We recently had this question come in from one of our followers so we thought we would share it

Question: 

Fred I’m really enjoying the workouts that you suggested , but often have a very hard time concentrating during my exercise session and staying focused on what it is I’m trying to accomplish (improved strength and muscle tone). Fred Does concentration during lifting (or lack thereof) play an important part in the results you achieve, and if so, can you help me with this? Thanks so much for all your support, Ben 46 east malvern 

Answer: 

Great question Ben  – good for you! To get the best results possible, from my experience I can tell you that it is important to concentrate on exactly what you are trying to achieve while you are lifting. Try looking in the mirror while you are lifting and watch the muscle you are using expand and contract. Always pay attention to your technique and make sure you are lifting slowly enough, without momentum. You must direct your thoughts and energy to the centre of the muscle being worked.

Many people Ben  do not know the muscles they are training on a specific lift – they just go through the motions. For example, people often tell us they do not feel their back muscles working when they do the Front Lat. Pull-down. Instead of focusing on their back muscles and squeezing their shoulder blades back together, they are simply going through the motions, pulling the weight with their arms.

To avoid this waste of time and energy, always read and understand the exercise instructions so you know what body part you are trying to train. Consciously focus on the body part you are working, and direct all your energy into that part. Guard against the temptation to “cheat” when your mind wanders from the true form of the exercise.

Try to avoid talking to someone while you are in the middle of an exercise. When someone tries talking to you, give a friendly nod of recognition or say “just a second,” and continue focusing on the exercise. Most people will understand that you are not being rude or unfriendly.

Another common source of broken concentration is waiting. If a piece of equipment, dumbbell or barbell is being used, move on to the next exercise for that muscle group or use an alternate lift. For example, let’s say your chest routine consists of the Bench Press, Incline Bench Press, and Cable Flys. Suppose the Bench Press is being used. You should either do the bench press on a machine or with dumbbells, or go onto Incline Bench Press and then come back to the Bench Press when it’s available. Don’t stop to wait; this will break both your concentration and the rhythm of the workout.

You should know that in common gym etiquette people can “work in.” Here’s how it works: if someone is using a machine, barbell, or dumbbells that you want to use, simply ask if you can work in while they are resting. This means that when the person you are working in with finishes a set of the exercise, you immediately do your set while they are resting, and they do the same when you are resting, and so on. No time is lost if you each begin your set the moment the other person is finished. This way you don’t lose time or concentration.

I hope this is helpful. If you need additional help, please let me know… and keep up the excellent work!

Fell free to pop onto our Gym Ben and claim your free day pass here  

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