Excuse Busters

All of us have those times when we know a workout would have us feeling great, but we just can’t muster up the motivation to get it done. Yesterday, I experienced one of those times, so I thought I’d put together this post about common workout excuse busters to help you push past whatever’s preventing you from getting your workout in!

Our weekend ended up being quite a success: dinner party Friday, the wood floors are finished (pics to come!), dancing Saturday night away, and Arizona basketball on Sunday.

We really wanted to take Livi with us since it was a daytime game, but ended up asking nana to come stay with her at home. It gets really loud in McKale -I figured I’d bring her ear protection that we bought for fini flights on base- but we wondered if she’d be surrounded by baby-loving folks (some people aren’t, and that’s cool). I would have been happy to walk around with her in the arena, but in our seats we wanted to consider the fact that not everyone enjoys tiny cheerleaders saying “Hi! Hi! Hiiiiiiiii” to them throughout the game, especially an intense sold-old event. Next time, little Wildcat :/

Later I went to the gym for some cardio (30 min StairMaster and 10 on the treadmill) and then crashed out:

Men's Health on the Stairmaster

[random note: Men’s Health was my literature for the Stairmaster. Even though I originally chose it because Adam Levine was on the cover and I like the workout tips, I was blown away by the recipes. Chicken coconut curry with sweet potato? Um, yes please.]

Before I left for the gym last night, I felt one of the usual excuses coming on: ughhh, nighttime cardio! It’s so much harder to wind down for bed.

Cardio gets me pretty hyped up, so when I do it at night I have a harder time going to bed when I should. Then when Liv wakes up early, I feel like a sloth in the morning.

Sloths slow or everything fast meme

(Photo source)

Last night, instead of going upstairs right before crashing out, I immediately took a shower and went up to bed to read. Reading in bed never fails to make me sleepy, so I had no problem crashing out.

I have plenty of other favorite workout excuses, and here’s how I work through them.

Workout Excuse Busters

It’s too cold. In Tucson, it’s really not *cold* compared to other cities. I give myself a perspective pep talk and remember that what I call freezing is someone else’s summer. I keep that in mind, bundle up and remind myself that cold runs feel much better than sweltering summer Bikram runs.

Fountain freeze

(Photo from a crazy Tucson freeze two years ago!)

I have no energy. This happens to me when I head back to work from lunch and have Zumba first. After lunch, I usually want to siesta, not shake it. For this reason, I make sure that my lunch isn’t too filling -I’ll do a salad, small wrap or smoothie- and bring the rest of lunch to eat after class. One of my biggest “I have no energy” busters: I remember how energized I feel when it’s over, and the fact that it usual takes 5 minutes to feel really great during a workout. A little bit of coffee does the trick, too πŸ˜‰


I forgot headphones/socks/a sports bra/whatever. I usually feel like I need to have all of my “gear” with me to get in an awesome workout. Whenever this happens, I change up the usual plans (do weights instead of cardio if I forgot socks or a sports bra) or if I’m lacking music, I use my workout time to really visualize my muscles contracting and working during the movements. Mind to muscle!


What are some of your usual excuses? How do you bust them?

One “excuse” that is usually legit: I’m exhausted. You have to distinguish your body’s cues between laziness and true exhaustion. If I know that I need to rest, I’ll take an extra day off. Remember that working through exhaustion won’t result in an effective workout. It’s worth it to rest and enjoy a killer session next time.

Hope you’re all enjoying your morning so far!



Check-in time! Did you do Workout #3? How’d it go? Make sure to leave a comment to check in! A lucky reader will receive a new Pack and Dash running tank, courtesy of lucy.

Lucy tank

Congrats to the winner of our recent Winter Shape Up giveaway:

Beth, who said:

“After some schedule re-arranging (aka, too tired to get up), today was the stairmaster challenge. Holy man, that is way tougher than it sounds.

My workout reminder for morning workouts – that extra 40 minutes (broken up every 5 minutes by the snooze) isn’t good sleep anyways.”

Congrats, Beth! Send me an email (fitnessista at gmail dot com) and we’ll get your prize on the way πŸ™‚

Stay tuned for more amazing giveaways this week! xo

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  1. Rachael on February 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Workout 3 was a killer! I love the monster circuits, they trick me into thinking I’m further into the workout than I am πŸ˜‰ Every little bit helps.

  2. Tracy on February 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Today was my “runday” which I actually did on the elliptical cuz I don’t run πŸ˜‰ I did WO#3 yesterday and loved it. Awesome workout!

  3. Jamie on February 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Strength workout done for the first time followed by 15 minutes of tough hills on the treadmill.

  4. Alycia Wilson on February 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I’m flipping and flopping the days during week #3. Monday I did Run Day (30 minutes) + Workout #3 + 15 minutes HIIT running…is it against the rules to add two days together? Today I am doing Hill challenge plus ab burned. My arms are a little sore from yesterday’s workout 3..it’s wonderful πŸ™‚

  5. Jaime on February 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    ohmygoodness, workout 3 + HIIT was great!!! Totally harder than it looked. You were absolutely right about motivation waning this weak- Thanks for the kick in the pants!

  6. Rachel on February 12, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Just finished Workout 3 + 15 minutes HIIT on the elliptical! That last set of tricep dips was a killer…had to keep imagining how great my arms will look in tank tops this summer to get through it!

  7. Liz on February 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Just did my first workout 3! I’m not so great at HIIT but I did okay πŸ™‚

  8. Chelsea Anthony on February 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Yowza! Noodle arms FOR SURE with WSU#3! It was an awesome workout, and I loved the monster circuits. I had sweat dripping down and tickling my face during plank!Sweaty face & shaky arms=workout success! HIIT rocked as well, as usual :).

  9. Claire on February 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Just did workout 3 and hiit on the stairmaster. So hard but it hurts so good.

  10. Tori L on February 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Workout 3 just kicked my bootay!

  11. Kyra on February 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Workout 3 is a lot harder than it looks! My arms will definitely be feeling it tomorrow. I did my 15 minutes of hiit on the treadmill alternating between 8.0 and 4.0. Great workout!

  12. Brianna on February 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Between the push-ups, pull-ups, and shoulder presses, I know my back and shoulders are going to be talking to me tomorrow:) It was a great workout, and I liked the way it was broken into two circuits – it was easier to remember what exercise came next. I did my 15 min of HIIT on the arc trainer (I think that’s what it’s called…)

  13. China on February 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Workout 3 + HIIT done!! That was a tough one β€”Β my arms are already noodling β€” but I feel great!!

  14. Maria @ Maria Makes Muffins on February 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    We had an epic snow storm this weekend that had us stuck at my sister-in-law’s house an extra day. So last night when we (finally) got home I could have easily skipped my planned workout, but I asked my husband to feed the kids dinner while I ran downstairs, workout clothes in tote, to do workout #3. I am definitely feeling it today!

  15. Tory on February 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Holy triceps! This workout had my arms burning. We’re having a conference at work today so there are tons of goodies laying around (donuts, cookies, cupcakes) but luckily I packed my amazeballz to curb my sweet tooth… okay I did break down and have half a creamstick with lunch, but hey everything in moderation!

  16. Kristen on February 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Just finished workout #3 and It kicked my butt. I can already tell my arms are going to be sore tomorrow!

  17. Nicole on February 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Completed workout #3 this morning & boy were my arms like jello all day at work! It was a great reminder throughout the day of the awesome workout that I already completed though πŸ˜‰ Me & my friend are completely addicted to winter shape up we actually did the previous two years waiting on you to publish this one and we are in l<3ve! Thanks Gina!!!

  18. Kim on February 12, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    did workout 3 this am. and climbed the eifel tower after (new fun machine at the gym).
    Looking forward to sore arms… I like the burn, it hurts so good πŸ˜‰

  19. Michelle on February 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Arms are so sore from workout 3!!

  20. Missy on February 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Just finished workout 3. Proud of myself for getting it done AFTER work despite being tired!!

  21. Natasha on February 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Aye, aye, aye ill be sore after workout #3 and hiit tonight. Also, I’m baking those breakfast cookies, they look ah-mazing!!!

  22. Kathryn on February 12, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Did workout 3 this morning! I’m definitely going to be sore!

  23. Kristen on February 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Officially sore all over (hams, butt, arms, chest, abs) from doing workout 3 yesterday πŸ™‚

  24. Heather on February 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Workout 3 didn’t look hard…. but OUCH! I’m sore. Plus the HIIT with jump rope… put some butter on me and call me toast!

    • Fitnessista on February 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm


  25. Christine on February 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Also did workout #3, I liked the switch in routine… My arms are feeling it already!

  26. Hannah on February 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Workout 3 was great!! My arms are definitely feeling it πŸ™‚

  27. Chelsea C. on February 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I looked at workout 3 and thought it would be easier…totally not the case! My arms are feeling the burrrn.

  28. Ashley Pooley on February 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    I sometimes use those excuses although living in Canada on the east coast sometimes it really is too cold or seems that way. It felt like -39Celcius (-38 F or something like that) the other day and I stayed home but the next day when it was -34celcius I bundled up and got out there!

  29. Emily on February 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I didn’t know what you meant by “holy arm noodles”. Now I do! Tough workout! I did 3 rounds of each mobster circuit plus 3rounds TIU’s Love Your Booty and extra squats! 10 min jogging and 10 minute HIIT!

    I’m going to be so sore tomorrow!

  30. Katie Z on February 12, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Noodle arms for sure! Did WO3 and took a recommendation from you and did a 15 minute workout from Zuzka. Great workout today!

  31. Lauren on February 12, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Workout 3 was amazing! Fast, sweaty, and HOLY ARMS! πŸ™‚

  32. Maria on February 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Workout 3 and HIIT today, I can tell my arms are going to be sore. Like others said, this workout is tougher than it looks!

  33. Christy on February 12, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Workout 3 was killer – I mean it killed me, but in a good way :]. Did 15 minutes HIIT on the stationary bike afterwards.

  34. Laura on February 13, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Just finished workout #3! So happy that I was feeling well enough to join in today! My arms are going to be aching tomorrow. They were too weak to hold a plank for very long on the 2nd and 3rd time around, so I split it up into 10 second rounds. Did 15 minutes jumprope HIIT. Thank you so much for having that as part of the workout last week! It’s so nice to have a good cardio to do without leaving the house and I wouldn’t have thought of that myself. Hoping to squeeze in the cardio I missed on Friday.

  35. Meghan on February 13, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Workout 3 was great, so hard! I modified part of it (burpees for jumping lunges for my knees) but otherwise loved it! & Did my HIIT running on the treadmill!

  36. Kiah on February 13, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Did active rest yesterday (bball) and am doing workout 3 for the second time today. Woot! Thanks again, Gina.

  37. Eileen on February 13, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Just did workout #3. My arms will definitely be sore tomorrow! Sweating all over my keyboard…

  38. Megan on February 13, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Did workout #3 last night — my arms and my thighs. Yowzer! Great workout!

  39. Sunny on February 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Workout 3 was awesome – fit it in between teaching and then heading to my own grad classes. Killer workout but also kept me energized (the best kind!)

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