You can’t make gains if you’re missing your workouts. No excuses!
BY TIFFIANY MOORE, CPT
Getting in shape requires dedication and commitment. Once you’ve set some goals, it should be easy to get in the gym and hit them, right?
Well, that’s not always the case.
Obstacles creep up, and if you’re not careful, excuses can keep you from getting the physique you want. Check out these common reasons for skipping the gym or ditching your meal plan. Just in case you happen to use any of these as justifications for making choices that will hinder your goals, don’t worry, we’ve got some fixes.
1. Fresh Start
Excuse: You had a slipup and want to wait for Monday, or for the first of the month, before getting back on track.
Let me guess, you’ve been binging on beer and pizza and instead of eating right the next day, you want a few extra days, or weeks, to eat like crap. As if no good workout program could ever start in the middle of a week or month, right?
Fix: Don’t fall completely off.
It’s much harder to make up for days and weeks of skipped workouts and empty calories, than it is to come back from one bad afternoon. If you make a mistake, accept it and move on. Get right back on track as soon as you think about it. Don’t wait for a fresh start, there’s no such thing.
2. The Significant Other
Excuse: Your love life is getting in the way of your workouts.
There comes a moment in any relationship when your significant other is going to interfere with your fitness goals. I get it – totally. It’s easy to put a good date ahead of a killer cardio session on the priority list.
Fix: Talk it out … or ditch the bad influence.
Communicate with your significant other and say very clearly how important it is for you to stay on track with your fitness and nutrition goals. Invite your partner to go to the gym with you, and make working out part of your routine. (I’m not suggesting that you lift together, though. That works for some couples, it’s a disaster for others.) … And if that doesn’t work, move on. Sounds cold, right? Imagine how bitter you’ll be after weeks, months or years of putting somebody else’s goals ahead of your own.
3. The Game is On
Excuse: The big game is on, and you can’t miss it.
Your favorite team made the final, and that means you can’t miss a single run, shot or pass. How can you be at the gym and worrying about your meals, when your buds are at the bar with nachos and beer cheering on your team? And what kind of true fan would skip the game for a 45-minute session on the elliptical? And if you did make such a disloyal choice, it would be your fault if your team lost because you weren’t watching, right?
Fix: Watch the game.
Nobody is suggesting that you actually miss the game. Duh. You just have to work around it. Plan ahead, and don’t get surprised. Know the game schedule, and plan your workouts either for off days or mornings. And if you’re going to the bar, either set that up as an opportunity for your once-a-week cheat meal or minimise the damage by making smart decisions. Most places will have a grilled chicken sandwich on the menu.
Excuse: You’re being weak, and you’re OK with that.
Let me guess, you have a long list of valid reasons why you can’t make it to the gym. Do these sound familiar? It’s too late. … It’s too early. … It’s too cold outside. … It’s too hot outside. … The gym is too crowded? Such reasons, my friend, are weak. You’re being lazy.
Fix: Take a moment and remind yourself why you even lift.
What were those goals you set out to accomplish? Don’t settle for bum status. Get yourself together. Get off that couch. And get into the gym.
Excuse: I might get hurt if I push too hard, go too heavy or try a new exercise.
Sure, what if you try something new and injure yourself? That’s one way to look at it. But what if you try something new – safely, under the supervision of a qualified trainer – and you find that it’s just the boost you needed to help hit your goals?
Fix: Believe in yourself.
You’re a lot tougher and more resilient than you might give yourself credit for. You’re not a delicate piece of china, get in there try some new stuff and push yourself. You’ll be amazed at how you can transform your body by going just a little bit harder or heavier or by mixing things up altogether.
Excuse: You had to spend more time than you planned at the job.
This happens to the best of ’em. You have to stay late to finish up that big project. Or somebody on your team screwed something up, and it’s on you to pick up the pieces. But should working a 10-hour day keep you out of the gym?
Fix: Be flexible.
Things aren’t always going to go as planned. And when they don’t, you have to be able to adjust to make sure you hit your goals. Instead of a 16-set, monster chest-triceps day, try cutting that in half rather than skipping it entirely. Or if you’re really crunched for time, try mixing in a total body circuit. It might not be ideal for your full workout plan, but something is always better than nothing. And you could always join a 24-hour gym so you can get in whenever your work schedule allows.
7. No Supplements
Excuse: You think you can’t have a peak gym session without your favorite pre-workout powder, and even if you could, you’re convinced you need a protein shake to help with recovery.
So you’re a week from payday, but you don’t have the stuff you rely on to really blast it in the gym or speed your results afterward. And you feel like if you can’t hit it at your peak levels, you’re just wasting time. But are you going to let that be enough of an excuse to skip your workout?
Fix: Supplements are a great help, but they’re not always an absolute must.
If you run out of protein, fuel your body post-workout with some good, old-fashioned chicken or tuna. And while pre-workouts are a nice energy boost, you can try a cup of coffee on occasion. Try some more intense music on your playlist to make up the difference. (“The Pinkprint” is surprisingly hardcore.)
8. Dirty Laundry
Excuse: All your gym gear smells like the bottom of a hamper.
It’s been a while since you did laundry, and wouldn’t you know it, you’re out of clean workout gear. No clean clothes, means no workout.
Fix: Seriously? You know when you’re running out of clean clothes.
Do your laundry! Quit slacking, and take that heap of clothes you have in the corner and throw it into the washing machine. If your reason for missing the gym is because you don’t have clean clothes, you simply aren’t trying.