Thursday, November 26, 2015         


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Synergy fuels exercise lifestyle

By Reggie Palma


According to Webster's Dictionary, synergy can be defined as two or more agents working together to produce a result not obtainable by any of the agents independently.

It's a mouthful, I know, but what this means for you and your workout is really quite exciting. Everything from the type of workouts you do, to the type of food you eat to fuel the workouts, to your feelings about diet and exercise should all mesh together to create one cohesive system that flows and fits naturally to your life.

Many studies have proved that to maintain a healthy weight, diet must be combined with exercise. Further, adherence to a lifestyle is largely dictated by how easy it is to maintain. In other words, be sure to choose a goal that is obtainable based on the time you have for exercise and the palate you have for "healthy" foods.

The following is an example of a synergistic workout and post-workout meal meant for the weekend warrior who wants to increase muscular endurance and overall power. All you will need is your body and a stopwatch.

Set the timer to sound off every minute, then follow the workout below. Keep your breathing steady and pick a cadence you can maintain for the entire minute. Also, try your hardest to immediately follow into the next set with as little rest in between as possible.

1. Jumping jacks
2. 90-degree close leg squats
3. Standard push-up
4. Standard crunch
5. Plank
6. Rinse and repeat three to five times for a total of 15 to 25 minutes of total workout time.

Note the progression of exercise from a general warm-up to lower body to upper body, to core, to full-body tension.

The post-workout meal to make the most of the exercises should consist of 60 percent complex carbohydrates, 20 percent complete protein and 20 percent unsaturated fat. The high carbohydrate ratio is simply there to provide enough fuel to move the ingested protein into the depleted skeletal muscles. As you can see, the workout is highly anaerobic and requires quick-acting fuel to be in the body to complete the session to its fullest potential.

Remember, if the workout feels complete both during and after, then most likely you are applying the idea of synergy. If it feels as if something is lacking, take time to figure out where the speed bumps are, then smooth them over either by slowing down or simply choosing another exercise that flows better. Ultimately, it should never feel forced or contrived.

Now that you know what synergy is, get out and move.

Reggie Palma is an exercise physiologist and personal trainer. See his website at

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