Tackling Excuses To Avoid The Gym

Fitness tips from the experts, and how not to avoid going to the gym

We’ve all done it. The trainers are packed, your leggings are ready to pull on, then something happens and you think you just can’t face another workout today. Be it the time of the month or time for a G&T, we’ve all made excuses to get out of going to the gym.

And new research has revealed that only 1 in 10 people said they had never made an excuse to miss the gym, leaving 90% of the nation admitting that they have made a gym excuse. Work is the biggest factor getting in the way of people’s gym time, with jobs keeping people too late, or leaving them too tired to face lifting weights.

The UK’s most common excuses to miss the gym:

  1. I’m too tired (39%)
  2. The day at work has drained me (35%)
  3. My job has held me up/kept me up late (28%)
  4. I won’t go today, but will work extra hard tomorrow! (18%)
  5. My muscles ache from my last gym session (15%)
  6. The weather is too nice to go to the gym (13%)
  7. I find the gym boring (13%)

With the summer over, and the January detox still a few months away, the autumn months can be the most difficult time to motivate yourself to exercise.  So we consulted the experts at Sportsshoes.com, along with personal trainers and fitness experts, and asked them to share their fitness tips on how to overcome the most popular gym excuses….

Excuse 1: I’m too tired

Fix: If you’re lacking energy ahead of a workout, question why. Being dehydrated or not eating enough can contribute to feeling tired, and can easily be fixed with a bit of forethought. Eating smaller meals more frequently, and keeping yourself well-watered, will help keep your energy levels up throughout the day.

Fix: Monitor when you’re the most tired during the day, and when you’re the most active and awake; manage your workouts so that they complement your energy pattern.

Excuse 2: The day at work has drained me

Fix: Mental exhaustion can be just as a big of a demotivator as physical exhaustion, but a workout shouldn’t take an extraordinary amount of mental effort. Use a PT to do the thinking for you if you can’t face keeping track of your rep count or what exercise to move on it. Or, it’s the idea of being around people again after a long day that drains you even more, working out at home, or a run around the local park, can take away the mental effort of working out in a social environment.

Excuse 3: My job has held me up/kept me up late

Fix: Treat your workout with the same importance you would a doctor’s appointment. Personal trainer Jamie Lloyd has somem great fitness tips. He says: “When my clients tell me they don’t have the time to work out, I tell them to make time by blocking out training time in your diary just like you would with your meetings at work. (I will even sometimes suggest they tell their boss they have a medical appointment, after all training is brilliant for your health, oxygenating the cells giving your body energy to make you more productive at work and at home!)”

Excuse 4: I won’t go today, but will work extra hard tomorrow!

Fix: Rather than trying to delay your workout, and seeing it as a punishment to avoid until tomorrow, think instead how you would reward yourself for doing it today. Allow yourself small creative rewards for getting your workout done on schedule, maybe it’s letting yourself watch an hour of trash TV guilt-free, or buying a small non-food treat like a luxurious beauty product.

Excuse 5: My muscles ache from my last gym session

Fix: Mutha Fitness says the best way to overcome most gym excuses is by sticking to a well thought through workout plan. Her top tip – “Don’t forget to schedule in rest days too. This will help you to avoid feeling too exhausted to go to the gym or ducking out because you’re aching from the previous session. Rest days are good for strength and muscle development, giving your body chance to repair itself.”

Excuse 6: The weather is too nice to go to the gym

Fix: Personal trainer Aimée Victoria says “During the warmer weather, numbers in my classes tend to drop slightly and clients cancel last minute (especially in the evenings) to see friends or go out with their partner. There are plenty of fun ways to keep your summer exercise in check, without feeling like you’re missing out on the summer sun, and you can keep it social too! Instead of the gym, arrange a game of volleyball, swimming in the sea or a simple bike ride. I personally love going on long walks with dogs on a sunny evening. It’s all about balance, there’s no point feeling like your missing out, just keep active in a different way.” 

Excuse 7: I find the gym boring

Fix: The gym doesn’t have to just be about lifting weights and pounding the treadmill. Mutha Fitness advises “If the reason you’re skipping the gym is because you find it boring, switch to something new. Most gyms these days have a brilliant variety of classes scheduled through the week, don’t be scared to try something different, you might find that it works really well for you and it sparks your motivation again.” Keeping fit by learning a new sport, like tennis or boxing, can keep your brain occupied; thinking about tactics or strategy or technique means you don’t notice the monotony of your body movement.

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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