Exercise for People Who Hate Exercise

Published by Jason Narog on

Kayaking Batman

This will be the greatest post in the world, because I too hated exercise, at least I thought I did. So here’s all the exercises for people who hate exercise.

Cardio Exercises For People Who Hate Exercise


If you live near a lake, river, the ocean, or have a friend with a pool you can swim. And it doesn’t have to be “swimming laps” back and forth across the pool. Just do whatever you want while you float around and paddle. Water creates resistance which maximizes your time when it comes to “working out.” Dog paddling, the breast stroke, whatever you want to do. Grab a boogie board and kick your feet across the pool. Or grab crazy floaters and do martial arts in the deep end. The combinations of what you can do in the water are endless (as long as the water isn’t that cold.) And it’ll feel like you’re cooling off in hot weather, as opposed to exercising.


We’re sticking with water sports here. Kaying (or rowing) both develop the upper body and provide you with a chance to get tanned at the same time. You can even turn the “exercise” part of your day into a relaxing day of fishing once you row to your favorite fishing spot. In this way you’re incorporating in both exercise and a fun, relaxing hobby so it doesn’t feel like “exercise.”

Biking, Skateboarding, Roller Blading

Think anything with wheels that requires you to move part of your body. All of the above are probably more lower body than upper body but if you incorporated in roller blading (or ice skating) with say hockey then you’ve added a bit of an upper body component as well.

Pick destinations you want to go visit. Maybe the weather is nice and you go bike around a lake or a river or to some cool thing to snap photos of and post on the Instagram. The trick to exercising when you hate exercising is to make it fun. It’s not work when it’s fun.

Martial Arts

This is where my Push Ups and Pizza program can come in handy, as I’ve got 80+ cardio Muay Thai combos for you to play around with. Martial arts is a serious cardio and strength building activity that doesn’t require setting foot in a “gym.” Instead you’re in a dojo, or academy, or whatever term applies to the particular style of martial arts you’re practicing.

I personally lost 40 lbs with Muay Thai and a bit of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And I quit smoking. At the same time of getting in shape in a non traditional gym setting you’ll also become more self aware, increase your sense of well being, and improve your confidence.

Strength Training for People Who Hate Exercise

I personally think “barbell / dumbell / machine” when I think gym and hating exercise so we’ll see how similar our thinking is with the list below.

Kettlebell Training

The kettlebell is an awesome tool for feeling like a tough SOB. I have a ton of kettlebell routines listed throughout this site. It’s a total body sculpting tool to make you incredibly strong and fast, without the monotony of your traditional “add weight to bar, lift, rack, add more weight, lift, rack, rinse, repeat” type traditional work.

You swing the bell, press the bell, carry the bell, squat the bell, lunge the bell. It’s more of a pick up and go type tool. Find the weight you want, pick it up and do your thing. Breathe, sweat. Get fit.

Bulgarian Bag Training

This is another tool I’ve fallen in love with that I’d describe as a cross between the kettlebell and the sandbag. It’s big like a sandbag but can be swung like a kettlebell. It’s big in the MMA community so if you’re getting into martial arts (or want a tool that can get you stronger but hate going to the gym) then give this a look.

Suspension Training with the TRX

This is another tool to come out of the military / MMA community. Originally a Jiu Jitsu belt used to train while on mission, the TRX has evolved into the perfect tool for any fitness level that can be used pretty much anywhere. Loop it behind a door, tie it to a tree, or drill holes into a stud and attach. You use your bodyweight to progress the movements at your speed.

Again, no racking or re-racking weights, just move your feet a little to increase / decrease the difficulty.

I hope that helps in giving you some ideas on how to exercise when you hate exercise. If you need more ideas, I’m a consultation away.

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