Workout of the Week: Focus Equals Success

April 7, 2014 5:33 am Last Updated: April 3, 2014 10:20 am

When you develop focus in one area of your life, you create a blueprint for focus that applies to other areas. The following three focus tips are for your fitness and health goals (both great and small), but you can apply them to your personal development, financial success, and other life goals as well.

Small Steps, Big Results

Do something that contributes to your overarching goals every day. Some days you will be motivated to exercise, and some you won’t, but remember that the days you aren’t motivated are the most important ones to make sure you do exercise. These days are when you show yourself how determined you are and how strong your willpower is.

Just like any other skill or attribute, willpower can be improved. If I really don’t feel like exercising, I set myself a time limit, so I know I just have to get through my 30 minutes and I’m done. I always feel better at the end.

Overcoming Distractions

Distractions are always and forever. When you are focused on achieving something, the distractions can come harder and faster than when you are just cruising along in life.

To stay focused despite distractions, you will need to say no in a big way. Don’t be afraid you’ll disappoint people. Those who matter will understand. Your friends and family will have more respect for you when you stick to your plan and achieve the things that are important to you.

However, you don’t need to be completely antisocial to achieve your goals, but you will need to come up with compromises. If Saturday morning is your scheduled workout time, and your friends want you to go out for breakfast, ask them to compromise and do lunch instead.

Of course, there will be times when compromise is not possible and sticking to your guns is the only way to move forward with your goals.

Ebb and Flow

Staying focused is hard. Everybody has lulls and peaks, ups and downs. Sometimes you do need rest or time out, and it’s important to accept these times in your journey and not to let them steer you off course completely.

Adversity makes reaching the end result even more worthwhile. If you fall off your goal by missing a week of training, overeating, or a combination of the two, then pick yourself up and just start again. Each moment, each day, is a new chance to jump back on the goal train.

Every workout you do brings you one workout closer to being healthy, fit, strong, and feeling energetic and positive about your body and your life. Try the following workout once a week for four weeks to improve your overall core strength. Follow the progression each week and notice how much your strength improves.

Lean-Back

(Willis Lim/Brisbane Australia)

Start in an upright kneeling position with your arms hanging at your sides.
Inhale as you lean back, keep your body straight, and reach your arms out in front of you. Exhale as you come back to the start position.

Week 1: Do two sets of 10 repetitions with a 10-second hold at the end of each set.
Week 2: Do two sets of 10 repetitions with a 20-second hold at the end of each set.
Week 3: Do two sets of 12 repetitions and bring your arms over your head instead of out in front of your body.
Week 4: Do two sets of 12 repetitions with your arms above your head, and hold for 20 seconds at the end of each set.

Plank Crossover

(Willis Lim/Brisbane Australia)

Start in a plank position. Pull your right knee toward your left underarm. Place the right foot back into plank pose, and repeat by bringing your left knee toward your right underarm.

Week 1: Do two sets of 20 crossovers with a 15-second rest in between.
Week 2: Do two sets of 20 crossovers with a 5-second rest in between.
Week 3: Do three sets of 20 crossovers with a 5-second rest in between.
Week 4: Do 60 crossovers in a row.

Hover

(Willis Lim/Brisbane Australia)

Rest the weight of your body between your elbows and feet, using your abdominals to stabilize the position.

Week 1: Hold for 40 seconds.
Week 2: Hold for 1 minute.
Week 3: Hold for 1.5 minutes.
Week 4: Hold for 2 minutes.

Swan Dive

(Willis Lim/Brisbane Australia)

Lie on your stomach with your hands beside your ears. Then press into your hands as you extend your spine and lift your torso away from the floor.

Week 1: Lift only a little way from the floor, keeping your elbows bent. Repeat four times.
Week 2: Lift further away, aiming to straighten your arms. This is the full swan. Repeat four times and hold each lift for two seconds.
Week 3: Do the full swan six times, holding each one for four seconds.
Week 4: Do the full swan eight times, holding each one for six seconds.

Emma-Kate Stampton certifies Pilates instructors and is a certified personal trainer. With nine years of industry experience, she is passionate about sharing the gift of health and well-being. Emma-Kate is based in Brisbane, Australia.