When You Don’t Want to Workout

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Don’t Want to Workout?

Making fitness a lifestyle doesn’t just happen. It takes a willingness to commit to voluntarily working the body when most individuals are not working. That said, it also requires developing strategies for when you just don’t want to workout.

Over the years this has happened to me 100’s of times as I suspect it has for many of you. As a result, I have had to create multiple strategies to make working out a little easier to do or get started doing.

Strategies to Use When You Don’t Want to Workout

Extend your warm up

I have found that very often by extending my warm up, I am able to eliminate the joint and muscle stiffness that makes it a little more challenging to get a workout started. Typically this entails stretching with a lower resistance band while focusing on my breathing.

Once band stretching is complete, I will do additional body weight exercises that require low resistance while going through large amplitude movements. This strategy allows my body to lengthen out on a more gradual basis making it less traumatic to excessively stiff muscles and joints.

This flow warm up is a perfect example.

Forget about routine

Sometimes having to plan out a workout is mentally draining. If this is the case, don’t get caught up in planning or routine.

Instead, start with simple band exercises and allow the muscles to slowly become activated. Very often, getting started is all the muscles really need to energize a workout.

Once you get rolling with those simple band exercises, you can gradually move into high intensity level exercises.

Use an interval timer and just go

I enjoy using audible, voice-controlled interval timing systems which allow me to focus on the exercise and effort while not having to concern myself with counting reps.

When motivation is low, the best thing to do is make your workout as mentally easy as possible. Using a voice-controlled interval timing system—telling you when to start and stop—eliminates watching a clock or counting reps.

My favorite Interval Timer App is Seconds Pro.

Seconds Pro

Sweat a little more

The more you sweat, the more the central nervous system gets excited. Therefore, wearing a few extra layers during the warm up will increase the body’s core temperature and sweating mechanism which will increase muscle activation.

This does not require implementing high intensity training as long as there is a gradual build up in exercise tempo.

As muscles start to activate, motivation will follow.

Don’t try to out think your muscles

I always say that muscles are dumb. They respond and adapt to whatever the training stimulus is which means versatility and change is good for the body.

Changing things up also allows muscles to recover while decreasing the incidence of overuse injuries occurring as a result of doing the exact same workout repeatedly.

Plus, being a 3-dimensional machine, the body needs to move in multiple directions while being impacted by different force vectors.

Learn more by reading Training in Multiple Planes of Motion

Change up your location

Exercise outside, go to a playground or find a local high school track or soccer field. Since resistance bands are very portable, it makes bringing them along with you easy.

By changing the environment, it will create different types of exercises as well as different environmental elements like hills, grass surfaces and wind.

Playground Band Training


Doing nothing results in achieving nothing. Working out, no matter what the level of effort, will always make you better.