There is a lot of activity that takes place in a typical gym in the form of exercise, personal training and post-workout recharging. But there is also a lot of non-activity that also goes on in the gym.
To my mind, a gym is a place to exercise, to make use of the equipment and expertise on offer and to learn. It is also a place to focus on physical and mental fitness.
Or at least it should be.
Ironically, what should be a forum for getting fitter can also be distracting because of the nature of the gym environment and the activities of its users.
As anyone who goes to the gym regularly will know, the gym can be busy, noisy and where people come and go throughout the day and evening. Maintaining a focus in such a space can be a challenge and many gym-goers have their own tactics for dealing with such distractions. These can include listening to music, following a rigid workout that allows for no (or very short) breaks between sets or not building relationships with other gym-goers.
Some gym regulars do not bother with any of this, of course, and enjoy the social aspect of the gym, happy to meet and chat with other gym-goers and to take a more leisurely approach when working out. And good luck to these people.
For myself, where exercise is concerned, pace and focus are everything. I like to complete a typical workout within 45 to 60 minutes (rarely any longer). I also like to keep up the pace of my workout, with minimal breaks in between sets, and to be efficient where my workout is concerned.
I take this approach because it allows each part of my body that is being exercised to be isolated, targeted and worked to maximum effect. Distraction pulls focus from this isolation and can lead to poor technique, posture and delivery.
All of which is to be avoided!
I also encourage leaving the phone in the locker, where possible.
I’m as much of an active phone user as anyone (a little too much, sometimes) and I appreciate how important it is to be available to my clients. But I am also of the view that the influence of the smartphone is something to be respected and managed.
Or, to put it another way, where the gym is concerned, a smartphone can distract and drain time and energy. As such, control the phone and don’t let it control you!
I also advocate proceeding by combo’ where an effective workout is concerned, partly because this allows body parts to be isolated and exercised and partly because it allows movement around the gym floor, mental engagement and a solid exercise. By limiting rest breaks between each set and requiring brain work as well as bodywork during a workout a solid combo’ can be an invigorating and rewarding experience.
So, to get the most out of the gym floor, focus, isolate as much as possible (without becoming anti-social!), keep an eye on the clock and exercise energetically and intelligently.
Because if you do, both your body and mind will thank you for doing so.