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Checklist to See if Your Workout Is Working
by Bob Bonham


Many people go to the gym day in and day out, but do they make progress? Why is it that some people go to the gym religiously but never get results? How do you know if your workouts are actually working? Following is a checklist of things that you should look for‹before and after going to the gym.

Do you feel anything in the areas you¹re training? The day after you train a certain bodypart, you should feel a slight soreness, especially if you are a beginner. This means that you¹ve properly worked your muscles and lactic acid is present. If you feel anything more than a dull soreness, you may have injured yourself, so consult your doctor.

Bob is a regular contributor to many bodybuilding magazines.


Do you feel good after a workout? After a good workout, you should feel spectacular. Your spirits should be lifted and you shouldn¹t feel any anxiety. Little should bother you because your body has a surge in endorphins after training.

Do you feel any strength when you train? You should feel strong and energetic from one set to the next. If you start training and your energy level plummets, you probably are using too much weight, you may be rushing through your sets, or you may not have eaten enough before going to the gym.

Do you feel a "pump"? After you do a set, the muscles you¹ve worked should feel full and hard or "pumped." According to exercise experts, feeling a "pump" means you¹ve trapped blood in your muscles. Lactic acid is present after working a muscle, producing natural growth hormone. Studies show that natural growth hormones will help your muscles grow and make your fat cells shrink. Basically, each time you work out, you¹re making microscopic tears in your muscles. So you should work each muscle to "failure," meaning‹for example‹that you do arm curls until you are no longer able to do another rep. When this happens, it means you¹ve exhausted the muscle, and it will likely grow back bigger and stronger with proper rest. If you are not feeling a pump and not exhausting each muscle to failure, you are probably lifting too light a weight or are using improper form (meaning you aren¹t doing the exercises correctly).

Are you feeling the wrong things? Perhaps you can¹t wait to get out of the gym. If training bores you, you¹re probably not doing enough exercises, your body isn¹t releasing endorphins, and you¹re likely getting bored. Do you feel joint pain? You may have injured yourself by either doing an exercise wrong or overdoing it. Do you feel sick after your workout (nauseous, with muscle cramps, breaking out into a cold sweat, etc.)? If so, you either did too much or you were ill before you entered the gym. It¹s never a good idea to train when you have a bad cold or flu because training may lower your immune system and make you feel worse.

Are you making changes in your workout routine? If you continue the same workout for months on end, eventually your body is going to get used to the routine and you will stop seeing results. If you stop making progress, make changes. Start trying to lift a little more weight, train on different days, add some cardio‹do something to break up the monotony of your regimen.

Strong & Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, NJ has been named the Official Training Facility for the XFL¹s NY/NJ Hitmen football team. The XFL is owned by NBC and Vince McMahon of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Strong & Shapely is also the Official Training Facility for the NFL¹s Arena League Team, The New Jersey Gladiators.




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