Nine Reasons People Stop Working Out (& What To Do About It)

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Mind Pump #1990

In this concise episode, the Mind Pump boys discuss their experiences as to why people stop working out. And more importantly, what to do about it. 

Here are the nine reasons outlined below, with strategies to overcome them:

Lack of Motivation and Interest

As mentioned in last weeks post, this mostly has to do with people hitting their new exercise regime too hard and burning themselves out.

A better strategy is to list the things you want to achieve in your life over a period of a year, and slowly begin to include them in your routines one by one

By doing this, you will fall in love with the consistency and discipline of the workouts, and you will not become bored.

Lack of Time

There is a myth around fitness that you need to do a lot to achieve a lot. Whereas the truth is lesser work often brings better results.

So set yourself time targets which you know you can adhere to. Any exercise is better than none. Even ten minutes per day is still one hour per week. 

As you build that into your weekly routine, you will quickly see the benefits it gives, which encourages you to naturally want to do more


A lot of people say working out is boring.

This is almost certainly because they have chosen the wrong exercise for them.

Again, any exercise is better than no exercise. So if you like to run, or row, or stretch, or walk, or lift weights, or box, or anything. It is all better than nothing. So choose something you actually enjoy doing.

But also remember you do not have to be happy and entertained all of the time in everything you do. Sometimes in life you just need to do things because you know they are good for you.

Stop thinking about the outcome that’s supposed to happen from the consistency of the training. Rather think about what you are doing as learning a skill. It’s a pathway of knowledge which you can get better at as you move forward.

Injuries or Health Issues

Your form of exercise needs to be appropriate for you. 

One of the most common reasons people become injured through exercise is because they are trying to do something which is inappropriate for them. Often over applying intensity, and doing things which their body is not ready for.

So choose your exercise levels and intensity wisely. 

The more you do and the more you go after something intensely, is not how you make progress. That is how you get injured and lose passion for the new skills you are learning. 

Go slowly, build progressively, and think long term.

Financial Issues

This comes about because people think if they want to get in shape, they need to have access to tons of equipment and join a gym. And conversely gyms want you to believe that you need their equipment to get in shape. 

This is a myth which is peddled by gyms to emotionally blackmail you to sign up to their contracts.

You need zero exercise equipment to have an effective workout. There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do with your body. With the right application and intention, you can achieve remarkable results.

Lack of Progress

If you cannot see or feel results, this often comes down to a poorly programmed workout.

People tend to only measure progress by the weight on the scale. Thus ignoring all the other positive effects that are happening within their body such as; getting stronger, having a better mood, better sleep, better libido, less joint pain etc.

Be patient, be easy on yourself and pay attention to everything. Do not just measure the weight on the scale. Measure your progress on all of the metrics mentioned above.

Life Changes

You’ve just had a baby. Your job has just changed. You’re moving house. Etc.

This reason is often used because people do not realise the versatility and the power that comes from exercise and fitness.

You should use fitness to mould and improve the quality of your life, no matter what else is going on.

If a stressful event is happening in your life, you should use your workout as a tool to reduce that stress and make yourself stronger. Maybe dialling back on the regularity of the sessions for a period of time. But do not stop. 

Be flexible and adaptable with what’s currently happening in your life. Whether that be different types of workouts as your life changes, or taking time off when required.

Lack of Accountability

Some studies show that having an external friend or person who supports what you are doing is a valuable asset to continuing a journey of fitness.

How you can do this is by choosing somebody you value, respect, and you know supports what you are trying to achieve. Just tell them you are trying to be consistent, and ask them if they wouldn’t mind checking in on you occasionally to be sure you are remaining on track.

Ideally you should reach a point of being self accountable. But until you find that consistency and discipline, feel free to find an external locus of control who can be highly valuable.

Lack of Proper Guidance and Instruction

There is a deluge of information and misinformation on different exercise techniques. So where do you begin and what to do? How to program? How often? How long? Etc etc etc.

You begin by building habits and behaviours. By simply doing something.

Podcasts and Youtube channels like Mind Pump give you plenty of tips and guidance.

Even just listening to health podcasts on a daily basis is a motivator.

Ultimately there is nothing as valuable as finding and hiring a good coach. Big emphasis here on good coach.


If you would like to expand on the above ideas, listen to this podcast in full and hear the experienced opinions of Sal, Adam and Justin.

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