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How to Overcome Exercise Excuses

Here are the top 10 reasons people avoid the gym—and how to rise above them.

by goldsgym

We don’t ever regret going to the gym, but we do regret the excuses we make for not going.

So how can you move past the excuses you’ve used and find your way to the gym? Part of the answer involves understanding the reasons people don’t exercise.

Exercise excuses can range from long-term time restrictions, like being a busy and overworked parent, to short-term feelings, like having too much to drink the night before.

We’ve compiled the top 10 excuses that gym skippers give, and we’ve got a solution to each and every one.

1. I’m too tired after work to work out.

    • Solution: Being active makes you more energetic in the long run. “Wake up early and go before work,” says celebrity trainer and Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute member Mike Ryan. If you’re a snooze-button fan, think about going at lunch or turn a co-worker into a gym buddy. “It can inspire some healthy competition,” Ryan says. “You don’t want to be the lazy one.”
    • Bottom line: If you’re always tired after a long day at the office, then exercise might be the cure.

2. My life is just too busy.

    • Solution: You should make time for yourself, schedule your workout in advance. Become a morning workout person. Put it on your calendar and treat this like an important meeting. There is always time for a quick run around the block or a dumbbell routine while you watch television.
    • Bottom line: Making time for yourself should be a priority.

3. I have to watch my kids.

    • Solution: First check with your local Gold’s Gym to see if it offers child care. If it doesn’t, arrange for your spouse or partner to watch the kids while you’re at the gym, or ask a friend and then return the favor. “And you can also work out with your kids,” says Ryan. “Go for a bike ride or play outside with them.”
    • Bottom line: Staying active and healthy for your children’s sake should be the main reason to toss this excuse.

4. I’m too sore.

    • Solution: Be sure you vary your workouts so that you aren’t exercising the same muscles over and over — a common cause of soreness. If you normally run on the treadmill, then ride a stationary bike or use an elliptical machine, or skip the weights and take a yoga class. That said, if you’re so sore that you can’t perform everyday tasks like lifting a box, you should skip the gym.
    • Bottom line: The stronger you are, the less sore you’ll be next time. Soreness is your body sending you a message.

5. I’m intimidated by the machines.

    • Solution: You can always ask a Gold’s Gym trainer to show you around or explain how to use a machine. Also, there are many online resources, including the Gold’s Gym blog, that can teach you proper form and technique.
    • Bottom line: Overcome your fear with knowledge.

6. I’ve gained so much weight that I’m embarrassed.

    • Solution: Remember that everyone at the gym is there to focus on his or her own body — they’re not there to compete. Let the gym be a sanctuary,” Ryan advises. Then make sure not to push yourself too hard at the beginning or be dismayed when you hit a plateau. “Ask a trainer to show you some simple moves, and get to know the gym staff. We want to be your cheerleaders.”
    • Bottom line: Surrounding yourself with other people who are committed to staying in shape can motivate you to get healthy again.

Gold’s Gym will help you overcome these top 10 excuses for not working out.

7. I’m not getting any results.

    • Solution: “You need to establish a goal,” insists Ryan. “Do you want to be more muscular, leaner, toned? Then formulate a strategy of exercise and nutrition to achieve that goal.” Begin your strategy by setting small, realistic goals — a few pounds, 10 more minutes on the treadmill — then go from there. Make sure not to sleepwalk through the same old routine. Shake up your workouts to shock your muscles and get results. If you always do floor sit-ups, do them on a BOSU ball; increase the resistance on the cardio machine; or try interval training.
    • Bottom line: Results come from hard work.

8. I’m late for my favorite class or my personal training session.

    • Solution: “Go anyway,” says Ryan. You can probably sneak into the class (they don’t lock the doors when classes start), or try another class. If you’re late for a training session, your trainer can either create a shorter, tougher workout or give you extra exercises to do after the session ends.
    • Bottom line: Any amount of workout time is worth showing up for.

9. Cardio bores me.

    • Solution: Try a functional training group class or a GGX class where you can try out the TRX Suspension Trainers, which build muscle and burn calories by using your own body weight as resistance. Another option: GOLD’S AMP™, the digital personal trainer app in which Gold’s Gym coaches provide guidance right in your ear, offers more than a dozen different categories of cardio and strength workouts, so variety will never be a problem. Last, don’t forget: Interval weight training can get your heart pounding just as hard as a stair machine.
    • Bottom line: The benefits of cardio can be achieved on and off the treadmill. Try some HIIT workouts to switch it up.

10. I’m hungover.

    • Solution: You should think before you go out to the bar, and limit your intake. Exercise is also a good cure. Go to the gym to sweat it out, and drink lots of water.
    • Bottom line: Drink responsibly, and don’t let this excuse become a regular one.


Get more advice on staying motivated:

When the Journey Gets Tough, Follow These Tips
How to Get “in the Zone”
Three Ways to Avoid Workout Burnout



What started out in 1965 as a small gym in Venice Beach, California has since become the most well-known and traditional fitness company in the world – Gold’s Gym. Over the last 55 years, Gold’s Gym has developed into a global brand with over 600 locations spanning 6 continents. Bodybuilding greats such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno and Franco Columbu worked out at the original Gold’s Gym, which went on to become the most legendary gym in the world. In the fitness industry, the brand enjoys cult status and universal appeal with 96% aided brand awareness. In 2020, the RSG Group acquired Gold’s Gym and integrated the brand into its portfolio, making it the global leader in the fitness sector.

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