Workout Motivation: How To Avoid Workout Barriers

You know the scenario: you’re full of workout motivation and want to do a session in the afternoon after a long day at work. You keep thinking about it, telling yourself it will DEFINITELY happen. Then you start thinking about having to get changed, fish out your mat, avoid the couch and Netflix…and you don’t really have that much time before having to start dinner…all of these barriers keep getting in the way!

We’ve all done it more than once, losing workout motivation and avoiding rolling out our mat for a workout because there’s been some obstacle, something that’s put it in the too-hard-to-start basket and dwindled any motivation to begin.

I know, because I’ve done it myself!

This blog is all about the six most common workout barriers that get in our way and, most importantly, the tools and strategies you need to overcome these roadblocks so you can just roll out your mat and get your Pilates on!

Starting is the hardest part, and that brings us to our first barrier…

Setting Up

Having to set up and then pack up all of our Pilates gear can be a huge roadblock in getting started, but it doesn’t have to be!

A strategy that works for me is keeping my mat and all of equipment and accessories inside a large container in my spare cupboard. That way, I can take the whole container with me wherever I am working out in the house and I have everything I need with me!

When you have your mat in one spot, bands in another drawer, magic circle hidden away somewhere, hand weights in another spot…it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal but it can be frustrating when you need to go and fetch everything before your workout!

So my biggest tip here is keeping everything together in something you can carry/wheel out when you need it to streamline the process and keep everything nice and handy!

Be Prepared

Prepping ahead of time is one of the BEST ways to overcome that workout roadblock!

If you decide in the morning that you want to workout that afternoon, before you go to work prep your activewear and lay it out ready to go, get your equipment container out and put it in full view or even set out your mat, that way you will either use it for your workout or have to go to the effort of putting it away WITHOUT working out, I know what I would rather do!

Likewise, if you are a morning person and want to workout first thing, lay everything out the night before to remove the effort, I usually wear pyjamas that are suitable for working out in too, so that removes the whole barrier of having to waste time getting changed into new gear. Which brings us to our next barrier…

Finding Time

This is a big one! We all lead busy lives and have lots of things on the go, so I recommend to all my online members that you set yourself workout dates and put it in your diary just as if you were going to a class in person (Just without the extra cost, traffic, travel and general hassle!).

Maybe you have 20 minutes in the evenings that you can use to schedule in your workouts, or an hour every Tuesday and Thursday, or maybe it is a 30 minute block on weekday mornings, work out what works for you in your schedule and where you have spare time and then lock it in! It could be lots of little sessions, a few bigger ones or a bit of both!

Book it in and then show up, I’ll be counting on you being there!

Only have five minutes to spare? You can try some of these FREE 5-10 minute workout videos to get you started!


Trade Activities

Could you swap just one Netflix movie or TV show a week for a session on the mat?

If you are pressed for time, is there something that you could give up in return for a workout?

If working out and being fit is something you would really love to do, trading down-time for some mat-time might be just the thing that works out for you.

One thing I noticed I was doing was picking up my phone first thing in the morning and scrolling for 20-30 minutes, then stressing because I felt so short on time! It sounds so silly when I put it into words, but just by simply deleting a few apps and swapping that scrolling time for mat time, it has made a HUGE difference in so many areas of my life! Have a think about some things you could swap out for a workout, I guarantee there will be something!

Which Workout?

Another big barrier is choosing which workout to do next? I know that with over 600 workouts to choose from on the Online Studio, the paradox of choice can be overwhelming!

If you love having your workouts laid out for you with a clear, easy-to follow schedule, I recommend following our weekly-workout schedule…it’s updated every Sunday!

With four varieties of workouts scheduled each day including a reformer workout, a full-length studio session, a classic blast and short bonus workout so you chan choose the workout(s) that suit you, it is the perfect way to know exactly what you are doing each day, it takes all the guesswork out of woking out! Click the Image below to check the schedule out:

I  also recommend checking out our programs and challenges category and choosing a program that inspires you and motivates you to workout. Whether it’s focusing on your flexibility, core strength, lower body or de-stressing and relaxing, we have the program for you! 

Click the images below to check them out:

Resistance Band Workouts

Pilates Lower Body Workouts

Pilates Leg Workout

Beginner Pilates Workout

Pilates Arm Workout

Adore Your Core Workout

Flexibility Workouts

Pilates Bride Workout

Cardio Barre Workout


Confidence And Motivation

This one is a big barrier. Having confidence in your ability to improve, progress and grow in your Pilates practice can be tough when you are just starting out. We all go through it, you are absolutely not alone on this one!

Sometimes we just don’t get started because we find it too difficult, or we feel like we are never going to get THAT move (for me it was roll ups!).

The best remedy? Practice, practice, practice! I recommend to all my new comers, those who are returning after a break or those that are struggling to check out or mat work exercise library and learn the nuances of each move, you can find them by clicking the image below:

You can then progress onto our 20 day beginner’s schedule, and before you know it your form and technique will have improved out of sight!

Something really nice that you can do is leave yourself a little note somewhere you will see it, perhaps on your equipment container, so  that when get it out you’ve got a little note there for yourself with something simple, like, “you’re doing great.” or “you’ve got this.” That little reminder might be just what you need to stay motivated and know that you truly are doing an amazing job, showing up consistently on the mat.

What are your best tips and strategies?

What works for you to get over the barriers of working out? I always love hearing your thoughts on this, you can email me at or message me on Instagram @pilatesbylisaonline, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

If you’re ready to take the next step and try our full length, real-time workout videos, the PBL Online Studio is for you! Sign up and get access to the entire PBL Online Studio, click the image below and start today! 

You can also purchase gift memberships and buy/rent our most popular online programs on our online shop!

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