6 ways to combat your athletes' holiday excuses

‘Tis the season where some of your athletes’ healthy eating habits and workouts start to slip away. Slacking off during the holidays can undo all the hard work that you and your athletes put in at the gym. As a coach, it’s important to have a “no excuses” policy with your athletes this time of year. Check out our list of common holiday workout excuses and ways to combat them:

1. “I don’t have time.” – We all know this time of year is challenging especially when your athletes are exhausted from running from event to event and shopping for the perfect gift. When time is tight remind your athletes that with a little extra planning they can probably find a window to squeeze in a workout at the gym. Athletes can look at their schedule a week in advance to plan how to at least squeeze in 2-3 workouts for the week. If they remain flexible maybe they can change up their normal class times and join the 5am crew for an early morning WOD as an example.

2. “But…the Parties and Cookies” – One of the hardest thing about the holidays is turning down all the delicious food and parties. Remind your athletes that's ok to splurge a little but there’s a difference between splurging and overindulging. Encourage them to practice the 80/20 principle during the holidays so they have the space to go out socially and enjoy a meal (or a cocktail!) with friends. Arm them with healthy tricks so they can make better decisions at parties: portion control, healthy party recipes, etc.

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3. “I’ll start in January” – Sure the new year means new beginnings but don’t let your athletes get lax with their training. It’s a slippery slope and coming back will be that much harder with excess pounds and lack of activity. Remind them how great it will be to have a leg up going into January with consistency during the holiday season.

4. “I’ll be traveling” – When you know a lot of your athletes will be traveling for holidays, program a bodyweight workout in Wodify that they can do anywhere. Try this one: 7 Rounds – 6 burpees, 9 Sit Ups, 12 Push-ups, 15 Air Squats.

5. “I’m too tired” – Remind your athletes that they won’t always have lots of energy when they get to the gym but what counts is that they show up and give it a shot. Working out actually reenergizes your athletes and releases endorphins. Sometimes it’s just getting your athletes out of their head and in the door. Once they start moving they get a second wind. It's also important to encourage adjusting sleeping and diet habits which can have a part in their lack of energy.

6. “It’s too dark and cold out” – If it is cold and dark when your athletes wake up for the day and when they leave work it can be hard to find the motivation to drive to the gym when a cozy bed/couch at home is calling their name. Athletes who work out together keep each other accountable. Encourage them to find a workout buddy or enlist another member to be their workout buddy to keep them accountable. The moment they start to drag their feet on the way to workout, they’ll have no choice but to make it there anyway.

Ready to put what you’ve learned into practice?
Download a free PDF handbook with many of NCFIT’s gym management procedures and philosophies that you can implement in your gym today.
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