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Benefits of Training Without Distractions

There are no mirrors, TV screens, or fancy equipment in a CrossFit gym. Everything is pretty much put away in shelves and ordered in line. What is left is a big empty space which at first does not seem appealing, until it gets filled with coaches, members, and an electrifying atmosphere. Why are there no distractions in a CrossFit gym setting? What benefits can we gain from it? No outside diversions: focus on the workout Focus is required whether we are in the strength part of the wod or are about to tackle the metcon. If we take breaks to look at our phones, we distract ourselves from the task at hand, demanding twice as much work to our nervous system and taking the same amount of time to get back into it. Recruiting muscles and focusing on stability especially when weights become heavy demand concentration without a phone or a TV nearby. Sometimes even the music if it doesn’t match our likes – too aggressive or too strange – can become a distraction. No mirrors: body awareness It would be tricky to check our form while back squatting. If we turn our head to the sides, we compromise technique, if we look straight we cannot see anything, and if we look back, we might as well become a contortionist. CrossFit and especially weightlifting and gymnastics force us to connect with our bodies from the inside. When we do a pull up, are we using our biceps and elbows, or are we using mainly our lats? This could have a significant amount of importance to prevent injuries. As we advance into the sport, it is crucial that we locate the major muscles and understand their purpose. Sure, the body works as a whole. But the body we are operating is ours, wouldn’t it be nice to get to learn what we are made of instead of ignoring it? Partner with someone and let them guide you What if we need to correct posture? Can it really be done without a mirror? The coach nearby or another member will gladly check our form. That is the reason why we are sometimes teamed up with another member for strength work. Our duties as CrossFit athletes is not only to cheer on but also check, offer feedback, and spot our peers if they need it. Another option without having our phones filming the entire sessions is to use it for feedback. It is a great way to assess our form if we have trouble understanding the coaches’ cues. Statement: performance is paramount The community spirit is reinforced by the fact that no one is really interested in anything else than performance. Can we do a pull-up, can we deadlift that weight? There is no general interest in our appearance when lifting, or how great an outfit makes us look. Generally, and with the exceptions of a few individuals, our scores and skills are what matter the most. That is also what makes this community so friendly and open minded. An hour away from worries and stress Of course, we want to lose weight, become fitter, push ourselves mentally, but we are also searching for peace of mind. During the length of a CrossFit class, we are in a bubble, protected from work worries, family troubles, or any other type of concerns which makes it hard for us to relax and enjoy the present moment. For an hour, we dive into our own meditative state. Because we cannot focus on multiple things at once, the more complex and heavy the workouts, the more we are likely to zone out and immerse ourselves into the process. Tamara Akcay  

people working out in a group fitness class


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