Three Essentials For A Good Workout

Distraction in the gym ruins more gains than any combination of poor programming, wrong protein supplements and workout clothing coordination. A lack of focus and subsequent adherence to a plan workout-destroyer. Along with poor nutrition and incorrect technique, lacking focus is a key reason people struggle to get results in the gym or stick to a program.

You have probably done it... that quick chat after your warm that turned into a 15-minute discussion about politics and the next thing you know, you are colder than Antartica. Likewise, you jump on Instagram between sets to see how many likes your last post got (probably ten - so the it doesn't even show up as a number #repost) and the next thing you know you have followed Pia Miller halfway around the world. 

If you are going to pay for a gym membership, develop programs and allocate time to exercise, you should focus while you are training. The key to efficient workouts is to minimise distractions, whether they be internal or external. Implement these three tips to have a more effective and focused workout next time you are in the gym.


Leave the phone alone

Using your phone in the gym is a guaranteed gain crusher. For those of you who run music through their phone, consider getting a music device. A dedicated music device will remove the unnecessary distraction and temptations that come between sets.

Although it is scientifically proven that no one knows what to do between sets without looking awkward, but I assure you that using social media is definitely not the way to go.

Even if you have to post your workouts to social media #fitspo you can take your photos/videos, put the phone away and get back to lifting. The filters can wait until after your session. Realistically, you are waiting until 5:30pm American time anyway, because that's when your 43 hashtags get bulk likes, you can wait 45-minutes to edit your photos.

Also, as someone who has previously cracked a $1000 phone screen while getting dumbbells ready to shoulder press, I can confirm there are a multitude of benefits to leaving your phone in the locker. 



Whether you listen to music or not, headphones are a gym essential for staying focussed during a sessions. Over the years, my headphones have prevented hundreds of conversations from starting and halted dozens of requests to spot. Granted, some people will still ask you to spot them if you are wearing headphones, but these people will also ask you to spot them while you are mid-set on your max-effort bench attempt!

Buy yourself a decent set and avoid rookie errors. I lost my gym headphones and thought I would wear my Beats 'just once.' Once turned into four times per week, and now those headphones smell worse than my knee wraps - which stink. Despite the increase to my gym-SWAG provided by the headphones, there are many cheaper and better-suited alternatives that are more suitable and retain less sweat.


Gym Chat 101

Master the art of short conversations when you are at the gym. If you do get roped into a conversation, you need to be ready for the quick exit. Just because someone takes 5 minutes between their sets doesn't mean that you have to as well.

Keep an eye on your timer (get one if you don't have one) and don't let them hold you back. Rest intervals are an important component of your training program, so don't let a social butterfly ruin your gains because they want to chat.

Quite often headphones can negate the conversations from ever starting, but some people are quite persistent. Be happy to manage the situation and get back to lifting ASAP.

There is a slight irony here - some people go to the gym so they look more attractive and meet new people. However, don't get caught up in meeting new people because you will disrupts your journey to meeting new people. 


Get less distracted and make more gains. Putting your mobile away, cutting conversations short and wearing headphones will make focussing in the gym easier. Also, don't worry about people thinking you are rude - you go to the gym to train, not talk!