Take one look around the gym and you’ll see plenty of cellphones in people’s hands, strapped to their arms, and even sitting on the floor or a bench. It’s normal for people to bring a smartphone to the gym because they’re often used as tools to track progress, measure heart rate, ensure a program is followed properly, and play music. It’s not easy to follow a new and unfamiliar workout without a guide, and working out without music feels like a drag.

While a phone can be quite useful at the gym, there are a handful of reasons to leave it at home.

1. Your Phone Might Break

Your Phone Might BreakBenches are made for sitting, and the floor is made for walking. If your phone is left on either of these surfaces, there’s a good chance it will get smashed. The gym is not exactly phone-friendly. It’s a place where iron plates are tossed around, barbells are dropped to the floor, and people aren’t going to look before sitting on a bench.

Since it’s common for people to accidentally leave a phone somewhere and walk away, the only real protection you have is your phone case. If you’re going to bring your phone to the gym, make sure it’s fitted with a case designed to protect against drops, shocks, and liquid.

2. Your Phone Might Get Stolen

Phones get stolen all the time from public places and it can happen at the gym, too. If you walk away from your phone for any length of time, it may not be there when you get back.

It can even happen if you set it aside and turn the other way or if you set it down in the locker room and turn around to change clothes or stuff it in your shoes while you take a shower.

3. You’ll Be Tempted to Use Social Media

You’ll Be Tempted to Use Social MediaEven when you’re at the gym focused on your workout, hearing notifications can make it hard to ignore the urge to check them and get involved in social media.

Once you look at your phone and see that you have notifications, it can throw you off your rhythm. If you’re not paying attention, it can also cause you to take too long on a certain machine while other people are patiently waiting for you to finish your sets.

If you’re already scrolling through social media at the gym, or you feel tempted and it’s hard to resist the urge, this is the best reason to leave your phone in the car when you work out.

3. You Can Use an I Pod for Music

It’s great that most smartphones double as music players, but they’re big and bulky, and can be cumbersome during a workout. If all you need is a playlist to listen to music, consider using an iPod instead.

They’re smaller, lightweight, and easy to strap to your wrist if you don’t have a pocket. If you don’t like using iTunes, there are plenty of music player apps you can download that will work just as well. You can even download a file folder app that will make it easy to transfer and hold any file type you want, including .mp3 and .mp4 files.

4. Your Performance Might Be Impacted

Your Performance Might Be ImpactedUsing a phone to track workout progress or follow along with a new routine might sound like a good reason to use your phone at the gym, but researchers have found that just using a phone can reduce your postural stability (balance) and makes it harder to focus. In other words, it can ruin your mojo.

Talking, texting, swiping, scrolling, and even just using an app all have the potential to disrupt your workout in ways that have a negative impact on your performance. People are starting to realize that when they use their phone between sets, they get noticeably weaker. If you’re serious about the work you do in the gym, it’s better to leave your phone behind.

Try Leaving Your Phone in The Car Next Time

Next time you hit the gym, try leaving your phone in the car to see if you can get through your workout. Apps are nice tools to track progress, but it’s just as easy to use a small notepad or print a tracking form and fill in the blanks. Try going phone-free at least a couple times. You might see your workouts start to improve when you aren’t connected to your phone.

Alexander Cunningham

Alexander Cunningham is a passionate technology and electronics expert with over a decade of experience in the field. He holds an MSc in Electronic Engineering from Imperial College London. His career embarked as a software developer before transitioning into tech journalism. Prior to joining our team, he worked as a systems analyst for a major tech corporation and co-authored several papers on emerging electronic technologies. Beyond his knack for the technical writing, he is huge enthusaiat about retro computing and loves spending time in restoring vintage electronics.

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