Saturday, January 8, 2011

Get Your Head In The Game

by Kris Pitcher

There is a lot to be said for tuning in to your workout. For many beginners, tuning out helps them disassociate from the discomfort of doing their cardio, or lifting weights. It helps pass the time while doing something they'd rather not do. Really we should be tuning in to get greater benefits. It's time to get your head in the game.

Focusing on the activity you're doing is important. Feeling your body, your breathing, and the rhythm of your movements can take your progress to the next level. This isn't just my ploy to get you off your phone in the gym, although you really are bothering everyone around you. Partly because your one-sided conversation is distracting us from our own focus, but mostly just because it's rude.

Mind-body connection makes the difference between just going through the motions, and actually making progress toward your goals. You've got to be paying attention, feeling each concentric and eccentric contraction of a movement to get the full benefit from a biceps curl for example. Moving deliberately and feeling the squeeze of your contraction will elicit more muscle fibers to get into the action.

Disassociation is moving in the wrong direction. We want to be more in tune with how our body feels. What changes are we seeing, rather feeling as we progress with our plan. Has our breathing become easier on the treadmill with the same 3 MPH and 5% incline? Are we taking steps pushing through our toe and squeezing our glutes with each stride? Or are we just lumbering along?

Listening to music or talking with your workout partner is one thing. Talking on the phone, texting and generally roaming aimlessly through your workout is another. When you're up for your set, get your head in the game. Making the mind-body connection will take your program to the next level. You will learn about your body, recognize progress in new ways, and appreciate the changes you are making each day. Tune in and get connected - I can't wait for you to feel what you've been missing!

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