Barriers to training (Part 1)

Training Barriers

There are internal and external barriers people face when starting or returning to exercise. It’s important to understand that there are common barriers that effect everyone and there are ways to overcome them. Each person is an individual and while there are common programs that can help, it’s not always a one size fits all.

External barriers

There are many external barriers that you may be experiencing, we will look at 3 common barriers. Time, weather and resources are barriers that you need to acknowledge and accept.


Time management is essential in life as it is in weight loss. You may have heard the saying 80 % diet 20% exercise, think about how much time you spend a week preparing, cooking and washing up and how much time you should spend training.

Training can take all shapes and forms. You can exercise in your everyday life. Take your kids to the park, you can supervise them while you are having a walk yourself.  Do some exercise while you watch your favourite show. Utilise your time the best way you can.

What needs to be sacrificed to exercise? Do you need to watch 3 hours of television every day? Do you have to clean and cook daily for everyone in your grown-up household? Sometimes you may need to give something up yourself, other times you may need to make someone else pick up after their own responsibilities.


It’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s raining again!! Weather changes can put the spanner into our exercise timetable. The 530am walk you were enjoying in autumn may not be as enjoyable in winters cold weather. The spring bicycle ride may be a struggle in the summer heat. Renting a treadmill or stationary bike short term may be an option to upkeep your exercise program.

Indoor or sheltered training areas may also have barriers. When storms hit travelling to the venue, not having air-conditioning during heat waves or having a car break down can cause you not to get to your exercise location. Use the time to do a stretching session at home as a recovery workout, fitness testing, or an safe online workout , other words, have a few different back up sessions you can do at home.

A lot of sports are based in selected seasons. It is also common for sports people to do other sports in the off season or hit the gym. NRL is played from April to October as this is the best time in Australia. In the off season you will see players working out hard in the gym, taking up other sports such as boxing and swimming or getting some much-needed recovery time. Choose an activity that is complementary to the season. Don’t be afraid to try new things and mix things up.


Equipment, information and availability are things to consider when creating your exercise plan. What equipment do you have access to or can you afford to purchase and store? Or will you use someone else’s facilities? If you wish to swim but need to travel 40 minutes to the closest pool, it may not be the best option for you. If you wish to purchase a home gym you may not have the storage space. It also comes down to what you can afford financially.

There is information on how to exercise and video tutorials all over the internet. The problem is which ones to choose and why it could benefit you. If you have the time you start making choices by learning a single movement at a time. This is the main reason people use a personal trainer, sports trainer, physiotherapist or industry professional. To save time, ensure correct movement is being performed and a guide on what movements and how often to perform these movements.

You may be wanting to join a yoga class, sports group or a gym with all the facilities you are after but at times these may not be available close to you or may conflict with your current work/family timetable. Don’t give up, if you can’t join a team look for recreational groups near your area on sites such as or Facebook groups. If classes aren’t available in your area or at a convenient time, then send a message or call the business. They may be looking at adding a session that is convenient to you or may network with a similar class that they know of that you can join.

In the end you will need to be aware of the external barriers. Some, if not all barriers are linked, where you may sacrifice time to do an activity you want to do or choose an alternative activity to save time and money. Prepare and have contingency plans in place and choose the best option for you. Understand there is always a chance things won’t go the way you want them to go and it’s up to you to ensure you keep to your training schedule.