Your Perfect Workout

Perfect workout
by Don Saladino, holistic fitness expert and trainer to celebrities, athletes and New York City policemen, Don is a Garden of Life brand advocate and owner of Drive495, a state-of-the-art, 15,000 square foot golf and fitness training facility in New York.


So many people are program oriented. We’ve all been there. Whether it’s your trainer or friend who hands you a new workout regimen, you’re so excited to begin doing it. The change up of exercises, the newness of the program’s layout—right out of the gate, it’s a lot of fun. But in time, the newness wears off. You adapt to the stimuli, and the way your body responded in the beginning has become somewhat stale.

So how do you go about getting a new program?

Well first off, there are plenty of good ones online. A few that you will see me writing! This is always a great approach and a fun way to try something new, but the reality is…

 “If you’re not assessing—you’re guessing.”

Let me give you this analogy. If I call up a physical therapist and tell him that I’m having shoulder pain, how can I expect him to give me an answer without him first taking a look? For years, people have determined a good workout by “how hard they work” or how much they sweat. This is all good, but let me explain a way to approach your workout that’s purposeful and better geared toward what you really need.

I always recommend going through a screening process. You can get this done by a physical therapist, trainer or strength coach. There are many different methods of screening and I’m not here to tell you what is good and what is not. But I am telling you to establish a game plan. You might be warming up with specific movements that your body just doesn’t need! Instead, why not work on the patterns that you’re not good at? At the end of the day, this will lead you in a direction of improvement, and you will notice that once your weak links are strengthened, everything else follows. This pertains to the professional athlete as well as a new mom. The gamut is very wide.

I was working with a well-named client who came to me primarily for body composition. Without mentioning his name, I can tell you that this guy moved poorly. We were still able to work on a lot of the core values he was interested in, but what we did was first determine his weak points and focus primarily on that during the beginning of his workouts. In a way, this turned into a very targeted fifteen minute warm up. After the fifteen minutes, we were able to get to a lot of the things that were important to him. If I had just jumped into working on body composition, I would be doing him an injustice because in time, his inability to move the way I needed him to move would have only worsened. Suffice to say, it does not always have to be so extreme. If you’re moving poorly, this doesn’t have to mean you can’t train hard, but it does mean you need attention. Don’t be that individual who finally makes a change once he or she gets hurt.

If you use a trainer or are thinking about hiring one, discuss these points with him/her and see what their process is. If you don’t have access to a professional in this category, then please be careful with the programs you decide to do. Ask around and do some research so you know what you’re getting involved in.


In order to avoid risk of injury, please seek advice directly from your physician, especially if you have existing medical issues, before beginning any exercise or nutritional program. Also, be sure to stretch after exercise to avoid muscle and joint tightness.
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