by Tony Gjokaj September 25, 2020 6 min read

One of the most difficult things to implement is a diet or exercise regiment. According to one study, more than 50% of people will drop out of their exercise program within 6 months. Most of the time, this is a result of our exercise program not meeting expectations. Our hesitations typically come from ourselves - and it's never always one reason.

There are typically multiple reasons as to why we drop out of our exercise and nutrition regiments.

In this post, we are going to go over the five barriers that hold most of us back from fitness.

Let's dive in!

Five Barriers That Hold Us Back 

The following are what we believe to be the five main barriers that typically hold us back from exercise. You may encounter a few of these barriers, or only one of them - but the level of intensity of these barriers are individual.

With that, we provided some practical solutions to overcome these barriers. These barriers do require effort (getting out of your comfort zone) to overcome.

Let's break some barriers.

I. Perspective and Persistence (Self-Consciousness)

Perspective is everything - this is the spirit that we talk about in one of our three Reforged pillars. The Warrior's Spirit is our attitude or perspective towards the self and life around us.

A strong spirit results in stronger willpower and discipline - and is ultimately a result of our habits.

According to one review, how people view themselves is a large determinant of what kind of fitness they prefer to do. In fact, how people perceive themselves can be the determinant as to whether or not they should even start exercising.

Overcoming This Barrier

  • Find a style of exercise that you enjoy. Some people like cardiovascular. Others like weight lifting. Find what you feel most comfortable doing and get after it.
  • Build more positive habits that build momentum around yourself. Exercise has been proven to be a habit stacker, meaning that with exercise comes better-eating habits and sleep.
  • Have a consistent morning and evening routine. This is "YOU" time. Take care of yourself around this time. These are the parts of our day that we have the most control over.
  • Document your journey. Whether it's lifting videos, workout journals, and more... these things are important so that you can see how far you've come. In my workouts,  journal my lifts to check my progress, energy levels, and more. This allows me to gauge changes throughout.
  • Look towards improving yourself day by day - 1% improvement daily. Every small step makes a huge change overtime. 1% growth for 100 days is 100% growth.

II. Fear of Judgement

Another barrier that is one of the most common is fear of judgement that comes with a new venture or opportunity. In one study, the fear of judgement was one of the biggest barriers towards someone's journey in fitness.

Before we break this barrier, understand that you will be judged - no matter what new action you take or hobby you embark in. It's an effect on deciding to reach a greater potential. You need to break through this through persistence and accountability.

Overcoming This Barrier

  • Disregard and push forward. Understand that some people will judge. You are not doing this for them - you're doing it for YOU. Fitness is where you chase excellence, and you deserve that.
  • Look towards support and accountability from other people on the same journey as you. There are people on very similar journeys such as yourself. In fact, I resonate with a lot with this, so I can guarantee you that you can find someone who has overcame what you are currently going through.
  • Join a community on social media. Adding to the previous point, surround yourself with the people on social media. There are groups all over Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram following some purpose. Your goal is to be a part of the discussion.

III. Lack of Support or Accountability

According to one study, accountability is one of the factors that influenced consistent exercise. In the beginning, you might have difficulty with support and accountability. You might not know people who are on the same path as you.

Truth is, there are many that are on a similar path or have overcame the obstacles that you are currently dealing with.

This is why it's always good to find an accountability partner - whether it's a personal trainer or a support group on social media.

Overcoming This Barrier

  • Find an accountability partner. This can be a trainer, a gym partner, or a support group.
  • Create a habit contract that punishes you or your partner for not committing to the exercise.
  • Talk about your journey on social media. When I started doing this, people have 
  • Show your progress throughout the way. If you show people what you're doing and what you're going through, you will eventually get support!

IV. Lack of Energy

Lack of energy is another huge barrier, as many have challenges with fatigue and energy management. A lot of this has to do with lack of exercise, lack of proper nutrition, and sleep deprivation.

Sometimes energy can be generated through proper exercise, nutrition, and sleep. According to one study, sedentary people were able to increase their energy by 20% and reduced their fatigue by 60% following low-intensity exercise.

Overcoming This Barrier

  • Create a consistent morning and evening schedule.
  • Set a time block for exercise - whether it's on a planner or alarm.
  • Eat well the majority of the time. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables for fiber, and have protein with every meal.
  • Prioritize protein. Most people don't consume enough protein for their diet and exercise regiment. Make sure you're getting 0.8-1.1g per pound of body weight.
  • Sleep Well. Easier said than done, but physical activity allows us to build sleep pressure - improving our quality of sleep.

V. Going Too Extreme

While there is some benefits to going to extreme points to overcome plateaus and even boundaries... this should not be something that you should shoot for at the beginning of your journey.

When a trainer trains you to destroy your arms and you can't bring your arms down to your sides... you most likely will stop exercising with them thinking that's the only way to work out.

Overcoming This Barrier

  • Take your time. Remember that improvements in habit are influenced by taking small incremental steps towards achieving your goals.
  • Check your progress. Document your progress - look at how far you've come. Sometimes our decisions to go on the extreme ends are emotional ones. Slow down.
  • Embrace your process. If things are working well - you are getting fitter or stronger... keep to it. No need to push towards extremes when things are working for you. You can always add small things to challenge yourself as you go.

Break Those Barriers

To recap, here are the five barriers that hold us back:

  1. Perspective. How you view yourself might just be the only thing holding you back. Any and everyone can conquer their health with exercise.
  2. Fear of Judgement. No matter what venture you take on, you will be judged. Surround yourself with others who will support you.
  3. Lack of Support. Documenting your journey will bring accountability partners and others to support you.
  4. Lack of Energy. Exercise and proper nutrition will promote the energy necessary for fitness. Put in work when you're not motivated to do so.
  5. Going too Extreme. Take your time with your fitness goals. Rome wasn't built in an instant.

Lastly, I wanted to make it a point to notify you with the following:

The truth is: if you want to be in better shape, you're going to have to make it your goal change your prior lifestyle. Better sleep habits, healthier food options, frequent exercise, and more.

Forge Your Destiny.

It's your time to break these barriers and craft a name for yourself.

Each and every one of us has the opportunity to implement fitness to change our lives.

It doesn't matter what challenges or adversities you face, or the lack of self-confidence you have... exercise welcomes everybody.

Carpe Fatum. Seize your destiny and create a life worth living by using fitness as a catalyst to a greater potential.

Like a phoenix you rise.

If you have questions, comments, or recommendations on what type of articles you want us to post... feel free to comment below or email me at tony@reforgedperformance.com.

Get you some, Reforged Legion!

Tony Gjokaj
Tony Gjokaj

Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He has been in the fitness space for over a decade, previously coaching individuals in body recomposition and strength training. His goal is to connect others with the knowledge they need to reach their greatest potential.


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