Every single one of us feels unmotivated to work out from time to time. It’s just a part of the game! Every once in awhile I’ll feel so sluggish and put half the effort I normally would into a workout, but I still do it. Since I post fitness updates pretty frequently on SnapChat and Instagram, I’m always receiving questions about how I stay motivated and committed to my workout routine. I actually created an entire blog post about this exact subject back in January that you can read here!
In addition to those questions, I often hear “how do you do back-to-back spin classes?! I could never!”, or “I tried BBG a few times but never could stick to it”. Why is that? What are the things that are keeping you from committing to your workout routine? Is it your crazy work schedule? Is it the fact that you don’t actually like the workouts you’re trying to do? Do you travel a lot? Are you simply out of shape and don’t know where to start? There are SO many excuses we all could make if we wanted to avoid a workout, and I know I do it from time to time… But it’s the ones that keep you from a consistent routine that are the ones you need to be worried about. The only person who can control your health, fitness and strength is you. The key is to get out of your own way and really make your workout routine a priority. Turn what used to be a chore into a habit!
Here are five excuses I hear a lot about why people don’t or can’t work out, and my answer to each of those excuses and how to turn those around. As you’ll find out when you keep reading, I’m not a natural athlete and it took me years to figure out what needed to happen for me to get on the right track and actually stick to a routine. Just start experimenting with different times, days and types of workouts to see what works best for your lifestyle!
EXCUSE #1 – I DON’T HAVE TIME
If I were to guess, this is probably the most common excuse used when people explain why they don’t work out. While it certainly is easier to fit a workout into your everyday routine when you work from home like I do now, I spent four years out of college working full time and still managed to fit workouts in either before, after or even during lunch at work. Sure, you may not be able to fit one in every single day… some days are busier than others. You may have an early meeting one morning or have to work late the next evening, but unless you work ridiculously long hours (like a doctor, nurse or investment banker would, for example), there’s likely at least three days a week you could fit a workout in. Maybe one day you take a 30 to 45-minute walk during your lunch break (that’s LISS right there!), fit in a 45 minute spin class before work (if you go at 6:30am you’ll be done by 7:15 – this gives you a full hour and a half to get ready and be at work by 9 if you don’t have a long commute!), or take a barre class/hit the gym after work.
With the variety of workout classes and class times available these days, there’s truly an option for every person and schedule. Just be flexible and see what works with your schedule on any given week! Physically writing my workouts and times into my calendar also helps keep me accountable and prevents me from accidentally scheduling something during those times.
EXCUSE #2 – IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE
Cost is another big (and valid!) reason why people don’t work out. Some workout classes and gym memberships feature a hefty price tag, so those might not always fit within your budget… especially if you’re trying to go several times a week! If cost is your issue with it, my suggestion would be to find a way to workout without classes – whether that’s watching yoga videos on YouTube, going on runs after work or even downloading the BBG guide (a $50 one-time fee for a 12 week printable PDF guide you can use over and over again), there are definitely more cost-effective solutions that will keep you just as fit as someone who goes to an expensive gym regularly.
Speaking of gyms, if you’re not opposed to a less expensive gym membership, check out your local YMCA. The one near me just got completely redone and features a wonderful gym, pool and clean locker rooms, as well as free workout classes for only $59/month (for a single adult membership). And I don’t think the family memberships are much more than that! Definitely worth doing if you live near one! $59 per month vs $25 a class at a barre/spin/pilates studio is much more reasonable, don’t you think? With that said, many studios offer memberships and discounts/deals throughout the year as well, so definitely do your research to find the best option for you and your budget!
EXCUSE #3 – I’M JUST SO OUT OF SHAPE, I COULD NEVER DO THAT KIND OF WORKOUT
“Started at the bottom, now we here” is literally what I think of when people give this excuse. We ALL started at the bottom. While I’m sure some of us are more athletic than others (I’m not one of those people – I’m so uncoordinated!), most of us aren’t natural-born body builders or marathoners. We all have to work our way up to being in good shape! I quite literally wanted to die during and after my first few FlyWheel classes because it had been years since I’d done any kind of intense cardio workouts. You just have to push through those first few workouts, and your body will start acclimating and bouncing back faster and faster.
Also, while I work out nearly every day, I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m in “great shape”. I still feel exhausted and pushed to the limit with every BBG workout, and while I do feel so much stronger in FlyWheel after doing it for so long, it’s always going to be a hard class as long as I keep pushing myself. It’s all about taking that first step and committing to a routine – once you do, you’ll soon find you can in fact do just about any exercise put in front of you. Just give it time!
EXCUSE #4 – I HATE WORKING OUT ALONE
This one is has a pretty easy solution. If you hate going to the gym by yourself, grab a buddy! Go on walks with a friend before or after work, meet a friend at a spin or barre class, do group training sessions with a personal trainer… this list goes on. I also have made quite a few friends IN workout classes that I chat with every time we were are the same class together. Workout classes can be a great place to meet new people with similar interests as you, and it will give you more motivation to go if you get to catch up with people you don’t get to see very often!
EXCUSE #5 – I GET BORED AND/OR DON’T ENJOY IT
The problem with this excuse is you just haven’t found a workout you enjoy yet. For example, my mom LOVES yoga. She says she’s never felt stronger, more flexible and at peace than when she consistently goes to yoga classes. For her it’s definitely more of a mind + body experience. I, on the other hand, prefer workouts that will totally kick my ass. Whether that’s intense cardio intervals at FlyWheel or building lean muscle in BBG HIIT workouts, I want to be completely exhausted and dripping sweat by the end. The reason I love it is because I know I’ve worked really hard, torched a ton of calories and it’s a great stress reliever for me.
Maybe you love running because you get to listen to your favorite music and zone out from your day, or perhaps you love the low-intensity vibes a pilates workout offers. In addition to typical workout routines like barre, yoga, pilates, running, and weight training, there are even workouts you can do on surfboards, you can take up boxing, or join a hip-hop dance class! If you are couch potato/TV junkie, join a gym and watch TV as you walk/run on the treadmill. There are literally SO many things you can do these days. Take a bunch of classes to discover what you like and don’t like, and then create a routine featuring a few of your favorites. My advice would be to mix it up so you don’t get burned out on one theme!