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Working Out When You Don't Like It: 4 Steps

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You know you should workout. But you’re just not that type of person – the “fit type” who exudes satisfaction and confidence in the gym.

Why even start a program when you know you’ll get tired of it and want to quit?

If that’s how you feel, I offer you these 4 steps:

1. Remember The 90% Rule

You don’t have to follow your program 100% to the letter 100% of the time to notice a change.

There is basically no difference in progress between doing 90% or 100%. And that’s good news for anyone who isn’t a fitness “freak” (addict, enthusiast, professional, whatever).

You’re going to miss a day at some point.

You’re going to feel subpar sometimes and “phone it in” at the gym.

It doesn’t matter.

Instead of saying, “I’m just not cut out for this,” remember the 90% rule, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Certainly don’t use it as an excuse to quit.

The truth is, 90% still isn’t easy. Most people are lucky to get up to 50% in the long term, and that’s when you start to lose progress or not make any progress to begin with.

That’s why step 2 is so important.

2. Start Out Easy (no, even easier)

If you don’t like working out, obviously don’t start by training for a decathlon. But also, don’t jump into hitting the gym for 60 minutes every day.

Find something you enjoy doing, even if it won’t get you to your long term goals. Starting with something easy is better than starting with something you dislike (even mildly) if you aren’t going to stick with it.

Create a habit of activity before you go all out on your fitness.

Play a sport, go for daily walks, take a bike ride, or start lifting weights for 10 minutes a day.

Don’t get so caught up in your drive to do something that you overdo it. Nothing kills motivation like being too sore to move after your first day.

3. Modify What You Don’t Like

Once you get into a good habit, you’re going to need to take a step forward. At this point, you’ll have to go beyond simply finding things you enjoy doing.

You might not enjoy any exercise at all. Or you might just need to do something that isn’t your favorite thing in the world.

But there’s no reason to do something you absolutely hate.

For example, don’t go running 5 miles if you hate it. Try short sprints instead. Or hop on a rowing machine, or a bike.

There are different ways to approach all types of exercise. Take something you don’t like, change it up a bit, and you may find something you don’t mind so much, or even enjoy. (Email me if you need help with this.)

4. Think Of The Benefits

This is a big one. Maybe the biggest. And most people don’t consider it enough, if at all.

A recent study showed that strength training, specifically, may reduce your risk of early death by 46%. (Here’s the story behind that study.)

If that’s not enough right there, imagine your physical health 20+ years from now. Don’t accept in your mind that you’ll eventually be so overweight or debilitated you have trouble walking or taking stairs.

It doesn’t have to be that way! And you don’t have to be a fitness freak to avoid it!

Obviously injuries can contribute to those sorts of things, but even some of those injuries can be prevented, minimized, or the recovery sped up significantly by being in better shape to begin with.

It’s kind of like saving money for the long term. Very few people actually do it, but once they’re older they wish they had. Do your future self, and spouse, kids, grandkids, friends, etc. a favor and start considering your health now.

Keeping these 4 steps in mind will make it easier, especially at the beginning; but it’s not always going to be easy.

Ready to get started but need help? Read here about our online coaching programs and how we can help you every step of the way.


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