It’s Top 10 time again… and we have a doozy for you this time around!
EXERCISE EXCUSES. We’ve all heard them – and we’ve all used them.
In my long personal training career I’ve heard anything and everything used as reasons for neglecting one’s health and fitness. It’s always easier to put off starting a new workout regime – especially when the word “work” is involved. More times than not, it’s misinformation or lack of understanding that rears its ugly head and leads people to believe they can’t or shouldn’t exercise.
So what follows are the top 10 excuses I’ve heard over and over throughout the years, and my responses…. Cause you know The Angry Trainer doesn’t accept excuses!
EXCUSE #1: “I don’t have time to workout”- We’ve all heard this, or used it ourselves at some point. Have you?
REBUTTAL: First off, it’s a ridiculous statement. Every person has the same amount of time in every day. You may be busy, but not too busy to take care of yourself. We spend more time taking care of our cars, houses, and other material possessions then ourselves. Where are the priorities? This is primarily driven by the fact that people tend to think exercise programs need to be several hours long, or 7 days a week to be effective. Not true, three hours per week is manageable, maintainable, and provides amazing health benefits. Who can’t find 3 hours in a week?
EXCUSE #2: “I can’t get to or I don’t have a gym membership”- Have you ever said this?
REBUTTAL: Guess what people? You don’t need to go to a gym! This is another poor excuse driven by ignorance and supported by massive marketing campaigns within the fitness industry. With ground to stand on, in your house, backyard, at a park and with some household items like your stairs, even a sledgehammer or tire, and a minimal investment in some resistance bands, you can have an incredible workout and fitness routine sans the gym. You do not need machines, or to pay a monthly fee! Ever!
EXCUSE #3: “I’m not fat, I don’t need to” – If you’ve said this, it speaks volumes about you.
REBUTTAL: It’s hard to believe that some people actually believe this, and have enough confidence, (arrogance actually), to say it out loud, and to me! Being thin, or appearing to be in shape does not mean you are healthy or fit. It doesn’t mean anything. Every body needs exercise, both to maintain and improve health. Exercise can correct muscular and postural imbalances from daily living, as well as increase longevity and quality of life through numerous adaptations. Don’t be so naive to think, if you are young, if you play a sport, if you look good, if you are thin etc, that you don’t need a regular, intelligent fitness program. You do! And maybe a lesson in humility as well.
EXCUSE #4: “ I don’t like to workout” – I can change that guaranteed!
REBUTTAL: This one is a simple misconception and experience issue. With all of the available different forms of exercise, there is one you are bound to enjoy. You need to try different things. This excuse usually comes from a bad experience, and like getting bad food and service at a restaurant, you just don’t want to go back. First impressions in fitness are huge. And if by some chance, you hate it all, too damn bad. Suck it up. Life is full of doing things you don’t want, but have to. Wrap your head around the fact exercise is not a choice, it is a must.
EXCUSE #5: “I don’t want big muscles” – Really?
REBUTTAL: Hah, I love this one. I’ve been trying for twenty years to get big! I hear this mostly from women, but I have on occasion heard it from men. Women have an incredibly tough time building big muscles. They just don’t have the hormonal makeup to support them. What is much more common is when women appear to have bigger muscles because they may have lost a bit of body fat, which allows the muscle they have to be seen more easily. So for all you women, no need to worry about big muscles, and guys, you should be so lucky to have a big muscle problem.
EXCUSE #6: “I walk everyday”- yeah, and……..???
REBUTTAL: Walking is NOT exercise! I’ve said this a million times. When I meet clients for the first time I always ask “are you currently exercising?” I’ve heard “yes I walk” way too many times. Unless you are so out of shape that walking brings you into your training zone, its difficulty level just does not provide enough stimulus to get a reaction from your body. Yes, it burns some calories, so does gardening, that’s not a suitable replacement for working out either. I know – you power walk right? Okay one, you look silly, and two, it’s still not hard enough. Walking is how we get from point A to B, so for the last time- Walking is NOT exercise! Did I say that already?
EXCUSE #7: “ I have too many injuries, or health issues”- This is super common.
REBUTTAL: It is really frustrating when you can’t exercise like you used to, or without limitations. I understand that. But truthfully, no matter how serious your issues are, you can still find modes of exercise to work around your injuries, or medical conditions. And you can always improve your fitness and health. Of course if you need medical clearance, you should always consult your doctor and seek the guidance and supervision of a qualified fitness professional. Believe it or not, even serious heart issues don’t necessarily always preclude an exercise regimen. No excuses.
EXCUSE #8: “My spouse doesn’t like how I look when I workout”- That’s a shame in my book.
REBUTTAL: Yes, it is true, I’ve heard this. Do you know why? 9 out of 10 times it’s because said spouse is out of shape themselves, can’t or won’t commit to exercise, and has better self confidence when their spouse joins them in an exercise free, sedentary lifestyle. Misery loves company right? That being said, I would never stop exercising, being fit and healthy or doing anything I knew that made me a better person for anyone. Nor should you.
EXCUSE #9: “I’m too tired after work, or from taking care of kids”
REBUTTAL: Ironically, exercise releases dopamine in the brain which improves mood, reduces fatigue, and guess what?- boosts energy. You’ll have more energy to chase those kids and show the boss you’re a top producer. With a regular fitness program, your body becomes more efficient at energy production and converting nutrients into fuel. It’s hard to break the cycle and start up, but once you get going you’ll feel a noticeable improvement immediately. Get moving!
EXCUSE #10: “My schedule is irregular and/or I travel a lot and can’t keep a regular regimen” So??
REBUTTAL: Again, silly reason. What is “regular” anyway? As I’ve said previously, you don’t need much to exercise. Waking up 45 minutes earlier while away is easy to do. Some pushups, jump rope, resistance band presses and rows and a whole lot more can all be incorporated into a routine wherever you are. As for timing, exercise is not rigid, or neurotic. Consistency is what you’re after. Shooting for 3 days a week is completely doe-able, even for the traveling workaholic.
You should know by now, you will never have a good excuse for not being on an exercise program. There is nothing else in life you can invest just 3 hours per week into, and have it pay dividends in so many facets of your life, for your life. If you’ve struggled with exercise before and if you’ve put off working out for any reason, it’s time to change. Success is a decision that you make. Choose wisely.
But what do you think? Have I missed an excuse that you know off? Do you have a different reason? Think I’m wrong? Then let me know, I’d love to hear from you…