It’s something I hear far too often, “Why Do I Hate the Gym?”
It seems as though some of us absolutely love the gym and can’t get enough of it.
Then again, there are those of us who regularly go to the gym, but hate each and every training session.
In fact, going to the gym may even fill you with dread, so much so that you’re always looking for excuses not to go.
But, why do you feel like this?
Allow me to explain why you have an utter hatred for the gym.
Why Do I Hate the Gym?
The most obvious reason you hate the gym is that you’ve made sudden sweeping changes to your lifestyle. You’ve gone from being inactive and eating what you want to working out daily and eating a calorie-restrictive diet. Basically, going to the gym feels like a chore, as opposed to something that is good for you. Additionally, you may feel self-conscious, not have a clue of how to use the equipment, or you simply hate your personal trainer. Plus, always doing the same workout can become extremely boring.
1. You’ve Made Sweeping Changes to Your Lifestyle
I think if we’re all completely honest we know exactly what needs to be done to get into shape, or to lose a few extra pounds.
Basically, we need to eat healthier and be more active.
In truth, if we all adhered to these principles we’d probably live in a world of happy people with beautiful bodies.
However, the reality is very different.
One of the biggest mistakes that most people make when they want to get into shape is to make massive sweeping changes to their lifestyle.
By this I mean that one day you’re lounging on the couch eating pizza and drinking cola and the next day you’re eating salads, while killing yourself with a 2-hour gym session.
Making such vast changes will obviously have an affect on your mind and emotions.
This is why it makes sense to ease yourself into eating healthier and being more active.
You can’t expect to have lived your life a certain way for 10, 20, or 30 years and then suddenly be ecstatic when you make a wholesale adjustment.
In fact, most people who want to make changes would be better off starting small and building momentum.
So, in week one this may involve eating the same food, but in smaller portions.
Plus, you may decide to go for three 20-minute walks during the week.
Now, this may not sound like much, but that’s an hour’s more activity and a bunch of fewer calories consumed than the week before.
One of the major weightlifting principles in the gym in progressive overload.
This simply means making an exercise more difficult on a regular basis in order to stimulate new muscle growth.
Well, you can apply exactly the same “rules” to your new lifestyle.
Start small, and progress every week.
2. You Feel Self-Conscious
We all feel a little nervous when greeted with something new.
This is true in any walk of life.
However, being new or a beginner in the gym environment has a way of making you feel extremely self-conscious.
Perhaps you’re slightly overweight or very unfit, and yet you’re surrounded by all these beautiful bodies.
Plus, everyone else seems to be at the top of their game and really enjoying their workout.
This unfortunately makes you feel terrified whenever you go to the gym, which of course means that you’ll hate going.
Now, I know this is easier said than done, but try to ignore your feelings and just do your own thing.
In truth, the vast majority of people in the gym have absolutely no interest in you, how you look, and what you’re doing.
They’re just there to get in their workout before getting on with the rest of their day.
This is typical human nature – we’re all worried what other people will think of us, but in reality they’re too busy worrying about their own lives.
In fact, think about the number of people you don’t know that you see on a daily basis.
You may have specific thoughts when you see other people, you may even judge them, but you’ve totally forgotten about them within a matter of minutes or hours.
Other people are exactly the same.
3. You Always Do the Same Workout
This is something I see all the time, and I’ll even admit that I do occasionally get annoyed by it.
However, I never make any comments, and often I admonish myself for even thinking this way.
Firstly, who am I to judge someone else’s workout?
For me, if you’re happy and enjoying yourself, then carry on.
And that’s the whole point, going to the gym shouldn’t feel like a chore, and if it does, this is probably why you hate it.
With that being said, if you’re always doing the same workout, this explains your contempt for the gym.
Now, I’ll quickly mention that always doing the same workout will eventually lose its effectiveness.
Basically, the body adapts fairly quickly to any regular stress we place on it.
So, in effect, if you’re always doing the same thing it will become easier.
But, in the main, you probably won’t be taxing yourself too much – remember progressive overload.
However, this can also lead to the boredom factor.
I have often done exactly the same workout for a specific number of days, but this is more as a test.
As an example, I once decided to do the Crossfit Murph Workout for 30 days straight.
This is an extremely tough workout, so to do it 30 days in a row would really test my fitness.
With that being said, I didn’t realise what a mental test this would be as well.
Not only did I have to fight my own thoughts due to my aching body, but the boredom factor was driving me crazy.
As the saying goes, “a change is as good as a rest”.
So, if you’ve been doing exactly the same workout for a while now, change things up.
4. How Hard Are You Working Out?
Now, this may initially sound a bit weird, so bear with me.
In fact, you’re probably thinking that if you hate the gym, how will how hard you’re working out make a difference?
Well, it just so happens that there is some “science” behind his.
The main reason that many people “love” going to the gym is because of how it makes them feel.
Yes, we all go to the gym in an attempt to produce the physique of our dreams, but there are also many mental changes taking place.
Exercise will release certain endorphins, such as dopamine and serotonin.
These are the “feel-good” endorphins that the body releases when we’re on an absolute high, e.g. food, shopping, sex, etc.
So, it could be a case that you’re not actually working out hard enough to release these feel-good endorphins.
You’re simply going through the motions in the gym without really pushing yourself.
However, if you push past your comfort zone in the gym you’ll soon experience that almighty high.
Conversely, if you’re overdoing it at the gym, this can have the complete opposite effect.
Once the body has been pushed too far during exercise the stress hormone, cortisol, may be released into the body.
This is generally why you don’t want to push a high-intensity workout past the hour mark or a moderate-intensity workout past 2 hours.
In fact, as a recreational exerciser, I see no reason to be in the gym more than 3-5 times a week, for 45-50 minutes at a time.
If you adhere to this it is far less likely that you’ll get to the stage of releasing cortisol into the body.
This means that you won’t feel both mentally and physically stressed.
Effects of Exercise on the Brain
5. Are You Going to the Gym After a Hard Day?
The time of day that you go to the gym can have a massive mental impact.
Okay, I understand that you may not have the option of going at certain times, so you have to stick with your allotted time slot.
With that being said, most of us typically adapt to the times that we go to the gym, so it doesn’t seem like such a hassle.
I know personally I like to go to the gym in the morning, as I feel it sets me up for the day.
Basically, I have that “gym high”, and this puts me in a good mood.
However, I remember a time when I had to be at work early, so I would generally go to the gym after work.
I cannot begin to tell you how many gym sessions I missed simply because I wasn’t in the mood after a hard day at work.
In fact, just to make matters worse, I would often favour a few after work drinks over sweating in a gym.
It always seems like a great idea at the time, but not much the following day.
With that being said, if you find that you’re really starting to hate going to the gym after a day’s work, it may be time for a change.
As I’ve mentioned, this may not be possible in some cases, but I see nothing wrong with getting out of bed 30 minutes earlier and getting in a quick gym session.
Plus, you may find that it completely changes your mood for the entire day.
6. Your Personal Trainer Sucks
One of the first things that many newcomers to the gym do is to hire a personal trainer.
I mean, it makes a lot of sense.
You’re in a new environment, you’re not entirely sure what you should be doing, so it makes sense to turn to an “expert”.
However, unfortunately not all personal trainers are created equal.
In effect, you’re often at the whim of human nature,
In life, some people are fantastic, some people are a drain on your emotions, and some people you may simply not like.
In fact, this particular Reddit user appears to really hate the gym, but this seems to have a lot to do with the attitude of their personal trainer.
Sadly, this is just how things are sometimes.
With that being said, if you find that you’re just not gelling on with your personal trainer it may be time to seek out another.
Then again, as I’ve mentioned, the gym should be about enjoyment, so you may even be better off doing your own thing.
But, if the gym does feel like a real drag then ask yourself whether your personal trainer is providing you with the service you’d expect.
How to Spot a Bad Personal Trainer
So, as you can see, there are a wide variety of reasons why you might hate the gym.
In truth, this is often simply because you’re making massive wholesale changes in your life.
It’s always better to start out small and build up gradually.
This way you can ease yourself gently into your new gym lifestyle.
Additionally, you may feel self-conscious as you’re very new to the gym and surrounded by others who look great and seem to know what they’re doing.
How hard you’re working out can also have an affect on your mood.
If you’re not training hard enough you may never get that release of feel-good endorphins.
Then again, if you’re overdoing it you may be elevating your stress levels.
Plus, the time of the day you’re working out, or even a sadistic personal trainer, can also impact your feelings towards the gym.
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Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.