Staying focused during your workout is a way to practice mindful exercise. Mindfulness allows you to concentrate by removing distractions that cause you to waste time. The result is a more effective and safe workout. If you struggle with staying on task at the gym, try these methods to increase your focus and improve your results.
Intervals can be incorporated into any type of workout. During interval exercise, you push yourself hard for a set amount of time and then reduce the intensity for a recovery period. For example, on the stationary bike, warm up for 5 minutes and then increase your cadence for 2 minutes. Slow your cadence and recover for 1 minute. Continue to repeat these intervals for your entire workout. Instead of increasing the speed, you can also increase the resistance or do a combination of both. Concentrating on your intensity and the timing of each interval puts the focus on your exercise performance.
Supersets are exercise sets that are done one right after the other without taking a rest. Supersets can be used in a variety of ways, but one example is doing a set of one exercise and then moving on to an exercise for the opposing muscle group without taking a break. For example, performing a quadricep extension followed by a hamstring curl.
Supersets challenge your muscles, keep your focus on the exercise, and reduce time wasted resting between each exercise. Instead of taking a break after each set, your hamstrings can rest while you work your quadriceps and vice versa. You’ll spend less time standing around, and you’ll knock out your workout more quickly.
A workout partner can keep you motivated, but sometimes he or she also serves as a distraction. If you find that you spend more time chatting than exercising, or if you reduce your intensity so you can carry on a conversation, consider exercising alone at least once per week. Use these solo workouts to incorporate more challenging activities.