It’s all but certain that when you get to the gym you’re going to have to deal with distractions. From sights to sounds to smells, there will be something seeking to sidetrack you. Left unchecked, this sort of interference can cause you to lose focus and mess up your ability to make gains. But don’t worry, there’s a way around every potential preoccupation you might face. Check out these fixes to common distractions.
Your Music is Lame
We’ve all been there – fiddling with smartphones or mp3 players looking for the perfect song to knock out some squats. This happens most when a playlist gets stale. The beats that used to thump have hit a slump, and the songs you used to rock out to just don’t do it for you anymore.
Scanning playlists and music libraries for something motivating has got to be one of the most common – and biggest – distractions in the gym.
Take a little time every day or so to add new songs and ditch old ones. Look for inspiration everywhere. Use Shazam to capture songs that you hear out and about. Text yourself the names of songs you hear on the radio. But keep it fresh. You don’t want to get stuck with stale music.
Imagine you’re on the treadmill, and you’re hitting a good stride. Then all of a sudden you get punched in the nose by some wicked body odor. At this point all you can focus on is this person’s funk and how offended you are – therefore losing all concentration on that run.
You’ve got to move
Simply put: relocate. There’s no other option. You can’t lose your concentration because someone didn’t shower or decided to wear the same gym shorts for a week.
Your Wires Are Crossed
Ever pick up a barbell to do a set of curls only to get your headphone wires all tangled up, and you end up having your earbuds snatched out of your head? And now, you have to put the barbell down, fix your earbuds and figure out how to prevent that from happening on every rep. Yeah, me too. Talk about irritating
If you can’t afford cordless headphones, that’s one thing. But if you’re being cheap, just stop. Splurge on yourself for once and get a decent Bluetooth headset. It’ll make your workouts that much more intense if you don’t have to stop every darn rep to fiddle with stupid cords.
Gym Is Packed
Everybody’s lifting today.
There are few things worse than having to change plans every exercise because all of the equipment you want is being used by someone else.
And maybe it’s not just the equipment. Sometimes it’s so busy that people are constantly invading your personal space. This will happen on those packed Monday nights and Saturday mornings.
Adjust your workout time to go during non-peak hours. Though it may be not the most convenient thing to do, it’ll help in the long run so you can use the gym most efficiently. Going at 6 a.m. instead of 6 p.m. can make all the difference in the world.
Get Off That Phone
The ever-demanding cellphone -- this little device has the ability to turn a short, snappy 30-minute workout into a drag two or three times that long.
The things are always flashing with updates. Texts, calls, emails, Instagram likes, Snaps. They all want the attention and focus you should be paying your workout.
Treat these devices like you do sweets when you’re low-carbing. Just ignore them. If you can, consider leaving your phone in your car or locker. Another option is to turn off your updates while you’re doing your cardio warmup. Just remember to turn them back on when you’re done!
We all people-watch. It’s natural. It’s only a problem when you’re more focused on that hottie from across the room than your workout. (Or if you stare. Don’t do that. It’s creepy.)
If you’re too concerned about what other people are doing or wearing or what they’re wearing when they’re doing it, that means you’re not focused on your own program. This lack of focus will set you back, guaranteed.
Mind your business.
Nobody’s saying don’t look. It could be a source of fitspo or comedy. But keep it in check. Remember why you’re at the gym. Focus on yourself and your results. Minimize the watching to just a glance, and keep it moving.
To Much Chatting
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah ...
You know how it goes, a quick hello turns into a 10-minute (or much longer) conversation that goes from what your workout consists of to what club you plan on hitting up on the weekend. It’s the worst when someone is talking at you instead of to you. Uggh.
This can affect your results. During the time you’re talking, your heart rate decreases, your body cools and you basically have to start all over again to put yourself in an ideal state for getting results.
Cut them off.
You know who you’re likely to end up chatting with at the gym for too long. Before a conversation even gets rolling, announce to your buddy that you’re short on time and need to finish up your work. Tell them – in a friendly way – that you’ll catch up with them later, then walk away.
It may seem like a good idea to work out in an old T-shirt. But what happens when you get to the gym and it’s too loose or too tight and that’s all you can think about? Forget about squeezing your muscles at the top of the movement, all you’re thinking about is how much you hate wearing that shirt. If this isn’t distracting, then I don’t know what is.
Get in the mirror.
Try on several gym outfits. Treat it like you would work clothes or club gear. But take some time to figure out what you’re most comfortable working out in. What works for some people may not be the best option for others. Learn about yourself and what fits well for you.