7 Fitness Struggles I Regularly Face (Even Though I’m a Personal Trainer)

Struggles, challenges, failures…

We all go through them.

It’s part of life and being human.


You might think in regards to fitness, I have it all figured out:

  • I know every single thing about exercise, nutrition, and the body.
  • I’m always motivated to workout and eat right.
  • I never make excuses.

But that’s not the case.

Even though I’m a personal trainer, I still face my fair share of struggles.

And anyone who tells you they don’t is either:

A: Lying

B: A Robot

Today, I’m going to pull back the curtain and share with you 7 fitness challenges I (and you) repeatedly encounter.

Here we go…

Struggle #1: Making Up Silly Excuses in My Head

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve skipped a workout, chosen an easier exercise, or justified eating unhealthy by lying to myself.

Here are some of the things I’ve told myself:

  • It’s thundering and raining, I better not go to the gym.
  • I just finished up an ab workout; I’ll be too fatigued for squats so I better do something else.
  • I can make up for my workout later in the week.
  • I ate a good lunch, what harm will a cookie do?
  • I don’t want to get sweaty and gross.
  • My body needs a break.
  • I’m too sore.
  • I don’t feel like it.
  • I just ate 30 minutes ago.

Basically if I don’t want to do something, I can talk myself out of it with a lame excuse.

This way I won’t have to feel bad about myself for not getting the job done.

However, there’s a reason why I have intentions to workout in the first place.

Do I want to jeopardize my long-term health and goals so I can be lazy today?

Of course not.

If you find yourself making up silly excuses, try this:

Make something the rule, not the exception.

For example, let’s say you want to eat a cookie for lunch.

Normally you’ll tell yourself, “Oh it’ll be just this one time!”

Yet you and I both know it won’t be a one-time thing.

Instead ask yourself, “Do I see myself as the type of person who eats a cookie everyday for lunch?”

Essentially don’t eat the cookie unless you’re willing to always eat a cookie for lunch.

Or if you don’t want to go to the gym you might say, “What harm will skipping one workout do?”

When these thoughts creep into your head ask yourself, “Do I see myself as the type of person who always skips workouts?”

This approach makes things black and white. There’s no grey area for exceptions.

Struggle #2: I Skip Workouts

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At times, you don’t feel like going to the gym.

Even as a personal trainer, I still get this feeling.

Yes there have been plenty of times I went to the gym when I didn’t feel like it, but I’ve also skipped.

It happens with everyone sooner or later.

You get burnt out, don’t see the point, it’s raining, or whatever.

I don’t know the number of planned workouts I’ve skipped over the years, but I do know one thing:

Pay your dues to the weight room so you’ll never have to wonder “what if” later in life.

Stop telling yourself this one workout doesn’t matter.

Because one skipped workout will lead to another and so on and so forth.

All of those missed opportunities add up to the difference between average and exceptional.

If you’re avoiding too much exercise, ask yourself if you bite off more than you can chew.

For example:

Person A: Sets a goal to workout 5 times per week. He misses on average 2 workouts per week.

Person B: Sets a goal to workout 3 times per week. He never misses a workout.

Both of these people workout 3 times per week yet person B is clearly better off.

Why? Because he doesn’t feel guilty about skipping exercise.

Instead, he feels great about himself for hitting his goal each week.

Be sure to start small and work your way up.

Struggle #3: I Eat too Much Pizza and Ice Cream

Clearly I love food. You love food too.

Sometimes we love food a little bit too much.

This tends to be my relationship with pizza and ice cream.

They’re my 2 favorite foods of all time.

Every time I eat these foods, I put myself at risk for overeating.

And that’s not a good thing if you’re trying to stay lean.

You probably have foods you like a little bit too much as well.

Of course no one food is bad enough to ruin your progress—the amount you eat it in can however.

So what can we do to ensure we don’t overeat on foods like pizza?

Here are some ideas:

Fill up on green tea first.

-Fill up on healthy foods first.

-Pick the amount you want to eat and immediately store the rest for later.

Avoid distracted eating.

-Don’t eat at times when your willpower is at its lowest.

Struggle #4: Never Being Satisfied With What I’ve Achieved

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I’ve always struggled with being proud of myself for what I’ve done.

Instead, I’ll always look ahead at what I need to do next or improve upon.

For example, I’ll wish I was a little bit leaner or that my triceps were bigger.

The reality is I’ve achieved a lot over the past 10 years from working out.

I have a six-pack and I’ve gained 30 pounds of muscle since graduating high school.

You likely share the same mentality whether it’s fitness or career related.

We live in a corporate world that’s always trying to push more and more down our throats.

It’s not good enough to lose 20 pounds— you must lose 50 pounds.

Do you bring in a 6-figure income?

Great, now go make 7-figures.

The problem is we think we’ll never be happy until x,y, or z happens.

But when that finally does happen, it’s already time to move onto the next bigger and supposedly better thing.

Yes it’s important to have goals and make progress, but it’s also crucial to take a step back and breathe.

Stop for a moment and be proud of what you have achieved so far in your life. And yes you have achieved a lot:

  • Learning how to walk.
  • Learning how to read and write.
  • Making an A on a hard test.
  • Graduating high school.
  • Going to college.
  • Getting a promotion.
  • Being a parent.

You’re better than you think, so don’t ever be too hard on yourself like I am at times.

Struggle #5: Comparing Myself to Others

Comparing your body to others is a double-edged sword:

  • It can be motivating
  • It can be depressing

Most of the time, it’ll make you sad. When I was a freshman in college, I would always see bigger dudes and think to myself, “Why can’t I look like them?”

Well if my present self could talk to that young freshman, here’s a list of the things I would say:

  • You’re only 19, calm down.
  • These guys come from different backgrounds than you.
  • These guys have more experience than you.
  • These guys have different genetics than you.
  • These guys could be on drugs.
  • There’s always going to be someone bigger than you so who cares?

When you consider all of these factors, comparing your physique to others makes no sense.

Of course the guy who’s 30 and has been lifting for the past 15 years looks better than a beginner like you.

If someone wants to take drugs and you don’t, then good luck getting bigger than them.

Maybe someone gets paid to be a fitness model and you don’t.

Seriously stop comparing yourself to others and only focus on yourself.

Could you only do 5 push-ups last month and now you can do 10?

Great! You’re making progress, and that’s what matters.

Focus on improving yourself day-by- day.

This will be far better than wishing/wanting/envying what others have.

Struggle #6: Making My Health the Priority

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You’re a busy person. I’m a busy person.

People are busy—what a surprise.

We have school, jobs, and families to take care of.

Because of this, we have a tendency to push our health and well being to the wayside.

I know I’m guilty of this.

I’ll tell myself it’s ok to skip this workout or eat fast food so I can have more time to work.

Here’s the kicker:

You can’t be as productive when you’re not healthy and taking care of yourself.

Think about it. Who’s in a better position to be more productive:

Person A: an obese individual who is at a high risk for cardiovascular disease and only gets 5-6 hours of sleep each night, and must drink tons of coffee to stay awake.


Person B: he’s at a healthy bodyweight. He exercises regularly, gets 7-9 hours of sleep, and has plenty of energy naturally.

Clearly it’s person B. We need to stop with the lack of time excuse because that’s all it is—an excuse.

It’s time to make our health the priority, meaning it comes before anything else.

How can you expect yourself to take care of and provide for others if you’re in bad health?

There’s a reason why you put on your air mask first before helping others in an airplane emergency.

Struggle #7: I Lose Motivation

I would love to think of myself as a machine when it comes to fitness.

I go to the gym all of the time and eat healthy 24/7 without a hitch.

Sadly, that isn’t the case for me or you.

I do lose motivation to go to the gym and eat right at times.

I ask myself what’s the point and will it really matter if I don’t exercise right now?

I’ve noticed that I tend to lose motivation when I lose sight of my why for working out.

I want to be the best person I can, and I can’t achieve that if I’m in bad health.

Ask yourself the same question—why do you want to get in better shape?

Likely it’s because you want to look and feel more attractive.

However this reason is too surface level, and motivation for it won’t last long.

Ask yourself why multiple times to get down to the bottom of what it is you really want.

For example:

Why do I want to get in better shape?

So I can look and feel more attractive.

Why do I want to look and feel more attractive?

So others will take notice and feel more attracted to me.

Why do I want others to feel more attracted to me?

So I can go on more dates and start a relationship.

Therefore the real reason someone might start working out is to get more dates—not necessarily to look hot. Whatever your motives, get to the bottom of it and always keep your why in the front of your mind.

Final Thoughts

Getting and staying in shape clearly isn’t easy.

It isn’t easy for me even though I’m a trainer.

I still go through my fair share of ups and downs.

What matters most is staying persistent during the tough times.

Now I’d like to hear your thoughts.

What fitness struggles do you face?

Can you relate to any of my struggles?  

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