Worst. Workout. Excuses. Ever.

We all know we should get into the gym and put in that great workout we promised ourselves. Still, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, despite of all the well documented benefits of exercise, only 5% of adults in the U.S. exercise the advised 30 minutes a day.


Instead, we come up with a variety of reasons -- or more accurately said: excuses -- for skipping exercise. I’m too tired. I don’t have time. I'll start next week. Making excuses not to exercise, is clearly less work than actually working out.

While the majority of my clients have legitimate reasons for needing to skip an occasional workout, there are also those times when someone was obviously looking for any excuse not to workout. I'm sure those excuses sounded totally reasonable when they formulated them in their minds, but had they thought twice about it, they might have admitted it was a bona fide excuse (vs reason): something they just didn't want to do.


Trust me -- I've heard it all. And while I am true to my promise to keep my clients' comments confidential, I never promised I wouldn't talk about what other coaches' and trainers' clients have said.


Instead, I've complied a list of what other fitness professionals have reported to be the worst excuses for skipping workouts they've ever heard. Plus, I've scoured social media for those who have announced their poor excuses via cyber space (no names, of course...) Hopefully, you'll get a good laugh out of it. And should you happen to find an excuse or two on this list that you've used yourself, perhaps you will re-evaluate whether skipping the gym was truly necessary.



So, Basically... I Worked Out Already

  • "It was daylight savings and we gained an hour. I told myself that I had spent an extra hour being awake and walking around, so I didn’t need to work out."

  • "I was looking up workouts to do this morning and started to break into a sweat. I believe my job here is done."

  • "I just ate a bag of fat-free chips so I basically already worked out."

  • "I didn't want to walk down the stairs (where all my equipment is). So I walked down the stairs and made myself a sandwich, then walked back up the stairs to watch Netflix."


Because Food

  • "I work third shift and usually work out after work but one morning due to system issues I got out really late and if I worked out I would miss breakfast at McDonalds."

  • "I was about to go, but my roommate had a coupon for 50% off at Dominos."

  • "I just did an eating contest and I can't move."

  • "I am more hungry when I exercise, so I'm going to take a few days off so I eat less."

  • "There was a battle between working out or Taco Bell & nothing ever beats Taco Bell."


Beauty First

  • "I just did my hair!"

  • "I had already showered and didn't want to have to shower a second time."

  • "I don't have any lotion and I'm far too ashy to go out in public."

  • [reason for quitting mid-session]: "You're going to make me sweat and ruin my hair!"

  • "My mani-pedi polish is still wet."

  • "I can't sweat. The heat makes my fake eyelashes fall off."

  • The color of my clothes today don't match my mood, so I can't work out."


For My Health

  • "It was cold out, and the gym was too close for my car to warm up on the drive there or back...so I obviously couldn't go and risk getting sick, because if I was sick I wouldn't be able to get a good workout!"

  • "I didn't workout the past two days because I didn't want to be sore for our training session."

  • "I got a paper cut and didn't want to get it infected."

  • "Slipped a disc putting on running socks."

  • "I am so sorry I can't work out. I had a massage yesterday & I don't want to mess that up."

Gotta Have Priorities

  • "I was too busy trying to come up with a witty fantasy football team name to make fun of my opponent. I wasted almost two and a half hours before realizing and calling that gym day a bust."

  • "I just got a new leather couch and I was afraid my cat might scratch it."

  • "I had to run to place my bets at the Belmont Stakes before they closed."

  • "I couldn't go to the gym because my psychic said I was going to get a call from an old flame."


Netflix Decided

  • "I said I would start my run at 12:00pm. When I checked it was 12:02pm, so I figured that was a sign it shouldn’t happen and watched Netflix instead."

  • "Netflix automatically started the next episode of OITNB."

  • "Doctor Who Marathon. And anyone worth their salt would agree that this is an excellent reason and not at all ridiculous."

  • "I was going to miss watching The King of Queens on the TV screen. So I stayed home and watched it. I just didn't leave afterwards."


Insurmountable Obstacles

  • "I couldn't find a parking space at the gym so I didn't go in."

  • "I drove all the way to my gym, got out of my car, and realized I had forgotten headphones for my iPod. So I just decided to go back home."

  • "I saw an ant in my house and can't leave to come to my session because I have to wait to see if more ants show up."

  • 'My boyfriend is in town and he gets jealous because he thinks I have a crush on you so I can't come in."

  • "I stepped in dog poo, so I can't train because I have crap on my shoe."


Image Is Everything

  • "People will see me before I'm ready!'"

  • "I'm going to an awesome party and don't want to be sore because I plan to do a lot of dancing. So we should cancel our session."

  • "I had to take a ___. Was afraid of working out so hard, the ___ would just slip out."

  • “I was out of cute workout clothes that emphasized the better parts of my physique, so I threw on a t-shirt and some basketball shorts, and when I walked into the bathroom to see how my hair looked, I thought,‘What if the guy who I’m supposed to marry is at the gym today?’ I smiled at myself in the mirror proud of this news, and just shrugged and said, ‘Oh well! Guess I’ll have to stay home instead!’”


Wait... What???

  • "It's Tuesday and I was supposed to start working out on Monday and I don't want to throw off my schedule, so I'll start next week."

  • "I didn't want to take a break from gluing gems on my My Little Pony cosplay."

  • "I decided I'd rather sit around naked and eat ice cream and watch Game of Thrones."

  • [to trainer in NYC:] "Sorry I can't make our workout today, I accidentally woke up in Berlin."

~Dolores Harrell, CHC, CPT, CN, TES

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