The Importance of Focus When Training

Static-X vs. Britney Spears

When I am in the gym or in the dojo, I make every attempt to bring maximum intensity and pure focus. Throughout my life this is the attitude that I have known to foster success. As an example, most of the local gyms tend to blast Britney Spears music or perhaps some Justin Timberlake. These folks rolls up into the speakers babbling about love and dancing with their crooning voices and loose hips. Well I am not training for love. I am not training to dance. I am training to either lift more weight than you can comprehend or to knock your head off if you threaten me.

Some inspiring lyrics from some rock groups that know how to bring it…
Focus
“Yeah! You push it! Yeah! You push it!”
– Static-X

“Heavy! I want it Heavy!”
– Disturbed

“DIG! Bury Me! Underneath!
Everything that I am!”
– Mudvayne

“Get this or die! Get this or die!!
Get this or DIE!!!”
– Slipknot

So what exactly is your point?

When you are training you need to be in The Zone. Not the Zone Diet, not the Phantom Zone, and definitely not the Game Zone. Too many folks saunter into the gym with Britney Spears’ intensity. They walk up to the dumbbells, sigh, and hit the same number of reps, sets, and weights they’ve been using for the last 5 years. These are the same folks that won’t squat because it hurts their back, they won’t run because it hurts their knees, they won’t use a barbell because it hurts their hands! I feel like saying, “pick a spot on the ceiling, focus on it, grab the bar, do your set, THEN worry about the condition of your fingers”. Your back hurts? Spend a couple minutes figuring out how to rehab that thing back into working condition… then squat! Knees hurt? Try interval sprints, try the elliptical, try kickboxing!

The guy to avoid at all costs

Late in the evening when I’m trying to finish up my super-set so that I can get in one more exercise before the gym closes, I have to listen to, “I like to exercise late because there isn’t really anyone here to watch me. Maybe if I was in a bit better shape I wouldn’t mind so much, you know?” NO! I don’t know, buddy! I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about! I like it when other people are working out around me. Guys like me start up unspoken competitions with other similar athletes. We watch intently to see if our rivals hit their deadlift max this week. We check out the shredded guy’s calves to see if ours are still bigger. But there’s one thing you don’t need to worry about: we do not, under any circumstances, watch YOU. In fact I don’t really care what you do because you add absolutely nothing to my training, but please move away from the decline bench so I can finish my last set of weighted decline sit ups!

Today’s Lessons

  • Focus on the task at hand and nothing else.
  • Strive to set a new personal best or personal record each time.
  • Avoid those that do what you don’t want to do.
  • Avoid those that don’t have what you want to have.
  • Surround yourself with those that do have what you want to have.
  • Use the environment (music, video, pictures, quotes) to keep you on track.

You need to want it more than anything else in the moment

If you want to make progress you need to DIG! You need to want it HEAVY! You need to PUSH IT!! Eat what you know you need to eat. If you don’t know what to eat, read and learn. Lift more weight every single workout no matter what. Kick harder today than you did yesterday. Jump higher! Do more situps! Get in that zone so you can block out the rest of your life, so that the only thing you see right now is that bar on the floor or the heavy bag, and you know that today, right now, you’re about to lift 5 lbs more on this exercise than you’ve ever lifted before, and hell if you can get an extra rep you’ll do that too. Know that you’re about to jump rope for 5 minute straight without it getting caught on your feet. Know that you are about to knock that heavy bag right off the damned ceiling! Get IN that zone, because it’s time to DIG!

“Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning; but give me the man who has the pluck to fight when he’s sure of losing.”

– George Eliot

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