Working in a gym I get to watch how the average person structures their workout regime. If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone start their workout with bicep curls I’d be close to buying a new car. Why is starting a workout with bicep curls bad though? It’s not that it is bad or wrong, there are simply more efficient and effective ways you can be working out. Keep reading to learn how to structure your workout.

The Warm Up

When starting a workout it is important to begin with a warm up. The purpose of the warm up is to increase the body temperature and get blood flowing to working muscles, this will allow for a better workout. One easy way to warm up is starting with fast paced walking on the treadmill for 10-15 minutes. After the walking move to a couple minutes of dynamic stretching. A dynamic stretch is held briefly for two to five seconds and repeated multiple times.  This form of stretching primes the body to move correctly for the workout ahead. 

The Lift

You should start your workout with a main lift. A main lift is characterized as a compound movement such as a squat, deadlift, bench, or shoulder press to name a few.  Bicep curls are not a main lift and should be done towards the end of a workout. 

Starting with a main lift will hit multiple muscle groups and get a large hormonal response from the body, allowing the best benefit from the workout. The body is also the freshest and most coordinated at the beginning of the workout, main lifts require all of your coordination to be done properly. 

Starting with accessory movements such as bicep curls and tricep extensions will cause fatigue initially and make the rest of your workout sub par. 

Accessory Work

Accessory work includes bicep curls, tricep extensions, and calf raises, to name a few.  There are thousands of exercises for accessory work and the purpose is to work the smaller muscles in an isolated fashion. Accessory work also strengthens any weak points in the main lift.  For example, if you are failing at the bottom of the squat it would make sense to strengthen the glutes with accessory work. This could include glute thrusts, cable kickbacks, and band work. This kind of work is typically higher in reps around 15-20 reps. 

The Cool-Down

The cool-down is one of the most neglected parts of the workout. Sitting in the sauna does not count as a cool down.  Light biking, walking, or an easy jog are examples of cool downs. The purpose is to clear waste products created from the workout to help recover for the next workout. Ten to twenty minutes of light walking on the treadmill is sufficient to ease your body off a tough workout. 

Personal trainers at Fit Focus specialize in creating workouts programs for clients. If you are interested in buying a workout regime contact Fit Focus to schedule your free assessment!

Warren Bartlett. NSCA CSCS.

Personal trainer at Fit Focus Laconia