How to Exercise When You Don’t Want to – 5 Tips

Do you often struggle with motivation to hit the gym or put on your running shoes?

Do you feel that exercising is a painstaking experience that requires a lot of willpower and motivation to get going?

If you are struggling with motivation to exercise or have a hard time building a consistent exercising routine, then this article is for you. 

After reading this article you will not only learn the tools that will actually help you be consistent with exercising but will make you look forward to it.

Let’s get going.


Before we dive into it, it’s worth mentioning that exercising is probably the single most important habit to build in your life.

We are simply meant to move our bodies, and being a fit and healthy man is a bulletproof way to reach ultimate confidence and inner strength.

That being said, maybe you have experienced setbacks when trying to exercise. 

Maybe you’ve tried hitting the gym, tried to go out running, tried to lose weight, or gain muscle.

But you are most likely reading this article because you haven’t been able to be consistent. Maybe you’ve fallen into your impulses and bad habits and haven’t been able to motivate yourself to keep going.

This is by all means very common and understandable. Unfortunately, people rely way too much on their willpower and motivation to exercise, to eventually give up when it doesn’t exist anymore.

The trick is to build a habit where exercising is automatic, and where you can exercise independently of how you feel. 

That’s the goal of this article and with that, the perfect segway to the first step to exercise when you don’t want to…


1. Focus less on intensity, more on consistency

There are a few factors that hinder you from working out regularly, one of them is setting the bar too high.

So many people fall into the trap of going 150% when they first start exercising. It could be starting to go to the gym for 2 hours every day, or running 10k the first time running.

I’ve personally made this mistake not just when exercising but also when setting goals in general.

Everyone has good intentions and a lot of motivation when wanting to change something in their lives, but they deplete this motivation incredibly quickly through setting the bar too high and going all-in directly. 

There’s nothing wrong with setting the bar to challenge yourself, but you need to set a bar that is actually within your reach.

This requires a lot of humility and honesty with yourself.

If you know you can be honest with yourself, you are one step closer to realizing what you can do rather than what you can’t.

This means that even if you can only do 5 pushups before you are exhausted, then that’s where you start.

Change the way you frame exercise

After you have been honest with yourself on where you stand right now in your fitness level, what you want to do is to change the way you frame exercise.

The trick is to focus more on showing up every day, in other words being consistent, independently of how intense your exercise sessions are.

Back to the pushups example, it could be that you start doing just 5 pushups every day for a week. After that you can do 6 pushups every day for a week, then 7 every day the week after that, and so on…

Forget how intense your workout is, all you want to do is to build the habit of actually showing up and moving your body. Only after you have done that should you focus on increasing the intensity. 

That means that you are changing how you frame exercise going from an intense and dreadful experience to more of a lifestyle and a way of identifying yourself as a healthy individual.

A healthy and fit person is someone who does some form of exercise whether big or small, high intensity or low intensity, every single day.

This can mean anything from walking instead of taking the bus, to doing ten pushups, to hitting the gym or running trail.

Make it a priority to show up every single day, without exceptions, and without any constraints or preconceived ideas about how you are moving your body.

When you have done this you will naturally increase the intensity and work your way up from there.

Take a look at this podcast video down below where André and I talk about this in more detail!


2. Exercise in the morning

Now, this idea might seem very far off from your horizon and a challenge like no other but hear me out.

Exercising in the morning poses incredibly many health benefits that I’ve gone through extensively in this article. But actually, there is one more trick to exercising in the morning that makes it one of the best times of the day to exercise.

It is simply due to the fact that once you are finished exercising in the morning, you have completed the most important task of the day and don’t have to think about exercising later.

Not only this but exercising in the morning will also help frame yourself into a state of mind so that you will make healthier decisions throughout the entire day. 

This in turn will help you achieve your exercise goals exponentially quicker.

When having this healthier framing you will without really noticing it most likely walk more, eat better foods, and maybe even want to exercise again in the afternoon.

Also exercising in the morning and before breakfast will help you burn more body fat and make you more lean and muscular, something that I discuss more in detail in this article here.

… But what about performance?

Some of you might say that exercising in the morning isn’t the best time performance-wise which I do agree with, but that’s not the point of exercising in the morning.

The point of exercising in the morning is to move your body so you can start the day in a healthy frame.

This will in turn help you feel more energized, excited, and inspired, which will make you want to exercise more and live healthier.

Also, the feeling of having breakfast after a morning exercise is a feeling that is incredibly rewarding, and you will feel proud of yourself that you have accomplished one of the most important tasks of the day first.

Now I have already mentioned that exercising in the morning should be framed as moving your body. What I mean by that is that it can be done by doing anything from 5 pushups, to taking a 20 minute morning walk.

Framing the morning exercise as a way to move your body will increase your motivation to exercise when you don’t want to.

André and I discuss more why you should exercise in the morning in this video down below:

However, if you do want to exercise in a way that will unleash the best benefits in the shortest amount of time, then I certainly recommend the following form of exercise…


3. Exercise with HIIT

Exercising with HIIT or high-intensity interval training, is probably one of the best and most efficient ways to get the most benefits of exercise in the shortest amount of time.

Since you might have trouble being consistent with your exercise routine, you most likely want the most efficient way of exercising. In other words, getting the best health benefits in the shortest amount of time.

If so, then HIIT is definitely the way to go.

So you might be wondering what HIIT is, it is basically alternating the intensity in which you exercise from high intensity to low intensity, and repeating that in intervals.

This will maximize the benefits you get from exercise like more strength and burning more body fat.

What this also means is that you can do a really intense workout and get loads of exercising benefits in around 10 minutes of exercise or less.

Also, if you combine HIIT with exercising in the morning and before breakfast, you will get the best of both worlds and maximize your body’s ability to burn body fat.

This will also help you to get more lean, which I dive deeper into in this article here where I share the best tactics to get lean on less than 10 minutes of exercise per day.

However, even with all of these great and life-changing tips we’ve covered so far, one of the most important aspects of exercising with consistency is the following…


4. Have fun with it

Exercise can have a negative cling to it since the word itself instantly entails that you will be in pain and suffer when you exercise.

“I don’t want to exercise because it is boring and painful” might be something you have said to yourself in the past.

I believe that this negative inclination towards exercise is a big factor towards many people having a tough time building a stable exercise routine.

The best way to become consistent with your exercise routine is to connect the experience of exercising with something enjoyable.

This could be in however form you like, for example watching your favorite Netflix series when running on the treadmill, to exercising with friends like playing soccer or tennis.

Personally, I listen to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast when I exercise which makes me look forward to exercising every day.

The whole point is to allow yourself the freedom to choose how you want to exercise and have fun while you’re doing it. 

There is no one correct way to exercise and you certainly have the freedom to have fun while you are doing it.

Ultimately this will help you to look forward to exercising and seeing it as a positive experience.


André and I working out in the early morning!


And the last tip to keep a consistent exercise routine is the following…


5. Track your progress

An extremely motivating factor to continuing to exercise every day is to track your progress.

Tracking your progress will help you to visualize how you are doing and also to motivate you to keep going.

Since we have an easy tendency to forget what we do every day, tracking your progress will definitely keep you motivated since you will see how far you’ve already come.

Also, once you have a streak going you won’t want to break that streak.

You can track your progress in several different ways, for example tracking your reps on an excel sheet or using a workout diary.

I personally use a Numbers spreadsheet to track all my exercises which I feel works great!


And lastly…

So that’s it, those are the five tips I can give you to exercise when you don’t want to.

As a bonus; if you want to exercise to become leaner, gain more strength and muscle, or build a more healthy framing towards life, then I can definitely recommend you sign up for a free coaching call with me.

In this free coaching call, I will guide you on which habits you can implement to become leaner, more muscular, and develop a consistent habit of exercising every day.

Sign up for the free coaching call here!

Also, if you want my personal tips for exercising gear, I have listed my favorites down below:


Gustav’s favorite exercising gear

Clothing (Under Armour)

Long armed sleeve (Men’s tech 2.0)

Long-armed shirt

Shorts, 2 in 1


iPhone Armband Running 


Vivo Barefoot Primus Lite

Exercise Gear

Boxing Ball

Otherwise, I wish you all the best and stay strong, healthy, and happy!


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Hey guys! My name is Gustav and I'm a habit fanatic. Through good habits, I was transformed from a confused young man to finding my true passions and living a life I'm proud of. My favorite habits are waking up at 5 am, cold showering, and journaling. I hope to inspire you to implement the habits, mindsets and beliefs that will fuel your life for the better!

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