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Five Workout Tips

Five Workout Tips

By Glenn Jeffers | Tribune Staff Reporter

Darryl Johnson, health and fitness coordinator for the Chicago Fire Department, recommends five ways to push your workout to the next level.

1. Try circuit training. Incorporating cardiovascular training (i.e. riding a stationary bike, running on a treadmill) into a workout that includes strength training will help raise your heart rate. “That’ll intensify your workout,” he says.

2. Train at 90 percent. Rather than training at a comfortable pace-somewhere between 70 and 80 percent-push yourself a little harder, whether it means quicker repetitions or moving at a faster pace. “It’s a challenge, but you’ll burn more calories.”

3. Work those larger muscles. Targeting larger muscles like the legs (quads), back (lats) and chest (pecs) also helps burn calories. Why? Simple answer: “They’re large muscles, you have to work harder.”

4. Switch from reps to time. People focus on the number of reps, Johnson says. “As soon as they get to that number, they stop.” Instead, he does away with the counting system and focuses on a time limit. You’ll complete more reps, raise your metabolism and gain muscle endurance.

5. Cut down on the rest. Cutting the amount of rest in between exercises will help you keep that heart rate (and your metabolism) up. “Cut it 30 seconds to a minute from two minutes,” Johnson says. “You’ll get some great intensity.”

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