As a personal trainer, I’m always programming workouts for everyone else. While I follow a program myself sometimes, there are some days I get bored doing the same routine for 6 – 8 weeks and lose some of my motivation. Rather than half-ass my workout and just go through the motions, sometimes I’ll change things around, try something new, and keep it interesting for myself.
Doing something is always better than doing nothing. If you’re committed to your goals and are hell bent on accomplishing them, there are very few acceptable excuses to skip your workouts so try not to fall into the following traps.
Trap 1: It’s Too Nice Out to Be in the Gym
Fair point, and I have this battle with myself throughout the entire summer. You don’t have to be in the gym to get a workout. Other options might be going for a hike, heading to your local playground to create your own exercise circuit, or renting and trying out a paddleboard for a few hours.
Sample Playground/Park Circuit
Depending on your fitness level, try the following exercises for 30-60 seconds—all you need is a bench:
- Step ups
- Side step ups
- Incline push ups
- Incline mountain climbers
- Single leg sit to stand
- Tricep dips
Trap 2: I’m Too Tired
I get that, believe me; I wake up at 5 am five days a week and I’m in and out of the gym until as late as 9:30 pm most days. When that alarm goes off in the morning, I have to remind myself why I’m doing it before I can get up and moving. It takes self discipline, and sometimes it takes a heck of a lot of coffee.
If low energy continues to be a serious problem, consider heading to your primary care doctor to have him or her run some blood tests. They can let you know if you have a nutrient deficiency or if something else might be going on. If your lack of energy isn’t medically related, try heading to bed earlier in the evenings. Turn off the tv, put your phone down, and clock out early for the night.
I’m not a big fan of pre-workout supplements. Instead, try a coffee or a caffeinated tea about 20 minutes before you plan on working out. One of my clients drinks a coffee on her way to the gym and it’s amazing how much better she functions with a little caffeine boost.
Try to schedule your workout at a time of day where you feel the most energized. If you ask me to play tennis after 5 pm, I’m completely useless. I know that I tend to be the most alive, awake, alert, and enthusiastic between 8-10 am. Consider tracking your energy levels throughout the day for a few days and see if you notice any trends.
Trap 3: I Don’t Have Time
Please refer back to the opening paragraph: doing something is better than doing nothing. Get some sort of movement in throughout your day. Set reminders on your phone to alert you to get up from your desk and move around, park across the parking lot at the grocery store, or get up and walk around while you’re talking on the phone.
My personal favorite way to get in a workout when I’m short on time? YouTube. Pull up the website and type in however much time you have plus the word “workout” (ex: 20 minute workout). You can complete a lot of these videos in the comfort of your own home with little to no additional equipment.
Trap 4: I Have Too Much Going on at Home
I understand that life happens and it feels like circumstances can really get in the way sometimes. Keeping track of your goals (even if they’re not fitness related) can be a big help during tough times.
Trainer Todd Durkin recommends asking yourself three questions every 90 days to keep yourself on track:
- What have I accomplished in the last 90 days?
- What are my current present issues, challenges, and obstacles?
- What are your goals for the next 90 days?
These are some great questions. Be selfish. Take time to think about yourself and what you need to become the best version of you.
Then, write down realistic, attainable goals for yourself and enjoy the feelings you get when you’re able to cross them off. Make sure to keep them in a visible place where you’ll see them every day to remind yourself what you’re working toward.
Don’t Wait to Start
It’s so easy to put off a workout until tomorrow, or Monday, or January 1st. If you’re new to fitness, slow and steady wins the race; doing too much, too fast often leads to injury and a legitimate reason to not work out. If you’re serious about reaching your fitness goals, stop making excuses. Commit to yourself, commit to your trainer, and commit to reaching the goals you set.