What’s your exercise excuse? We surveyed 2,000 UK adults who work out at least once per week, to reveal the top reasons for avoiding the gym and giving in to tempting treats.
Almost three quarters of the UK don’t have gym membership, but why?
17% of people claim they feel intimidated by other gym users and two thirds deem the gym to be too expensive.
67% of people in Aberdeen are adamant that their excuse for avoiding the gym is the cost of it, despite the rise of no-frills, low-cost membership options at budget gyms.
Figures reveal that women have the most concerns in regards to joining a gym: almost a quarter said they would feel self-conscious compared to just 14% of men. Furthermore, over a fifth of females also revealed that they find the gym intimidating, whereas just 12% of men admitted to this.
The problems start to show up when we assess Crossfit’s training methodology. One of the most important principles we learn as trainers is the SAID (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand) principle. The high level of variability in Crossfit’s programming means there is potentially very little specificity other than the workout itself.
25-34 year olds are the most likely to feel awkward or uneasy going to the gym, whereas more people aged 65 and over said they would feel confident.
Undeterred by their concerns, more women own gym membership than men. Their biggest motivation is to improve appearance, yet 37% would be willing to shun their gym sessions for social commitments.
Do we give in too easily? Almost half of respondents revealed that their top excuse for swerving a workout was because they felt too tired to train, and the majority would be willing to quit to make time for work commitments.
Being in a relationship wouldn’t stop the workouts though. Under 10% of respondents would be willing to give up the gym if they were in a comfortable relationship.
Of the 64% of people in the UK who go to the gym, 24-34-year-olds are the most likely to go. 57% will train six or more times a month, costing them between £240 and £360 each year.
Almost 70% of people in Birmingham have a gym membership – the highest percentage within the UK. But Leicester takes the title for the most committed gym-goers, where over 80% of members train more than six times a month.
What about our waistlines? Despite dedicating time to physical exercise, almost a quarter of us admit to six or more cheat days per month, with a preference for pizza.
A third blame unhealthy eating habits on a lack of time to prepare meals ahead of work, 18% justify turning to treats because of their home environment and a further 15% say it’s down to the bad influence of their work colleagues.
More than 80% of people are motivated to exercise to improve health and wellbeing – but it seems that work and social commitments are to blame for making us too tired to train.