You read the title correctly, there is one thing that is one of your greatest tools, and yet probably the biggest downfall to why you may not being having great workouts. What is it?
Your phone allows you to have the world at your fingertips, giving you an infinite amount of knowledge and providing you with incredible tools, but are you using it wisely while you are working out? Or are you getting distracted and instead of exercising, you are now texting your friends, checking social media, watching videos, or answering emails?
Next time you are at a gym, look around. I can guarantee you that at least 90% of people are on their phones. During rest periods, it is now second nature to just grab our phones, even if we looked at it only a minute ago. We are addicted to them, and we crave the stimulation that our phones can bring us. But how can we use our phones to help our workouts, rather than hurt them?
My first suggestion would be to put your phone on either "Airplane Mode" or "Do Not Disturb." In Airplane Mode you will have no connection to the internet, making it impossible for you to check your emails, scroll through social media, or get distracted by any of the other countless things we can do on our phones. This is great, however, in airplane mode you also can't stream music, follow online fitness programs, etc. If you need your phone for those functions, simply turn on "Do Not Disturb" which will cause your phone to not ring or beep if you get a text, call, or email, but will still allow you to access the internet.
Another simple suggestion would be to always place your phone face down while you are working out. It sounds so simple, but this action will keep you in the right mind set while exercising. Simply seeing the screen light up makes us focus more on what the notification on our phone is, rather than focusing on the exercise we should performing.
Why is this so important? Who cares if I look at my phone when I workout?
Not having the distraction will change your workouts immensely. When you take a second to look at your phone, that "second" quickly turns into minutes and your rest periods end up getting much longer than they should be, which in turn makes your workouts much longer than they need to be. Why be at the gym for 2 hours when you are doing a workout that could probably take 30-40 minutes if you just focused?
With all this being said, your phone is still an incredible resource for you to use and when used correctly. We should be using our phones to keep record of our current progress/weights, time our rests, take progress photos and videos to correct our form, and follow online programs (getrippt.com/programs) Using your phone for these reasons can completely change your workouts, as long as we don't get distracted by the other apps and messages that can take your focus elsewhere.
Be mindful. Next time you are at the gym, just note how many times you go and reach for your phone and see if you think you can go a full workout without checking your texts or opening up an app. It can be hard, but my best workouts are the ones where I don't check my messages and for the hour I'm working out, I am just present and in the zone.
Test yourself and stay focused.