Pete's Training

Benefits of Doing a Dynamic Warm Up Before You Workout

Up until about 6 months ago when I read about using simple dynamic warm up routines on my pre-workout warm up would be to jog or shoot hoops for 5-10 minutes.  Before starting to do a dynamic warm up routine before my workouts I would regularly feel stiff and a little out of it mentally on my first couple of sets.

Here are a few reasons why using a pre-workout dynamic warm up routine has improved my workouts, my results, and those of my clients:

  • Gives you time to get your mind right

When I get ready to workout, especially in the winter, sometimes I feel a little sluggish, and my mind isn’t quite in it.  Going through a 5 minute dynamic warm up gives me time to get focused on what I am doing and to distance myself from everything else that I have going on that day.  I have my best workouts when my mind is clear and focused on only the next rep. 

  • Removes the feeling of stiffness

A 5 minute dynamic warm up gets my blood pumping, gets my body ready to move, and gets my neurological system ready to do work.  When I feel physically and mentally ready to move and work I have better 1st sets on each exercise.  In my life before dynamic warm ups my first set would always have to be a light warm up set because I didn’t feel ready for heavier weight. 

Through my own experience and from reading studies like this one.  I’ve also learned that static stretching before exercise reduces performance and should be avoided. 

Click here to see an example of a good dynamic warm up routine.

Athletic Training Workouts 2/27-3/3

The only change from last week is that we will now start using 5/3/1 protocol for the main lifts, bench and squat.  Those athletes that are just starting this week will ramp up to one max set of 3-8 reps on bench and squat so we can determine their 1RM.  

These workouts were primarily written by 4th Quarter Training.  I’ve tweaked them slightly to exercises that I am more comfortable teaching to beginner athletes.  One of our athletes, 8th grader Sam Alendar, had a strong showing at his PT test for select baseball. 

Day 1:

Warm Up

  • Agility Ladder - 2 in, 2out; 1 foot hops in and out; quick feet side shuffle
  • Kettlebell Goblet Squat - 10 reps
  • Kettlebell Halos - 10 per direction
  • Low Pogo Jumps - 20 seconds
  • High Pogo Jumps - 20 seconds


  • Rooney Seated Arm Drills - 2 x 30 seconds
  • Lateral Mini Band Walk - 4 x 30 seconds (1 per direction)
  • Band Pull Apart - 1 x 15-20


  • A1)  Single Arm Dumbbell Push Press - 3 x 3
  • A2)  2 Foot Hurdle Hop - 3 x 3


  • A1)  Squat - 65% x 5; 75% x 5; 85% x Max Reps
  • A2)  Front Plank Band Row - 3 x 20 per arm
  • B1)  Kneeling Cable Single Arm Press - 3 x 6-8 per side
  • B2)  Dumbbell Split Squat - 3 x 6-8 per side
  • B3)  TRX Leaning DB Row - 3 x 30 seconds per side


  • Sled Push - 5 x 15 yards

Day 2:

Same Warm Up and Activation as Day 1


  • A1)  Double Kettlebell Push Press - 3 x 3
  • A2)  2 Foot Broad Jump - 3 x 3


  • A1)  Bench - 65% x 5; 75% x 5; 85% x Max Reps
  • A2)  Side Plank Band Row - 3 x 20 per side
  • B1)  Dumbbell Incline T-Press - 3 x 6-8
  • B2)  Bulgarian Split Squats, Rear Foot Elevated - 3 x 6-8
  • B3)  Incline Dumbbell Row - 3 x 6-8


  • 5 Push Up Sprints
  • 5 Mountain Climber Sprints

An Honest Take on Nutrition

What I am about to say in this article goes against traditional fitness knowledge.  I am supposed to say that eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is key to changing your body and getting in shape, but from my own experience and that of my clients this isn’t really true. 

Yes, I do believe that following a nutrition plan will accelerate your results, however when we look at non-athlete members of the general public (you and me) the first variable that needs to be changed is training intensity and frequency. 

Fit people are fit because they workout often and hard.  There are very few unfit people who are busting their butt in the gym on a consistent basis.  If they were they would be fit not unfit. 

My point is that if you are out of shape and haven’t worked out in years or ever, once you decide that you want to change your body to get healthy, mobile, and fit the first thing you should do is start working out hard 4-5 times per week for an hour. 

Once you get in the habit of busting your butt in the gym you will be much more motivated to change your diet because you know that if you eat like crap you will be negating your work in the gym. 

Here is something else to consider.  I have seen lots of people, guys in particular, eat terrible and still have toned, fit, muscular bodies.  Exercise intensity and frequency is the reason they can pull this off.  They work so hard in the gym that what they eat only matters to a certain extent.  Obviously, you still can’t live off of donuts and candy bars, but as long as you work out often enough with a high enough intensity you will see results. Below I’ve listed 3 nutrition tips that you can implement into your daily routine right now without much effort at all.

3 Quick Nutrition Tips

  • Take a post workout protein shake
  • Eat breakfast
  • Don’t starve yourself

Now smile and go knock out 50 squats!

My Workouts 2/27 - 3/3

Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck and not making any progress, so I’ve decided to try different method of training.  For the next 6 weeks, I’m going to be doing some experimentation on myself using HIT training principles and a HIT training routine. 

On my non-spartacus days I am going to be doing the routine that follows.  For each exercise I will be doing only one all out set to failure.  On each set I will try to select a weight that I can get 8-12 reps with since this is the optimal rep range for building muscle.  I will rest 1.5 - 2 minutes between exercises, which is about the amount of time it will take me to get the weights set up for the next set.

The 2 biggest reasons why I am switching to the HIT training system are lack of progress with my old system and avoiding over-training which I felt I was doing before.  I will post a recap next Monday.


  1. Wide Grip Pull Ups
  2. Neutral Grip Pulldowns
  3. Bent Over Barbell Row
  4. Barbell Shrug
  5. Dumbbell Bench Press
  6. Cable Crossover
  7. Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise
  8. Barbell High Pulls


Spartacus Training


  1. Barbell Squat
  2. Walking Lunges
  3. Trap Bar Deadlift
  4. Glute Ham Raise
  5. Standing Barbell Calf Raise
  6. Seated Calf Raise
  7. Hanging Reverse Crunch
  8. Dumbbell Side Bend
  9. Cable Crunch


  1. Barbell Standing Shoulder Press
  2. Cable Lat Raise
  3. Cable Curl
  4. Triceps Pushdowns
  5. Dips
  6. EZ Bar Curl with Fat Gripz
  7. Reverse EZ Bar Curl with Fat Gripz
  8. Farmers Carry


Spartacus Training

Client Workouts 2/27/12 - 3/3/12

The workouts this week look much like like last week’s but with a few tweaks.  This week clients that did training last week will move to week 2 of Poliquin’s HIT Intervals for their workout finishers, which means they will be doing 6 rounds of 40 seconds with a 20 seconds rest period between rounds.  Those clients who are just starting training this week will do the same workouts with reduced loads and week 1 Poliquin Interval Finishers.  We will also be doing a Farmers Walk Challenge for those clients that train on Saturday.    


A) Walking Dumbbell Lunges - 3 x 8-15

B1)  Double Dumbbell Row - 3 x 8-15

B2)  Push Up Static Hold - 3 x 30 sec or more depending on fitness level

C1)  Band High Pulls - 3 x 30 sec

C2)  Band Resisted Reverse Lunges - 3 x 8-15

Poliquin Interval - Burpees


A)  Dumbbell Incline T-Press - 3 x 8-15

B1)  Band Alt. Single Arm Row - 3 x 40 seconds

B2)  Band T-Press - 3 x 40 seconds

C1)  Dumbbell Bent Over Row from Floor - 3 x 8-15

C2)  Side Lunge - 3 x 8-15

Poliquin Interval - Goblet Squat


A)  Sled Push/Pull - 3 x D & B

B1)  Dumbbell Curl & Press - 3 x 8-15

B2)  Push Ups - 3 x 8-15

C1)  Dumbbell Push Press - 3 x 8-15

C2)  Kettlebell Swings - 3 x 40 seconds

Poliquin Intervals - TRX Assisted Squats


A)  Kettlebell Deadlift - 3 x 30 seconds

B1)  Double Dumbbell Squat to Press - 3 x 8-15

B2)  Side Plank - 3 x 35 seconds

C1)  Alternating Forward Lunges - 3 x 8-15

C2)  3 Point Plank - 3 x 35 seconds

Poliquin Intervals - High Knee Runs/Marches 


A)  Single Arm Kettlebell Swing - 3 x 30 seconds

B1)  Super Band Curls - 3 x 30 seconds

B2)  Static Diamond Push Ups - 3 x 30 seconds

C1)  Single Dumbbell Push Press - 3 x 8-15

C2)  Single Arm Kettlebell or Dumbbell Row - 3 x 8-15

Poliquin Intervals - Rope Waves


Farmers Walk Challenge x 1

  • We will begin with 2, 35 lbs kettlebells place 15 yards apart
  • Do 5 kettlebell swings then carry 35 lbs dumbbells to the other kettlebell
  • Repeat until 30 rounds are completed, which should take 25-40 minutes 

Exercise Index: Side Lunge

  1. Take a big step straight to the side
  2. Bend outside knee
  3. Lower weight to ankle level
  4. Keep back straight while tilting forward at hips
  5. Return to starting position with only one step

Exercise Index: Double Dumbbell Row

  1. Bend knees, tilt forward, and keep entire body except for arms tense and stiff
  2. Stick chest out and butt back to keep back tight
  3. Pull weights up keeping elbows close to body
  4. Freeze elbows at top position for 2 seconds
  5. Lower weights back to starting position at a controlled speed

Exercise Index: Band T-Press

  1. Step on band with feet shoulder width apart
  2. Hands start at shoulder level with knuckles out
  3. Push hands up and rotate 1/2 turn
  4. Lower at a controlled speed and return to starting position

Exercise Index: Alternate Single Arm Band Row

  1. Bend knees and tighten core
  2. Pull one hand at a time back as far as possible
  3. Freeze elbow in back position for 2 seconds
  4. Avoid turning the shoulders
  5. Do one complete rep before switching arms

4 Quick Ways to Get Your Body Back on Track

Over the past week I felt myself get more and more burned out and exhausted on my daily life.  The long hours and the high energy expediture required by training many clients started to get to me.  

My mentality towards this was that if I am feeling burnt out then I will project that onto my clients, and that’s the last thing I want.  The people who pay me to help them reach their goals need to feel better when they leave a training session than when they started.  

From a business perspective it is pretty cut and dry.  You either solve people’s problems and make the feel better/reach goals, or you don’t have clients or a business.  

Anyway, here is what I did to get myself out of the rut and back to life:

1)  Took 2 days off of working out

Normally, I workout hard, almost to the point of exhaustion for an hour 5 times a week.  During my 2 off days I took my usual workout time and either took a short nap or read a few training articles from around the web.

2)  Spent more time on planning and organization

The first thing I did to get myself organized was to start this site, and use it as a tool to plan all of my workouts and my client’s workouts for the week.  This eased my mind in my day to day routine.  Instead of planning training sessions everyday I planned once for the whole week.  

3)  Started using my iPad to keep my client workouts on track in the gym 

Usually, I write them down in a notebook that I keep with me during training sessions.  This kind of went along with #2 but I felt like having the iPad with my workout plans on it kept me organized and reduced some clutter from my life.  I hate clutter, especially when I have things to do.  It makes me stressed, so I want to get rid of as much of it as I can.

4)  Bought a new shirt 

To some people this might seem silly, but getting a new piece of clothing allowed me to see myself in just a little different light.  To get out of a rut you have to change, and there isn’t a quicker way that I know of than to put on a new shirt, shorts, or pair of shoes.