What To Do When You Just Can’t Be Bothered To Go To The Gym

Did you ever wake up, plenty of sleep, plenty of time, but you just could not be arsed to go to the gym? No reason other than I can’t be fucking bothered? Don’t worry, it happens every guy from time to time. It’s perfectly normal and here’s what you should do.

Why you can’t be bothered to exercise

You may feel like a lazy slob on those days that you opt for Netflix over the gym, but it turns out that it’s mankind’s natural state. A paper reassuringly titled ‘It is natural and normal to be physically lazy’ was published by Harvard biologist Daniel Lieberman which explains there’s a very natural reason for this.

“No hunter-gatherer goes out for a jog, just for the sake of it. They go out to forage, they go out to work, but anything else would be unwise, not to mention maladaptive.”

Jonathan Shaw, an editor at Harvard Magazine, continued this comforting concept:

“Humans have been selected to exercise only as much as they must to survive,” he wrote in a recent issue. “The ancestors of modern humans lived as hunter-gatherers. In this subsistence lifestyle, food was often scarce, so resting was key to conserving energy for survival and reproduction. In other words, humans were born to run — but as little as possible.”

So don’t beat yourself up about being lazy. It happens. But there are a few things you can do when you need to evolve a little beyond your ancient, lazy, roots.

1. Never miss your Monday

Monday is like the New Year’s Day of the week. It seems to give us that added motivation to start what we abandoned last Friday. So if #MondayMotivation is a thing for you then always be sure to capitalise on that and book time in your schedule every week and prioritise that workout.

If you’re not a Monday person, then do the same for whatever your Monday is. That Saturday morning workout before brunch that you love, or that HIIT class on Tuesday that kicks your week into gear. Whatever your Monday is, make time for it.

2. Plan your weekly workouts

Rather than running on autopilot, take some time to look at your diary and plan when you’ll be able to work out that week. You may normally do legs on Wednesday, but this week you’ve got to work late, so when can you squeeze in your squats? Planning your week and knowing when you’re going to tackle your goals will help make them seem much achievable.

3. Have a pre-workout ritual

I swear I’ve tried to leave the house quicker to get to the gym, but I just cannot do it. I have a ritual of 2 coffees and a protein shake as I sit and watch Family Guy. Judge me all you want but it gets me there. It gives me time to get into the right headspace and also saturate my body with caffeine. What’s your pre-workout routine? Loud music, coffee, meditation, writing down notes, stretches? Whatever it is, give yourself time to do it.

4. Just do a short session

When the prospect of an hour workout can seem daunting – so daunting that you’re leaning towards staying in bed – allow yourself to just do a shorter session today. If you aim for quality rather than quantity you can be done in 30 minutes. You may end up working out for longer once you’re there, and even if you don’t you’ll have focused your efforts and made more efficient use of your gym time.