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Focusing Around Social Butterflies

You probably go to the gym with the intention of working out. After all, you’re paying the membership fee, and the gym is full of weights and expensive equipment to train with. There are mats to perform stretching exercises on, exercise balls, and other accessories placed throughout, clearly indicating that it’s a place for you to build a strong, healthy body and mind.

Of course, people go to the gym for their own reasons. Some train more intensely than others, and training regimens vary among gymgoers. Then again, there’s a subset of gymgoers who are social butterflies. They work out too, just not nearly as much as they talk. I posted a video about this recently on Bounce Pep’s YouTube channel, and I figured it would be a good idea to consolidate my thoughts into a Pep Talk.

The social butterfly shows up at the gym eager for fellowship with other gymgoers. They’re pleasant and always ready to converse, but at the expense of actually exercising. I know social butterflies at the gym who talk for 10 minutes or more for every 1 minute that they exercise. And as long as they’re mingling with other social butterflies, there’s no harm in it because that’s what they’re all there for.

But if you go to the gym for the express purpose of working out, pace matters, and that makes managing your interactions with social butterflies important. When doing a certain number of sets with timed rest intervals, for example, getting sucked into a long-winded conversation with a social butterfly can kill your rhythm, and you run the risk of cooling off before you’re ready to. For that reason, you need to signal subtly to the social butterfly your intent to stay focused on training. All but the most tone-deaf of them will take the hint.

On the flip side, if you’re one of the social butterflies at the gym, try to ascertain the situation before striking up a conversation. Someone who’s in a rhythm and training with intent probably wants to stay in the moment. It’s not the right time to pull them into a conversation, and they're likely going to think you’re intrusive, even if they’re outwardly cordial. It’s fine to be outgoing and say a word or two, but try to keep it short and allow the other person to keep their momentum.

Sayonara until next time.

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