Maximize your workout

February 24, 2012


The purpose of a dynamic warm-up is to prepare the body for the workout.

by Dr. Nicholas Warner — 

Are you suffering from exercise advice overload? These days, so much information is out there, it is hard to know where to begin, much less how to maximize your current workout. Just when you think you have it down and are making progress, your body adapts to the program you are on, leaving you searching for other options. Here are a few ways to maximize your workout the right way.

• Dynamic warm-ups — The purpose of a dynamic warm-up is to prepare for the workout. Its value comes from taking your body through all the planes of functional human movement such as bending, twisting and rotating.

Some exercises include squat-to-stand movements (10 reps), lateral lunges (10 reps), and reverse lunges with twist and overhead reach (five reps on each side).

• Interval training — Studies have shown that about five minutes of high-intensity exercise, consisting of eight rounds of 20 seconds of exercise per round followed by 20 seconds off for recovery, is superior to 60 minutes of continuous cardio.

Example exercises include plyometric push-ups with plyometric squats (20 seconds between sets), front squat push-presses (15 seconds on, 15 seconds off) and kettlebell swings (20 seconds on, 20 seconds off).

• Timed workouts — This is a similar concept to interval training, except the bursts of exercise are longer and you are working one major body part at a time, rather than performing a whole-body workout all at once.

Example exercises (for biceps workout) include dumbbell biceps curls (sets of 10 repetitions, each followed by 20 seconds of rest); straight bar curls (sets of 10 repetitions, each followed by 20 seconds of rest); and rope cable curls (sets of 10 repetitions, each followed by 20 seconds of rest).

• Body-weight super-set training — Super-setting is a technique in which you take an exercise targeted for a specific muscle group and immediately perform a similar exercise with no rest. With this technique, you do not use weights or machines for the second exercise.

A sample exercise is the chest combination with flat-bench-dumbbell presses (15 repetitions), super-setted with wide-grip push-ups (25 repetitions).

Notwithstanding the above suggestions, the most important component of maximizing your workout is actually a simple one, and it is completely under your control: desire. You have to push yourself with intensity and passion to improve your body.

As with all new fitness and exercise programs, make sure you can physically tolerate the new routine. Always get a physical evaluation and medical clearance prior to any new intensive training program.


Dr. Nicholas Warner is a certified massage therapist and a doctor of chiropractic with Wellness in Motion, Inc., in Phoenix. He is an instructor for The Southern California University of Health Sciences and Utah College of Massage Therapy. 602-863-4252 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 1, Feb/Mar 2011.

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