Fitness Tip of the Day #16

The only way to ensure success is by doing the work required to get results

Focus your efforts on activities that will produce results.

Distractions are EVERYWHERE!  It never fails.  Thoughts about work, family, phone calls, emails, text messages, television shows, video games, social media, “significant others”, or food cravings deter you from giving your very best efforts at the gym.  You’re like a puppy chasing after a shiny bouncing ball … actually, a bucket of shiny bouncing balls!

The decision to start an exercise program is already difficult.  These distractions, on the other hand, make it really challenging to “stay” on track when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. It’s also not one major distraction that gets in the way.  It’s a million tiny distractions that add up to delays getting to the gym, longer workouts that get in the way of your free time, or you avoiding your workout entirely.

In fact, Harpers Fitness, a UK-based health and fitness club, conducted a survey asking how gym members spent their time at the facility.  Of the 1,000 members surveyed, an average of 23 minutes per hour (39 percent) was spent actually exercising.  The rest of the time at the gym is spent doing non-exercise activities including:

  • Choosing music and adjusting their iPods/MP3 players/smartphones
  • Checking their cell phones (i.e., text messages, emails, social media)
  • Filling their water bottles
  • Sparking up conversations with other gym members
  • Standing or sitting while waiting for equipment
  • Adjusting their clothes/shoes

Before you get sidetracked, it’s important to identify ways to both stay on your workout program and avoid the distractions that can get in the way of your best workouts.  It’s all about developing a solid plan and an effective strategy to avoid pitfalls and remain focused.

  1. Leave your cell phone in your locker (unless it’s your music player)
  2. Get your iPod/MP3 player prepped for the gym (i.e., fully charged, headphones, arm band, etc.)
  3. Keep your playlist updated and appropriate for your workout
  4. Prepare a “pre-workout” routine (5 to 10 minutes) to stay active before a group fitness class starts (i.e., stretching routine, functional exercises)
  5. Schedule your cardio workout to coincide with your favorite television program so your “boring” workout is more enjoyable (i.e., integrated televisions, large screen TVs, MYE Fitness Entertainment, BroadcastVision)
  6. Fill your water bottle at the beginning of your workout so you’re not refilling it too often
  7. Have alternate exercise options when the equipment is busy (i.e., push-ups instead of chest press, pull-ups instead of lat pulldowns, walking lunges instead of hack squats)
  8. Do functional exercises or stretches while you are waiting for equipment (i.e., use a skipping rope, plank holds, sit ups, resistance band exercises)
  9. Set a timer on your watch to ensure you keep a good pace and finish your workout on time
  10. Keep your “socializing” to a minimum (reserve that for before or after your workouts … not during)

Success at the gym doesn’t happen “by accident”.  It takes dedication, commitment, and a solid plan you can realistically follow for the long term. A million tiny things can quickly add up and “make or break” your success. The same holds true for the little things that can ensure tangible results.  Stay focused, stay on track, and see the changes occur faster than you think!

Written by TodaysFitnessTrainer (trainer@todaysfitnesstrainer.com).

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