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Fitness

Turn On Power: Workouts to Power Up Your Muscles

You do your time on the treadmill, hoist some weights, and maybe even throw in yoga for good measure. But your regimen probably lacks one key element: power. Besides torching extra stored fat and quickly sculpting your muscles, power moves give you a mental edge­ -- in and out of the gym. So we tapped six of the top trainers in the biz for their surefire tips for squeezing that extra octane from your muscles and workouts. They will change the way you train forever.
Gunnar Peterson Gunnar Peterson's Training Tips

Name just about any überbabe -- Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, or Angelina Jolie, for starters -- not to mention some of the world's best athletes, and Gunnar Peterson has trained her. He's the go-to guy whether you want to get in shape for a movie, win a title fight (yes, he's even trained Mike Tyson), or firm up for a close-up. And because he uses athletic training, including power exercises, with everyone, even his everyday clients do plyometric moves and speed drills. "I see power as the ability to 'do' with emphasis and authority," says Peterson, who has been perfecting physiques for more than two decades. "It's a form of control, and as a self-admitted control freak, I'm a fan."

"When you do power moves, you switch to burning fat stores sooner," Peterson says. "That will help you change the proportions of your body."

Power Principles

Add explosive movements. In physics, power is the rate at which work is performed. Peterson knows his physics: "Plyometric moves, like squat jumps, where you're catching air, train your muscles to work faster." Start with three sets of five to eight reps one day a week and build from there.

Ramp it up. On a treadmill, walk or jog for 30 seconds at a 0 or 1 percent grade, then increase the incline to a challenging hike -- aim for between 10 and 15, depending on your fitness level -- and walk or run as fast as you can for five to 10 seconds; repeat this eight to 10 times. (Do the same thing on a bike by adding resistance and standing up as you sprint.) "Think 'Push!' during the sprint and then back off; then 'Push!'" Peterson says. "Yell it to yourself. Forcing the words and air out make you exert more energy."

Get a beeper. When you're trying to crank out as many reps or rpms as you can for a set amount of time, keep your eyes on your form, not your watch. Peterson uses the Gymboss interval timer ($20, gymboss.com). Program two different interval lengths -- sprint and recovery -- and the alarm will sound to mark your next set.

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