By Allison Sadlier // SWNS
New York office – 646-873-7565 /


A cat on fire, an alien kidnapping and a stubbed pinky toe — these are all extremely creative excuses people have used in order to get out of going to the gym.

Results from a new survey showed an elaborate array of excuses, with six in 10 creating reasons to avoid the gym.

The survey, examining the exercise motivations of 2,000 Americans, unearthed what leads to exercise success or failure and the common — and creative — excuses to get out of going to the gym.

The results found that being too tired (63 percent), being too hot (39 percent), too cold (39 percent) or recently eating (31 percent) all made it into the top five.

Other frequent reasons were: being too busy at work, phone battery being low, gym clothes didn’t match and claims that picking up the kids qualifies as a workout.

Twenty-eight percent blamed not working out on its lack of fun while others complained about “getting too sweaty,” “never seeing results” and “feeling judged at the gym.”

The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Peerfit also provided indicators on what leads to workout success and how to power through the temptation to make excuses.

Results showed accountability and the worry of letting someone else down could be the key to resisting the desire to come up with far-fetched excuses.

In fact, 65 percent admitted they’d be more likely to actually make it to the gym if they planned to go with someone else.

Furthermore, there really could be something in “the more the merrier,” as more than half of those polled say they work out better with their buddies.

Fitness pals are never going to let their friend slack off either. Six in 10 said they would be more accountable if they had someone with them sweating away their struggles.

“There’s a reason we call it Peerfit,” said Peerfit CEO, Ed Buckley, III, PhD. “We know that when you work out with your co-workers, friends or family you’re not only more likely to actually go, but you’re likely to enjoy it more because you’re getting to know your co-workers and spending quality time with them outside of the office. We know sometimes it can be hard to stick with a wellness program, but that’s what your support system of co-workers and friends are there for.”

Group exercise actually seems to help people get moving with almost half of people having attended a workout class, but people definitely have specific conditions in mind when signing up for a class, like activity level (63 percent).

That was just one thing people look for when searching for an exercise class. Instructors (55 percent) and class length (52 percent) were also top priorities for class goers.

Despite all the interest and best intentions, it’s still a struggle for many to devote time to fitness. Forty-four percent said they’d like to work out daily, but everything from overall tiredness (63 percent) to taking care of the kids (17 percent) gets in the way.

Half of Americans don’t even have a wellness program as part of their job benefits and 35 percent can’t make it to the gym with too much work on their plates.

For those that overcome all of their zany excuses, the success is sweet. Almost four in five people admitted that they actually feel better after working out.

Buckley added, “Giving your employees a wellness benefit they will actually use is not only great for retention, but it leads to healthier and happier employees who are more productive. It’s important to find a program that will keep your employees engaged if you really want to start seeing results and make a valuable impact.”

Walk                                             70 percent
Run                                              38 percent
Free weights                                30 percent
Stairs                                           26 percent
Yoga                                            26 percent
Other                                           20 percent
Elliptical                                       14 percent
Spin                                             13 percent
Circuit training                             12 percent
Kickboxing                                   12 percent
Pilates                                          11 percent
Rowing                                         10 percent
Bootcamp                                       8 percent
Arc trainer                                       8 percent
HIIT                                                 7 percent
Barre                                               5 percent


  • My cat is on fireMy pancreas hurts
  • My downstairs is flooded (it wasn’t)
  • I called my instructor and told him I had to take my son’s bicycle into service
  • I exercised in my dreams
  • I stubbed my pinky toe
  • I was kidnapped by aliens
  • I took Viagra and am too engorged to wear workout clothes
  • My body is allergic to sweat

Too tired                                            63 percent
Too hot                                              39 percent
Too cold                                            39 percent
Too much work                                 35 percent
Just ate                                             31 percent
Walked a lot today                            27 percent
Recovering from last workout           27 percent
Gym will be too crowded                  22 percent
Taking care of my kids                      17 percent
Gym is too out of the way                 17 percent
Climbed a lot of stairs today             15 percent
No clean workout clothes                 15 percent
I have a meeting tomorrow               15 percent
I feel self conscious today                14 percent
I just got my hair done                      12 percent
Picking up my kids is my workout     10 percent
My phone battery is too low              10 percent
I just got my nails done                       9 percent

Activity level                                                                  63 percent
Instructor                                                                       55 percent
Length of class                                                              52 percent
Size of class                                                                  42 percent
Music                                                                             33 percent
Ability to take multiple classes                                       30 percent


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