I Hate Going to the Gym

It’s that time of year when people want to turn over a new leaf. The things that held them back in 2012 suddenly seem minimal and achieving a weight loss goal seems possible! This is the time of year (January – March) when the gyms are flooded with newbies who got workout gear and new running shoes for Christmas and VOW: this year will be different.

Will it be different for you?

Are you vowing to go to the gym more often, lose weight, eat healthy? If you are, you’re not in the minority. So why will this year be different for you? This post is about some ideas on how to make 2013 different.

Here are a few old posts to get you started with your new leaf:

I Don’t Know Where to Start

Rewarding Yourself

Don’t Get Discouraged

Stop Dieting!

Week OneWeek One Check In

Week Two , Week Two Check In

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Five Truths of Weight Loss

Five Truths of Maintenance

There are a lot of reason why people quit their new year’s resolution to lose weight after only a month. I think the biggest reason is Setting Unrealistic Goals. You can’t go from doing zero activity to working out every single day for 90 minutes and NOT burn out, or worse–get injured. Start slowly. Make a goal to work out 30 minutes 3 days a week and as you get used to the routine, increase it slightly each week.

Another reason, closely related to the first, is not giving yourself Rest Days. Rest days are a crucial part of a workout routine and your body needs time to relax, repair and rest. What happens when you don’t take rest days? Injury, burn out, over-training, sore muscles, and waning desire to work out. So give yourself a day or two off each week. It’s a good mental reset, too. I take 2 rest days a week no matter what.

A big reason people quit is that they Hate Going to the Gym. Yep, been there. When I was 250 pounds, I thought I hated working out but in reality I just didn’t know because I NEVER TRIED IT. Don’t dismiss it as something you hate until you actually do it!


The biggest way to stop hating the gym is to choose an activity that YOU LIKE and will stick with. For me it was swimming. Yes, I was 250 pounds and humiliated to get in a swim suit, but I did it and once I got in the pool I didn’t care what I looked like. I loved swimming, it felt good, and I stuck with it. As a result, I lost the weight. But swimming isn’t for everyone. If you prefer weight lifting, do that. If you liked tennis as a kid, give it a try with a friend.

My boyfriend Michael is most definitely not a gym rat like me. I like going to the gym because I need my own space to get the work done. If I stayed home, I’d find excuses not to do it. But he’s the opposite. He’d much rather workout at home with kettlebells and weight lifting, or riding his bike. It works for him.


Pick something you like. And guess what? If you pick something and it turns out you don’t like it, try something else. I tried a Turbo Kick class at my gym once and I didn’t like it at all. I gave myself permission to do something else.

What about the reason that It’s Too Hard? That’s a common reason to hate going to the gym. Again, start small. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. You’re not gonna be able to lift 100 pounds on your first day. There is no shame in starting with 5 pounds. Listen to your body.

Finally, Give Yourself Enough Time to get used to it. It may take a few weeks, or a month, to find what you like and stick with it. Soon those happy endorphins will make you crave working out! I promise! It worked for me.

The next time you want to say “but I hate going to the gym!” rethink it and figure out WHY and how you can change that!

QUESTION: Do you hate the gym? Why? How are you going to change that thinking?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

27 thoughts on “I Hate Going to the Gym”

  1. These are really great tips. I think once you try something for a week or two you start to feel more comfortable, too. I hate the gym when it’s really crowded, so when I used a gym I would go very early in the morning when fewer people were there. Now I have my own treadmill so I can run for as long as I want without having to worry about someone else needing to use the machine, so I haven’t gone to the gym lately.
    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise recently posted..Really Great Day

  2. I used to hate the gym, but it turns out I just hated cardio machines! Once I got off those machines and into classes or running outside I started using the gym for strength training and found that I LOVE lifting weights! So now I get my cardio from a boxing class and the occasional run and my gym time is spent in the weights room!

  3. Hi Lisa! I saw the name of your post, and was going to give you some ways that I learned to love the gym, but you already do. Yay! And I really like you gym picture, even better than your posed picture on the side.

    But what I was going to say is: Make a friend at the gym. Even if it is a gym employee. Just have someone who is truly happy to see you at the gym. It makes gym so much(!!!) more fun. Most gym buddies do not care what level you are at with fitness, we just want you to–keep coming to the gym!!! And once I know a person’s name, I do tell them that I noticed they are being consistent..or not.. about making it to the gym. Then I do say that I care and want good things for them. Positive peer pressure of gym friends really helped me when I started back in 2007. And gym buddies are still my greatest enjoyment of the gym.

    🙂 Marion

    1. Thanks for your comment, Marion, and compliment. I definitely love the gym–I’m a gym rat to the core. But I know a lot of people aren’t fans. I think it’s important to find SOMETHING active you like to do. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a gym.

      And yes, having someone at the gym you like seeing is a great tip! There’s one front counter chick that knows EVERYONE’S name. Seriously, she memorized all the names of members and always greets them by name the second they walk in the door. I’ve chatted with her a lot and she’s super nice, so it’s always a joy seeing her.

  4. Back when i was overweight, I hated going to the gym, too. Not only was I too cheap to pay the fees, I also didn’t quite like the thought of little fat me struggling in the face of all those uberfit people. That is why I started working out home.

    Today I can’t imagine doing it any other way, because, well, I’m still cheap 😀 No, seriously, because I understood it can be just as good as any workout at a gym, when you do it right and realize you don’t need machines for $20k.
    evilcyber recently posted..The Cabbage Soup Diet – A Self-Experiment

    1. Yes, I understand that feeling. I was there once too. I felt so self-conscious. And imagine how hard it was to get in a SWIM SUIT 100 pounds overweight! That was even harder. Once I did it a few times, I got over it.

      1. At the beach, I was the guy who never took off his t-shirt. As a teenager that was because I was so very skinny, as an adult because I was fat. My goodness, I don’t want to go either way again and I’m very thankful to have landed in the middle.
        evilcyber recently posted..How To Start Cardio

  5. I feel like I have a love/hate relationship with the gym – but it’s an unconditional love just like a puppy because it will always be there for you when you get there 🙂

    I love classes but unfortunately the times don’t work with my schedule. I’m in Week 2 of Couch to 5K and I found a 5K to sign up for in May so those are 3 workouts/week which I can commit to.

    I agree about knowing the gym employees – when a guy at the front counter told my husband he hadn’t seen me in awhile I felt very bad! I go on Sundays always so it’s nice when the woman at the front counter says hello to me by name.

    1. That’s one of the reasons I dislike classes. It’s never at a time when I need or want the class. I can’t tell you how many times Friday has come around and I want to do yoga but none of the gyms I go to offer Friday evening yoga. It’s so frustrating!

  6. I loved this post. My boss, who is only about 15 pounds overweight, expected that she’d lose it all in January by working out a lot and restricting calories – not kidding to about 1100 a day WITH exercise. She didn’t lose anything. I keep telling her she’s going about it wrong, but she’s a weigh every day type of person – so she gets frustrated at seeing a number on the scale every day – gah!

    I love going to the gym, and even though I am not a good swimmer, its one of my favorite things to do!
    Biz recently posted..Winter Minestrone

    1. That’s a bummer about your boss. I wish she’d listen to your good advice! Most people think it will magically happen–January comes, you make your resolution and the fat mysteriously just falls off! It doesn’t really work that way….. 😉

  7. I no longer hate the gym. I used to, but then something changed and I enjoy being at the gym. My challenge is getting there on weekdays when I work long hours and after the hellish drive, it’s difficult getting myself there. Sometimes, I muster up enough energy to later in the evening, and always feel a sense of accomplishment when I do.
    I ❤ 2 Eat recently posted..A Little On Willpower

    1. It’s so hard to find that motivation after getting up early, working all day and sitting in traffic to get home. I understand that! That’s why going straight to the gym after work helped me. I didn’t stop at home where I’d be tempted to just sit my butt on the couch!

      Glad you learned to like the gym. 🙂

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