Discover The Real “Secret” To Training Harder…

I’ve found that most people skip a good warm-up prior to their strength workouts.  Yes, they might get on the treadmill and walk for 15 minutes, but very little time is spent actively engaging muscle in a way that will maximize power production during workouts.

Why is This?

Mostly I think the reason is that just like with so many other small strategies in your health and fitness program, most people underestimate the physiological impact of a good solid warm-up.  Much in the same way they underestimate the impact of a nutrition program that contains that 2 to 1 carbohydrate to protein balance I’m always talking about.  Or about how important nutrition is in general.  But I digress…

In the end, most people get on the treadmill, the bike, or the elliptical trainer, move for about 5 to 15 minutes and call it a warm-up.

Today I want to share with you a warm-up I’ve implemented in my own fitness program, and that I plan on sharing tonight on NBC 15 with Leigh Mills.  It incorporates the stability ball, and would be a perfect addition to your 5 to 15 minute warm-up walk.

Warming up on the stability ball ramps up your physiology in three very important ways:

1. Working with the ball improves the mobility of your joints.  Especially as we all get older, constant management of our joint mobilization is essential for good training.  I’ve passed the age of 41 myself and at no other time in my life have I placed so much importance on a good warm-up and cool down.  If I skip either of them my training is affected in a negative way.  Lack of either or both of these important training strategies always leads to more soreness and pain, and less effective recovery.  All of which inevitably affects my next workout and the results I gain from my training.

2. Using the stability ball also activates your stabilizer muscles.  These are all of the small muscles that you can’t see in the mirror and that work all the time to keep your spine and joints aligned as you ‘move heavy stuff’ in the gym.  Your treadmill walk doesn’t activate these muscles the way a small amount of work on the stability ball does.  All of which allows you to lift heavier.  And lifting heavier is the key to building not only strength, but two of life’s most precious assets – your muscle and bone.

3. Working with the stability ball also helps build flexibility in your muscles.  Do you remember the phrase I gave you a year or so ago in a previous segment?

That’s right, Length is strength!

Longer muscles are able to generate more force.  Longer muscles also recover more efficiently, and are less prone to injury.  It is vital to remember that all this strength work is great stuff, but that it is also shortens your muscle tissue.  If you’re not doing anything on a regular basis to lengthen your muscles, soon you may be all rolled up into a little sphere – kind of like one of those rubber band balls…

Tune in tonight on NBC 15 here in Madison, WI.  I’ll be demonstrating a short warm-up routine I created using the stability ball.  It involves about 10 different moves that can be done in one continuous string of strength and stability, and will leave you stronger than you’ve ever been for your next workout and for every workout after that if you keep it up.

If you miss the segment, tune back to this blog over the weekend and look for the archived video at the top of this post.

Have a great weekend!


PS  The Nomad Kick Start program has already sold out in April.  If you would like to lock in a spot in May, I suggest you go right now to to lock-in your spot.  If you don’t want to wait that long, we are also currently accepting applications for our semi-private training program.  You can find more information about that program here:

PSS Two weeks from today I will start an 8-week Yoga program that will meet on Fridays from noon to 1:30 PM every Friday.  I have one spot left in this program for the right person.  If you’re interested in this program, don’t call the studio and don’t send email.  Call me directly at my personal office at 608-663-5045.