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Fitness Tip: Focus to Make Your Workout Count

Fit Tip: Make It Count

A lot of us head to the gym and spend about 45 minutes on the bike while reading a book or magazine and working moderately hard. I am not knocking this behavior, since I am happy when anyone makes time for the gym, but one day a week try and do a good, quality workout. This means making everything you do count by really pushing yourself to get through it and working your hardest, i.e. you shouldn't be able to focus on a book.

What's more? Since you are going for quality (not quantity), you may even find that you can do fewer sessions while getting the same (or even better) results and ultimately saving time. Now who doesn't love saving time? Try it out and let me know how your quality workout went.


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angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
I get dizzy when I try to read on treadmill or elliptical. I bounce on the elliptical but try to minimize this to isolate muscles.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
I can only really push myself one day out of the 6 that i work out cardio-wise and I always push for weight training. My ankle is dead if I try to push more than 2 days a week (sprained it a month ago). My hard day is about a 8 and my two not-so-hard days are about a 6. My easy leisurely day on Satuday is probbaly a 3 or 4. I walk with a friend so I have to slow down. It is hard to break a sweat on a bike in my opinion. I love the feeling of when you feel your body really working. Is that runner's high? I'm started to get addicted to it.
jlana jlana 9 years
I've noticed people doing this at my gym too. Personally, I've always felt that if I can read a book while working out, then I'm not really working hard enough. I just put my music on and charge right through it. As for other people, I try to ignore what they do and stick to my own thing, that way I don't get distracted. I wonder when fitsugar will have a topic on gym pet peeves (not sure if it's already been covered), because I have a gazillion of them and would just love to rant about it!
mshoney18 mshoney18 9 years
most of the people i see at the gym with books and phones on the elliptical machine don't even break a sweat but there's this one guy who always has a book and is always soaking wet. i don't get it!
turkhaven turkhaven 9 years
I recently began interval training. I have cut my workouts by 15 minutes and am getting a much better workout. I don't have 3 hours per day to workout. I have to make the most of every minute and believe in "leaving it all on the gym floor". Brenda
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
blue skies, I hear you on the people that just occupy the machines and don't excersise!!! It's so annoying!! At my gym there are only 2 floor-mats with those rolling things for crunches, and I ALWAYS see people just lying down there for like 5 mins after doing one set of 10-20 crunches. It really pisses me off! Sure, you can take a break between sets, just GET OFF THE MAT while you're taking a break!!
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
It never occured to me to read a book on the treadmill or the cycling machine... Though I wouldn't do it, I can see how people would end up resorting to that sort of behaviour, since it can be SOOOO BORING sometimes you just wanna stop!!!
blue-skies blue-skies 9 years
Oh my, look at my not reading through my comment again... Of course I mean AN old lady by a POOL!
blue-skies blue-skies 9 years
The weirdest thing I've ever seen that is fitness-related was in Miami (on my so far one and only trip to the US) where and old lady was sitting in her bathing suit (it was by a cool) on an exercise bike, working, and SMOKING at the same time! So bizarre. I don't like it when people read and don't work out at the gym, but occupy the machines. One of the first times I went someone sat and read, perfectly still, on a thigh machine for five or six minutes, so I had to ask "Er, excuse me, do you think you'll be done with this machine soon? I can go use another in that case." It felt a bit odd to ask, but it's just so annoying. To me it signals that they're not taking the exercise seriously. I'm still just a newbie but it's easy to see who's working and who's just waiting for an hour to have passed so they can go home and tell themselves they worked out! I must have music with my great in-ear headphones (that cancel out noise) to get motivated and to work me harder, but that's it. When I go to the gym and have made the effort to go, I want to work hard!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
I couldn't read and do the treadmill or eliptical or bikes - I very bad vertigo so I have to stare straight ahead and focus. I listen to music mainly to drowned out the people and noises around me. I have no idea how I am gonna do when I go to fitness boot camp cause I cannot take my iPod and I have to listen to the instructors while doing the exercises. That has me worried that I won't like it or that I'll lose concentration and fall. I just like to go into the zone and do - not hear chatter while doing exercise. If the instructors expect me to shout back something - I will probably forget because I tend to think I said something out loud when I didn't - so they'll be confusion.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Fitsugar, I agree with you. I don't read when I'm working out. It distracts me. I've seen people talk on their cell phones when they work-out. That's bizarre to me.
katwo katwo 9 years
I'm so lucky my husband got us polar heart monitors, definitely a great thing to have since i'm pushing weight loss and endurance. keeping my target zone definitely helps. even if i just do 30 minutes of doing 6.5 on the treadmill, i know that i can keep track of my progress because the heartrate monitor checks my levels - if i'm underdoing or overdoing it, and since my target zones are in check, i can watch tv shows on the treadmill while letting the time pass. i swear, without television or music, 5 minutes on the treadmill feels like 30 minutes already.
SussLW SussLW 9 years
I alternate between reading and NPR podcasts. Workout machines (ellipse/bike/treadmill) are painfully boring. I defitniely work up a sweat and will often stop reading/tune out what I'm listening to when it gets really tough.
cateislate cateislate 9 years
I find it hard to read, but I'll admit to flipping through a magazine on the elliptical. I just have a hard time concentrating on just working out with cardio.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
LOL @ the coffee on the treadmill guy. I remember one time at the gym, I was running on a treadmill and these two women I worked with got on the elliptical machines. They would go really slow for about 5 minutes, then stop (still staying on the machines) and talk for a few minutes, then they would go another 5 minutes...when they were done (a whole 20 minutes later), they were like "Whew, that was some workout!" I was thinking "Are you kidding me??" I usually go all-out for at least half of my workout...I definitely work up a sweat!
ibron ibron 9 years
The "coffee man on treadmill" scenario cracked me up! I see a lot of people at my gym watching tv while they are on the bikes/treadmills/steppers. I tried watching the tv once while on the treadmill - within 2 seconds I was this close to falling right off it! You just can't mentally multitask like that when you are demanding that much of your body. Your brain is busy enough trying to keep you from getting injured - it hasn't got time for entertainment!
Novaraen Novaraen 9 years guilty of reading at the gym, but hey...i still work hard! I first get on the treadmill for 20 minutes and do my intervals of walking fast and running...i dont read while i do this. Then i get on the bicycle for another 20 minutes set on random so it hits highs and lows...this is when i read. It makes the time totally fly by. I definitely break a sweat and my skin is always super red-flushed afterwards. So i dont think its true that reading while working out isnt good. :P
lawyerjenn lawyerjenn 9 years
coffee on a treadmill??? WHAT!?!?!?! I have a friend who is trying to lose about 20 pounds. She went to the gym with me and got on a bike. I get on the treadmill. I run 4 miles and am red faced, sweaty and out of breath by the end of it. She doesn't push herself enough to even break a sweat, she read a magazine the whole time and she says after we're done "See I just worked out for 40 minutes like you; I don't see why I'm not losing weight." Yikes. Had to bite my tongue a bit. I figure if I'm at the gym, already away from my house and have gone to all the trouble of changing clothes...I might as well push myself. No one says you need to kill yourself every time but I just don't think you can count it as exercise if you don't sweat.
bmorehon bmorehon 9 years
at my gym in the mornings there is a man who drinks coffee while on the treadmill...that can't be good for you
bluestarfish bluestarfish 9 years
Thanks for the reminder! I recently decided to start attending Turbo kickboxing classes as a way to switch up the routine, and I have discovered that my 3 mile runs on the treadmill every other day just weren't pushing me hard enough! You need to struggle in your workout to really get results, especially when you're stuck in a plateau.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
I NEVER read or anything while working out. Sure, I have music, but I work so hard every time that I just zone out even the music. I think this is why I can't even speak when I'm all done on my way home. I just sit there quietly trying to gain all my strength back.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
If I don't sweat then there's an issue. It amazes me those people who bring a book or magazine, I mean c'mon!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I've noticed! I see lots of people at the gym not giving it 100% (not evn 75%!). It's good your going, but you should at least sweat!
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
Hmmmm...since I don't go to a gym ($$$ factor, not that I wouldn't. Oh how I wish I could!) I've never noticed this phenomenon. It would be impossible to actually run outside this way, so I'm safe. :wink:
ash_marisa ash_marisa 9 years
some people that put up magazines arent really reading it persay, more so to cover up the time in bw intervals, etc.
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