exercise · living · motivation

It’s not me. It’s you.


Breaking up is hard to do. Losing something that once gave you so much happiness brings mixed emotions and often, guilt. This goes not only for relationships between people, but also the relationship you may have with fitness. I have tried my share of gyms, fitness routines, and styles of work outs and it doesn’t get any easier when I realize it is time to break up.

I was recently at my local gym where my husband and I spin on Saturdays. I saw a family friend laying on top of a bosu ball struggling under 25 lb. dumbbells as a trainer was saying “Do, um, 2 sets of 20…” I watched from a distance listening to the trainer and I saw that she was not alone. There were at least 8 other people doing a variety of moves. Most had poor form, some were lifting way beyond their ability, and all looked miserable including the trainer. I cornered my friend and asked her if she liked her training. She let out a sigh and continued to tell me a few things which I am summarizing here:

  • I am not seeing results
  • They are not modifying moves based on my limitations
  • We have not discussed goals
  • We don’t really discuss my diet
  • I am not enjoying my workouts
  • I feel I am spending too much for too little

Just like in relationships, circumstances change and you need to reevaluate your happiness and if what is going on is ultimately going to make you better. Everything she said screamed that it was time for her to break up with her current fitness routine. If you feel similar about your fitness routine, then it may be time to reevaluate. Let’s look at each point in a little more detail.

  1. I am not seeing results. Whether it be weight loss, muscle tone and definition, or to gain overall strength, you should be seeing slow and steady progress. If you aren’t or if you find you are actually getting weaker, it may be time to move on to a new workout. Remember, results take time to see but if you have been working out consistently and trying your hardest and STILL aren’t seeing results, then that is a bad sign.
  2. They are not modifying moves based on my limitations. Whoa boy. This not only is a sign for a break up but is a prescription for injury. Any good trainer or training program will be sure to ask you about your overall health and modify movements based on any injuries or limitations you may have. A good training program will challenge you physically but not at the expense of your well-being
  3. We have not discussed goals. This is the worst of all offenses in my opinion. Who doesn’t ask someone WHY? Why are you here and what are you looking for? Those are essential questions any good trainer or training program should be asking. And if you are just doing group fitness classes at the gym, then your goals should be something you discuss with yourself and assess if they will be obtainable.
  4. We don’t really discuss my diet. Since diet and exercise go hand-in-hand it is super important that you have some sort of discussion with your trainer about it. Remember my post on how diet is key to success? Whether it is weight loss or fueling your workouts properly, a diet discussion is imperative.
  5. I am not enjoying my workouts. WARNING: YOU SHOULD NEVER NOT ENJOY YOUR WORKOUTS! Sometimes they are tough, sometimes you may not feel like being at the gym, but you should never feel unhappy with your workouts. This one would be the major sign that it is time to break up with your trainer. Just like in a relationship, the moment that it becomes unenjoyable (note: I didn’t use the word “difficult” because sometimes workouts and relationships are), it may be time to reevaluate.
  6. I feel I am spending too much for too little. Money doesn’t grow on trees and most likely you are spending money for your gym membership or trainer. Some are more expensive than others. No matter what, you should feel like you are getting out of your membership the most that you can and that you are paying for a “good” that gives you back a greater return. You wouldn’t waste money on nothing, right? So you shouldn’t do that with exercise.

I hope that I have convinced you to examine your relationship you have with your trainer/gym/etc. It isn’t easy to do or walk away from. It may be easier to convince yourself to stay but I am telling you, it is natural for your wants and needs to change over time. It is natural to “fall out of love” with a workout or trainer and it is okay to walk away, especially for the outlined reasons.


Question of the Day:

Are you liking your workouts? Is it time to break up with yours?


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