San Marino Tribune

Nine Tips to Add new life to your Old Workout (Or to Finally Get Started in the Gym)

By Chad Morris

1. Go for intensity, not time
Forget the number of reps, sets and hours spent at a gym. your should focus on completing one highly effective set per exercise. Concentrate on extending the duration of each rep, working muscles slowly, correctly and to complete muscle exhaustion. And don’t give in when weights aren’t moving. Pushing/exertion is what counts–not how high or how far the bar moves. your sets hsould liast from 1 to 3 minutes to get to the point of complete muscle fatigue. After 20 minutes of this, you will feel like you worked out an hour and a half–and your results will be as good, too.

2. Work through the burn
Reposition you thinking from “here comes the pain” to “this is where the good stuff is happening” in your most intense moments of working out. If you are only doing one intense set, it’s also easier to get psyched up to give more at the end when it really counts.

3. 1st Priority is form
Maintaining proper form is a higher priority than completing a movement. When your muscles start to burn, don’t cheat yourself by changing your body/form or speeding up to make it easier. Also, there is nothing wrong with not completing a movement–if you gave it a genuine effort. Proper technique includes lifting weights slowly, lowering them slowly, and never jabbing or accelerating quickly on the turnaround.

4. Breathe freely
Don’t hold, control, time or restrict your breathing. Breathing faster actually give you more energy to complete the tough reps. Often people hold their breath or try to rime their berating, such as exhaling while pushing and inhaling when retracting. This can lead to Val Salva–causing potentially dangerous spikes in blood pressure. Instead, relax your mouth and let your breathing flow naturally and independently of the movement of the weights. When the weight feels really heavy, pant! This will greatly increase your strength and ability to continue.

5. Stay in the moment
You need to get into a “zone.” To do this, turn off your cell phone, pager, etc. Listening to music is also distracting and many people inadvertently time their lifting and breathing to the beat. Looking into a mirror while working is also distracting. Instead, try closing your eyes to help you focus on breathing and feeling the proper form of your body. Ideally, have someone who is experienced to watch you and give you objective feedback as you train.

6. Diet, diet, diet
Ninety percent of any weight loss or muscle gain is dependent on diet. Make sure you are eating the right amounts of the optimal foods, spread evenly throughout the day. Otherwise, you most likely will be sabotaging your workout results, no matter how diligent you are in the gym.

7. Timing is everything
your body needs adequate rest between workouts. this means days not hours. Resting for 4-5 days between workouts will dramatically increase your results, decrease the chance for injury and give your body the time it needs to rejuvenate so you can maximize the benefit of your next training session. The more intense your workouts are, the longer you can go between workouts.

8. Workout Memory
The human body is extremely resilient. If you have not worked out in a month or two, have no fear. It is not like you are starting all over again. your body has stored a foundation from the previous workouts that you can quickly build upon. and you can actually be reaping benefits such as increased bone dentistry and beneficial metabolic changes up to 6 weeks after a single workout.

9. Seek professional help
Consider hiring a personal trainer to jump start your old routine. A trainer will not only help you with your focus, breathing and form, but will help motivate you to push past psychological barriers. Select someone with excellent instruction ability and who emphasizes proper technique and safety above all.

Chad Morris is the founder and owner of Myogenics Fitness in West Hollywood, CA.