them involved too!
It’s that ‘time of the month’
Every woman has a different experience during their period, but you CAN exercise if you feel up to it.
Dealing with cramps, mood changes and bloating can make you feel like skipping your workout. While you might feel like laying on the couch with a hot water bottle, you will probably feel better after a little light exercise.
Exercising during your period can help to improve your circulation and digestion, which can be helpful for relieving cramps and bloating.
If you feel up to exercising during your period, it’s possible that you might not feel like training as you normally would. This is completely normal!
The best way to get through this is to lower the intensity of your training by reducing your weights or your perceived exertion for each exercise.
Some exercises that you can try include low-intensity workouts, like walking, cycling or a slow jog.
I don’t know where to start
No one is born knowing how to do something they have never done before.
Really think about your goals for the year ahead, set a goal and work out how you’re going to get it done.
Make sure that your goal is specific and then list the steps that will help you to achieve it. For example, if you want to improve your strength, you might plan: how many times are you going to train, what program are you going to do, what time are you going to train and when is the best time for you to eat around your workouts.
Plan every day too — have your gym clothes, drink bottle and bag ready for the next day. Make sure to have EVERYTHING you need to achieve your goals, rather than just winging it and hoping that you’ll somehow get there.
When you are organised for your workouts, you will be less likely to make an excuse to skip them.
I’m going on holiday
I don’t stop training when I’m on holiday!
My workouts are under 30 minutes, so they are PERFECT to complete when you’re away.
As I mentioned earlier, even if you only have one piece of equipment, it can still be utilised in an effective session. A resistance band can easily fit into your hand luggage on the plane and so can a skipping rope!
If you’re going on a relaxing vacation near a beach or mountains, go for a nice long walk or exhilarating hike!
I don’t enjoy exercise
Find the exercise that’s right for YOU! You will be less likely to do your workout if you don’t like it.
If you have been following me for a while, you would know that I am not a fan of running. It’s not that I don’t think it’s an effective form of training — it just doesn’t work for me.
I recommend changing the style of training you are doing if you are only doing it because you think that’s how you will get results — not because you ENJOY it.
I love walking because it’s something I can do at any time. If the sun is shining, I can take Arna out with me in the stroller for a walk, or if it’s not, I use the treadmill and watch Netflix.
Some different types of LISS that you can try include swimming and cycling.
And if you haven’t found a style of training that you love yet — keep trying!
You can overcome anything you put your mind to
If you want something enough and you work hard for it you can achieve anything — remember that!
It’s called a health and fitness journey for a reason — progress takes HARD WORK and is different for EVERY BODY.
Appreciate your body for what it can do. It’s not about how many reps you can do, it’s more about that you continue to show up for yourself every day.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.