Common Exercise Excuses (and how to avoid making them)

There are plenty of reasons to exercise. Better health. More energy. Less fat. More muscle. These are just a few reasons to exercise. For a more extensive list, check out this post: 10 Benefits Of Working Out.

But, for some reason, people continue to come up with excuses to not work out. While there are plenty of good reasons to exercise, there are very few good reasons not to. Let’s look at some common excuses that people come up with to avoid exercising.

1. Not enough time

We’re all busy. I get that. But NO time? I don’t believe it. When people say that they don’t have time to exercise, what they really mean is that they don’t care enough to find time to exercise. You don’t need to spend half your day in the gym. All it takes to get in great shape is 45 minutes to an hour, four or five days a week. That’s it.


If you don’t have time for your health, you need to make time.

The average American watches 4 hours of television every day. This is where I found the time to go to the gym. I still get plenty of time in front of the tube. But now, instead of resting my cheese curls on top of my fat belly, I rest my Quest Protein Chips on my rock-hard abs.

If you watch a lot of television, play a lot of video games, or spend time doing other things that may be fun but unproductive (funproductive. is that a word?), try giving it up for an hour. I promise you, after a few months you’ll be thankful that you did.

2. Exercise is boring

Then you’re doing it wrong! I used to feel the same way. I get bored easily. I found exercise to be boring and repetitive. But it doesn’t have to be.

Working out with a partner is a great way to have fun while exercising. Going for a walk or a jog with someone can be a great opportunity to gossip about what’s been going on. Or if you’re working out with a partner in the gym, make it fun by creating games like seeing who can do the most bicep curls before their arms feel like they’re going to fall off.

I, personally, usually like to work out alone. Not always, but usually. I put my headphones on and drift into my own little world. I like to create little games and push myself. Maybe I’ll see how pumped I can get my arms by doing supersets of bicep curls and tricep extensions. Or I’ll see if I can beat my mile record on the treadmill. The point is, I always keep it fun and interesting. And I mix it up constantly. No two workouts are the same. Do this and exercise will never be boring.

3. “I don’t want to get too big/skinny”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. Girls don’t want to get too big by working out and guys don’t want to get too skinny by doing cardio. That’s not how it works. At all.


You’re not gonna get “too bulky.” It takes years of hard work to build a lot of muscle.

Ladies, lifting weights is not going to make you big and muscular. Women simply don’t produce the hormones necessary to get big and muscular. What lifting weights will do for you, as a woman, is help you burn fat. And it will make you stronger and give your body more definition. But, I promise you, lifting weights a few days a week is not going to make you big and bulky.

The same goes for the guys. Doing cardio isn’t going to make you look like a skeleton. What it will do is help you burn fat and improve your cardiovascular health.

I’ve actually heard guys use the phrase “I don’t want to get big and bulky” as an excuse to not work out. That’s not the way that lifting weights works. Working out a few days a week is not going to make you big and bulky. You have to train for years and stick to a very strict high-calorie, high-protein diet to get really big. Lifting weights is not going to make you huge. What it will do is give you more muscular definition and help you burn fat.

4. Too old

You’re never too old to improve your health. As long as you don’t overdo it, you can only benefit from exercise. I didn’t start working out until I was in my late 20’s. I wish that I had gotten into fitness earlier. But it’s better late that never!

I’ve seen men and women in their 40’s, 50’s, and even 60’s get into amazing shape after decades of inactivity and poor eating habits. This is really a terrible excuse. Whatever age you are right now is the right age to start exercising.

5. Too out of shape

overweight to underweight

Start small and, over time, you achieve great things.

I’ve heard this one a lot, too. There’s no such thing as being too out of shape to exercise. If anything, this is a reason to exercise. If you are out of shape than your physical fitness can only get better.

Start small. I did. When I first started going to the gym I was terribly out of shape. I could barely finish a mile in 20 minutes. Now I can put a mile behind me in less than 5 minutes. But it didn’t happen overnight. Every week I tried to shave a few seconds off my time. And little by little I got faster and faster.

Don’t expect to be Mr. or Mrs. Fitness right away. Start slow, start small, and stick with it. Progress will follow.

6. No energy

I used to feel this way. I would tell myself that I didn’t have the energy to work out. But, eventually, I started pushing myself. And you know what happened? Exercising regularly gave me more energy.

Regular exercise gives you more energy. And not just physical energy. Since I started working out I find that I have much more mental energy as well. Stress can sabotage our energy levels. It has been well documented that regular exercise reduces stress. More exercise, less stress. Less stress, more energy.

7. Tried exercising before, but didn’t get results

If you tried before, then that means that you tried and quit. That’s why it didn’t work. Results don’t happen overnight. But they do happen: I promise you. The secret is that you have to stick with it.

Pick a program and stick with it. You should start to see results within a couple of months, if not sooner. But, if you are 100 pounds overweight, don’t expect to have a 6-pack in 4 weeks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. TV commercials, popular fitness magazines, and internet ads all lead us to believe that the perfect body is only a few short weeks away. But this is not reality. It takes time to look like a fitness model. But, it is possible. Give it time.


You can either make excuses or you can create the body of your dreams, but you can’t do both. Stop coming up with reasons to not work out and focus on reasons to get in shape.

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