Fitness Friday – The Secret to a Highly Effective Workout

SecretWalk into a gym and you are likely to see dozens of High Definition television screens broadcasting a variety of programming to keep everyone in attendance entertained.

“Yes!” you might be thinking…

“I love having the TV! It keeps me going and keeps my mind off the pain so I can get through this dreaded workout.”

But here’s the problem… Are you happy with the results?

Do you feel as though you are getting the full benefit of your workout?

Or are you perhaps just a teensy bit frustrated because you go to the gym diligently 3 to 5 times a week and the weight is just not coming off fast enough…

If that’s the case, I have an answer for you: Stop watching TV while you workout!

You see the Television is the culprit here.

When you focus on the screen and not on your workout, you tend to exercise at a much lower intensity.  So rather than helping you get through your workout the television is in fact robbing you of the results you deserve and desperately crave.

You see the secret to a  highly effective workout is in what I call “Mind Body Connection“: When you focus on the activity you are involved in and really think about the results you want to achieve your entire body is involved in the transformation.

Trust me on this — You will see results much faster from an intense 15 minute workout, with your mind fully focused on what you are doing than you will from a 1 hour jog on the treadmill watching “The View” or the latest episode of “Days of our Lives”.

The power of the mind when it comes to physical transformation is truly amazing!

Have you ever watched a professional athlete or Olympian prepare for their game or routine?  They tend to close their eyes and go through the motions, visualizing the perfect execution of every single movement, committing this performance to memory and muscle memory.

Brain studies now reveal that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions, so in combining thoughts with actions you are getting maximum benefits.

Here’s an example of how this works, using one of my favorite BURST workouts which focusses on the buttocks.

Before you get started, visualize the results you are seeking, in this case a tone, sculpted and perky rear end.

As you execute each exercise engage your mind as much as you engage your muscles in everything that you do.   So if  you are engaging your glutes, hamstrings and quads, feel that intense contraction and relish the burn in your thighs and butt. See the gorgeous definition you seek and “watch” the transformation take place. And feel your muscles elongate, tone, sculpt.

Ready to test out this concept?

  • Get rid of all distractions (television, magazine…)
  • Choose your favorite workout (pleasure is another key to success)
  • Visualize the results that you want
  • Focus intensely and go for it!

Have you ever applied the “Mind-Body Connection” to your fitness routine?  Do you have a powerful tip to share with us?


  1. Great tips! I’ll be saving this since I’m working on losing weight and will need to focus on working out 3 times a week!

  2. i love these tips! I need to need to get my butt moving and get rid of some of this weight!

  3. This is very interesting. I’ve always had a hard time visualizing success but I need to try this.

  4. I’ve never considered that. Does music have a negative affect?

    • No Crystal, on the contrary, music can have a positive effect. If you choose the right music it will drive you forward and allow you to be fully engaged and actually enjoy your workout. Depending on the type of exercise you are doing, an upbeat piece of music with a melody that really wraps itself around you will make you feel really good and help you keep a solid pace. Music is also a great way to time your workout…

  5. Interesting point of view. I know many people that find their exercise routines more effective and more fun with music.

  6. I totally agree with not doing it in front of the television. My husband had my treadmill in the living room at one time so I could watch shows, I would run but never felt tired after like I should. When I moved it into my room all I could see was the walls and I could completely focus. I must ask how you can keep your mind from wondering though? Mine would start drifting on things that needed done around the house or how I might look in 3 months or the warrior dash I was working so hard towards. Just curious. I do love listening to music while I work out though.

    • I’m so glad you were able to see the difference for yourself Elizabeth.. TV draws us in, we get caught up in what we are watching and tend to be a lot more mechanical and absent minded about our workout. Music on the other hand can be a real beneficial tool, keeping us at a certain intensity and pushing us to go just a bit further than we would otherwise.

  7. My mind really doesn’t want to focus on the fact that my body is in pain though. I may need to give this a try and see how much more effective it is!

    • I hear you Kathleen and the first step is to look forward to your workout, to get exited about it and the benefits you will reap from committing to it. Music is a great way to help us stay focused and engaged. TV on the other hand can easily draw us in and as we get absorbed in the drama on screen you are a lot less mindful of what we are doing. As ofr the pain, a good effective workout will leave your muscles fatigued and sore, but should not actually leave you in pain. You want to feel like you worked your muscles deeply but which should make you smile because you know you are doing something good for your body 🙂

  8. This totally makes sense! I have used TV and music to make my workouts go by faster, but I probably do focus less on my movements when distracted.

  9. I’m going to have to try this!

  10. See I feel just the opposite. I love running outside to music but when indoors I dread a treadmill and struggle to stay on long so the tv helps hold me more accountable time wise.And I set my speed so I can’t slow down 😉

    • I love that you know what works for you Jennifer. In general music is a great motivator and the right music can in fact increase the effectiveness of our workout by helping us sustain a certain intensity and really stay committed. Television or magazines,on the other hand, tend to draw us in to whatever we are viewing or reading leading to a more passive workout. If TV helps you stay engaged more power to you 🙂

  11. I am guilty of this. If I’m not running outside, I tend to watch a show while I’m on the treadmill. I totally see myself not pushing as hard though when I’m focused on the tv.

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