How Do I Use My New Exercise Ball/Resistance Band/Set of Dumbbells/Home Gym/Treadmill?

Minneapolis Personal Trainer Helps You Use Your Fitness Christmas Present


2009 UPDATE!!!

Before you read this blog, there are two important updates to share:

1) Join us for the 2009 Total Body Makeover Virtual Boot Camp, starting January 15th. Go to for more details, and send email to adam@keepyourbetterhalf .com to learn how to do the boot camp for free!

2) If you would like the free report "The 27 Factors Affecting Fat Loss and Weight Loss", send me an email and I'll get the report to you!

Now, back to the blog...


It's the day after Christmas and everyone who got a piece of exercise equipment is trying to figure out how to use it.  This is why I am a personal trainer!  I help people maximize their use of their new equipment.  So, if you have a certain piece of equipment you would like me to blog about, send an email to and I will gladly expound on your new piece of hardware.

Without knowing which fitness equipment you received for Christmas, I will provide a few pieces of uncommon knowledge that will help you right away in your quest for advancing your health and fitness.

New Exercise Equipment Tip #1: Always Warm Up, Then Stretch, Then Workout!

Most people do not give the warm up and cool down their due.  Warming up is extremely important!  As a Minneapolis resident, I have to warm up my car every time I want to drive somewhere in the winter.  It is crucial for my brakes, engine, and belts to warm up before asking my car to get me around town in the winter.  Our bodies need to warm up as well, regardless of season.

A 3-5 minute warm up on a treadmill (or even walking up and down the stairs at home) is a crucial starting point.  Then stretch each muscle group you intend to work, then pursue warm up sets for your workout.  The more thoroughly you warm up, the better you will perform and the less likely your chances of getting injured.

New Exercise Equipment Tip #2: Focus on Your Breathing!

Breathing is a big deal.  There are three main benfits to breathing correctly during exercise: our performance improves, our blood pressure is lower (than if we breathed at the wrong times), and our recovery is improved.  Here is the basic idea on breathing during weight/resistance training: exhale when you are doing the most work. 

When we are performing a bicep curl, it is more work to curl the dumbbell or resistance band up than it is to lower it.  Therefore, exhale as you curl the weight up.  When performing a squat, it is more work to raise up to a standing exhale on the way up.  If you exhale when you are doing the most work and inhale when you are doing the easiest work, you will trigger the benefits mentioned above.

New Exercise Equipment Tip #3: Focus On Holds, Not Just Reps

The best way to maximize any piece of equipment is to ask your body to hold still in a position that  is challenging to hold.  For example, if you are performing squats, holding in a low squat position for 10 seconds is a killer.  Or holding a bicep curl with your elbow bent at a 90 degree angle is very tough. 

I ask my clients to perform a 10-second hold on the 5th, 10th, and 15th rep of every set.  It is very challenging!  Try it during your next workout!

Adam Erwin is an in-home personal trainer who travels the world to work with people who are ready to put excuses aside and work hard to change their body.  Visit to learn more about what Adam does, who he works with, and how you can have him come and work with you!  A Minneapolis resident, Adam will work close to home (Eden Prairie, Wayzata, Minnetonka, Edina) or will travel to your location (San Diego, Miami, Phoenx, Sydney Australia) to work with you.