Darin St. George: Training requires tunnel vision

Darin St. George

I see a lot of trends at the gym. Some are good, some are bad and some are just plain funny. Today, I'll focus on how you can jump on and catch the wave of good fitness.

Lower your head and keep the volume at 11: You've seen this before and probably even fell victim to it. Someone is trying out for Chatty Cathy in the gym and you're unfortunately holding auditions. Myself, I prefer the "The Prince of Darkness is my motivational coach" face and wear a mouthguard when I train. If that's not for you, I suggest warding off the gabfest by keeping your earphones in and keeping your eyes focused in the distance. Nothing invites an ill-fated conversation like eye contact. If you find yourself caught inadvertently, you've got to man up and say, "Look, I don't have a lot of time because of my new work schedule -- let's try e-mail." Gym time is precious so don't waste it.

Find a quiet corner of the gym and make it your own sacrificial altar: I am huge on cycles of three exercises done in rapid-fire succession and within a small diameter. Plan your workout before you get to the club and make a beeline to the predetermined spot where you can fire off three hard and heavy exercises for a few rounds and then move on to your next theater of pain. Crush, kill and destroy -- or so the saying goes.

Cultivate an "I wonder what just happened?" feeling after your workouts: Again, to command nature you must understand nature; anaerobic activity is hard and short, so literally pummel yourself in the shortest amount of time and go home. My workout today took 9:57 and I feel like I was playing rocks, paper, scissors with Frankenstein. Keep your eyes on the prize and it will be yours.

You can't hit a target if you don't set it. Once you set your eyes on what you want, don't let anything get in your way of achieving it. Live your life for your sake and let the others watch and learn.

Darin St. George is a personal fitness coach at Gold's Gym in Natick, Mass. Visit his Web site at www.TrainerX.com.