Focus On The Task At Hand

Below is a new video where I discuss the importance of focusing on the task at hand. As stated within, intense focus is often more important than any other training variable. Without it, it becomes all but impossible to train with the intensity necessary to handle near maximal loads.

Even minor distractions can seriously compromise workout quality. If you wish to maximize performance, train without distractions. Those familiar with the blog may recall hearing similar sentiments discussed in a previous article (here).


“A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it.”


  1. Important post indeed. The concept of focus that is expressed through physical endeavours can also be expressed through other field of endeavours.
    Focus on the task.
    Just reminds me, when I’m at “work” in the “office” distractions, are totally annoying and breaks my focus, breaking the mode that is relevant to task at hand.

  2. I would suggest that there is important distinction between those normal distracting conversations, you have mentioned and conversations between psyched people as well, having that beast mode mind set as well.
    Just like terrible music and bunch of looking and shit talking rookies (in the bad meaning of the word) may ruin my jump rope warmup, a psyched group of people doing brutal stuff under some decent loud beat, can make me forget about sore muscles or tiredness and jump in the crew!

  3. I have a similar mindset Ross. When I’m training in the gym and potential personal training clients would see me they would always comment “I don’t want to workout with that guy!” They probably will never understand the mentality of intense, focused, hard work and drive it takes to reach difficult goals. On the Other side of the coin those that see me working like that and tell themselves “yeah that’s the guy I want training me!” They get it and I am happy to take them where they want to go.

  4. Hi Ross! I love your messages.

    I am constantly surprised at how many people in the gym don’t psych themselves up whatsoever before a set or a very challenging exercise. I have taught countless young guys how to *immediately* increase their bench press by at least 10 pounds by using my own 1 minute psych up. They are simply amazed and profusely thankful.

    I’m not at all surprised that they don’t teach psych ups to us women, but they don’t even teach psych up to young guys on sports teams? Several of the young guys I taught my psych up to were on competitive high school sports teams. They had never heard of such a thing.

    🙂 Marion @ Affection for Fitness blog

  5. So Ross (forgive me if I should already know your take on this), does this kind of focus that you speak of and practice make taking a pre-workout (like Jack3D) unnecessary? I haven’t take one, but many do. Would value your thoughts/perspective.

  6. Ross (and others),

    I agree that focus is crucial for maximum performance, and also agree about the value of getting revved up for short bursts. What I’m curious about is what to do when it’s a more endurance-related workout or activity. Will revving up in that case cause an athlete to get depleted that little bit sooner? If so, what kind of pre-training/competition mindset would you suggest aiming for instead – a calm one, or maybe something in between calm and a caged tiger?

  7. @Hop – I don’t take any of those products, so I’d definitely say so. YMMV of course.

    @Dennis – For longer duration work, I’m not the same raging lunatic. I’m more of a sustained lunatic. I have the mindset that I won’t stop no matter what. For example, if I take someone running, I get it in my mind that I’ll go all day if necessary. And yes, I’m sure that sounds crazy, but that’s what’s going on in my head.

    I attribute this mentality to my early boxing days. It was an unwritten rule that you should never be the first one to suggest getting out of the ring during a sparring session. If someone suggests, “One more round” we were taught to always agree. Never be the one to give up or stop.

  8. Thanks so much, Ross. I greatly dislike the idea of being dependent on anything (substance) — even coffee. Some are this way with stims.

  9. awesome video. in sports psychology they refer to this state of mind as ‘flow’, almost like a meditative state, and like you said you get out of your mind. the interesting fact is, that this mental state called flow, studies have shown that it improves mental health and reduces risk of mental illness. who would have known that lifting shit in a garage could have so many benefits! great video.

  10. Having your concentration and focus during a workout interrupted by a phone call for instance is something I liken to getting a phone call while in the middle of a love making session. Just try to get back exactly where you were at before being interrupted.

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