motivated woman working out

Being distracted during your workout can be a real progress killer. In this article, I will be giving 8 tips to help you stay focused in the gym.


Why is Focus That Important?

The right focus allows your exercises and even complete workouts to me much more effective. Thinking of the muscles you are currently working allows the neuromuscular activity in said muscles to be increased. This heightened rate of muscle fiber activation uses more energy, leading to faster fatigue [1]. Furthermore, you will decrease chances of injury while still giving your muscle proper stimuli.

This is something that I often experience. An example would be doing crunches while heavily focusing on the abs. I always tend to make sure that the entire movement comes from the muscle that I want to train. It creates a new challenge.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of people that think otherwise. Aside from not progressing as much as you could, it can also lead to accidents or injury.

With the introduction out of the way, here are 8 tips to stay focused in the gym!


#1 – Think About the Exercise

By really thinking about the exercise that you are currently doing, you’re making sure that you stay focused. Aim your thoughts on the muscle that you are working, as well as what you are feeling. I guarantee you that you will notice a difference, as well as a better mind-muscle connection.


#2 – Close Your Eyes

If you are not really feeling the muscle that you are training, try to close your eyes and listen to your body. By closing yourself off from the outside, you will start noticing what muscles you are working. Not only that, but you can really squeeze the muscles. Making such a small adjustment to the workout allowed me personally to perform cable flyes (chest exercise) much more effectively!


#3 – Pay Attention to the Music

Music influences your mood. Keep this in mind when you’re going to work out. Does your gym play music that kills your concentration? If so, there are a few options. First and foremost, bring your headset and play your own music. I found this to be extremely effective. Playing your own music allows you to create your own setting, which shows in a lot more focus.

If you prefer to work out without music, you can do so as well. You could always bring noise canceling headphones if you have them. These will filter out lots of ambient noise.


#4 – No Phones in the Gym

Oh boy, here we go. As the years went by, I have seen countless people bring their phone to the gym. I will admit that I do too, but I don’t touch it as I listen to music. However, more and more people are just using their phone between or even during exercise!

So here’s a little heart-to-heart. Have a little self-respect and focus on one thing. Your messages can wait, and you’re not fooling anyone if you send pictures of you ‘working out’ every 5 minutes on Snapchat or Instagram. It’s just not flattering.


#5 – Train Alone

I feel like I went on a bit of a rant at the whole ‘no phones’ thing, so let’s move on. Training alone is something that I have always preferred to training with other people. It allows you to do whatever exercise you want, whenever you want.

I have trained with friends countless times! To me though, it just got annoying, seeing that you have to wait for the other to finish. Let’s not even discuss all the talking between sets…

If I go to the gym, I want to do one thing: improve myself. Lots of people want to, though! However, being distracted all the time because you are ‘forced’ to invest in your company, can absolutely kill your progress in the long run.

Nonetheless, if you and your friend(s) are both on the same level, you can of course still train together, provided you won’t get distracted too much. See what works for you!

If you like though, you can also train at home. For me personally, this is the way to do things over the last few years.

Click here to learn more about building a home gym.


#6 – Pick a Gym That Has Little Distraction

It is important to train at a gym that doesn’t allow too much distraction. Concentration problems can occur because of:

  • Men/women being clothed way too ‘distracting’, i.e. eye candy
  • Terrible music
  • Too many people
  • Not enough equipment or facilities
  • Group lessons that are too close to your workout
  • Equipment that’s placed too close together
  • And so on…

Make sure that you know what works for you and what doesn’t.


#7 – Time Your Eating

Training with a full or empty stomach can be horrible. Try to eat at least something before working out. Generally speaking, I would advise to either:

  • Have a big meal at least 2 hours before training


  • Have a small snack at least 30 minutes before training

Just make sure that your stomach feels okay before working out, as it can be a major distraction.


#8 – Prepare For Your Workouts

Personally, I like to get all worked up about working out before I start. Mental preparation can give you an advantage. Plan ahead: what will your goals be today? Are you excited to blow up your muscles?

Turn on some motivating music, have yourself a big cup of coffee or read about some exercises that you’re going to do. Get excited!

So, should you take a pre-workout as well? Well, I’ve written an article on that.

Click here to learn more about pre-workouts.


In conclusion

Focus is very important when it comes to progressing in the gym. Not being actively involved in whatever it is can set you back quite a bit. Therefore, I hope these tips were able to help you to make the most of your workouts.

Please, leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Feel free to share this article on your favorite social media.

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