Maybe you exercise and you’re not seeing the gains you’d hoped to see by now. Or you’d like to exercise, in theory, but putting that into practice is hard. Or maybe you exercise and exercise and exercise and you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere.
No matter the reason you feel like you’re bad at exercising, there are things you can do to improve. Here are some of the top reasons why people struggle.
1. You Don’t Have a Goal
There are people out there who can sustain a long-term fitness regimen simply because they want to see a lower number on the scale. Most of us won’t keep going, though. Instead, decide you want to get stronger, see defined muscle, run a 5k, whatever.
2. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein
Getting enough protein helps your muscles recover. If they can’t recover, they won’t perform as well. So eat more protein and you will probably get better at exercising.
3. You’re Tired
For some people, this is an excuse. But for others, it’s legitimate. If you are exhausted, whether from exercise or for other reasons, you won’t do well in the gym. Rest, recover, and try again.
4. You’re Not Willing to Be Uncomfortable
Exercise means doing something that is uncomfortable. Since most of us don’t like discomfort, we can end up avoiding exercise, even when we say we want to do it. Or, we can work out only in ways that are comfortable for us. To improve, you have to become willing to step out of your usual zone.
5. You’re Making Comparisons
Most gyms have lots of people inside, and it’s easy to get into the habit of comparing yourself to others. This kills your motivation, though, and makes it hard to give your workout routine your all. Look away if you have to, but only compare you to you!
6. You Haven’t Found a Workout You Love
Running. Weight machines. The elliptical. Zumba. All of these are vastly different ways to exercise. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you won’t like every workout routine out there, and you will suck at exercise if you try to make yourself do something you don’t enjoy. The best exercise for you is the one you will do. So try new things until you find something you love!
7. You’re Obsessing
How long has it been since your last rest day? Trust me, you won’t lose your exercise mojo if you take a day off here or there. And you may find yourself too tired to exercise or too burnt out if you force yourself to go every day. So take a break and do something else. You can always go back tomorrow.
8. You Haven’t Committed
On the other hand, you might be bad at exercise because you haven’t committed — to yourself or to a routine. It’s easy to play around in the gym, but it’s hard to get any results that way. Find something you love and make a plan for sticking with it if you want to get good at exercise.
9. You’re Injured
Does something in your exercise routine hurt, so you go slower or you only do that part half-heartedly? An injury can make exercise really, really hard. If you’re hurt, see a doctor, or a physical therapist or chiropractor, and take their advice. Fortunately, there’s almost always an alternative way to exercise while you heal.
10. You Don’t Take Responsibility
Whether or not you take the steps necessary to get good at exercise is up to you. It’s not anyone else’s fault when you haven’t found or committed to a routine that works for you. Sure, there are mitigating factors. But when it comes down to it, you either choose to show up and improve, or you don’t.
11. You’re Not Willing to Change Your Life
Getting good at exercise involves changing your life. Going to the gym or getting out for a run doesn’t just happen magically. You won’t become a person who exercises overnight. If you want to be good at exercise, you need to be willing to make time for it, and to become whoever you become when exercise is part of your life
12. You’re Bored
Are you stuck in an exercise rut? Feeling like you aren’t improving? Maybe you need to try something new. Even if you love the exercise you do, not changing it up now and then can lead to boredom. Do something you’ve never done before and see if you feel better at exercise.
13. You Don’t Know How to Exercise
Maybe you don’t go to the gym because those machines intimidate you, or you don’t see results because you’re not doing it right. Fortunately, most gyms have trainers who can show you how to use equipment, and you can find experts at almost any sport who can help you improve. You don’t have to be bad at exercise simply because you don’t know how to be good at it.
14. You Feel Self-Conscious
When you’re afraid everyone is staring at you, you won’t exercise well. If feeling self-conscious makes you bad at exercise, try going to the gym during a down time, taking an intro class, or exercising in a place where people won’t be likely to see you. You can also remember that most of the people in an exercise situation are focused on their own routine, not on you.
What’s keeping you from being good at fitness?