During my time at the gym I had noticed one day that everybody on the floor, about 4-5 people we’re all looking down at their phone and it inspired me to do a little observational research. I decided to measure the amount of time people spend texting versus the time they spent working out. This isn’t a scientific study by any means but it was still interesting to look into. I chose a subject who had picked up the phone consecutively at least two times in between sets. I started the timer from the moment they finished their set to the start of the next set, in addition to timing the set itself.
That is a lot of time at the gym being wasted while on the phone. That time could be better spent alternating exercises with a different muscle group, alternating a power or strength exercise with an endurance exercise, adding more core work in or simply grabbing a drink of water.
I often ask myself, “What is most important to me right now?” and when I am in a training session, the most important thing for me is my goals and doing what I need to do to accomplish them. Spending time texting on the phone is not as important to me as putting in the work I need to in order to accomplish my long-term goal of competing at the Olympic Games. This is my reason why I texting and Facebook takes a back seat during training.
However not everybody is that serious when it comes to exercise, for many it’s simply recreational. Everybody has different goals, passions and motivations but it’s always good to focus on what’s important to you right now and not let simple distractions disrupt you from pursing your passions. What are some ways we can reduce the temptation of texting at the gym?
- Put your phone in your locker or your car. Keep it tucked away and away from the area that you’re working out.
- Put your phone on Airplane mode. I use my phone to play music and it’s hard to put it into and get it out of my arm sleeve. Airplane mode ensures that I won’t be tempted to check it and all messages coming in will have to wait when I’m done.
- Design your workout program to alternate exercises and muscle groups. It’s known as a compound set and it’s when you do an exercise for one muscle group and while it rests you perform another exercise for the opposite muscle group.
- A good example would be a Chest Press working your Pectoralis Major immediately followed by a Lat Pull Down working your Latisimus Dorsi. Or a Bicep Curl immediately followed by a Tricep Dip.
- Circuit training is another excellent way to make your program more efficient. Similar to a compound set however it is not specific to muscle groups. It is simply combining a group of exercises that you perform immediately one after another in a circuit.
- I suggest you alternate upper body, lower body and core exercises so you can still ensure each muscle group gets a decent amount of rest.
- Your imagination is the only limit. You can combine exercises and types of exercises (cardio, weights, core etc) in any way you like.
- If there’s a particular area of the body you don’t like to train, add one of those exercises to the circuit and it’ll feel easier to get the work done.
One of my clients likes to say that our training session is like recess for her, because it gets her out of her work zone and allows her to engage in something else, it’s a way for her to disconnect and destress. In a way she finds it fun (although she probably won’t tell you that!) and as a result she has seen significant increases in strength, balance, endurance, agility and even has lost weight.
There’s no reason why you can’t see progress toward accomplishing your goals if you’re willing to put down the phone and focus on what’s most important to you at that moment.