I Hate Working Out

“Wow, you look pretty fit.”

“Nah, thanks though. I’m working on it. Funny enough, I do run a gym.”


“Yeah. I make some at-home workouts for a really cool nutrition site, too.”

“Wow. You must really love working out!”

“No no no. I hate it.”



I hate working out.

There it is. I said it. I know I run a gym, and put together these awesome workouts for PaleoFit (have you signed up yet?;). But I’m telling you. I hate working out. When I’m standing there with the clock ticking down to start, and I’ve got 100 burpees staring me in the face, all I can think is, “I hate this.”

But, you know what happens then?

I start the clock. Hands down. Feet back. Push-up. Feet forward. Jump. Clap.


I hate every stinking burpee that I do. Well, maybe not ALL of them. I mean the first 6 or 7 aren’t bad, but I rarely make it past that without thinking, “What the hell am I doing?”

You know what I do?

Hands down. Feet back. Push-up. Feet forward. Jump. Clap.


It continues on this way through the whole workout, with the only sliver of joy being the fact that it will be over at some point, and that point is getting closer as the clock ticks on.


Now, I do know a few people who actually LIKE working out. They are crazy people. They are the people you want to choke because, “Oh I just went for a quick 6 miles this morning,” or “I’ll be there after my hip-hop-spinning-zumba-yoga class, it’s only 2 hours!” I hate those people. Well, not to their face, but you get what I mean.


And I’m not the only one. Stephanie Psick (you remember her), one of the fittest people in the gym, is usually the loudest voice in the bitch-fest in the moments before a workout.

“I don’t wanna do this!”
“This is gonna suck!”
“Do I HAVE to do this?! Come ON!””

Those are just a few of the choice phrases that are mumbled, spoken, and screamed in the moments before a coach yells over the cacophony, “3-2-1-GO!”

The funny thing is. Everyone starts. They pick up the bar, start the pull-ups, or start running the lap. Whatever the workout calls for that day. And everyone finishes. They get through it. Some even yell and scream in the middle of the workout. Words of hate and vice directed at the coaches or the barbell. It’s all good. You can yell at me all you want, call me names, it’s all good. As long as once the workout’s over, and you’re done writhing on the floor making a sweat angel, we can give each other a high five and say, “Well done.”


You know why it’s all good? ‘Cause I hate it too.



This confessional was written by Max Shippee, our PaleoFit coach.


  1. Hopefully the point of this was that you don’t have to like it the “git ‘er dun” but it doesn’t really come across that way. If you hate the exercises you do, maybe, just maybe, you should switch to exercises you enjoy? And perhaps design programs for others that they’ll enjoy?

    I have to admit that I’m in the totally opposite camp – as I get older there are more and more exercises I’d really like to do that my body just won’t put up with. Or at least not at the volume I’d like to do them. And sure, there are plenty of exercises I hate – burpees being one of them (sure, as a gasser, they’re ok, but IMO, they are hard on the knees, elbows, and low back) but in general, I love to exercise. I have to dial it back far more often than I have to convince myself to get to work. But then, I have a staple of exercises, both strength and gassers, that I love. Maybe that’s the difference?

  2. This post really encouraged me this week. My husband & I just finished our 7th week of crossfit but early in the week I was dragging. We skipped working out both Monday & Tuesday and I was trying really hard to convince myself that I wanted to go Wed morning and then the rest of the week. Then I read this post & it reminded me of how great it is to be done with the workout of the day. It doesn’t mean that I have tell myself I love it – I just have to do it & feel good when it’s done. Thanks for the motivation – I was able to finish the week out strong!

  3. Hey all!

    So great to hear all of your comments!

    This whole post could have been written with a big ;) at the end!

    @rob – I don’t necessarily “hate” it, as much as I get really nervous and worked up before some of the big workouts. Especially in the gym, where there’s a nice gourp of guys that push each other (in a healthy way), and I don’t want to let them (or myself) down.

    @ Blank Faceplate – Yeah, you got it. You don’t have to like it to get it done and get the benefits from it. I mean, I like taking my time, getting sweaty, maybe going for a light run with friends. But 100 burpees for time? That just sucks all the way through. There are exercises that I like more than others, but when it comes to trying to improve those things, it seems that you have to be willing to head into the fire a bit. So yeah, this post is both very honest, and very tongue in cheek. :)

    @ John and Jessica – I think you hit the nail on the head. I ALWAYS feel great AFTER the workout. But there is a whole crowd of voices in my head before that are saying, “Nah, it’s good. You’re ok. Skip it. You don’t need to do this.” It’s about beating those voices down, and feeling good about it after it’s all done.

  4. Hi Max,

    Great post! It really came at a great time for me. I’m in my 5th week of Paleo and I’ve been really struggling with the exercise. I have a lot of weight to lose so I’ve given myself some short term goals for now. 1) Commit to Paleo and give up sugar, grain and dairy (my favorite food groups hahaha). This was actually easier for me than I ever dreamed it would be! As of today I have lost 15 big ones!! For me, that’s amazingly fast. My next goal, 2) to exercise 4-5 days a week. This I have been struggling with since I also hate working out. I seem to always find some other distraction knowing I have to get up and move. This week I’m really trying to do at least 3 workouts. I’m planning on increasing that to 4-5 per week once I get a handle on doing 3 days. Baby steps. Your post really struck me and I’m going to try to remember your words tomorrow when I try find myself dreading the workout. Thank you!

  5. Another suggestion to workouts that you hate is to find something that you LIKE doing as a substitution…

    while I hate running and want to quit after 10 min.. I love playing basketball.. and I can play for 2 hours straight at full blast until my legs fall off because I get caught up in the competition and the fun of the game

    also that’s why I took up brazilian jiu jitsu, as a way to get in exercise and movement without having to think of it as such…

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