We’ve all made excuses to dodge the gym and PT’s have heard them all before. From being embarrassed during a sweaty work out session, using equipment incorrectly and feeling self-conscious are amongst the top reasons people steer clear of exercise.

PT Steve Ahern from Musclefood.com has identified the 10 most common excuses for missing exercise and come up with solutions to get you back in the gym. 

Steve Ahern

He said: “There are many reasons that people avoid the gym altogether and it stems from being anxious about the environment and feeling self-conscious. Identifying these reasons is the first step in understanding why you don’t want to go and can make issues easier to tackle. We’ve researched the 10 most prolific excuses for not stepping foot in the gym to give people a better understanding of why they don’t want to go and hopefully help them take that important first step.”

Here are the 10 most common reasons you’re not going to the gym:


  1. You feel self-conscious
    Many people feel self-conscious in the gym as they are doing something active in front of other people – the best thing to remember is that others are busy on their own fitness journeys and are concentrating hard on reaching their own goals rather than watching you reach yours.

  2. You find working out with others intimidating
    Working out can be slightly scary and many find being in an enclosed space with lots of other people doing active things quite intimidating. But try and turn the situation into a positive one and make the most of it. More people means more opportunities to make friends and be social – get talking to others in your fitness class or next to you on the treadmill and you may start to make a few workout pals.

  3. You are scared of not using the equipment properly
    Equipment in the gym usually has a guide to show you how to use it, but if you can’t make sense of the stick figure illustrations and arrows then just ask a member of staff on site. They will be happy to help and then you are safe in the knowledge that you’re doing it right.

  4. You are embarrassed about the way they look
    The reason you want to go to the gym is to get in shape and feel good so if you get yourself there you are already making the first steps to make that happen. Remember there is absolutely no need to feel embarrassed, everyone is different.
  5. You don’t like the smell of gyms
    The smell of sweaty people working out, smelly trainers, chlorine and gym equipment isn’t for everyone. Although many gyms keep their premises very clean there is an inevitable gym smell that comes from lots of people working out in one place.

    Photo by Meghan Holmes on Unsplash


  6. You are too sore from their last workout
    Avoiding the gym because of muscle aches and pains from a previous workout is no excuse. If your legs hurt from running then try focusing on your arms or your back, if your whole body hurts then just do some light cardio – this will help aid your recovery as it increases blood flow to the muscles.

  7. You find the membership fees expensive
    Gym membership prices vary, so if you find your nearest gym too pricey, it’s always worth talking about different membership types to suit your budget. Failing that try other gyms, there are plenty of 24hr budget options in most areas across the UK, so you should find one that’s convenient for you.

  8. You find gyms too loud
    With gym classes, weight lifting, running and a host of other activities all going on in one place the gym is no library. If loud isn’t for you then book relaxing classes instead of working out or head to a quieter area of the gym away from the hustle and bustle of the weight lifting and machine areas. Many gyms have a stretching area with mats and free weights which can often be quieter than the main section.

  9. You don’t see any changes
    It’s important to stick at the gym if you want to see results, if you are going to the gym everyday but are coming back and feasting on junk food, you aren’t going to get the body you want. It’s important to be mindful of your whole lifestyle and eat healthily too.

  10. You are too tired
    Getting up before work to go to the gym may feel difficult, but it won’t be any better if you leave it until after work when the gym is at its busiest. Hitting the gym before or after work may seem a hard slog but people who work out are usually more energetic than those who don’t do any exercise.