The 10 Step Program to Getting Your Butt off the Couch and into the Gym (Guest Post)


Image by monicamüller via Flickr

My personal battle of late has been stepping away from new episodes of Glee getting up early enough to have a consistent workout schedule. As they always say, you never regret a workout. It’s true too. I’ve never once worked out and thought to myself, “man, working out is totally lame.” Even with that in mind, it seems like getting my sweat on has become a chore of epic (sorry for the hipster word) proportions.

I love the post-workout feeling, but as is true with most things, starting seems to be the hardest part of working out. So today, instead of giving you a fancy fat-blasting bikram ultra shakeweight extravaganza workout routine that’s going to burn 8,000 calories in 14 minutes, I’m going to give you the easy 10 step program for getting your butt off the couch and into the gym. It’s foolproof. I know because it’s been tested countless times on fools such as myself. It’s basically science.

  1. Admit that you’re fat – OK, so maybe you’re not fat and maybe you are. Whatever the case, we all know that exercise has amazing health benefits. If you’re bigger than you want to be, it can help you shrink. If you’re scrawnier than you want to be, it can make you bigger. If you’re really old, well, it’ll make you feel younger too. Whatever the case, admit that you want your life to be better in some way that exercise can improve it.
  2. Find a friend to slap you into shape – If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, the best way to help a friend get healthy is to slap them in the face every time they come up with an excuse for not exercising. Some call it tough love, I call it stress relief. Whatever the case, find a partner and ask them to hold you accountable for your couch-dwelling behaviors. Protip: Make sure the friend isn’t lazier than you are.
  3. Commit to one day – If you can’t commit to working out for one day in a row, well then you need to commit to working out at least 30 minutes in a row. Don’t make a six month commitment to working out. Make a goal to exercise today. Then repeat today’s goal again tomorrow. Repeat, as needed, forever.
  4. Make sure you’ve got your gear – If you exercise at a gym, make sure you didn’t let your pass expire at the same time your driver’s license did. If you’re doing a home gym workout, set your equipment out the night before so you’re not scrambling in the morning to find those special socks that you just have to have to get in a good workout.
  5. Don’t worry about the “walk of shame” – The first day back at the gym after a hiatus is always the hardest. Maybe you put on a couple of pounds. Maybe you’re embarrassed by your long-term absence. Get over yourself. I promise you that everyone else at the gym is so concentrated on not dying on the treadmill, that they’re not going to be concerned with whether or not you’re at the gym today. Take the “walk of shame” with your head held high because you’re back, baby!
  6. Plan your workout beforehand – We’ve all gone to the gym and gone through the motions. Hey, that’s better than nothing, but do yourself a favor and have a plan for your exercise time. Instead of wandering aimlessly through the cardio theater looking for a treadmill with a good view, check online for a good circuit workout so you get the most bang for your workout buck. Your time is valuable. Make the most out of it.
  7. Find an inspiring transformation: They’re everywhere. Find someone who has changed their life through hard work and eating right and get inspired. If you can’t get off your can of your own volition, let someone else’s inspiring story drag your rear end to the gym kicking and screaming.
  8. Don’t run if you hate running – Don’t lift weights if you hate lifting weights. If your hangup is simply getting started like mine is, then find a form of exercise you enjoy. I loathe running, but love to pump iron (as nobody actually says) or ride my bike.
  9. Ask yourself one simple question – What are you afraid of? It seems like every time I ask myself that question when it comes to exercise, I can never come up with a good answer. It’s an activity where pretty much every single outcome is positive. Exercise is definitely not a gamble. Bet it all.
  10. Stand up.

Ryan Sullivan aka @NoMoreBacon writes about his journey to lessen life fat and increase life, shares his lame attempt at humor, his desire to be his best self, and copious amounts of bacon at his blog




  1. Ryan is awesome!  All good advice.  Getting started (or getting started again) is the hardest part of any endeavor.  Well, maybe not bullfighting.  Getting gored is probably the hardest part of bullfighting.

    • I like you too Crabby but I’m going to argue the bullfighting point. I mean, I would imagine by the time you had all the releases signed, beefed up your life insurance policy, studied bull biology, and got really good at salsa dancing, that would be pretty hard too. Maybe not, but I think it’s something to consider.

  2. Admitting it is the first step. I’m not fat, but I’m flabby.

  3. I admitted early on that I was fat…still am to an extent.  The hard part is realizing that I’m getting older.  Exercise recovery used to be a sore day or two.  Now, I’m about to embark on a 6 week kettlebell program and simply hope not…to…die.  I did the Warrior Dash last month, walked most of it, and still limped around for a week! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Barbara, I totally get the getting older feeling and to encourage you — kettlebells have been amazing for me. Love to know how it goes!

  4. I love love love number 10! Great article and I shared on facebook 🙂

  5. for me it is also having a PLAN A AND A PLAN B AND C!! that way if some small something derails A I have no excuse 🙂

  6. Really good post –  I’m going blog to all those struggling to get into their exercise regime to control their hypoglycemia symptoms to  visit your post.

  7. Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl says:

    Love the pic that goes with this post! I definitely need friends to help motivate. So, I created a motivating personal FB group with my closest gals and have My Fitness Pal friends to help keep me going and to help motivate. 

  8. this is definately the inspiration I needed!

  9. I find that people who don’t like to workout may like to dance or pretend beat the crap outta people. It’s a good substitute for tradtional fitness.

  10. I don’t think you can overstate the importance of number three.  Committing to go the the gym every day for months is daunting.  But just going one day, then the next makes you feel a small sense of accomplishment each day.  It’s like rolling a snowball down a hill and pretty soon you’re a gym rat before you know it!

    • Joyce Cherrier says:

      Hi Chris 🙂 So agree — one step at a time, celebrating the goal accomplished along the way. Commitment is a daily thing! Thanks for stopping by!

  11. blogomomma says:

    love it!

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