5 Reasons Why Your Exercise Program Failed and What to Do About...

5 Reasons Why Your Exercise Program Failed and What to Do About It

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Exercise fitness program failed

Whether you did it for health reasons or because you thought it would be cool to be fit, you rushed into the gym, signed up for a membership and went at it “full throttle”. Before long, your motivation fizzled. Days between planned workouts turned to weeks. Your exercise program failed.

Here’s a list of the five most likely reasons why your exercise program failed, and what you can do about it.





Why Your Fitness Program Failed


1. You didn’t have a plan

Most exercise efforts come to naught because most people fail to devise a plan.  You had absolutely no idea of what you wanted to accomplish; you just wanted to be in shape – but no plan to get there!  A plan is the ‘what’ i.e. what do I wish to accomplish with this exercise program?


Devise a plan! What is your ultimate goal? Do you want to lose weight, gain greater flexibility, and improve your cardio conditioning? All of the above? Determine the answers to ‘what’ and you’ll be off and running!


2. You didn’t have goals (if you had a plan)

If you did have a plan but your exercise program failed, it was likely due to an absence of goals. If a plan is the answer to ‘what’, goals answer the questions ‘how’, and ‘by when’?  For instance, how many pounds do you want to lose and by when? Having a plan with no goals is like the skipper of a cruise liner who takes his hand off the wheel and hopes to drift to his destination.


Set goals! Be realistic yet dream big.  First determine where you are – what’s your body fat, body mass index – then it will be easier to determine the ‘what’ and ‘by when’.   Most of the major fitness firms offer free assessments.  If they don’t, find a reputable personal trainer in your area who will.


3. You didn’t know how to use the equipment

At any given time, in any given gym in America, up to eighty percent of the people who are using equipment are doing it wrong.  Including you!  The gym can be overwhelming for most people, including beginners. When you don’t know how to use something, you get frustrated and you quit.  And heaven forbid you should ask anyone for help!


Get some help! Stop acting like you know what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Most gyms have experienced personnel who will gladly show you. Again, ask about a free assessment!


4. You underestimated your conditioning level

The day after your first workout, your muscles were sore as hell! You made the mistake millions of people make when they decide to launch a fitness program: underestimating how out of shape you are. Oh sure, you tended to get out of breath when climbing a flight of stairs; you always feel irritable and tired throughout your workday. But those were more the results of mental fatigue than anything else. When you’re out of shape, it’s whole different ballgame.


Resolve to push through it – sore muscles and all! You didn’t get out of shape overnight and you won’t get in shape overnight, either.


5. You didn’t see instant results and gave up.

You have two choices when launching a fitness program: the long, slow grind to success or instant gratification. Most people opt for the latter – including you! Twenty-five pounds in two weeks? Really?


Stop looking for the easy way.  Think four, eight, and twelve: 4 weeks for you to begin to see minimal changes; 8 weeks for friends and family to see it and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Settle in for the long haul – you’ll appreciate the results it even more.


Here’s the good news!  You can dust off that exercise program and still accomplish your fitness goals!  Follow the above tips and I guarantee you totally solid results!


  1. Eric, I think this is a sound advice. But I can tell a few things that have worked for me.

    I’m 50 now and have been exercising more or less all through my life. I’ve never been to a gym, except when I was in active sport. And I’ve never felt exercise boring.

    MOTIVATION: I think an even better motivator than bodily benefits like strength, weight loss, overall health – is the Joy of exercise. Every living thing loves to move, and that feeling still exists deep inside even if we have been silencing that urge for years. Yeah, there is a strange joy in overcoming difficulties, pain, hunger – whatever.

    This Joy does not require long waiting. It comes right away with your very first step on the running track.

    BOREDOM: I see Max has commented about boredom. But if we remember that we can be listening to our body while running, swimming or doing push-ups, or we can use our imagination to visualize and think of something, let’s say, our business, then boredom is not an issue.

    Don’t focus on weight loss, 6 packs or things. Do focus on that strange joy that exercise gives you! And you will be able to keep on for many years to come.

  2. Hello; this was a most excellent post. I think you covered all the major reasons for failure and offered good suggestions for better results. I do think you should have mentioned something about avoiding boredom by varying your exercise routine. And for me i manage to make it through repetitive motions with a good audio book. I had gastric surgery 13 months ago and the process started 21 months ago. In that time i have lost over 240 pounds with the procedure combined with better diet, regular exercise, positive thinking, meditation, prayer, and support from my friends family and the clinic’s support group. Which reminds me its much easier if you have a work out partner or buddy. I have a crazy doggie who gets upset if i don’t get out of bed and go outside to my exercise equipment in the garage. smile thanks penny. I appreciate the post and look forward to more of them from you in the future. take care, max

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