The Most Common Reasons Your Fitness Plan Keeps Failing

Learn how to identify and overcome these common exercise obstacles

We all have our favorite excuses for avoiding the gym. 

I'm too tired. There's no time. I forgot my sneakers. I just don't feel like it.

We can blame a lack of desire to exercise on almost anything we want, but as The American Council on Exercise (ACE) points out, our excuses really boil down to the fact that it’s our brains that are holding us back from reaching our goals.

The mind is often the main obstacle, so we have to develop strategies that can help us overcome not only the extrinsic roadblocks that frequently get in our way, but the mental hurdles, too.

To help you learn how to identify and overcome these issues, we collected a list of ten common obstacles that often pop up on the road to fitness success, including a few that were recently deemed the most common by the expert professionals at ACE.

These are the top reasons your fitness plan might be failing.


The experts at ACE found that for many, stress is (ironically) the number one exercise deterrent. It’s ironic because when you’re feeling stressed from the taxing hurdles that everyday life throws your way, exercising is one of the best thing you can do to help your mind and body unwind and relax. “Exercise helps alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression and helps boost your mood, enabling you to cope with whatever you’re facing,” the ACE experts said. 

Unrealistic Expectations

“It takes at least six weeks of regular exercise and sometimes more for physiological changes to kick in,” the experts at ACE explain. Basically, you can’t begin a new exercise plan and then feel defeated when you haven’t reached your goal after just one or two weeks. You’re more likely to quit when you’re feeling disappointed with yourself, but this can easily be avoided by making sure that you understand how much time it will really take to achieve the results you want by “setting realistic goals” and “practicing extreme patience.” The experts at ACE say that after some time you'll know you're on the right track because you're workouts will start to feel easier.

Click here to see more of the most common exercise obstacles.

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