Strength week: Four tips to maximize your workout

This is the first in a four-part series on how to increase your strength. Today we take a look at minor changes that can bring out your best workout.

There are some people who go through workouts with low-impact, low-intensity approaches.
And that’s perfectly fine for them.
However, if you’re looking to really get or stay strong in the weight room, that type of approach won’t do much.
Here are four “little” things you can do to maximize your workout:

1. Breathe right – One of the biggest keys to heavy lifting is proper breathing techniques. Breathe in before the rep and then blow the weights away.

2. It’s OK to grunt – When you’re lifting heavy weights it shouldn’t feel comfortable and it’s certainly not easy. Give yourself an assist by letting loose with a grunt on each rep. This not only gets your adrenaline and intensity going, according to experts it actually increases stability in the abdomen, which makes the spine safer.
Let the grunt out on the exhale part of the lift.

3. Use props – Extras like a weightlifting belt, gloves, wrist straps and chalk can all provide better safety and support while lifting weights. In turn, they’ll help you lift a little more, which can add up to big gains over time.

4. See it, then do it – A positive attitude is the start of everything. Picture yourself having a good workout beforehand and prior to lifts visualize yourself powering up the desired number of reps.
Set goals and then believe you’ll reach them.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at