Trying to Workout with Distractions
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 feeling with nothing more than a deflated and lifeless motivation to train hard. If you do in fact can muster up the life force at the end of the day to get some training in, you have other issues to worry about: with public gyms littered with magazines, televisions, and corporate sponsors dolling out donuts and pizza, it can be hard to get a serious workout in.
I’ve always tried to explain to people that avoiding distractions is key to success. It’s been said among strength coaches that if your workout takes longer than 60 minutes, you’re making friends and not working out. This harkens back to the ‘training versus exercise’ debate; people who train know how to avoid distractions in the gym. Avoiding these obstacles may be the kickstart you need to get in and out of the gym quick (there’s that time issue again) and start improving your life. Besides, who wants to be in a gym for an hour and a half?
- Use the clock: no matter what your goals are, you need to be timing the rest you take between sets. No matter 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. 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; besides, no one wants to see a selfie of you taken in a public locker room posted on your facebook page.
- 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 hard. 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 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, not matter what, to try and lower the intensity of your workout. They tell you that they’re tired and the workout should be an easy one that day, they talk (excessively) while you workout, and they have no problem dumping their problems on you when they meet you at the gym. The progress killer also encourages you to break your diet…..constantly. Just ditch them when it comes time for your workout.
Working out doesn’t need to be as much of a problem as people make it out to be. Avoid these distractions to keep your motivation high.