bored at the gym TOP 10's


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…


  1. Pingback: TOP 10: BIGGEST EXERCISE EXCUSES | Wealth On Health

  2. True, true truuuuue, all of this :)

    I used a lot of these in the past :) I was seriously one of those people who avoided every P.E. lesson at school. I had some health issues so my doctor forbid me to do a few things, but I turned it around and told at school that I am not allowed to workout at all.
    I so regret it today! I started to workout only 6 months ago and I soooo regret those 25 years of continuous excuses!
    No time? Bodyrock routines takes about 20 minutes each day! Everyone can find 20 minutes in their schedule!
    Don’t like to workout? Try a few times and you are gonna love it!
    Can’t go to the gym? I never stepped my foot in the gym! Bodyweight training doesn’t need a gym, YOU are your own gym! (love that book my Mark Lauren)
    Too tired after work? I workout after work, and everytime after workout I get this amazing boost of energy! I love working out in the morning, which I only do on weekends, cause the energy boost lasts me all day 😀
    My hubby makes faces when he sees me covered in sweat? Well guess what – he is gonna love the way I will look once I reach my goal 😀

    I love what you just said on Twitter: Excuses are like trains, there’s always another one coming. So true. 6 months ago I decided to walk on foot, instead of waiting for another train :))) And I love that :)

  3. Pingback: Top 10: More Exercise Excuses! | Angry Trainer Fitness

  4. **smile** I have a roommate that’s the reverse of situation no. 9: it’s not that she’s too tired to exercise, it’s the exercise that makes her too tired for other things. She said she puts off reinitiating an exercise regime because the adaptation phase makes her feel drained and sore. These exercise aftereffects, in turn, interfere with her capacity to accompany other activites at the University etc. So she keeps waiting for things to slow down at school in order to start. A few semesters have already come and gone…

  5. Heya, Berit! Nice summary of all we’ve said. : ) Oh: I took a quick peek at the FB site (still contemplating whether I want to join or not) and, gosh, there are so many Berits! **smile** You’re the only Berit I know, so imagine my surprise when I realized that it’s actually quite a popular name! : ) Is it Dutch? There was this oooone girl with glasses who had what might be a “thesis expression” on her face, except she didn’t have curly hair you mentioned, so…

  6. Pingback: Post Pregnancy Exercise: How Soon Is Too Soon? | Angry Trainer Fitness

  7. #8 is valid for your typical housemates as well.I had housemates that got uncomfortable while i was working out.
    They want to keep you in the same jar as they are…otherwise you make them feel uncomfortable.It wasn’t enough coping with a challenging workout, have to cope with some negativity as well.
    Get Stronger!!!Holistically!!! :)

  8. luv these! And yes, lots (myself included have used several of these) HAHA but some of those pple must be crazy. Exercising and being fit doesnt mean big muscles and yea I agree with the rebuttal for the spouse excuse….its called making a team effort lol. In all honestly Ive recently got back into my habits of really exercising. I always try to be healthy and watch what I eat but when I was really sick and the weather so cold it was hard to push myself to do indoor things (I find it easier too, to do a small work out (such as abs) and then go running…I find a low key workout/warm up really gets me motivated and wanting more.

  9. OK, I agree that EVERYONE needs some sort of formal workout, personally I am up to 1 1/2-2 hours daily right now of cardio and strength combined. BUT, hate to tell you this, WALKING is a workout. Doing a 15 min mile or less for most people, especially those who are not doing a regular cardio workout, DOES get the heart rate up to the level in which they build cardiovascular health. Do not diminish their efforts if they are actually putting in the effort. And yes, most of my 60lb weight loss has come from either walking in the neighborhood, on a treadmill, or doing the Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds so I speak from experience. Walking for pleasure is more of what DOES NOT count however some of the most mundane daily chores can become a workout if you put extra effort in and for those who haven’t gotten up and gotten started THAT is what they need to know~ make your body move much more and set goals of going bigger and longer.

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