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Your Smartphone is Ruining Your Strength Training Sessions

Using your smartphone for your strength training can actually DECREASE your results....if you're not careful

When I first started working in the fitness industry in 2001, cell phones were banned from the gym floor. Trainers, Clients, and gym goers alike were required to leave their phones in the lockers. 

Use your cell phone on the floor, and you get kicked out. Simple as that. 

However, over the last 5-8 years gyms have become much laxer about having your smartphone on the training floor. This is due in large part to the increase in the number of people using training apps on their phones.

Selfies aside, this has, for the MOST part, been a good thing for those training, as you now have access to coaches from around the world and are no longer tied to geographical location. This has led to better results for athletes and fitness enthusiasts from around the world, as you can now find a coach, program, and approach that works for you, instead of feeling “stuck” with whichever trainer has the timeslot you need available, or is the next in line at the gym to take on a client.

But this boon in apps has also led to too many distractions in the gym, thus DECREASING the desired impact of the training program.

Here’s how.

I’m going to use my own training session from this past Monday (July 6, 2020) as an example.

I made the same mistake that many of us make: I let my phone interrupt my training instead of guide it.

As I headed to the gym I got a text that my (VERY long awaited) shipment of my author copies of my first book The Vortex Method was finally going to arrive today, and that I’d get a call from the courier to arrange delivery. I have been patiently waiting for almost 2.5 months for the books to come, and was really excited, so I figured that this ONE time I would not put my phone on “do not disturb” and turn off all on-screen notifications.

What a mistake.

 

Warmup interruptus
Warmup interruptus- full workout view

 

 

 

Warmup Interruptus
Warmup interruptus- Phone call close up

While we may think of the guy or gal in the gym yelling/talking loudly into their phone while sitting on the exercises bike, or walking around between sets as distracting you from your workout, having your notifications on phone pinging every few minutes is far worse.

The idiot talking on the phone you can ignore/turn your music up, but your notifications pulls your mental focus away from the task at hand: both immediately for the set or repetition on hand, and for those upcoming, as your mind focuses in on the email or message you just received and what you need to do next.

On this special day, I had BOTH of these distractions, but as you can see, the text message from the courier interrupted my warmup, leading to the first drop in HR as I worked through my warmup.

The call, was worse. Instead of just leaving the package by the door as asked, they wanted to leave it with a neighbor, which led to a 2 minute phone call.

My heart rate (and focus on my warmup) dropped like a rock.

 

While excited to finish the workout and get home to rip open the package and hold my precious in my hands, I had to go back 2 steps in my warmup in order to refocus and build my bodies readiness for that days session.

Even then, I struggled to stay within the appropriate ranges,  towards the end of the workout, as my “relaxed” 90 minutes total to get in my training, became a more rushed 65 minutes.

Usually I’m in and out in 65-75 minutes, leaving me some time to address issues or add a little if I want.

The Big Picture

Some of you may be reading this thinking “what’s the big deal? The session still got done”.

 

True, but the INTENT, the FOCUS was not there.

 

This means less returns on the time and effort invested.

The Critical Part of The Picture That REALLY Matters

Everyone and their mother-in-law quotes “Eriksson’s 10,000 hour rule” as the way to attain top-performer status…..yet almost no one bothers to mention the fact that it’s ACTUALLY:

 

10,000 hours of FOCUSED, PURPOSEFUL PRACTICE.

 

Distracted sessions, slogging through your training mindlessly, and “just going through the motions” doesn’t count.

Conclusion

We all have “those days” where getting to the gym and working out is a stress reliever and gives us a healthy outlet while keeping us moving. Those days are just as important to your GENERAL physical preparation and health as the focused PERFORMANCE sessions.

However as cyclists and triathletes, we aren’t hitting the weights for general purposes, we’re there to help us improve our performance and balance out the repetitive motions of our sports, and the excessive time we spend in postures and positions that, over time, wear our bodies down.

We need our strength training sessions to be focused and purposeful 90% of the time.

So the next time you hit the weights, put your phone on “Do not disturb”, turn off all notifications, except those that are 100% necessary for your workout. You may just find that over the next 2-3 weeks your workouts begin to feel better, and that your progress in technique or strength comes just that much faster.

 

 

 

 

 

Since 2009 I’ve been coaching athletes & clients from around the world via online coaching & programs. The internet and the abilities of the programming have come a long way since uploading to YouTube or Vimoe and writing email feedback or talking on the phone. Now, we have the HVTraining App, with delivery of individual programming, video technique examples, video explanations, and the ability for those I coach to upload their videos for each exercise, and to message me right there in the app.

If you’d like to work with me privately, to address YOUR specific needs, email me at Brodie@HumanVortexTraining.com and we’ll schedule a call to see if we’re a good fit.

As always, Train Smarter, Not Harder, because it IS all about YOU!

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