Getting Your Guys to Exercise
Katelyn Sander

Getting Your Guys to Exercise

Living Well...together, while apart

What drives men to sweat? In celebration of Father’s Day, we thought we’d explore that very thing!

Whether it’s your son, best friend, or partner, we all have a man or two in our lives who we would LOVE to encourage to be more physically active. It’s an extremely worthy endeavor. Regular exercise - as you well know! – lowers risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, colon and prostate cancers; decreases levels of depression, anxiety, and anger; encourages stronger muscles, bones, and healthy weight; boosts performance, concentration, and memory; keeps testosterone levels healthy, improves bladder control, and reduces risk of erectile dysfunction. We also know that social support is one of the top predictors of exercise enjoyment and adherence. So, the more you coral the people around you – the more YOU and your fitness and health benefit!

LOADS of good reasons for the men we love to get moving. So, it should be simple? Ha. Nothing in life is ever simple. Even when we know something is really good for us… it can still be tough to embrace a new habit.

It’s also important to remember – as we try to encourage anyone to start exercising – that we are all unique. And so, what drives you to get your sweat on, may well not work for someone else.

For a long time, we’ve thought that men are more likely to workout for health and fitness reasons. There’s quite a bit of compelling evidence to show that – these days anyways – this may not be the case. In fact, more and more men are motivated to start exercising based on being unhappy with their body image. Specifically, they are worried or self-conscious about body fat and lack of muscle tone. Some of this is due to a constant exposure (barrage?) of “ideal” (unrealistic?!) body images in social media

These motivations are crucial to note. Because we know for certain – for men and women – motivations to exercise based on changing body image – be it weight loss, weight gain, changes in circumference, or muscularity and tone – are finicky, flighty friends. That is, such motivations will tend to incite HUGE commitments to crazy exercise regimes initially and then – as the desired results remain elusive in the short term – the exercise program is dropped completely. Becoming sedentary again is never a good thing. But even more concerning is the feelings of failure, frustration, lowered self-esteem and self-confidence based on these truncated, failed attempts.

Unrealistic expectations can ultimately foster a “why bother” attitude. Exercise is work after all!!! And, as we know, there are so many incredible benefits that are far more important than physique.

So how can we encourage them to dig in and commit?

If your guy is motivated to start exercising because he wants to lose weight or build muscle that’s okay. Getting started is key. We need though to help them frame these goals a little differently, potentially moderate expectations, and layer in additional motivation which will keep their fire lit. 

  • If they’ve committed to doing cardio 3-4 times a week in order to burn calories and lose pounds, have them also focus on the cardiorespiratory benefits of those activities. Also, remind them of the importance of strength training to support metabolism!

  • If they are striving to lose fat pounds, encourage them to get their body composition checked and then emphasize lean tissue/muscle gain instead. 
  • Encourage goals that centre around strength gains: more pushups, greater range in their pullup, more weight or reps squatted or rowed.
  • Encourage distance and power goals.
  • Encourage them to commit to activities they enjoy rather than activities they perceive will garner the best results. 

  • Encourage them to set a great example for your kids. Better yet – get active with your kids!
  • If they are open to it, encourage resistance training in the mix of activities. There are so many cool things that happen when people start to get stronger and more mobile. My favourite being they start to feel better about themselves. More comfortable, competent, and confident in their bodies. And this will lead to encouraging more healthy decisions and habits.

  • Also, many men LOVE a little friendly competition – with themselves or others – so find something positive to measure and encourage them to compete with themselves, with you, or a peer. 
  • Have them join Strava and post their bike rides, hikes, and runs. They can set goals to best total distance every week, or connect with, support, and compete with their peers.
  • Get them a FitBit or other smart device so they can set step goals for the day and the week.
  • As restrictions continue to lift, encourage them to join a local sports team or pick up games in the community.
  • Sign up for a road or trail race together.

  • Pick an activity – simple and short – that you can commit to and do together. 10-minute walk after dinner every night. 10 minutes of mobility before breakfast. A 30-minute hike or bike yard every Saturday.
  • Praise effort. Celebrate achievements of distance and strength-based goals. Openly notice the positive changes in their mood. Encourage them to do something – anything every day. Results take time. Habits form best when they are daily. And ultimately – when exercise does become habitual – the results do start to appear.


Caudwell K.M. & Keatley D.A., 2016.  The Effect of Men's Body Attitudes and Motivation for Gym Attendance.  J Strength Con Res. Sep:30(9):2550-6

Fatt S.J. et al., 2019.  Links between viewing fitspiration posts, muscular-ideal internalization, appearance comparisons, body satisfaction, and exercise motivation in men.  New Media & Society Vol 21(6).

O’Hara S.E, et al., 2014.  Emphasizing appearance versus health outcomes in exercise: The influence of the instructor and participants’ reasons for exercise.  Body Image Vol 11(2):109-118

Today’s Inspiration

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

Today’s Live Workouts

Happy Monday! Ready to get moving to start your week off right? We’ve got TWO classes on the schedule for today!


Join Robert S today for a Total Body Conditioning workout! Challenge your cardio and strengthen your muscles from head to toe with this incredibly effective no-nonsense bodyweight training.

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 12:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 864 5295 2847
Password: 991724


Join Robert Y today for our new Yoga Fusion workout! A combination of hatha, ashtanga, and kudalini yoga techniques. This class will engage your muscles, open your joints, calm your mind, and lift your spirits. (All levels)

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 5:15pm (45 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 899 4248 0739
Password: 624126


Click here to view our weekly schedule.

If you have questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.

Today's Trainer Moves

Here’s a great full body circuit workout to do with your partner, Dad, son, or brother! Go through all 4 exercises in circuit A, and then repeat 2, 3, or 4 times before moving on to the next circuit. This one is designed for outside where you can run and walk forward and back. If you’re tight on space, run and march on the spot!

A1) Run x 60 Seconds
A2) Alternating Forward Lunge 5 x 10 (5 Each Side)
A3) Front Plank 5 x 30 Seconds
A4) Walk x 60 Seconds

B1) Run x 60 Seconds
B2) KB RDL 5 x 10
B3) Hip Thrust 5 x 10
B4) Walk x 60 Seconds

C1) Run x 60 Seconds
C2) Prone Bear Shoulder Taps 5 x 10
C3) Jump Squat 5 x 5
C4) Walk x 60 Seconds

Final Reminder!

Celebrate the relaxing of some restrictions this week by joining Michael for the first week of his 8-week Post-Lockdown Outdoor HIIT Workout in Ramsden Park!

DATE: Tuesdays (beginning June 22nd)
TIME: 12:15 – 1:00pm
COST: $240+HST for 8 weeks OR $35+HST for drop-in
REGISTER: Email Michael

Today’s Bite

BBQ Chicken Nachos

On the days when you want something quick and easy – and cheesy – you need to turn to these nachos! These classic nachos, with a chicken twist, come tougher in less than 30 minutes and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Click here to download the recipe.

Check out our Spice of Life Recipe Book here.


  • 2 cup shredded chicken
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 (18 oz) bag tortilla chips
  • 3 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 1 cup pickled jalapeños
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400o and line a large baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, toss chicken with barbecue sauce.
  • Layer half the chips, cheddar, Cotija, chicken, pickled jalapeños, and onion. Repeat.
  • Bake until cheese is melty and nachos warmed through, 15 minutes.
  • Top with avocado and cilantro before serving.


Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.

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