Sunday, March 16, 2008

How To Get The Most From Your Workout

If you are like the average person interested in dropping some body fat, improving your health and getting stronger, then follow these guidelines to get the best results from your workouts:

* Always begin a workout with a full warmup. A good dynamic warmup prepares the muscles for what’s to come and allows you to work harder and with less risk of injury. If you are short on time, cut back on your working sets, never on your warmup.

* Perform a total body workout 3 times a week with at least one day of rest in between. Forget the bodybuilding mags and their body part routines. Muscles work in groups and trying to isolate them during a workout is a waste of time for the vast majority of people.

* Concentrate on compound exercises. Exercises like Squats, Lunges, Deadlifts, Pushups, Rows, Pulldowns, Presses, etc. work multiple muscles at a time, are more functional, and burn more calories than isolation work.

* Forget about the "low weight, high reps to tone" B.S. that is still floating around out there. Challenge your muscle using a resistance that you can only perform 6-10 times with good form. (There are some exceptions, of course.)

* Make sure your strength training program is balanced between opposing muscle groups. Don't ignore exercises you don't like or do extra sets just of those that you do like. Either scenario can cause muscle imbalances.

* Choose cardio intervals over slow, steady state cardio for shorter, more productive workouts. However, limit interval training to 3 times a week, 4 if you are advanced exerciser.

* For fat loss, increased strength and energy, and overall good health, incorporate good nutrition into your lifestyle. Exercise without healthy nutrition will produce mediocre results. Remember, you can’t out-train a bad diet.


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