What is Your “Secret Excuse” for Not Being in Great Shape?

January 27, 2008

If you are not in great shape, you probably have a few excuses. You have been telling yourself these excuses so long that you actually believe them. I am going to kick you in the butt a bit in this post…and it may hurt. My goal is for you to dig down and find out the “real reason” you have struggled to get in shape. Time to blow away all the smoke and reveal the root of your faulty belief system and attack it!
a girl telling another girl a secret
[Lana is explaining to her friend that she secretly has a crush on David Hasselhoff…and really loves “Jump in My Car”…Don’t Ask!]

What is Your Number One Excuse?

Most people say they don’t have enough time to stay in great shape. The reason I don’t believe this is that I see what a lot of these people do in their spare time. If you were honest with yourself, you know that you could make the time. It comes down to priorities. I realize that a lot of people probably can’t workout 5-6 times per week, but you can get in tremendous shape off 3 times per week, if your diet is clean.

Eating Well Doesn’t Require a Bigger Time Commitment

If anything, eating healthy foods will take less time…not more time. So let’s say that for some reason, you have 3 jobs and really can’t find time to exercise. If that is the case, focus on having a flawless diet. Eating goes a long way towards getting a sexy body. People seriously underestimate how important diet is. If you are at a point in your life of being this busy, I would recommend evaluating your life a bit. Life is too short to work that hard!

“But I Have A Slow Metabolism, Bad Genetics”, Etc…

I can tell you this for sure. There is someone who has tougher obstacles than you and who is also in outstanding shape. Almost every person I meet who says that they have a “slow metabolism” eats poorly. It is like they give up and just eat like mad. A “what’s the use” attitude is very destructive. I can tell you this beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt…if I took the brain of a fit person and put it in the body of the person with a “slow metabolism”, that person would become fit in a matter of months.

Your Mind is Holding You Back, Not Your Body

Everyone uses “body based” excuses for not being in great shape. The reality is that it is your mind that needs to be worked on. If you are in the right frame of mind, you will get in outstanding shape. I always think along these lines…”Do what most people are unwilling to do, and get better results than the majority of people”. If you consistently do what 99% of the population is unwilling to do, you will be in the top 1% when it comes to hitting any goal. Next time you get home from work and feel too tired to work out, ask yourself what most people would do. You want to achieve more than them, so get off your butt and hit the gym!

A Fitness Black Book Bonus: I hate to do this to you, but I have to put up that David Hasselhoff video I was referring to in the picture caption. This video redefines the definition of “terrible” in the dictionary. It is actually so bad it’s good! Wait until he starts dancing about a minute into the video!

----> (New) Facebook Comments..."Cause all the cool kids are doin' it!"

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Lorna January 27, 2008 at 5:56 pm

I love it. This past season I had a new excuse why I should skip workouts and the result is on me now :(. I am back on track now and am already seeing results. Also, many out of shape ppl have “resistance syndrome.” They just cannot give into a new regime bc it is intimidating.

Ron January 27, 2008 at 6:23 pm

I don’t recall the Knight 2000 (the car – KITT is actually the onboard computer – thank you, Wikipedia!) was made in Europe. What’s with the steering wheel being on the right side?

Helder January 27, 2008 at 6:37 pm

You’ve hit the target Rusty, the number one reason is simply lazyness, yes getting fit takes effort, and that´s a hard thing to overcome to most people, they´re always tempted to stay watching tv or drinking a beer and talking, instead of working out. I think it will be hard to change minds, that´s why we have so few fit people in the world. I always try to convince my friends to workout, but most of them never do, there’s no hope for them LOL

Jeff January 27, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Right again Rusty. All my overweight coworkers eat like crap (soda, white flour fried, processed etc.) and cite genetics and lack of time for not being fit. Oh well… less competition. Cause and effect in action. JR

Peter January 27, 2008 at 10:20 pm

hey rusty, my roomate is a FAT SLOB who always talks about how he’ll get in shape “next year” or when the “baby fat” comes off. He has the body of an oompa loompa, wears sweatshirts from army supply store, never showers and wonders why he can’t get chicks and why all the “gay looking dudes” get the girl! Life is so much easier when you don’t make excuses, I am proud to be part of that 1 percent that has enough discipline to not have excuses and actually buckle down and stay disciplined. It has helped me in all areas of life, not just the gym.

admin January 28, 2008 at 5:33 am


Yeah…taking responsibility for your results in life is empowering. Now you can do what it takes to get lean and fit.


See…I knew you would discuss Knight Rider with me!

“Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless,the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.”


The best thing you can do is set a good example. If you are really fit and at the beach for instance, you may motivate a total stranger to want to get in shape as well. There really is nothing you can say to make people want to get in shape, you just have to look great and some people will follow your lead.


What is crazy is how many people eat fast food every day at work. No wonder why there is such a rise in obesity. Like I mentioned to Helder the best thing you can do is be healthy and fit…you will eventually convert a few people.


Hopefully your roommate will “see the light” and eventually decide to get in shape. You could really be a great role model for him. Don’t push him, but you could ask him every now and then…at some point he may change his mind.

Sounds like you guys are doing great…keep being positive role models!


Álvaro January 28, 2008 at 6:48 am

Hello Rusty,

First of all, I would like to thank you for the phenomenal work you do on this site. I had been looking for something like this for a really long time!

Now down to bussiness. I live in Spain, Madrid actually, which is a really big and crowded city for the standards of my country, and I am in my last year in college. I have a naturally slim body so I managed to stay in fairly good shape troughout my college years despite all the partying. My problem is that I am now in the middle of one of three months each year when I am absolutely consumed by my studies (because of the exams) and I really struggle to find the time to work out.

I am lucky enough to live near a park, so whenever I can I just grab my iPod and go running, or I play tennis, but lately I am having trouble creating a workout routine, you know. My problem is that I’m really not a big fan of the gym. If I could choose, I’d take running every day over working out in the gym. Plus now I think I should lose maybe 4-5 pounds to be in my “natural” shape, so that you get an idea.

I guess I could find maybe one hour a day, three days per week to work out, and maybe some extra time in the weekend if I am not really busy. It would be great if you could give me some advice as to how I should plan the exercise. I have no problems following a diet, but I still need to feel like I have the energy to study real hard, so choosing the right diet is also tricky. Any help would be great 😉

Thanks a lot, and keep up the good work!

Greetings from Spain,


Helder January 28, 2008 at 10:47 am

I don’t think that will work Rusty, i think it gives me even more motivation, but to most of my friends no. I’ve heard this sentence many times on the beach: ” i would like to look like you” and then i try to make them workout with me, but no, most of them are still lazy, i think it just motivates me to keep fit, but the best thing is still the way girls look at you when fit.

admin January 28, 2008 at 10:52 am


First of all…Spain is in my top 5 places that I want to visit. I hear that your country is amazing. From what I’ve been told, Spain has some of the friendliest people in Europe. Also, I know that the beaches are amazing and they are filled with beautiful women. I also enjoy staying up late into the night and dancing to some bumping techno…I hear the clubs there are outstanding. Okay…enough about your awesome country…on to your question!

What would I do if I were you? I would basically do just what you described…I would run on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. As far as eating goes…I would eat a super light breakfast…or just a breakfast of fruit only. When you eat a fruit only meal on an empty stomach it really gives you a sustained level of energy, you should give it a try.

When you are studying during the day, sip on green tea. It is a low level of caffeine that will keep you alert all day for studying. Snack on fruit throughout the day as you get hungry. You will be surprised at how alert and focused you will be when your stomach isn’t busy digesting a bunch of food.

I would run for an hour in the late afternoon on an empty stomach. After you come back, enjoy a fabulous Spanish meal. Feel free to eat a pretty decent sized portion. Wait 30 minutes and then hit the books again.

This is kind of a “fruit fast” with a nightly meal. This would be a great thing to do for three weeks. At the end of these 3 weeks, you should be slightly leaner than you are now. The fruit only diet during the day is really going to detoxify your system to a certain extent. You will have the energy and focus to study hard and kick butt on your tests!

Hope that helps and thanks for the compliment. I’m excited to have you as a reader,


admin January 28, 2008 at 10:54 am


It is tough work being this sexy!

Oh well 🙂

Have a great one and “rule the beach”!


Álvaro January 28, 2008 at 11:57 am

Hey Rusty,

Thanks for answering so soon, and also thanks for the great advice!

By the way, you are right, my country is awsome as far as beaches, women and friendly people go ^_^ I think it’s something that most of the mediterranean countries share, it may be in our genes to have this philosophy of life, you know, what’s the point of working so hard if you don’t have the time to enjoy afterwards?

Anyway, about your advice, that’s basically what I’ve been doing for the past few days, having a fruit only breakfast and eating as lightly as I could during the day. I will switch to green tea, because until now I’ve been on coffee, and sometimes I get a little nervous if I’ve had too much of it. I think I’ll stick to this plan, and we’ll see how it goes 😉

Just one more thing, on the days I don’t work out, should I eat the same way as the others?

Thanks again, and by the way, I hope you can find the time to visit Spain soon, you will certainly have a great time! You have a friend in Madrid if you ever stop by.



Angie January 28, 2008 at 12:23 pm

The workouts are no problem for me, its the eating! I sometimes tell myself, “oh I can eat this, I had a hard workout this morning” but then I find myself not only saying it for one meal, but all the rest of the days meals…thats not a good way to look at it. I doesn’t work that way…

katie January 28, 2008 at 1:14 pm

haha, rusty i love this!! you’re like a motivational speaker and fitness guru rolled into one 🙂

Ron January 28, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Peter & Heder,

Just be glad it’s a roommate or co-worker and not a relative. I’ve got a sis & bro-in-law that are tragically obese and no one can do a thing to change them. Hell, even his diabetes barely made a dent in their dieting habits.

As for Rusty’s mention of the fruit only breakfast, I’ve got to agree from experience! When I was living in AZ, I used to take a diet Pepsi with me to work in the morning. Then I started taking fruit smoothies instead. I think I felt every bit as awake with that, if not more. Ok, so that’s protein powder, fruit & yogurt and usually milk or OJ, but you get the idea.

Knight Rider… Best TV theme song ever.

Talk about geeking-out…my grandmother had a Knight Rider talking car with action figure in the box. I was so upset when she gave it to my very young (a kid) cousin.

Geek on,

Helder January 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm

LOL still have to wait for the summer, it’s too cold now, it is tough but it’s really really worth it

Burak January 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm

I just got some Wendy’s for the first time in 4 months and I’m about to go lift and run…what were we talking about again? Oh yeah…

It is difficult to look at your weaknesses and address them directly. Not many people can do that. For any of you still in school, just think about how you react to getting back an assignment or test with a bad grade on it. Do you read it through and learn from it? Do you put it away and just say you’ll do better next time?

What I found out about myself is that I’d push it to next time, but next time never came. Finally woke up and found Rusty’s stuff here shortly afterwards. Requires dedication, because there are no easy fixes, but at least this site explains how to get to my goals.


Alethea January 28, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Is the music video a joke? For an SNL skit or something?

Ron January 28, 2008 at 9:01 pm

By the way…went to the gym today. Weighed myself before I worked out. Clocked in at 145.

Did the shoulders/bis/tris, followed by some HIIT (apparently the treadmills have a speed interval button – so that makes things easier), followed by some swimming.

Now, here’s my confusion. I weighed myself afterwards and it came out to around what appeared to be 141. Did I seriously lose 4 pounds of water weight? What’s going on?

So… How much do I weigh?

Oh, and I forgot to mention I was probably in my early 20s when she gave him that Knightrider car. 🙂

admin January 28, 2008 at 11:44 pm


Thanks a bunch! When I hit Madrid, I’ll look you up. I think at times at should have been born near the Mediterranean (or Australia). I love your outlook on life!


Haven’t hear from ya in a while! Eating is probably the toughest part for sure! Quick plug…here is Angie’s site (http://www.womensdietandfitness.com/). I like promoting people who make comments on a regular basis.


Thanks for the compliment. I just try to dig deep into why more people aren’t in good shape. I want to help as many people as possible…and I attack this goal at many different angles. I want just want the whole world to be a bit “sexier”!


Geeks like us are taking over the planet. Knight Rider rules…almost as much as Battlestar Galactica or The Sarah Connor Chronicals! Sounds like you had a brutal workout…you really can lose a few pounds of water weight in your workout, which means that you are on the right track as far as intensity goes.


Don’t you love summer? I do…big time!


Thanks buddy. The truth is tough, but it is the only route to excellence.


No…he actually released this video. I’m, sure he knows it was a bit cheesy, but it is real. Kind of scary.


Tee January 29, 2008 at 4:36 am

Your absolutely correct, EVERYONE has their excuse. I feel like, I’ll fail at weight loss so I have that “why bother” attitude. or the time excuse. All that time and energy complaining and I could’ve been close to my goal by now. If it’s not one thing its another.

I try to just DO…before the doubt sets in, because once im moving, I won’t want to stop.

And let me tell you, theres NOTHING like a picture of yourself to put things into perspective. I always thought “Oh, its not that bad.” That picture says otherwise.

Hulbs January 29, 2008 at 6:17 am

Great Post Rusty,

And that may be the worst (or is that best. lol.) music video every produced!

I’m also gald that I’m in that rare 1% of disciplned people who aren’t afraid of sacrifice to accomplish amazing goals. I have only recently adapted my single minded discipline to my fitness/diet with amazing results that i never would have believed possible in hindsight.

But thinking about it more I shouldn’t be as surprised with my progress as I am as I have previously (and continue to do so) used this intense discipline to achieve very satisfying financial/wealth related goals. In fact success in finances and fitness aren’t really that different. Its all about the numbers (i.e. Income/Calories vs Spending/Exercise.

Of course the major difference being that with fitness we wish to have a calorie deficeit not a surplus!


admin January 29, 2008 at 11:03 am


Yeah…pictures can be very revealing. I love it when people think that they look way different in real life than they do in pictures. It really isn’t the case. Pictures give a very realistic view of yourself.


Great comment. I guess I’m doing the same thing as you but in reverse. Got in great shape first in now using those same principles to become financially successful. These are the same principles that work to hit any goal…”do the right task, even when you don’t feel like it”.

Have a great one guys!


Hulbs January 29, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Thanks Rusty,

Another important thing I realise is when I was trying to get into ‘financial shape’ I realised that I needed a ‘mentor’. In other words someome who had already done what I wanted to achieve (not someone who just talked the talk) and was happy to part their knowledge.

Now re. fitness it wasn’t until I found your site Ruty that I finally found my fitness mentor and I have achieved amazing results since. Until then I was ‘flying blind’ not really knowing what I was doing and only 1/2 motivated.

Mentors are very important in all aspects of life and I sincerely thank you Rusty for being mine.



Jennifer January 29, 2008 at 4:50 pm

In relation to what Hulbs said, I find the more dedicated a person is to their fitness and health, usually the more dedicated they are to other areas of their lives as well. If a person has the gusto and self-motivation to get and STAY in shape, I am convinced they can accomplish almost any goal they set their sites on (as long as their work reflects their desire to reach the goal)!

On another note, I worked out today during my lunch break (I am my own boss so I can do things like workout at lunch!) and I created this crazy little HIIT circuit at my gym with jump rope, a step that I was using to jump over, a resistance band that I tied around my calves to do lateral shuffles, a medicine ball to do jump squats with along with other “athletic” moves and I also did some shuttle-runs (these were absolutely killer).

I did the above moves for about 1 minute each and then rested for a couple of minutes (walked around a bit) and then I repeated the whole sequence for a total of 4 sets.

By the end of the workout I was totally drenched in sweat (sounds gross but it was actually pretty hot!) and it was a lot more fun than jumping on the machine and hitting autopilot.

yavor January 29, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Yup, I also have my excuse. It sounds something like: “If I only fix this issue, then I will get back and excel at all these OTHER areas.”

But now I am thinking, what if the issue is unfixable? (yea I made up a word lol). Why not be my best in spite of this?

Rusty, you are a positive influence, thanks!

Ron January 29, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Wait…so I haven’t lost any weight yet? I still weigh 145? Man! Seems like it’s taking forever.

john January 29, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Rusty, you are really on to something here. I am a model here in nyc and I can tell you with 100% honesty that every single one of my collegues, male and female, makes an effort to maintain a beautiful body, either by way of productive excercise and a sound eating plan.

How important is a fit persons mindset for all of you that may wonder? The person with the best body I ever knew scoffed at the idea of eating junk food. Almost as if it were below him. ” I never eat junk, only healthy” He would say. He just ate proper amounts of healthy food for his size (about 185 lbs and lean enough to see his pancreas pumping insulin)….
That being said… you must love your body so much you must refute putting anything into it that will compromise performance or appearence.

I am latley looking at clarence bass as a great fitness role model.

hes the really old ripped guy. he maintains a sub 4% bodyfat level at like 75 years old. amazing. I would love to know his principles in practice. Let me know if you have ever came across his work.


admin January 30, 2008 at 1:08 am

Clarence Bass is ridiculously ripped. He is in amazing shape for sure. I read his stuff about 20 years ago, but haven’t followed his progress. I’ll look him up again!

John…amazing insights as always. I expect big things from you in either modeling or writing.


admin January 30, 2008 at 1:28 am


I always tell people to follow people who “walk the walk”. I’m not going to brag and all that, but I’ve maintained a really lean look with six pack abs for 7 years straight. I know there are people in better shape than me, but I am all about living a balanced life as well. I want you guys to be extremely fit, but also have fun and celebrate life. Hulbs…Saying that I’m your mentor is the ultimate compliment to me and not something I take lightly. I also have a mentor when it comes to my financial goals…you know what. I’m going to write a post on this as soon as I answer everyone’s comments. It’s late, but I really like this idea and want to run with it. Thanks buddy!


Your workout sounds great. Guys like it when girls sweat! I have been a big fan ever since this video!

[What other fitness site “brings the cheese” on such a consistent basis…you know you love it!]


You are the man…I see you are cleaning up at http://www.fitconnect.com

Way to go!


Watch the video that I posted for Jennifer…it has nothing to do with your comment, but I know you are down with this stuff! The weight will come off. You are probably gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time.

Thanks for the comments guys…time for me to post.

“Let’s Get Physical, Physical…” Now I have that playing in my head!


Remon van der Pol January 30, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Hehe, you said that it’s mostly a mental reason why people people do not workout, but that they always make a body based excuse out of it. Well, my back is holding be back from excersizing daily and I truely wish that was only between my ears 🙁 Gonna see a docter about it soon though 🙂

Nice article BTW 🙂

Remon van der Pol January 30, 2008 at 4:22 pm

But, even though my back isn’t the best back out there, I should compensate for that by keeping a stricter diet. And that still is quite hard for me to do sometimes, lol 😉

admin January 30, 2008 at 5:43 pm


I struggled badly with back pain for years. Did you read my posts on that. It may help…or it may not, depending upon your back issues.

Conquering Back Pain While Getting Fit


john January 30, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Thanks Rusty!

I have been out to castings like crazy this month…it’s my first show season, even if I don’t book I have gotten in the door of some of the biggest names already, sean john, k swiss…i have a demin ad comming up soon I will send you the link when it is up. I am sitting here waiting to see if I booked any good shows for fashion week though. Writing is comming along as well, I am getting together with some friends and we’re going to start up our site soon. I will definitley be in touch when it is up.

Do you think any of Clarence Bass’ methods would apply to readers of this site?


Ron January 31, 2008 at 1:55 am

Dude, I don’t even have to play that video to know what it is! Oh, God! It’s in my head! Get it out! Get it out! Damn you, Olivia Newton John!

Heh…the video reminds me of “The Todd” from Scrubs. Ever watch that? That’s one of those shows that I know I could write well. Too bad it’s ending soon.

P.S. Great workout today. I’m loving that “speed intervals” button. Doing and incline of 1.5 (just like you!), 2 mins walking at 3.2 and 1 min running at 10.5. Totaling a 20 min workout. I follow that with either 20 min. elliptical (if time permits) or swimming.

Speaking of which, which do you think is better? Really trying to lose that lower ab/love handle fat.

Oh, also been doing push-ups (on “chest days”) with my toes on a ball and my hands on one of those flipped over half-ball things. The balancing act is great for the chest AND abs. Not to mention…I’m sure someone who notices has GOT to be impressed. No? 🙂

…is it just me or did that last paragraph sound oddly perverted and slightly painful?

admin January 31, 2008 at 5:38 am


Great to hear that you are making your goals come true! Keep pushing and great things will happen. That kicks butt that you have a demin ad coming out. See…I have the hippest and best looking readers and contributors on the internet! I’ll look into Clarence Bass when I have a bit more time. I haven’t read his book “Ripped” in ages! I’ll dust it off (if I can find it in my boxes of books).


Scrubs kicks butt. One of the most clever shows ever. I didn’t begin watching until I saw Zack Braff in Garden State. One of my favorite movies ever.

Best of The Todd

Oh yeah on to your question…I think the elliptical might be the way to go. Do you have an exercise bike nearby. The regular “old school” Life-Cycles are really good.


Ron January 31, 2008 at 7:52 pm

There are bikes, yes. I haven’t used them that much because I didn’t think it would do anything for the abs & handles. I’m assuming that by “old school” you mean the kind where you’re actually on a small seat (like a real bike), rather than the kind where the seat has a back to it.

Would that be better than the elliptical?

My favorite is the “make it stop five.”

admin February 1, 2008 at 12:10 am


All cardio will bun fat all over your body. Running is a bit better for toning the abs as far as working the core…since your abs have to stabilize your upper body a bit. This won’t happen on an exercise bike. That being said, there is value in finishing off your cardio program by hitting the exercise bike. It works the body quite a bit differently than running, by constant tension in the legs, which is a large muscle group.

I like to finish off my cardio by hitting a sit down exercise bike (the ones with the uncomfortable seats), and doing steady state cardio to where my legs burn just a tiny bit. It seems to really jack up my metabolism for hours after the workout. I think it is much better than the elliptical machines.

That “The Todd” video is spectacular. His hat kills me…super tacky!


Morgan February 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm

My excuse is sweets and “boredom” eating at the office. I stick to low-calorie foods, but I know I’m still putting in extra calories I don’t need. I’m in great shape, but I know I could be better. I also need to cut back on drinking with friends…that definitely adds up.

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