Why your excuses are BS (Part 1)

Note: I’m in a pretty shabby mood this morning. I expect this post to be at least mildly offensive. If you’re too sensitive for that please read this post some other time or read something more entertaining like this.

Let me start off by saying excuses are a huge load of crap. You know that and, sorry to burst your bubble, everyone else knows that too. This is generally what happens.

  • You say: I really want to workout but I just don’t have the time. Work is so busy you know. (You think: I’m such a freakin bullshitter)
  • He says: Yea. Totally understand. (He thinks: He’s such a freakin bullshitter.)

Obviously I don’t have the patience today to write a story on the topic and so I’ll just pick a few excuses and make the excuse giver feel like crap. That should work for now.

1. I’m at work about 12-14 hours a day. I got no time to exercise.

A workout session takes 10-25 mins depending on what you do. If you’re at work 12-14 hrs a day I’m pretty darn sure you have 20 mins to spare. Maybe you can throw in a quick tabata squat workout (4 min workout) instead of reading about the latest findings on Lady Gaga’s gender?

Let’s put things into perspective here. 13 hours per day at work  is 780 minutes. A workout can be done in 20 mins. That is 2.5% of your time at work! Can’t afford that?

OK. Even if you’re working the entire 13 hrs (yeah right!) and you have to do the workout after work, your work day gets longer by 2.5%. Compare that to the extra 10 years your life span will increase by. 2.5% increase in work day for a 15% increase in life span. Sounds like a good deal to me!

2. I don’t “workout”. I just run.

So? That makes you fit? That makes you healthy? Bananas!

Sorry to dump water on your head when you’re loving that runner’s high, but just running ain’t gonna make you fit. Clocking in miles after miles day after day will hurt you more than help you. Been there done that. If you’re running enough to ice your knees at least once every week you’re overdoing it. And no, distance runners are not the healthiest folks on the planet.

Make no mistake, a healthy dose of running is awesome and has great cardiovascular benefits and muscle stimulating effects. But that is, if done right. What is running right? How much running is good? That is a subject for a whole new blog post.

Enough of the ‘jogging’ nonsense. Grow a pair and start sprinting. Women folk don’t need to grow nothing. Just start sprinting. And by the way, if you proudly say “I eat junk. Then I burn it off by running” you’re no different than the retarded skinny chic suffering from bulimia nervosa (binge eating followed by barfing).

3. I’m on the road a lot. It’s impossible to stay in shape.

You know who else is on the road a lot? This guy!

This is Mike Rowe. I seriously doubt that you travel more than this guy does. This is how he stays in shape. No gyms, no body sculpting classes. Just good old prisoner cell workout. If he can do it, you can do it.

4. I’m a working mom. Trust me you don’t know what it takes to work full-time and take care of a kid. Working out or watching what I eat is the last thing on my mind.

I truly appreciate the effort you put in to ensure that there is enough money in the bank and the husband doesn’t get the maid pregnant and the kids don’t do drugs. But this is no reason to look like a hippo. Eating clean will shed most of your flab and you know it. Doing a 20 min workout three times a week and walking for an hour on the other days will help you shed the remaining flab. Check out these workouts for some ideas.

By the way ”I have to finish up  my kid’s plates” is the stupidest statement ever. Excess food is better off in the trash than in your body as fat. Still feel bad about wasting food? Save it and donate it to the less fortunate or make just enough food next time.

5. I don’t know which gym to join. One gym has awesome classes and a pool but the other one has a bad-ass weight room and a sauna. Oh shit this third gym is 10% cheaper but they have no bun shaping classes!

How about no gym?A gym is not a requirement to get fit. You can stay super fit and healthy by doing home workouts which require little to no equipment. Check out this and this for no equipment workouts you can do in your house without having to pay a fortune for a fancy gym that has an Olympic size pool you will probably never use.

Have random stuff laying around in the house? Try something like this. Got nothing but a dumbbell? How about this? Paid for a treadmill? One of these should work. Want something more intense and well-rounded? Check out p90x.

There is one and only one requirement to get fit and stay fit – motivation. If you care about living healthy (and in turn keeping your family healthy) you will find ways to eat right and stay active. Excuses are just your way of fooling yourself. Remember – your body is the only thing that will stay with you forever. Not your car, not your cat, not your kids and definitely not your excuses. Take good care of it today and it will serve you well for a long long time to come.


PS: I’ve got at least another 50 such excuses in my inbox. I’ll address them in future posts.

19 responses to “Why your excuses are BS (Part 1)

  1. Najeed Khan September 15, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    You’ve all the right information and intention but my 2 cents to you would be to provide the right marketing message. To put it plainly, people don’t care a crap about how healthy they are when they are young because they know they are young and their body can take whatever shit they throw at it. And when they are older, they just don’t have the energy that they’d have had had they taken care of themselves when they were younger. Not many have the insight to look out for the last 15% of their life that you are saying they’d gain out of taking care of their body when they are young. They’d rather “live life” when they can than exist in the end, if you know what I mean.

    That said, I agree that everyone needs motivation to stay fit. So, now the question is how would you sell it to them? What kind of incentive would you offer that would be attractive to them? (You’re a freakin bullshitter doesn’t count!) Unless you put it in the right perspective, you’d just be talking to a wall.

    • Najeed Khan September 15, 2010 at 11:37 pm

      By the way, I just felt it was ironic that you started your post with an excuse! Haha. There should be no excuse to be “mildly offensive” too! 😉

    • RG September 16, 2010 at 9:00 am

      Naj –

      1. ‘You can only expose someone to information. Getting smarter is up to that person’ Similarly you can only tell folks you’re effin retarded to be eating certain things on a day to day basis. Whether they buy it and make a change or not is not in my hands.
      2. I ain’t selling shit… well at least not yet 😉 Incentive for people to train is in their lives. Honestly, if you’d rather be fat and work 16hrs a day and die rich at 55 then you’re probably on the right track. It’s about personal choices.
      3. Motivation is not something I can sell or hard sell. I can ‘provide’ motivation and information. How both these are received is once again in the readers hands.
      4. Oh I know I’m talking to a wall. But guess what? Some folks can hear me from the other side and they try to listen harder and the magic works for them. Theyve gotten leaner, stronger and healthier. This is probably 10% of the folks that read this stuff… but that’s still great return for investment.

    • Tarun September 16, 2010 at 8:48 pm

      Problem is; your body has so many mechanisms to cover up for your abuse that by the time you really see the symptoms, you have gone way ahead. This is why the next piece of cake you eat will not have a direct consequence. God forbid; when it does, you are already close to giving up on yourself.

      I dont go to the gym but made a little rule for myself that I had when I was in CA as well. Any radius less than 3 miles – bike. I have done that for most of my grocery shopping including Costco. It prevented my wife from buying too much because there is only one backpack worth of goods we could buy 🙂

  2. Pooja September 16, 2010 at 4:34 am

    @Najeed, sorry to butt in. I couldn’t help but notice your statement about the “marketing message”, and how being fit and all should be sold in a nice way to people. I don’t think anybody can sell motivation, and nobody needs to. If you want to stay fit, you will, no matter what.
    @Raj, liked this post. Especially the part about the girl who eats crap and says she will work it off, being no better than someone with bulimia, so true. I have heard that a lot!

  3. george September 16, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Hi.. I am also frm chennai.. over the last 2 yrs done / doing a lot of running.. inspite of which Im putting on a paunch… your posts are very interesting.

    1\ what is your name?

    2\ I have been injured by running couple of times.. and I think my body is v inflexible.. so what would you recommend to build up on flexibility and fitness in general

    3\ what would you recommend as the fastest way to loose a paunch?

    many thanks!

  4. Vivek September 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    From my experience with running, which is pretty long ( from 2003-2008). During those years, I logged in atleast around 300 miles per year, it single handedly improved most aspects of my overall fitness ( speed, co-ordination, agility, lateral movement and flexibility )This I could translate to other sports as well such as squash, badmintion and tennis. I could beat most guys due to my improved fitness alone . Back in those days ( 2003-2005), when i was not aware of interval training workouts.
    I do agree it can be an overkill if done too much , but it is like anything else in life isnt it . Anything you overdo , is not good for you , including yoga ( if you overstretch ).

    • RG September 16, 2010 at 10:04 pm

      Note that I mentioned…
      “Make no mistake, a healthy dose of running is awesome and has great cardiovascular benefits and muscle stimulating effects. But that is, if done right. What is running right? How much running is good? That is a subject for a whole new blog post.”

      300 miles per year is ~ 6 miles per week which is less than a mile per day. I’m talking about people clocking in 15 to 20 (to even 50) miles every week.

      Yes… you can overdo anything. But consider the number of people who overdo yoga and the number of people who overdo running (and end up with shin splints and heal spurs and knee replacements). It is extremely common to over do running.

      I’m not against running in anyway. As a matter of fact, I did a 2mile run as a warm-up this evening. I’m against ‘chronic cardio’… which is bascially running (or doing some cardio) as a way to burn off the excess calories consumed. Eating a 1000 calorie burger should not mean running 10 miles. This is not sustainable.

      Running is awesome and definitely has its place in fitness. But it is far far away from being the be-all-end-all of fitness.

      • mahesh September 17, 2010 at 6:43 am

        @ Vivek: Nice that you have pointed out : “Anything you overdo , is not good for you”. Also I agree that running is awesome and your overall fitness improves tremendously. But Raj is mentioning about the people who just run to be fit.
        There is this how much factor here. Do we need to overstress yourself this much? After all, its all for fun right. We dont want to get injured. I have realised over the last 9-10 years of running that its much much better to run optimum and be fit rather than aimlessly running more and cranking out miles with poor running form just because all others are doing it. At the end of the day its not the question of who has run more miles. Its just being fit.
        @ Raj: Nice post. Also I like the chain of comments especially for this topic of chronic cardio. I know you have a separate post dedicated for that and I’ll make it short here.
        I have been a distance runner myself and still am one but just that the magnitude of running miles has come down a lot. I used to run atleast 30-40 miles per week, have run a number of 5K’s, 10K’s, full and half marathons. After my last full marathon in Oct 2008 I realized that I hit the wall. I over stressed myself. Despite stretching and doing yoga I suffered from Hamstring Tendonitis (takes a very long time to heal; years too, sometimes surgery is required) for almost a year until Oct 2009. It was very painful as I couldnt run full marathons during that time or for that matter go out and run long distances. During my recovery period, I learnt a lot about overall fitness and discovered lots of activities that can make me fit. So, as you have rightly pointed out, the bottom line is running is awesome if its done in moderation and most importantly its not the “only” way to be fit. Hope people understand that and are sensible.

  5. mahesh September 17, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Its funny that people give excuses. I definitely wont agree to that. It all boils down to priority. Either they are lazy or dont want to. I wont buy if a person says he doesnt have 20 mins of his time in a day. Thats an egregious lie !!!!
    I have gone for workouts before every major events in my life so far. Even during the week of my PhD dissertation defense, I was in my lab doing pushups, body weight squats, lunges, burpees to get a quick 15 minute workout to keep the blood flowing to my brains 🙂

  6. Mike September 18, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I love it! Discipline! Discipline! Discipline!

  7. Pingback: Why your excuses are BS (Part 2) « Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

  8. Daphne March 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I love you!!! I get so sick and tired of hearing these excuses (for both Part I AND Part II) sometimes I just want to rip their heads off. If anything, the excuse I hear the MOST is from other first-time moms (and there are puh-LENTY!) is: “Oh… I’m still planning on having more kids. I’ll just get that over and done with before I start trying to get in shape. You know, get my ‘fat years’ over and done with instead of going through it again and again.” Seriously… fingernails on a chalkboard… 😛

    • RG March 29, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      Haha! Excuses are all BS arent they!

      Thank you for the comment. This reminds me to write a couple more posts in this topic!

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