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  • How to get more from your Workout Programs

    By Travis Steffen on Tuesday, June 2, 2009in Workouts & Exercises  

    istock_000003154685xsmallAs I was sweating my way through one of my workout programs at the gym yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice something that seems to have become very common in many exercise routines. More and more I witness total complacency and lack of focus. A lot of the members I encounter are going through the same workout programs at the same level of intensity for years on end. While they may have the best of intentions and I give them full marks for getting to the gym, the results simply aren’t there. Perhaps you have found yourself in the same fitness rut. With just a few simple changes and a little more focus during your workout, you can make some huge improvements and reap the full benefits of your fat loss workout or muscle building workout.

    1) Proper exercise form and full range of motion.

    Assuming you don’t have any physical limitations or injuries, focus on using proper exercise form and executing full range of motion in every workout. Familiarize yourself with the proper technique and utilize it to the best of your ability in every set and every rep. Use the appropriate amount of weight to challenge yourself, while still allowing for proper exercise form. For example, squats should be parallel or below, knees should almost kiss the floor during lunges , arms should be fully extended during a bench press and the bar should touch the chest in a lat pulldown, etc. Do it right and you’ll see a big improvement.

    2) Time your rest between sets.

    What is the ultimate goal of your workout program? Is it hypertrophy, muscular endurance, fat burning, strength? Different workout plans offer different numbers of sets, rep ranges and rest between sets. Make sure you’re following the prescribed rest time between sets of your program to get the most out of it.

    The gym can be full of distractions and it is very easy to take way too much time checking out the hard body in the short shorts next to you. Focus on your watch and rest only for the time required.

    3) Let go!

    Quite often I see people holding on to the treadmill or leaning on the stair climber while their legs move halfheartedly on the pedals. By keeping your hands and elbows off the machine you’ll exert more energy which equals more calories burned. Resting half of your body on the machine burns about 50 percent fewer calories than keeping yourself upright. The cardio equipment is not the place to multitask, so put down the book, the cell phone and the blackberry. If you’re able to read, text or email, you’re simply not working hard enough.

    Three simple ways to get more out of your workout programs! Every now and then we need to take inventory of our habits and get a little more focused. Try these and I’m sure you’ll see an improvement!

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
    Want to hear even more of what Travis has to say? Keep in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter!

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