Question: “What do you do when you just don’t want to workout?"

Everyone has had them – days when you just don’t want to workout. Exercise is #47 of a list of 5 things you want to do.   Clean the bottom of the toaster, alphabetize your socks, order business cards for your cat.   Anything seems better than exercise.

Answer: Break the Seal

Right now, a workout just seems like too much effort.   You need to show yourself that it isn’t that bad.   It is actually pretty good.   So, just break the seal.

Pick one exercise and do it.  If you go to a gym, go and do your favorite exercise.   You don’t need all the stuff – ear buds, sweat wicking outfit, protein powder, play list.  Just get up and do something. Low threat.  Something you like.  Something you are good at.

For example, I like to do deadlifts.   So, when I don’t want to exercise, I do a few light deadlifts and call it a day.  Or, I keep going and do some more.   But if I don’t, that is ok too.  I did something.  You just need a little work to show yourself that exercise is not as bad as you were imagining.  Your workout does not have to be a full vomitous sufferfest to be valuable.   Anything is better than nothing. 

I used to insist that I had to workout for one hour.   I have no idea why.   That just seemed like how long a “real” workout should last.  So, if I didn’t have a full hour, I wouldn’t even try.   This is like saying that if you don’t have a whole pizza, you can’t eat any pizza.  I can be really dumb sometimes.

Something is better than nothing.  And that something might break you through the barrier and you continue.   Or, you just come back the next time ready for a full workout.

I do this for my personal training clients.   When they come in looking like left-over death, I set up their favorite workout or we just do one simple exercise for every major muscle group.  Usually this shakes off the hate but if not, we do a longer stretch session or play ping pong.  No body benefits if I shove them through a workout that they don’t want to do.  They resent me.  They don’t want to come back.   The session is tense and terrible.

So, the next time you just don’t want to workout, just do something to break the seal.