Flight Mode is the New Beast Mode
Have you ever been on a plane and had all your distractions taken away? You rip open a magazine or book, and moments later you become intensely focused on it. What if all your workouts went like that?
Cal Newport calls this phenomenon ‘Deep Work’. In positive psychology, they call it a state of ‘flow’.
How does ‘Flow’ Work?
It is generally agreed that if you’re in a state of flow, you may experience the following:
- You lose track of time
- You lose feelings of self-consciousness.
- You have intense concentration and focus.
- The activity feels challenging, but attainable
- The activity is intrinsically rewarding.
- You feel Immediate feedback.
- You feel in control of the situation and the outcome.
- You forget about other physical needs.
It sounds like an incredible state to be in. If a pharmaceutical drug could deliver these benefits, many of us would abuse it like caffeine.
That’s because in a gym environment where we operate heavy machinery and perform complicated movements for excruciatingly long periods, we need these feelings in order to excel.
The Athlete’s Edge
A racing driver needs intense focus, a marathon runner needs to lose track of time, and a life-guard needs to forget how cold that water is.
We may seek to have athletic looking bodies, but how often do we work like our athletes?
When Usain Bolt was interviewed on the BBC, he was asked about how he trained to win his gold medals. He replied “6 times a week, 3 hours a day.” The host was shocked. “Only 3?”, to which Bolt replied “Don’t let the 3 hours fool you, it’s very intense work.”
Natural talent aside, Bolt is referring to his work ethic.
If you spot an athlete during their training session, it’s quite different to what you see at your local gym. No smartphones, no chit-chat, no staring at asses in Lycra, just the work.
You could say that’s a little extreme for daily life. But at the end of the day, are you at the gym to entertain yourself? Can Facebook give you the life you want? Would your world fall apart if you were unreachable for 45 minutes?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, this is definitely not for you. But if you’re serious about producing your best work in the gym, then you owe it to yourself. For 45 minutes. Flight mode: On.