So you don’t want to go to the gym today? Is there really a good reason or are you just trying to avoid it? Breaking through those barriers can give you a heightened sense of achievement. Sera Shaw gives your excuses a work out.

I’ve eaten too much junk food

You’ve been good all week but today you’ve stuffed yourself. Don’t be discouraged. Something fatty like chocolate can actually give you energy during your workout; just temper the sugar rush with a protein shake. If you’ve had burger and chips, wait four hours. If you still feel bloated, avoid doing anything involving jumping or twisting. Instead go for intervals on the treadmill or bike.

There’re not enough hours in the day

We all have busy lives – especially in these days of social media, when we’re still working long after we leave the office. Try short burst training to cut down your gym time, or train before work; it can actually help you be more productive. “Training in the morning sets up my entire day,” says Hugh Jackman. “The mental side of what training does for your focus and how you feel when you walk out the door is unbeatable.”

I’m not in good enough shape

The gym can seem intimidating. And when we’re feeling bad, we tend to focus on the fittest people at the gym and feel down on ourselves. Instead, use the gym regulars as inspiration; they were not born with a six-pack either. As Sylvester Stallone admits: “I’m not a genetically superior person. I built my body.” The sooner you stop putting off training, and get into a regime (from the Perfect Fit train section of course), the more quickly you will reach your goals.

I hate the gym

Whether it’s money or location or you just don’t like being cooped up, your own body weight and natural surroundings can give results as impressive as any purpose-built equipment. “I’m very rarely in the gym,” says Ryan Kwanten from True Blood. He enjoys mixing running with shadow boxing, push up planks and jack knives. Even if it’s too hot outside, you can work out at home. You only need a few bits of equipment, a mat and a well-formed plan to get into shape.

I’m too tired

If you’re burnt out and need a rest, don’t feel guilty. Sylvester Stallone points out: “The body needs to rest. It needs a lot less exercise than you think.” But if you’re just feeling sluggish, then exercise can help you to wake up and also to get a good night’s sleep. “I’m not one of those guys who’s afraid to have an espresso before I train,” says Hugh Jackman. “It gives you that little pat you need.”

I’m not making any improvements

Not seeing improvements can be a real motivation killer. Instead of giving up, check that your routine has a good mix of weight training and cardio. Nicole Chaplin, who trains Wyclef Jean, suggests keeping a log of your progress. “When you set your goals, have a time frame of six to eight weeks. Then you can make adjustments if need be or continue on the path you’re on and keep excelling.”

My muscles still ache from the last workout

Soreness in muscles and tendons is usual, especially in beginners. Soreness in the joints is not, so should be checked out. If you’re constantly feeling muscle pain, check you aren’t overworking one body part. “Men over-train their pecs and biceps,” says Harley Pasternak, who trains Robert Pattinson and Robert Downey Jr. “Instead, you should train your body in a balanced way, working all muscle groups evenly to ensure good posture.”

Working out is boring

“Not only does doing the same workout over and over again lead to boredom, it can lead to a plateau in results, or worse, repetitive stress injuries like tendonitis, bursitis or synovitis,” warns Harley Pasternak. To avoid this try changing the number of sets and reps and the resistance of your weights, as this keeps your body guessing. If that doesn’t lift your interest, maybe training with a partner will. Celebrity trainer Nicole Chaplin says: “the fact that someone else is in the same position as you and wants to become more fit, shows that you have similar interests and makes working out even more fun.”

I’ve already reached my target weight/shape

Sustaining the results of years worth of training can be even harder than starting a regime, as you lose the thrill of rapid results. To combat this, redefine your goals. Even trying to beat your personal best each time you train can be enough to help you maintain focus.

I don’t know what to do

Avoidance will not help. At any gym staff will show you what to do and personal trainers are there to help you get the most out of your workout. Even experienced gym goers could do with improving or updating their techniques in order to maximise their resulyes. Chris Powell from Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition says: “No man is an island. If you have a person you can go to, just tell them, ‘Hey, I skipped a workout and it’s been really bothering me.’”

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