You’ve Said It: I Didn’t Want To Workout BUT…

I am glad I did!

How often do we say this? How many times do you get the pre-workout blues? You know, the pull of the couch or the warmth of the bed that makes you say “I don’t think I am going to workout, I’m just not feeling it”?

I received this message on Monday from a wonderful client…


And it got me thinking, if we never regret a good workout (with the exception of this one), then why do we have pre-workout dread?

The Pre Workout Dread

Pre-workout dread: Feelings of dislike, indifference, or listlessness towards an upcoming workout.

Yesterday morning when my alarm started beeping and vibrating at 5:02am (2 minutes makes a huge difference), I was slapped with the pre-workout dread. My bed was cozy, Dan was sound asleep and looked so peaceful, and the wind was whirling outside. The last thing I wanted to do was put on my running clothes and get my track workout in.


Somehow I found the power to rise up, pull the covers back and go. And guess what… I’m so glad!

But that got me to thinking, if we always LOVE how we feel after a workout, why do we go into it with dread?

The Workout Love-Hate Relationship

Here’s why… because our bodies are lazy. They’re programmed to be.

No matter how fit we are, no matter how much our minds love exercise, our bodies don’t want to do more than they have to.

The battle between body and mind is what is going on with exercise:

  • On one shoulder we have our mind playing the subconscious role of an angel… it whispers softly in your ear: “You know you’ll regret it if you don’t get this workout in. Just think of how wonderful you’ll feel when it’s over.”
  • On the other, we have our body playing the role of the little devil trying so hard to convince you that you’ve had a long day, that you need more sleep, that your body deserves a day off from a scheduled workout.


The test comes down to which one you allow to have the louder voice? Are you able to swipe that little lazy devil off your shoulder and give in to the angel?

If you need some help with it, and we ALL do sometimes, here’s how to avoid the workout serpent…

How To Stop Pre-Workout Dread From Stopping You

1. Ask yourself WHY? 

Just recently I’ve been starting my classes by asking each person to think (to themselves) about the reasons they are there. What is it that they expect to get out of the workout, and what goals are they working towards by dedicated that hour of fitness to themselves.

Reminding yourself of the whys is extremely motivating. Plus by showing up you’re reminded that:


Remind yourself… no one is FORCING you to workout, you’re doing it on your own accord. 

But what is it that you get out of it? Think about this before, during and after each workout to feel in control and on a path towards success.

2. Ask yourself WHEN? 

Play out the pros and cons in your head of skipping your workout. But let this be your first question… If you skip your workout, when will you make it up?

If you know there is no way you’ll be able to make it up at lunch or after work, or even the next morning then there’s your answer.

Don’t skip. You’ll feel dread because you missed your workout all together!

3. Grab a partner

This is perhaps the best tip for newbies. If you really need an extra push and accountability, then use a workout partner.

Knowing that someone is counting on you, and that someone has made their schedule work with yours is extremely powerful and can help eliminate the dread all together.

When I have a friend to meet, I get excited to catch up with her and that makes me excited to workout! I normally have 2 scheduled workout dates a week: Tuesday morning track work with Katie and Amy; and Thursday lifting with Jeanette. As soon as my workout is done, I am already excited for next week.

4. It’s 4% of your day.

Most people workout for about an hour. Guess what? That’s 4% of your day! Really?


I think we can all dedicate just 4% of our day to doing something not just for our bodies but for our minds.

Think about how much good can come about just getting it done.

5. Stay consistent

Have you ever taken a full week off from working out? What happened when the week was over? Chances are that you found it hard to get back into a workout rhythm. The appeal of exercise slipped a bit.

Staying consistent is #1 with keeping that little shoulder demon quiet. When you stay on a regular schedule your fitness angel gains more and more power!
Consistent doesn’t just mean working out 3x/week… it means have a set schedule as much as possible.

Working out the same days at around the same time. Try to stay as regular as possible. That doesn’t mean having to workout at 6am every day. But if you workout at 6am on Monday, try to workout at 6am the following Monday. If you workout at 5:30pm on Wednesday, try to do that every Wednesday.

Whether you like to follow a schedule or not, it will help!

And when all else fails…

6. Keep a mind-exercise journal.

We always feel good at the end of a workout, right? So write it down. Keep a small pad in your purse, use your phone, or whatever but at the end of workouts, write down how you feel.

It can be something as easy as a list of adjectives or it can be in paragraph form talking in depth about your felt before, during and after.

The only rule is that it has to be completed DIRECTLY AFTER a workout. As in within 30 minutes.

Since I just finished my track run (mentioned above) before sitting to type this, my words would include:

    • Pride
    • Fatigued
    • Energized
    • Motivated (I have a race coming up)
    • Connected (Love my girl time)
    • Relieved
    • Fast
    • Cold (it was windy!)
    • Accomplished
    • Sweaty

Q: What are a few words that describe you after a workout?

Like this post? Please use the buttons on the left to share and thank you so much for stopping in today. As always I am so grateful for my awesome readers… friends.


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