Monday, June 16, 2003

Harder workout improves form, focus

Personal trainer

By Dave Patania

Question: I want to become a competitive athlete and want a more challenging workout than the basic stuff I am doing at my gym. Any suggestions?

Answer: Try this routine that I use for a track and field sprinter. It has done wonders for her strength, explosiveness and ability to recover quickly from her sprints.

This is designed to not only give you strength and endurance but also mental focus. So many people concentrate on just moving the weight rather than performing strict movements with flawless form. The better the form and technique, the better results you attain without wasted movements that may cause poor performance and injury.

This workout requires you to perform 13 exercises with fairly heavy weight for 15-20 repetitions. The twist is that you have to do each exercise with absolutely no rest in between sets. The exercises also rotate from upper to lower body movements which will further fatigue you. However, this fatigued state is what you are trying to accomplish because you have to train at high levels if you want to perform at high levels. This is not a workout for people who are afraid of working hard.

Perform 15-20 reps each of:

• Barbell Squats

• Dumbbell Bench press

• Lying Leg Curls

• Machine Row

• Leg Extension

• Machine Chest Flye

• Leg Press

• Dumbbell Shoulder Press

• Seated Calf Raises

• Dumbbell Rear Deltoid Raises

• Abdominal Crunches (50 reps)

• Dumbbell Bicep Curls

• Cable Triceps Pushdown

A spotter is recommended because of those 15-20 reps; you will probably only be doing around 10-12 on your own, with your spotter guiding you through the rest. Choose a weight that is very difficult for the 15-20 repetition range and go after it with no rest between sets. This is a basic start and should give you an idea of where you are with regard to your muscular endurance and recovery ability. Once you get used to the pace, your recovery ability will increase and you can move on to doing two or even three rounds.

Consult a doctor before working this hard and if you aren't familiar with all of the exercises, consult a fitness professional. This isn't designed to be used year-round, but rather for 6-12 weeks of variation from other training.


Contact personal trainer Dave Patania by e-mail:

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