I see it time and again at the gym and honestly, have even been guilty of it myself, allowing distractions to kill a workout. So many times, it happens to those individuals who claim that they are working out consistently but not getting the results they desire. Well, not paying attention to what you’re doing can hinder even the most consistent of workouts. You’re distracted by your phone with texting and social media. Some people at the gym grab their phone instinctively when they receive a text message or social media notification, even when exercising. It’s quite a bizarre sight to see someone doing air squats while browsing on their phone. I’ve seen it.
You simply can’t do that. Lack of attention and not being in tune with the workout means that you aren’t experiencing a mind-muscle connection. Lifting weights starts in your brain. Your brain tells your muscles to contract and the more in tune you are with that mind/muscle connection, the more muscle fibers you recruit and the more effective your workout. For the sake of your workout and your time, it is imperative that your mind isn’t wandering and regularly getting distracted.
Mentally prepare yourself to work out. Leave the distractions behind so that you can put your complete focus into what your body is doing. It makes you feel great and is an escape from everyday life. If you’re going through the motions and not truly into the workout or not pushing hard, then you may be getting bored. It may be time to try something new. Perhaps you take your training outdoors or try a new class at your gym? Change it up and see if that brings a whole new level of motivation to your workouts.
Getting stuck in a rut is real thing. If you are doing the same workouts day in and day out, week after week, then that’s a rut. Change things up. Even if it’s just variables such as rep ranges, rest periods or the amount of weight used. It’s all about progression and pushing yourself harder with each workout to force your body to adapt, grow and build endurance. These changes are what help improve your physical fitness and ultimately your shape. If you suspect that you’re in a rut, it may be time to give your body a new challenge. This is particularly important in order to continue progressing.
Another sign that you may be distracted in your workouts is when you count down the seconds till you are done. You simply want to get through it and get it over with. If that’s the case, then maybe you aren’t doing something that’s suited for you. Instead of performing long bouts of cardio that feels brutal, try doing a 20 to 30-minute HIIT sequence. If that’s too much, try doing Tabata’s, which is 20 seconds of all out work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes. Most anyone can get through a 4-minute workout in their day to day life.
Be mindful of the fact that you won’t get as much out of your workout unless you are paying attention and in-tune with what you’re doing. Avoiding distractions will pay of much more than simply going through the motions.