Are you better at excuses than training?

CrossFit Chiltern
Are you better at excuses than training?

People give a lot of reason as to why they don't exercise, and I think most of those reasons are excuses as to why they don't exercise, I wanted to talk today about the most common excuses that I find for people not training. The first one, and it can be a problem, is time, people haven't got the time to train, they haven't got time to exercise.

Well, is that even true? I know a lot of people that train and have busy lives, kids, families, and still manage to fit in that two, three hours a week to train. The people that don't train and claim they don't have time, they still seem to have time to talk to me about all the box sets they've watched, all the time they've spent down at the pub, all the other stuff that they've done, the unproductive stuff, but yet they haven't managed to squeeze in just a few hours a week to actually exercise and get themselves healthy, which is going to have the massive benefit for the whole of their lives.

I think you need to look at the time you spend on social media, so how much time you've just spent staring at the screen on social media, or Instagram, Facebook. We're all guilty of that, we're all guilty of sort of getting addicted to this screen and scrolling down, and next thing you know, you look and it's 20 minutes gone and what have you done? You've just watched 18 cat videos., have a look at whether you are, first, spending your time productively.  whether you are too busy to train, which for most people is doubtful. You may be too busy and may not have time, or the family situation might not allow you to get to the gym, but that doesn't mean you can't do some training at home.  Which brings in the second excuse which is often cost. People can't afford to come to the gym, or join a gym, or do a fitness class, or join CrossFit, or do personal training, all those elements.  that's not an excuse because there's loads and loads of free content online. I know some of it is quite poor, you must be selective and find the stuff that's decent, but you can't really go wrong just trying to do the basics. Trying to do basic movement, trying to do basic exercise, and you can get a perfectly good workout in your living room or if you've got kids, taking the kids out and doing something with the kids, playing with them. There’re loads of stuff you can do for free, you can do at home, and it doesn't have to be a prescribed one-hour workout. I know that every fitness class, every personal training session is one hour long because it's a nice round number, it's convenient to fit in the schedule, but an hour workout isn't required to have good exercise. You can do a great workout in 10, 20 minutes. Anything that's just going to get you moving for that day. 10 minutes is much better than zero minutes.

 If you were just exercising 10 minutes a day, you're doing much more than most of the population, so your fitness is going to be better than most of the population.  don't think that exercise must be a certified amount of time, just doing something is going to be useful. Just when you go for a walk, taking a brisker walk, or trying to break a sweat when you're moving. When you're taking the kids out, try to be more active when you're playing with them. Anything to do is going to be a great opportunity to get fitness training., I don't think time and cost are valid reasons because I think everyone can put 10 minutes aside in their day to exercise, if that's all you have.

The third excuse would be tiredness. Tiredness is an excuse I hear a lot, and from a lot of people it's they've had a busy day at work and they're stressed out at work, had a bad day.  they just want to go home and veg out on the sofa.  I understand that some people do have physical jobs, obviously if you're working in a trade or, you know, you're on your feet all day or anything like that where you are physically active, then yes, it may well be that you are tired and physically tired and maybe you will benefit from a rest. But, with most people nowadays working in a desk-based environment, office-based environment, that tiredness, that mental fatigue is not the same as a physical fatigue. It's almost a lethargy, I would say. A feeling of just being worn down because you haven't really moved. If you think about what you've done physically in that day, often it's not very much. You know, if you've sat at your desk, you may have walked to a meeting or may have commuted to work, but often you haven't done a lot physically.  the act of actually getting up and moving will re-energize you for that day, or mean that at least your body has done something that day other than sit and look at the screen, or sit in meetings, eating biscuits, getting stressed out, which obviously if you're working in a high-pressure environment, you need to be able to relieve that stress, and you need the benefits of exercise to help that. , I think again, look at whether you are just mentally tired from having a draining day, or actually physically you've done something that's going to cause your body to need to rest.  a lot of the time, we can be a lot more active than we think we can be.  

I think often the hardest part of every workout is that getting from the office to the gym, or to wherever you're going to exercise, or getting off the sofa and getting moving.  even if you're working at home, just actually turning the television off and getting out and training is the hardest move of that workout. Once you actually start, often that part, although there may be elements that feel tiring, the actual hard part is getting out and doing it. , again, look at yourself and think, am I just lethargic from having a day where I've just been sat and my brainwashed in the computer, and the worst thing you can do after you've had a stressful day, looking at a screen all day and dealing with difficult people, is to just go and sit in front of another screen in a different environment, your home environment, and just chill out, and just basically veg out. Because that's not healthy, and you've got to think of the long-term consequences to your body if that's what you're going to do, six months’ time, and not just your physical health but also your mental health, in that you're just basically just vegetating, vegetating in yourself. , really look at that as to how you're going to be in a year's time, if that's what you're going to do every single night.  even if you don't necessarily take a moment to think of your health, and it doesn't have to be, if you are tired, and if you are physically tired even, a way of improving your health, and maybe a workout is not the right word for it but meditation, or just some nice, easy stretching.

Just moving out of a seated position taking some time for yourself to chill out, to re-energize yourself, doing anything that is not sitting down is going to be of benefit.  Doing anything that's not looking at the screen, taking a break from that screen time, putting your phone aside, it's going to be of massive benefit., I know we talked about exercise but let's say, let's divide that and say it doesn't have to be a workout, but it can just be a healthy practice for your physical health.  you don't have to do something that's going to stress you out physically. It could just be something that's going to reinvigorate you physically.  don't necessarily think, okay, I need to do something for my health, therefore I must get on a treadmill, which I would never recommend anyway, but that's not the case., think about what are you going to do each day for your physical health?

 Injury is a big one, injury is a big one. It's a difficult one, because obviously I'm not encouraging people to train on an injury. I'm not trying to tell people to train when they should be resting that body part., you may have some injury, you may have a lower ligament injury or something like that, or a shoulder injury, that's no excuse not to train. What we do in our CrossFit classes, and what I would do in a personal training session is I would always modify what we do so that it'd fit yourself., it would modify your session, if it's a group, it would give you something specific to do. If it's personal training, obviously, we can be specific on that, and get you doing something moving that would not aggravate you to any injury, and hopefully, would maybe help to alleviate the injury if that's going to be possible, if that's something we could do possibly. If it's just moving through pain, it may just be we need to avoid that joint, but it doesn't really make an excuse as to how you're going to train. Whether you're going to train or not. You just need to find a way around an injury.  there's always something you can do, whether that's a back injury, a knee injury, a shoulder injury, there's always something you can do, you can move, doesn't have to be high intensity, again, like I said before. But you can always do something if you're injured that's going to help your physical well-being, whatever the certain injury is, okay? There's always something, there's people, you know, that have serious injuries, but they can still do some physical movement that's going to help with their health in the long-term.  whether that's unloaded movements, whether that's mobility work, or just training around it. Make sure you have a good physio or movement expert to guide you in the right direction. If it's a long-term problem, where you're not going to be able to use that limb for a long time, then you need to find some ways around it, because there's no physical benefit to staying off your feet for six months just because you've got a, I don't know, a broken ankle or something like that. It just, you know, get up and move. I broke my ankle a couple of times and I was up and moving the next day, just doing something.  I know that a broken ankle is not the most serious of injuries, but people with ACL injuries are still training, with back problems are still training. It's just you need to find what you can do that doesn't aggravate the pain and hopefully will alleviate the pain and put you in a better position so that when you come out of that injury, you are in a better place than you were going into it.  it's not wasted time when you're injured, you've trained other areas, you've improved the parts of what you can do to improve your weaknesses in those areas.  don't let injury ever be an excuse for not getting in and training. That is an excuse, and I don't like people not coming in because they have an injury.

I know sometimes you may just be in too much pain, and that's understandable, but if you can get up and moving, it's going to be much better, again. You're not going to be benefiting but from sitting down or just lying down all day long.


Illness as an excuse. You must differentiate between are you ill or are you just basically skiving. If you're well enough to sort of walk around then you could always do something physical, again, rather than just lying on your back all day. Now, if you've got flu and you just cannot move, or another issue, then that's not the reason. But if you've got the sniffles, a little cough, or something else pathetic, which sometimes people cancel their sessions on when they've got pathetic illnesses. That is not an excuse and shame on you if you are not training because you feel a little bit under the weather, okay? Sometimes, again, training's going to make you feel better, it's going to invigorate you, so don't let that be an excuse. I

f you find that you are better at making excuses than you are at training and a lot of people, I'd say probably most of the population are better at making excuses to why they don't train than to training, then you need to look at setting yourself some goals to motivate you.  it doesn't need to be body composition, guys, doesn't need to be only to lose five pounds or whatever else crap, but you need to find something that you enjoy that I personally think anything that you find that you enjoy is great. For a lot of people you need to find something where you can actually measure your progress rather than just anecdotally saying you're feeling fitter. I think you need to find some areas where you can actually have some measurable target, obviously I'm going to talk about the benefits of training and CrossFit because we have lots of measurable targets in terms of strength, in terms of skills that you can learn, in terms of workouts that we time, so you're trying to improve on your time or your movements in those workouts, trying to improve the load or the difficulty of that.  there's always areas, and that's where I think we do really well in terms of motivating people is that there's always areas you can improve, so you don't just feel like, okay, I'm just going to the gym to do a workout, and if you miss it you don't notice. You're going to the gym and you're logging your time, you're logging your score, you're tracking your weight, and you're trying to see if you can get better each time. You're trying to learn new skills and that's really a motivation there.

If you find something else that you can do that with, even like a martial art where you can measure with your, you know, going up in a belt, or anything else where you're going to be graded in that way, that's a good way to go. If you're just training and you just find something that's fun and you can do that forever and you don't need that, that's great. But I think for a lot of people you need something other than just, I want to feel healthier, to have a goal to motivate you to get to the gym if you're just turning up and going because you think you should go. It's going to be very difficult to maintain that level of motivation, going forward, if you can always find an excuse not to train. As we talked about earlier, there's a million excuses you can make.  you have to look at the reasons why you want to train and why you want to do these things and what you're trying to achieve and what you're training for, why you're getting fit. Are you getting fitter because you're having kids and you want to be healthy for when they're at long age or with grandkids, even. Are you getting fitter because you're afraid of what you're going to be like in a few years’ time? Are you just trying to get to look better? What motivates you? Work, again, I always think it's great to work with someone to try and establish what's going to motivate you because, just the training get fitter is only going motivate for so long. If you've got some targets it's going to really help you stop making those excuses because if you're better at making excuses than you are at training, you're never going to get better.

Hope that's helpful, I just wanted to sort of vent some of my opinions on that and if you do struggle to get motivated to come to the gym, or if you do sort of find a million excuses not to train, then please put me some comments or drop me a message and I'll try and help and see what we can do to help get you onto that health and fitness wagon.  get you hopefully to a fitter version of yourself. Thanks, guys.

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