It’s time for some tough love.
I hear a lot of excuses from people about why they haven’t gone to the gym. Most excuses are pretty weak, but what amazes me is the frequency with which people seem to be convinced by an excuse that, to me, is an utterly transparent justification of their own self-sabotage. Here are sixteen excuses I hear on a regular basis and the reasons they’re not worth the effort it takes to speak them out loud.
I just don’t have time.
I’m willing to accept that there are people in the world who are so supremely busy that they struggle to fit anything else into their schedule. After all, there are people in this world whose working week is minimum eighty hours, there are people whose working day might involve international travel, meetings across time zones, then voluntary contributions of time to charity. Are you one of those people? Have you seen the most recent season of Game of Thrones? If you have time in your schedule to watch TV, read books, or read this article right here, you have time to be training. Let’s not forget that one of the most common habits among highly successful people is regular exercise. Stop telling yourself you don’t have time. Go to the gym.
The gym is always so busy.
The gym is sometimes busy. Sometimes it’s quiet. Try to schedule a visit in for when it’s a little quieter. Sure, this might mean training at sub-optimal times, but your body will adapt and sub-optimal is better than no training. Also, do you go to the supermarket? Do you step out in public, go to your local cafe? I bet they’re busy too. Are people the problem? If your gym’s any good there are going to be people there to help you get in a solid workout no matter how busy it is. Ask one of them for help. Go to the gym.
I’m not getting the results I want anyway.
Well, it’s unlikely that the problem is that you’re going to the gym. Chances are the problem has more to do with what you’re doing at the gym not being in direct support of the goals you want. How about, instead of ditching it altogether, you address the actual problem, and get a program that’s going to get you where you want to be? Go to the gym
I don’t have the energy.
People who exercise have more energy. People who skip the gym and don’t train have less energy. If lack of energy is the problem, the solution is going to the gym. Go to the gym
It’s raining really heavily.
Ignoring for a moment the fact that you’re not almost certainly not soluble, and are therefore not at mortal risk from a rainstorm, it’s also probably not raining IN your gym. Shut up. Go to the gym.
I went on Monday.
Good for you. It’s time to train again and make sure you continue to make progress. It’s time to build on those results you got from training on Monday. Go to the gym
Well then you probably had a good session. There’s a few things I recommend for muscle soreness. Eating ginger can help, as can immersion in cold water immediately post workout, but you know what the number one best thing for soreness is? Increasing blood flow to the sore area, making use of those muscles again. Go to the gym.
But I need to X.
Yes, we all have X in our life that we need to do, but is it essential that you do it in the one hour you have scheduled for the gym? If it is, then how about you get it done and go to the gym afterwards? Or is there another excuse? Combined with the right nutrition plan, you can see results from four sessions each week at the gym. Is X really so important that it’s going to interfere with what amounts to less than 3% of your total week? Is anything? Go to the gym.
So is cleaning your teeth. So is getting the train to work. So is getting dressed. So is going to the toilet. So is washing the dishes. So are a lot of people’s jobs. So are endless single-sentence statements about the minutae of peoples lives, but you probably spent time on social media this week. You devote time to other essential and non-essential boring tasks, why not this one? Besides which, in the right environment, with the right plan and the right people, training is anything but boring. Chances are, if you’re finding it boring you just need to change up some of the contents, not the event itself. I once went with a Heavy Metal fan to see La Boheme. He didn’t like it, but it didn’t put him off live performances, just Opera. He still went to see Metallica the following year. Open your mind, and results will follow. In the meantime… Go to the gym.
My training partner is busy.
This is a shame, because training partners are a nice addition to a session. Like entrees are a nice addition to a meal. You get my point? You don’t need a training partner to train. You just need yourself. You might have a better session when your training partner is present, but the not-quite-as-good session you have without them is still better than no session at all. Go to the gym.
I’ve already blown my diet.
In which case you need to train more than ever. This is like saying “Oh, I’ve got a flat tyre, I’d better smash out the windscreen too.” Go to the gym.
My arm hurts.
Yeah? Did you make a doctor’s appointment? No? So it hurts enough for you to not go to the gym, but not enough for you to think it’s serious? Shut up. Go to the gym.
I’m hung over.
Really, you went out drinking when you’d got a gym session scheduled the next day? You deserve to feel crap. I’m glad you feel crap. Go to the gym, and I hope it makes you feel worse and you’re never stupid enough to drink the night before a session again.
I’m not fit enough.
TO GO TO THE GYM? NOT FIT ENOUGH TO GO TO THE GYM? You don’t need me to tell you why this is stupid, do you? Go to the gym.
I’m waiting on an important phone call.
Telephonic communication has come a long way since Alexander Graham-Bell first road-tested his invention. These days I’m willing to bet you don’t have to physically make your way to a communal phone and schedule a call in advance. Chances are, what with this being the 21st Century and everything, you have a device sitting in your pocket that gives you instant access to phone, text, email, and a million other communication apps as well. If you miss a call, you have endless ways to get in touch with that person. Alternatively, go to the gym after the call. Or don’t schedule a call for your gym hour. I said it before, I’ll say it again, four sessions each week. Less than 3% of your total week. Schedule other stuff in the endless hours that crop up around these times. Go to the gym.
I feel self conscious at the gym because I don’t know what I’m doing.
This excuse always amazes me, because it pre-supposes that anyone else in the gym gives a damn what you’re doing. Everyone’s busy training, they don’t care about you. I’m sorry if that’s tough on your fragile little ego, but it’s true. Besides, no-one knows what they’re doing until they learn what they’re doing. This is no different at the gym. You’re not going to learn from an office chair, so if you don’t know what you’re doing go to the gym and get someone to show you. That way, all those people that couldn’t care less about you can not care that you’re doing everything right. Go to the gym.
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