Are Gym Distractions Ruining Your Workout?
Working out is hard enough. You have serious obligations that compete for your time – work, family, and simply managing a house can consume your time and energy levels; leaving you with little left over to try and get a workout in. If you do make it to the gym, then you have compete with plenty of gym distractions that are battling for your attention: magazines, televisions, overly enthusiastic personal trainers and corporate sponsors dolling out donuts and pizza for gym members (yes it happens and no I don’t have an answer).
Your workout is like anything else – it needs your attention and focus. In a one hour session at my studio, clients will blaze through mobility work, strength training, and conditioning each workout. It’s amazing what happens when you eliminate distractions.Here are some of the distractions that may be messing with your workout:
- Use the clock: No matter what your goals are, you need to be timing the rest you take between sets. If you want to lose body fat, gain strength, or train for an event, everything you do should be timed. Bring a stopwatch and time the rest between sets so you’re stuck to a schedule. If you’ve never done it before, you’ll be amazed on how much faster you go through your workouts. Make sure to use a stopwatch and not your phone because…
- 2. Phones are a PIA –Do not bring your phone onto the training floor. Phones are a nuisance and life seemed to be just fine long before the cell phone was invented (remember pay phones and answering machines?). Most people don’t have the discipline to bring their phone into the workout area; all the buzzing, bells, and horns that the phone coughs up will be distractions that you simply won’t be able to resist. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting on a bench and chatting away. Leave the phone at home.
- Cancel your subscription – I love reading. Most of the reading I do is off peer reviewed research; not exactly everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoy it. I set time aside for it, which means that time devoted to training is not time spent reading. In fact, if you can read anything during your workout and absorb it, then you’re either a unique specimen of human mutation with unique abilities to multi-task…..or you’re not really training. Lots of people have argued with me about this in the past, but I’m not questioning your coordination to lift weights and flip through a magazine between sets- I’m just saying that you can’t excel at both at the same time.
- Avoid the ‘Progress Killer’- A colleague and I came up with the name progress killer. This is defined as the person who goes out of their way to try and lower the intensity of your workout. They’re late to the gym, they tell you that they’re tired and the workout should be an easy one that day. They also talk (excessively) while you workout and have no problem dumping their problems on you when you meet up at the gym. The progress killer also encourages you to break your diet…..constantly. Maybe you just leave them out of the workout and hang out with them after (just don’t go out to eat with them).
Yes, sometimes it’s tough to get a workout in. However, simple things like shutting your phone off and picking your workout buddies wisely can go a long way. Remember – your workout requires just as much attention and focus as anything else. Ditch those distractions and start getting in shape!