Sooo, a little while ago I put out on Insta-stories a question to you. The question was: What is your most common excuse for missing the gym?
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I work a full-time job, teach fitness classes 3 times a week, model part time, run a blog and Instagram account, and workout 4-5 days a week. I always thought, “yea, you’re busy Cheng. You’re like… busier than ANYONE ELSE, PLUS, you workout. Wow, you’re amazing.”
After I sent out that question, like 50 of you replied with reasons you miss the gym. And after reading all of them… I honestly feel like the biggest slacker. So THANKS guys. Thanks a lot.
The most common excuse, unsurprisingly, was ‘no time’ or ‘too tired.’
After delving a little bit deeper into your schedules, I found that some of you have insane lives. You work 50 hours a week at your corporate job. You’re a flight attendant working 14 hour shifts. You have university classes all morning, then work your part-time job all evening. Or you have a 45 minute commute to your job every morning and every evening. You’re busy. You guys are SO. BUSY.
After reading all those answers, I was like… “what am I doing? These people can’t be helped. WHO AM I?! HOW CAN I MAKE MORE TIME FOR THESE PEOPLE?!”
The answer is, I can’t. I can’t snap my fingers and change the job which you chose, or the commute that you travel. I can’t make school go by quicker, but maybe it helps to know that I too went through 4 years of university playing rugby, taking a full course load, and working a part time job. We have all sacrificed workouts for life along the way, and that is just part of the journey.
Most Common Excuses & How to Work Around Them
1. I have no time/ No energy after work
Instead of changing your time and your schedule – change your mindset. Don’t approach your workout as something scary and challenging that has to be done at 100% intensity. If you work a 14 hour shift and come home and have no motivation to do a 1.5 hour workout that kicks your ass – then DON’T. No one will blame you for that.
Instead, go to the gym, sit on the bike until you have sweat dripping down into your eyeballs, and call it a day. Or get on the treadmill, set the incline as high as you can stand it, and switch between walking and jogging for 20 minutes. Do something simple, easy to follow, but also makes you SWEAT. The number of times i’ve done both those workouts and went home immediately after, is more times than I can count.
But at least you did something.
On the days where you FINALLY have more time than 30 minutes, put your hard work in then. Make up for what you had to miss during your busy days, and prepare your workout in advance, so you know EXACTLY what you’re doing when you get to the gym.
2. I’m still sore from the day before
If you’re still sore from your previous workout, chances are it’s because you focussed on one particular area of your body. i.e. lower body, upper body, abs. Unless you’re very new to working out, I’d say it’s pretty difficult to get sore from full body workouts, since you wouldn’t be doing a lot of high volume exercises in one area.
I like to split up my routine so that I don’t train the same area two days in a row. This allows for muscle repair, but also gets the blood flowing through your muscles because you’re still exercising.
For example, my workout split has me training lower body on Monday, and back on Tuesday. Some Tuesdays I can barely bend over because my hamstrings and glutes are so sore! By focussing on upper body/back on Tuesdays, I stay away from hitting my lower body, and still get a solid workout in.
Another key component to getting those sore muscles to repair quicker is to be drinking protein after each workout. I find it helps both my muscles and my mental fatigue which are equally as important when it comes to working out. My favorite is the Kaizen whey isolate in chocolate flavor. It’s legit like a chocolate milkshake.
3. I have going out FOMO!
YO, this is REAL. I get it all the time.
Well, no, not all the time. That would imply that I have friends waiting to hang out with me every day after work, and that is truly, just NOT THE CASE.
However, I do get summer FOMO, which is me wanting to be outside and enjoying the weather rather than being stuck inside a gym with crappy lighting. Between summer FOMO, getting invited to 1-2 events each week, and hanging out with friends after work – when are you supposed to find time to workout?
There are three ways I split up my time to make sure I can get everything in, while still hitting 4-5 workouts a week.
1. Go to work earlier – if you’re at a job that allows for flexible hours (shout out to my company!), then try heading in to work for 8 am instead of 9 am. This allows you to leave work an hour earlier than usual to hit the gym. By the time you’re finished your workout, your friends may just be finishing at their job and ready to meet up!
2. Workout outside – you guys know that I love my outdoor workouts. By taking your training outside, you get to enjoy the summer sun, change up your workout routine, and be around other active people! Just don’t forget to lather up with sunscreen before heading outdoors.
3. Plan ahead – if you know that your friends are planning to meet up on Thursday, schedule your workouts around that day. Make sure you workout the day before, and/or the day afterwards. I’m not saying you HAVE TO, I just find that it helps with that feeling of guilt you get from missing a workout to chow down on ‘za.
4. I don’t know what to do when I get to the gym
If this is your biggest excuse, well WORRY NO LONGER. This is probably one of the easiest problems for you to fix.
A simple way to start is to split up your week based on the number of days you know you are able to workout. For example, if you can definitely make it to the gym 4 days, then split up your routine into four workouts – lower body, upper body, cardio and core, and back.
Once you have that split up, finding workouts online are so easy. My Instagram account has hundreds of videos with the full workout posted in the caption. Or, head to Pinterest and type in “lower body workout” and see what comes up.
If you’re still not convinced, then look into purchasing my 12 week program (The Sweat Series) or join an online training community. No thought required – just look at the workout for the day (photos and descriptions included)! and go from there.
5. I have no motivation to go
Once, someone asked me how I find the motivation to workout every day after work. My response to them was, “Honestly, I usually don’t have any motivation. 3 out of 4 days, I don’t even want to go to the gym. However, if my alternative is to sit at home, watch TV, and wait for Adam to come back after his workout, I’ll take going to the gym any day.”
Think about what your alternative options are if you decide you’re going to miss the gym. Does it consist of you heading home and watching tv/ watching Insta-stories until dinner time? I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that – trust me, there are days I’d love to do nothing better. But when I find that I have 1-2 hours to kill, i’d rather put that effort towards bettering myself, making myself stronger, fitter, and happier.
This isn’t really a ‘tip’ for you, but it’s just a hope that you can change the way you utilize your free time. And hopefully there is some inspiration to know that I too don’t have the motivation to workout every time I go.
What About You!?
- Don’t see your excuse listed above? I’m curious – tell me yours!
- How do you kick your excuses to the side and just head to the gym?