Three Excuses for Not Working Out and How to Combat Them

Just like teachers and homework, fitness trainers hear just about every excuse in the book as to why a client either isn’t pushing themselves or skips a session. I decided to combine the three most common excuses I hear and how I combat them with my clients. I am hoping that you will have some success with these when you use them on your own clients or to help yourself continue to work toward your fitness goals.

  1. I don’t have time. There are different ways to pack some workouts in, even on busy work days! For example, when I know I am going to have a wall-to-wall day without my usual time to work out, I have a few tricks. I either sleep in my gym clothes or lay them out right next to the bed. It conditions my brain to say, “Game on!” the minute my feet hit the floor and stops me from hitting the snooze button. Sometimes I’ll get up 15 minutes earlier and do a quick routine like the ones listed here. I know you can find 15 minutes! I advise other clients to walk up and down some stairs at their office or take a walk around outside if it is a nice day during their lunch break. You can even incorporate fitness into your chores. Maybe take the dog for a longer walk when you get home. If you have to clean, put on some fast-paced music and dance! If there’s nobody to watch your kids, include them! Drag them away from the tv and play a game of tag or some basketball. Go to the playground with them and actually PLAY, don’t sit on a bench and look at your phone. Remind your clients (and yourself), that there is no rule saying that you need to get all of your activity in one block of time! Do some reps in between commercials of your favorite shows. Sometimes I’ll even do laps around the coffee table!If you actually look for the time, you’ll find it!
  2. I don’t see results. As a trainer, this one drives me crazy. This is why we take measurements in the first place—fat weighs more than muscle so sometimes clients actually think they are gaining weight, even though they are dropping inches. But there could be a few reasons for this. Usually, I tell clients to chart their eating and sleeping for a few days and then we look it over to see if something can be improved. They are likely consuming too many calories. With a few tweaks to their diet, they are off and running again. Another reason, especially for people who are doing things on their own, is that they stop challenging themselves. They have to either add more reps or time, or they need to make the work harder. That should set them back up for success.
  3. I just don’t like to work out. I hear this one a lot and I totally understand! Some stuff can be boring! But fitness isn’t all about weight training, or running on a treadmill, or whatever you think it is. It’s also a regularly scheduled basketball game with friends. It’s walking laps around the mall with a buddy before the stores open. It’s taking a bike ride with your kids. A run with your dog. Gardening. Dance lessons with a romantic partner. It can be any physical activity that you like to do! I have so many clients who tell me that they were more fit as kids and I remind them why—we all played on playgrounds or ran around the neighborhood with our friends. We were having so much fun that we didn’t realize we were doing physical activity! I encourage clients to talk about what they like to do so that we can find something that they will really enjoy—and stick with!

There you have it. An answer for some of the most common workout excuses I hear. I hope these tips help! If you have other methods or hear different complaints from your clients, put them in the comments. We’ll get a useful reference list going!