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How To Get Present In Your Workouts

By Coach Melissa

When we poll our members about why they workout, many say for the peace it brings them from the outside world. It’s an hour to turn off all the noise and simply do something for themselves. 
FitTown Jupiter is a sanctuary for a lot of us who are coming into the gym seeking solace from the million tasks that await us outside these walls. We want to get away from politics, social media, deadlines, family needs… everything!  
Some of us are still working out at home full time or mixing in at-home workouts with coming to the gym which makes it even more challenging to step away from it all. It’s hard to not think about all those at-home jobs when they’re staring you in the face all workout. 
No matter where you perform your workouts, it’s important to give your workout the dedicated space physically and mentally you need for it to fully benefit you! 
Physically, I’m in a unique spot (as all of our coaching staff is) where I work out for the same mental reasons, but I also feel like this place is my actual home. Having these spaces overlap brings on its own challenges I’ve had to overcome similar to what most experience when they are trying to workout at home.
Mentally, If there’s something out of place in the gym it bothers me! If a tape line is coming up, if the rower slides are dirty, if the doors are open I have to fight my urge to become my parents and yell: “Are we air conditioning all of Tequesta?!” 
The struggle is real. 
Sometimes you just have to STOP and ask yourself, “am I present…like REALLY present?” If you find yourself inside of any workout – home or at the gym – where you can’t silence the outside world I have a few techniques I’ve discovered that help me really zone in:
Close Your Eyes
Count Out Loud
Listen To Your Breathing
Give Yourself a Focal Point

Close Your Eyes: 
SHUT IT ALL OUT. This one might just be for me (and definitely don’t do it during running or box jumps) but when I’m on the rower or bike I like to close my eyes and go internal. Can I give 10% more? Is this something I’ve felt before? Did I make it through last time? Can I do one more rep? 
Closing your eyes can help you zone into any feelings you are fighting with. It helps me the most if I find myself making comparisons to other people around me or when I am feeling self-conscious about the way a movement makes me look while I’m doing it.
Count Out Loud:
This one isn’t just because I’m bad at counting my reps in a workout, it’s a matter of learning how to coach yourself into being present and thinking about only the task at hand. 
Saying things out loud helps get you out of your head and interrupts the other thought patterns knocking at your mind’s door.
Just Breathe:
Listening to your breathing can really help you refocus and shift your mind back to the moment when it is wandering. 
In a BeachFit workout, we really get your heart rate up and get you breathing hard. It’s never comfortable. If it is, you’re probably doing it wrong. Dial into that inhale/exhale cycle and visualize it. Look at it like a circle. Are you exhaling as deeply as you are inhaling? Can I get all of my breath out to get new, fresh air in? Am I breathing with intention or panic? 
A new focal point: Can you pick one single joint to zone into? Maybe it’s your knees out on your squat. Did coach just tell you to squeeze your butt on a kettlebell swing? Think about it EVERY REP. Dial into that one single spot and get your mind on a loop. I know a coach has given you a cue in every class you’ve taken. Repeat it in your mind and try to feel it happening each time. Be here now!
All of these techniques mentioned above bring the focus back to YOU. That is why you are here, for YOU and only YOU. If you’re starting to lose that focus by wondering how you look to others or making judgments about others, it’s time to bring the focus back. 
If you’re going to be here, be here. Just show up, fully and wholeheartedly. Let me know if you’ve tried the techniques I’ve used or have your own. And as always, have fun!
-Coach Melissa