I talk a lot about having the right mindset and focus in the gym, and my usual tips are quite straightforward and simple. This article however is going to cover some of my more unorthodox habits in the gym, which in my opinion truly separates me from the rest and gets me the results I want. I have to warn you though, this approach might not exactly suit everyone so proceed with caution.
1. I never have my phone with me when I'm training.
I know that in this day and age everybody wants to be connected and be as up to date with their social media as often as possible. Mobile phones have evolved from something that was once only used to make calls to a necessity that many of us can't seem to live without. However, when training just for that first hour, I make it a point to never have my phone around me much less look at it or allow it to distract me at least for that first hour of training. I honestly find it quite ridiculous the amount of people sitting around the gym these days playing with their phones. Majority of them obviously have their minds else where and are hardly focused on the task at hand which is to train hard just for that one hour.
2. For the first 20-30 mins of my training, I try not to make eye contact much less to talk to anyone.
As I've mentioned before, being focus and having a clear idea of what you plan to do in the gym and following through with it is extremely important. I'd almost compare it with going to war or being at war. You can't afford to be distracted or have your concentration broken at least not till you've taken care of business. While I try not to be totally anti social, I believe in getting those the first few sets and exercises done at full force. You may appear initially as a jerk to some people but after you are done “taking care of business” you can revert to being sociable and explain to people why your “me time” at the gym is so important. Often times, people will understand, and if they don't well... That's too bad.
3. I focus at the weights I'm going to do for my next set while resting between sets.
Sometimes, I give a friendly nag to friends who are playing around with their phones between sets and their response to me is that they are resting in between sets so they decide it's okay to play with my phone or chat with a friend. Well, I personally feel the rest time between those sets should be used to focus on the weights of the upcoming set or exercise to be performed. It's not for them to play with phones, chat with people or allow themselves to get distracted in any way. If you are truly training hard and chasing to improve yourself, you need to be able to visualize yourself doing the exercise and getting mentally prepped for it, something you can't do if you allow yourself to be
4. I allow myself to get a bit loud as a form of release.
Okay, there is a difference between the individual who is screaming and yelling at the top of his lungs from the first rep to the last while slamming weights down on the floor to get attention as opposed to the individual who is genuinely tired from his set and is trying his best to psyche himself up to complete his training. I believe some noise as a form of motivation towards the end of the workout or certain heavy sets is perfectly fine. Sometimes this causes other individuals especially some females to feel uneasy or irritated and when it does happen I do try to apologize and explain my behavior. Again, often times my hope is that people will understand. Picking a time to train when the gym is empty so you can be as loud as you want is also a great idea.