The Focus Challenge

In last month’s piece I told a story about a guy called Andy who after being a gym member for years was not achieving the weight loss he desired, when he changed add a focus to his training he suddenly lost a huge amount of weight in a short period of time. What we learnt from Andy was that just having a ‘habit’ can stop progress, we need to find a focus for our exercise so we keep moving towards the results we desire.

This month I thought I would give you a challenge that can keep you focused. This process could help you move towards your next level.

When I was studying we had a tutor who was fascinated with how most athletes spend so much time developing their physical but little time on their mental ability. The number he threw out there was that the majority of athletes will spend 90% on the physical and only 10% on the mental. While I’m not sure if that number is 100% accurate I wouldn’t be surprised if it sat somewhere around that range.

So the question I have is: If you dedicated more time in your training routine to your mental development – would you perform better even if this meant taking time away from your physical training time?  While I think the answer may become obvious fairly quickly, I thought that I would set a challenge for you to see the effect it will have on your training.

Here’s my challenge: For the next seven days of training apply this mental prep technique: Before you start your training session devote 5-10mins where you can focus without distraction, this could be in the car before you go into the gym or before you leave home. From there think about what exercises you are going to do in the next session and what the objective of the session is. Next, identify when the most challenging moments will be and predetermine what you will do at these times. You can do some visualisation and also think of words that you can use to get you through those times. Lastly think about the benefits, either mental or physical, you will get when you have taken the actions that you have predetermined.  

Once you have tried this for seven days assess if adding this process has helped you reach a higher level in your training. If you find it does then you could include this as a key part of your exercise routine and watch the results come as you are learning more about how you work successfully.   


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Bevan Eyles