Multitasking: Is it for you?

From Michael Mastrucci (@themacrodiabetic)

It’s often thought multitasking is a GOOD thing. Having the ability to switch between more than one task, assignment, etc. seems to be a desirable ability to have.

In a world with unlimited resources at our fingertips accessed instantly, it’s easy to believe this is a habit worth mastering. We’ll even go as far as carrying this into workouts, doing things like hopping on the treadmill during rest periods or trying to superset every movement possible.

But studies actually show multitasking is extremely detrimental. As a matter of fact, when TRYING to multitask, our IQ drops 5-15 points. Additionally, when our focus is interrupted, it takes at least 15 minutes to return to our workflow before the interruption.

It’s no surprise this isn’t just bad from a mental standpoint, but for our physical systems during training as well. Sure, intelligently placed, super-setting when short on time can be productive to a point. However, strength training and cardio send 2 completely different signals…and if your goal is to get stronger and not just “burn calories” it’s easy to see that conflicting signals won’t result in efficient progress.

Mental task-switching leads to distraction and physical task-switching can lead to an interference effect (often because many take implementing cardio during strength training too far). Keep your strength training as one primary focus and separate your cardio sessions as another. Likewise, focus on getting one mentally strenuous thing done before jumping onto more at the same time