Pic above is from the gym I train at, LOVE. Check out Exemplar Fitness HERE!
*The following are just a small sampling of what I get asked on a normal basis, I hope this helps you!*
- “What should I eat before I workout?”
-Depends on the time of the day and your personal preference. If you are working out in the morning first thing, some people don’t eat anything, and that’s ok because that is what works for them. Some NEED something whether it’s a cup of coffee or something more, but the general rule of thumb that I tell everyone is 45 min to an hour before have a half of a serving of a protein and half of a serving of a complex carbohydrate (long-lasting energy). Super easy and it will give you the fuel to get through your workout without feeling drained.
2. “What should I eat after I workout?”
-Again this is also personal preference. General rule of thumb is to replenish your glycogen stores and fuel those muscles that you just worked, and do it quickly. Nutritionists recommend that you eat a small snack of some protein and an easily digested carb within an hour of training. Ideally your next full meal should be a couple of hours later. *Please note: many people misjudge the intensity of their workout and will overcompensate with food post workout. If you burned around 300 calories, you don’t want to be slamming down 600 calories post workout, and there is NO such thing as a “reward” meal for post workout and scarfing down a milkshake or something similar. Your workout and proper nutrition are your reward.
3. “How often should I workout?”
-If you are just starting out: your goal should be to workout 3 times a week for you to see results on a consistent basis. (This will and should change down the road) Resistance training should be done twice a week and the other day should be moderately intense cardio (again-dependent on your goals). How you set this up, is up to you. You can mix it up, just remember that flexibility training is also important, so get that in there, and to never work the same muscle group two days in a row. If you are dependent on time, you can break up muscle groups for different days, so “having no time” is truly not an excuse whatsoever.
4. “How do I get rid of arm fat? How do I get rid of a muffin top? How do I get rid of my cellulite?”
-Slow down, cowboy. I’ve mentioned in a previous post-you cannot spot reduce. What you can do is develop a workout regimen that you stick to as well as eating nutritiously for yourself and your goals. Those “problem areas” will eventually be taken care of-but it’s going to take consistency and a whole lot of patience. Remember the onion theory. Your body is the onion; every day/week/month you stay consistent-a SLIVER of that onion comes off to reveal a better you. This is where patience comes into play. It’s worth waiting for, I promise.
Now if you’ve been patient and consistent-and you’ve lost the weight (good job!) and now you want to focus on certain muscles to “pop” you have to really push the weight training. This is where having a personal trainer is extremely helpful to assist you in muscle hypertrophy training (i.e. muscle growth) so we can see those beautiful muscles that show off the athlete that you are.
4. “Why can’t I do just cardio? I don’t want to look like a man. (only applies if you are a woman, obvi).”
-Cardio has its place for building a strong heart and lungs and losing the lb’s to an extent. As far as caloric burn-THE SECOND you get off that stair stepper or treadmill or stop your jog-the calorie burn STOPS. But you still did burn calories and you still assisted in fat loss, so it’s still good. BUT! When you strength train-you will be burning calories 24/7-365, and that is why having more muscle on your body will give you much longer lasting results in keeping the weight off. Like I keep saying, it all depends on your goals. If a client walks in and she/he is 5″7 and weighs 110 lbs, I’m not going to have her do any cardio if only for a slight warmup. I would have this client focus more on weightlifting to build a solid physique (no ‘skinny fat’ allowed) On flip side, if someone walked in and had a lot of lbs to lose, I would focus more on fast paced circuit training with moderate weights to burn a ton of calories. These training techniques vary with both types of clients, and again shows how important a personal trainer is. Variety is the spice of life and both types of clients need it.
On a side note: WOMEN! You will never look like a “man” (I use that term loosely because if you are in bodybuilding, then you will have a different goal that still takes a ton of hard work-so KUDOS to you if this is what you want). Unless you are doing something I don’t know about that involves some different supplementation-this type of look is just not going to happen. You simply do not have as much testosterone as a man for this to occur, so “getting bulky” WILL NOT HAPPEN. Just stop with this nonsense. Lift heavy! This is how you get the sleek and athletic build that you will love about yourself.
I will leave it at that, but if there are any other questions you would like me to cover please don’t hesitate to ask. I train in the Charleston area and if you are in need of a trainer, I would love to help you!