Keeping Focused at the Gym

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Distractions are a part of life. They can happen at work, at home, and of course at the gym. But far too many peoplekeeping focused at the gym seem to be willing to use the gym as more of a social club when what they should be doing is getting their workout in.

That is not to say that being personable and friendly is wrong. You shouldn’t strive to be that person who never makes eye contact and doesn’t talk to other people. But, there is a time to work and a time to play. When you get to the gym you need to remember that it is time to put your work in.

Tips for Focus

  • Pre-Workout Pep Talk – This is more of an internal monologue versus actually talking to yourself out loud like a crazy person. This can be done in the car on the way to the gym or quietly while you are stretching. Basically you remind yourself why you are at the gym, what your overall goals are, and what you want to do for this session. That clarity of thought and purpose can really help before you get started.
  • Schedule – Allow yourself time to be social if that is your thing. If there is a spin class that you normally do make sure to show up a little early and chat with people while stretching. Then there are fewer distractions when class starts. The same thing can be said for other situations. If you have a workout partner, do your socializing at the beginning or end of the session. But during the session focus on the main goal for being at the gym which is to get in better shape!
  • Music – A great way to heighten your focus is with workout mixes for your iPod or MP3 player. You can utilize a variety of mixes to help with different options for stretching (relaxation and focus), resistance training (fast and exciting), and cardio (good speed and upbeat). Also with headphones or ear buds in, people are less likely to try and start up conversations with you.
  • Timing – If you have a hard time focusing when the gym is crowded try and switch the time you go. Some people need general peace and quiet to focus or just the natural lowered energy of a more empty room. Plus you have less competition for workout stations and the like at off peak hours. While working out at 6pm might be optimal for you, if there is too much going on at the gym where you find yourself distracted then picking another time might before the best overall.
  • Feel It – This is a basic focus concept where you try to ‘realize’ what you are doing. For example, at the gym when you are doing a set of dumbbell curls all of your focus should be on the contracting and release of your muscles. Look at your arms and watch the weight move up and down and learn how to feel the muscles working. This focus helps eliminate looking at other people or off in space while counting out reps.

Bottom Line

In the gym, you will definitely get out of it what you put into it. The more focus and discipline you can find at the gym will equal better and more productive workouts. As the bottom line is getting in great shape in the least amount of time, it does pay to learn how to be as focused as possible so you waste the least amount of time.

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