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Yesterday afternoon, I was working on a story filled with great tips about how to properly warm up before a workout (everything from jumping jacks and modified push-ups to squats and lunges), and I headed downstairs to the gym fully intending to try a few of these out before climbing on the EDM and cranking into my routine. Of course, all the colorful green mats set up for that purpose on the starboard side of the cardio room were occupied (as is often the case), so I shrugged and wandered over to the elliptical and got after it without a proper warm up (although the EDM also is known for its warm-up qualities).

I was a bit relieved, to be perfectly candid:

Would I have actually peformed a set of jumping jacks? Push-ups? (I’m recalling junior high phy-ed classes; it’s not a fond memory.) The closest thing to a warm-up routine I’ve ever actually done at the gym involved a hasty set of knee-to-chest moves, which seem less dorky than any of the other warm ups I’ve read about. I’ve done planks and some futile stretching on the mats, but it always feels a litte too public — a little inappropriate.

Anyway, I did a happily anonymous 40 minutes on the EDM, burning off a bit more than 500 calories. I intended to do my usual 45-minute routine, but I got started a little later than usual (more unintentional consequences) and wanted to get in a half-hour of lifting before I had to head for home. I stayed away from The Pit and made the rounds among the friendlier machines, starting at the lower end of my lifting ability and upping the poundage with each successive set. I actually handled a 10-rep set at 130 lbs. for the first time on the clapping-hands-together machine!

Down in The Pit, guys who beat their personal best on the bench press or some other maneuver tend to whoop it up a little with their spotter. And, because I had not planned to push myself very much last night, I was kind of surprised to have topped any previous best. So, I’d like to report that I stood up and pumped my fist, raised my hands over my head and did a little Rocky Balboa victory dance, but you know that would be a big fat lie.


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