By Courtney Brickner, Certified Trainer

So you hate to work out, right? Don’t think for a second that because I’m a personal trainer I don’t feel your pain or that I don’t understand where you’re coming from. When I hear people tell me “I hate to work out,” it brings back memories. It takes me back to a time when I would rather go to the dentist than the gym. It reminds me of the time that reading a book on the stationary bike without sweating was the only workout I could manage to get through. In fact, when I told some of my closest friends I was studying to become a personal trainer, they were baffled. They asked, “Courtney, why do you want to do that? You HATE to work out.” It wasn’t until I decided to make a major change in the way I approached exercise that I realized it was something I had to have in my life. I’ve put together a few tips that helped get me out of my anti-exercise zone in hopes that maybe they will help you.

Certified trainer, Courtney Brickner in the Lumis Sports Bra and Iris Scallop Short.


Whoever made the rule that a workout had to last an hour was a glutton for punishment and definitely no friend of mine. If you feel this rule is bible then no wonder you hate to workout; ain't nobody got time for that. That's ""fake news"" people. All the recent studies on exercise have proven that you don’t need to workout for extended periods of time to have major health benefits. My recommendation is to start with 10 minute workouts. If you stick with it for a few weeks, I promise you will start to feel a difference in your energy levels and your overall mental state. At that point, you will start to want more of that feeling and you will be more comfortable with gradually adding more time to your sessions.


The spark that gave me the desire to willingly go the gym was entering a fitness competition. I paid the money and I knew I wasn't gonna back out and lose it. Having that goal got me to workout on a regular basis because I'd be damned if I didn't look like I belonged up on that stage. You may not want to do a fitness competition but what about entering a 5K or doing an obstacle course challenge? Hey, maybe your gym has some challenge you might be interested in joining. There are many options that will force you to make a lifestyle change and that could be just the ignition you need.


One thing‘s for sure, music is a powerful motivator to get through a workout. For me, there is something about the powerful bass pounding in my ears that makes me feel strong, like I can lift all the heavy stuff. Although, I have to confess, there have been days in the infancy of my workout lifestyle change that I left the gym because I forgot my headphones. Okay, I'm not gonna lie; it happened again a month ago. Don't judge me, I never claimed to be the perfect trainer. I have weak moments too. Hopefully, you will have more mental toughness than I to push through on those days without your headphones. Anyway... finding music and creating a playlist that lights a fire within is a great way to get through a workout session and enjoy it. When your mind is preoccupied with great tunes, it forgets that it’s actually exercising.


I'm not really one for working out with people, but maybe having a person that will hold you accountable is just what you need. I'm not talking about the friend that says, ""I'm down,"" when you say ""lets skip the gym and go to the mall. "" I'm talking about the friend that calls to wake you up and says, ""Get up! I'l be there in 10 minutes. We're going for a run."" When you find your accountability partner hold on to them for dear life. Even if you don't like to workout, going to the gym with them will be fun and you won't even remember that you hate to exercise.


Just because your bestie lost 40 pounds doing Beachbody or your husband now looks like Hercules because of Body Pump, doesn’t mean those are the right activities for you. If you don’t like a particular exercise routine don’t quit, just CHANGE! Keep looking until you find the thing you don’t hate to attend. Find the thing that turns into something you actually like. For me, it was lifting weights. I absolutely love the feeling of being strong and it keeps me going back. There are too many exercise options to say you don’t like any of them. Keep searching and something is bound to spark your fancy.

Adding exercise into your life helps with stress, depression, heart health, weight control, strength, confidence and just overall health. I know you already know that and it probably doesn't change the fact that you still hate to do it. Here’s the deal, exercise IS the fountain of youth. Movement helps you age more gracefully and the reality is, sometimes you have to do things you don’t really want to do. I guess I leave you with the fact that I know from experience, it's possible to get over your disdain for working out. You just have to take a few steps towards the gym with an open mind, try some of my ideas and give it some time. You won't be disappointed. Well you might be, I’m not your fairy godmother, so I can’t make all things perfect. If you‘re still angry about having to work out, message me and let me know how my advice sucked. As long as you are writing me from the gym, I’m ok with that.

About Author:
As a long time track and field athlete, Courtney Brickner, a certified trainer of more than six years, has helped her clients achieve their fitness goals. “ I have created an app that I use now to work with clients, and have had much success helping them make lifestyle changes that they can stick with.” To learn more about Courtney, visit her website at
Experience: Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Youth Fitness Specialist

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