Weekend getaway

Sometimes you just need to unplug for a bit and spend it with the ones you love and experience what is right in your backyard! Fortunately for us, we had several waterfalls that we were able to travel to and swim in! We created a ton of lifelong memories with the family and it was SO much fun!

We stayed at the beautiful Mountain Inn and Suites and the staff was just amazing! Super clean hotel and everyone was so nice.

Weekend getaway

Weekend getaway

Did I eat more than I usually do?

YEP!

It wasn’t all healthy food, not in the least bit either. You see…when you are living a continuous healthy and active lifestyle, you can totally “afford” to splurge a bit here and there and not ruin your efforts along the way. Think about the bigger picture…eat right and live active MOST of the time. Then when situations arise and you want be a bit adventurous…it will not sabotage your efforts not even in the least bit. Remember every pound of muscle that you put on your body burns 50 calories even at complete rest, even during sleep, and weekend getaways ūüėČ .

Creating memories is priceless-pursue them and enjoy them. Stay active and eat according to your goals most of the time and then when you have full fat ice-cream with the family it will be a totally joyous event!

As always, feel free to ask me anything.

In Health-Demi

 

Demi’s Kitchen Counter

Demi's Kitchen Counter

I just wanted to give you a quick sneak peak of what is on my kitchen counter on any given day. The absolute staples are COFFEE, ūüôā , oatmeal, everyday use detox tea, brown rice, bone broth collagen protein, vanilla/almond high protein butter, Super Foods plus, chia and quinoa chips, and my organic chocolate coconut macaroons for my raging chocolate/sweet tooth! ūüėÄ

I think it is IMPERATIVE for everyone to be fully “prepared” in a sense for your hunger and nutrition needs. It’s nice that some of it is visible so your brain can SEE what it COULD have if the desire to eat/snack outside of the norm arises (which is different for everyone and changes all the time). Find out what works for you with trial and error and find those products that HEALTH-FULLY meet your need when it arises. Links below to all products. ūüôā

Old Fashioned Oats (can be found anywhere)

Brown Rice

Super Food Plus

Bone Broth Collagen Protein Powder

Organic Macaroons; chocolate

Chia and Quinoa tortilla chips

High protein almond/vanilla butter

Traditional Medicinal Detox Tea 

 

As always, feel free to ask me anything!

In Health-Demi

 

Are you putting too much focus on cardio to reach your goals?

Are you putting too much focus on cardio to reach your goals?

Ask yourself:

What are my specific goals?

What am I doing to attain these goals?

Am I just doing cardio “to feel good?” i.e. ‘endorphins’

There are a TON more questions you should be asking yourself-but one thing I do talk a lot to my clients about is NOT overdoing your cardio. It truly does not matter how much weight you want to lose. Anything over 60 minutes a day is counter productive and will lead to overuse injuries, making you more susceptible to colds and upper respiratory infections because your immune system will be compromised from high levels of cortisol. If that sounded foreign to you: just think that when you do too much cardio your body gets stressed out (cortisol is released) and can make you weak in many ways. The repetitive nature of running, elliptical, etc can put pressure on your joints and ultimately cause an injury over time. You may get into the symptoms of over training, which is a legit illness that can last 3 months and it’s only cure is rest.

When you look at your body-think of it like a sculpture. Draw an outline of your body on a piece of paper if you must. Get out a pen and actually draw where you’d like to see improvements that make sense. I.E. narrower waist, rounder glutes, more defined shoulders, etc and add a weight loss goal if needed.

*Fun Fact: ¬†I used to be a cardio addict. It also was the time when my body fat was very high and I had NO muscle definition.¬† Cardio truly can be an addiction: because we all know that runners “high” is legit. Fear not-you can break that addiction. Remind yourself that weight training does NOT make you bulky (unless you are male and train a certain way). ¬†On the contrary-it shapes your body. Training with resistance makes you strong and injury proof.*

I will use one muscle group as an example here or else this will turn into a book. ūüôā Let’s say one of your goals is to have bigger and rounder glutes. Your plan of attack should include hip thrusts, squats, deadlifts, kickbacks, step ups, lunges, sprints….and about a dozen different varieties of all of these movements. (No matter what the goal-remember not to neglect other areas of your body of course in your training, just train your specific area of interest differently to attain your goal. This is why having a personal trainer is a bonus). Notice ‘sprints’ in bold. If you want bigger and rounder glutes, SPRINTING is your cardio. Along with sprinting on an incline, among MANY other variables. If you do too much steady state long cardio and your goal is bigger and stronger glutes, that cardio will eat that muscle that you are trying so hard to build for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you will see minimum results.

 All this being said, EVERYONE is different, everyone has different goals, and everyone has different abilities.  Personal trainers that are capable streamline plans for each individual that they are training to make your goals a reality. Also-when you are trying to build any muscle, REST is critical for muscle recovery. If you are hitting that muscle every damn day with some sort of cardio-it will never get a chance to recover and get stronger (GROW), plus you MUST EAT EAT EAT the RIGHT way (usually more FOOD if you make the right choices: again this is why a personal trainer is a fantastic investment) if you want any muscle group to get strong and have some growth.

Now speaking of weight loss-this cardio principle still rings true! If you train INTENSE, add in some HIIT (high intensity interval training), and lift with absolute FERVOR, then your training session is pretty much all you need! In 30 minutes I can train a client and leave them dripping with sweat, which means their heart rate went up, which means THERE WAS A CARDIO ELEMENT to it, therefore they burned calories and will be burning calories long after the session is over (after burn effect) SO IN TURN …. they lose weight over time while getting strong. ūüôā

THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS…actually THINK about your goals. Get specific! Do NOT chase skinny! Chase HEALTHY. Chase STRENGTH. Chase FUNCTIONAL FITNESS. You train hard in the gym so you can live with vitality outside of the gym and not injure yourself! Once you get in this MINDSET everything else “magically” falls into place. ūüėČ

More questions? Feel free to contact me for anything. If you live in the Charleston area, I offer my first session at Exemplar Fitness for free. There are always corporate specials, hospital employee discounts, as well as veteran discounts to train with me personally.

I also offer a “Sweating for the Wedding” training package for Brides and/or their bridal party: 3 month and 6 month packages available.

In Health-Demi

Grocery Shopping for the health conscious athlete in the making

 Grocery Shopping for the health conscious athlete in the making

This is..without a doubt…the toughest ordeal one has to master in their health and fitness journey. If you are reading this, then I promise you it doesn’t have to be so hard. You got this! ūüėČ Lets get right to it.

I know you’ve heard it before-but you have to start with sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store. The reason being is that obviously that is where your perishable (i.e. FRESHEST) foods are. Start there. Obviously you do need to go in the middle for certain things such as coffee, oatmeal, tea, etc but start on the outside of the grocery store FIRST.

I told you I was going to make this simple, and I am!

Before you go to the grocery store, think of all your favorite proteins, vegatables, fruits, nuts, carbs, etc. Keep that in mind and write that all down if needed.

We are going to break this down into groups.

  1. PROTEINS
  2. COMPLEX CARBS
  3. HEALTHY FATS
  4. FRUITS
  5. VEGETABLES

Acceptable and preferable PROTEINS are the following:

  • 1.¬†Greek Yogurt
  • 2.¬†Cottage Cheese
  • 3.¬†Swiss Cheese
  • 4.¬†Eggs
  • 5.¬†Milk, 2% (I’m not a huge fan of drinking straight up milk, I prefer Almond milk for a variety of reasons, but that’s for another blog post. ūüôā
  • 6.¬†Whey Protein
  • 7.¬†Steak (Top Or Bottom Round)
  • 8.¬†Ground Beef (95% Lean)
  • 9.¬†Pork Chops (Boneless)
  • 10.¬†Chicken Breast (Boneless And Skinless)
  • 11.¬†Turkey Breast
  • 12.¬†Yellowfin Tuna
  • 13.¬†Halibut
  • 14.¬†Octopus
  • 15.¬†Sockeye Salmon
  • 16.¬†Tilapia
  • 17.¬†Anchovies
  • 18.¬†Corned Beef
  • 19. Tuna
  • 20. Chicken
  • 21.¬†Sardines
  • 22.¬†Navy Beans
  • 23. Dried Lentils
  • 24. Roast Beef
  • 25.¬†Canadian Bacon
  • 26.¬†Chorizo
  • 27.¬†Pepperoni
  • 28.¬†Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 29.¬†Jerky
  • 30.¬†Peanut Butter
  • 31.¬†Mixed Nuts
  • 32.¬†Bean Chips
  • 34.¬†Tofu
  • 35.¬†Edamame
  • 36.¬†Green Peas
  • 38.¬†Wheat Germ
  • 39.¬†Soba Noodles
  • 40.¬†Quinoa

COMPLEX CARBS

  1. Oatmeal (old fashioned or Steel Cut)
  2. Yams (almost same as sweet potatoes)
  3. Brown rice (love basmati, a long grain rice)
  4. Sweet potatoes
  5. Multi grain hot cereal (mix or barley, oats, rye, and a few others)
  6. White potatoes with skin (glycemic index be damned!)
  7. 100% whole wheat bread
  8. 100% whole wheat pasta
  9. Beans and lentils (great for healthy chili recipes)
  10. Cream of rice hot cereal
  11. Quinoa
  12. Couscous
  13. Pumpkin
  14. Butternut squash
  15. Fresh beets

**I’m well aware of the gluten free and lactose free needs of certain individuals-if this applies to you, make those selections of the same food, or choose another food altogether.**

HEALTHY FATS

  • Avocados
  • Cheese
  • Super dark chocolate
  • Whole eggs
  • Fatty fish
  • Raw nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Full fat yogurt

FRUITS

  • Short list: every variation of a fruit is allowed. ūüôā

VEGETABLES

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers
  • Okra
  • Scallions
  • Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Radishes
  • Onions

THAT’S A LOT OF FOOD!

Alright, so as you go through this list-pick your favorites before you go food shopping and think about the meals you want to create. There are tons of meals you can put together with what is above. You do NOT have to purchase all of that food for one week! But these are your preferred options to eat healthfully.

To create a PERFECT meal, this is what you need (as stated above)…

Protein, Healthy fat, Complex Carb, Vegetable, and an optional fruit. 

As far as how to meal prep and put it all together, that is for another blog post. But start here! Now you have the tools to get a feel for what top athletes eat. Remember: you are fueling a Ferrari, not a Pinto. ūüėČ

Also, SHAKEOLOGY is a great way to add in a high protein superfood shake that can be used as a meal replacement and/or snack. Check it out! Vegan options are available.

EAT TO PERFORM!

In Health-Demi

Supplement or nah?

Supplement or nah?

Definition of supplement

  1. 1a:something that completes or makes an addition

    Some Synonyms: additive, addendum, addition, appendix, compliment, extra, option

Now that the definition is out of the way, I think you have a pretty good idea what a SUPPLEMENT IS. In what I’m specifically talking about today is naturally; dietary supplements to enhance your performance and/or natural well being and overall ¬†health.

These include but are not limited to:

Protein bars, shakes, etc

Fish oil

Amino Acids

BCAAS

Pre-workout

Fat burners

The list goes on and on…

There is a REASON why I prefaced all of this with the definition of what a SUPPLEMENT is, which is what all of the above fall under. This is why:

TO ADD SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR LIFESTYLE MEANS THAT YOU HAVE VERY SPECIFIC GOALS AND YOU HAVE A PLAN. TO ADD SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR PLAN MEANS THAT YOU ARE ALREADY ON A HEALTH AND FITNESS PLAN AND LIVE THIS LIFESTYLE OR YOU ARE BUILDING NEW HABITS, AND AGAIN YOU HAVE A PLAN.

If it sounds like I’m yelling, I am.

Supplements are NOT for anyone who thinks they can take a pill, patch, shake etc *NO MATTER WHAT IS PROMISED TO YOU THROUGH FAKE MARKETING* and just continue on with your sedentary lifestyle eating whatever and thinking you will have any positive results!!!

If any supplements tells you, “All you have to do is drink this every day and you will lose weight without changing your lifestyle! or All you do is take this pill in the morning, and wear this patch and BAM a bikini ready bod is on the way!”

RUN FAR FAR AWAY WHEN YOU HEAR OR SEE THESE CLAIMS! Because that is all complete BS and they are just stealing your money. #FACTS

Now! On the flipside: there are some GREAT supplements out there, and I recommend certain ones to my clients all the time. There is even a shake I recommend to my clients and it’s the ONLY one I endorse because it helped me feel super healthy and supplemented my own weight loss journey where I ¬†lost 60 lbs 3 times in my life. ¬†Again: this shake didn’t make me lose the weight. It HELPED me and made me feel good in my fitness journey. Check it out here¬†or not; it’s all good.¬†Remember; supplements are to ADD and enhance your healthy lifestyle. Think of them like the cherry on top of your icecream (probably not the best analogy for a health and fitness blog but you get my point), supplements just make everything a little bit better and more enjoyable for you when used the right way.

I do recommend Shakeology to everyone if they are looking for a protein and super food drink to SUPPLEMENT their healthy lifestyle. Depending on the client in front of me, I will also recommend other products depending on their specific goals. It’s all very subjective and all of this is another reason why having a ¬†personal trainer is so important. ¬†It’s not just about your workout, but everything else you consume during the day that can make or break your results. All of this being said-there are a ton of clients who choose no supplements whatsoever-and that is completely ok as well.

**Remember-supplements are to ENHANCE your journey to a healthier and fitter you…they are NOT a quick fix, they are NOT just a pill you can pop and magically lose weight. ¬†No weight loss patch will curb your appetite and therefore help you lose weight. It’s NOT going to happen. If there was a quick fix that worked-wouldn’t everyone on planet earth be fit and healthy?**

Truth is: you gotta work. You have to put in the TIME, blood, sweat, and tears. You have to be PATIENT, you have to be CONSISTENT. There will be ups and downs. You have to roll with it. That’s why it is called a JOURNEY. You will have set backs. You will mess up. It’s in these moments that define your character and how bad you want to live a healthier lifestyle. You simply just have to keep going. There is no magic ANYTHING…stay hungry, stay focused, do the work and you will see the results that you’ve always wanted.

As always, I am always here for your questions or concerns-if you’d like to meet up for a free consult in the Charleston area-just send me a msg via my contact tab.

In  Health-Demi

Details can make or break your sweat session…

Details can make or break your sweat session...

Sometimes, a singular success really does lie in the small details.

And the small but MIGHTY detail I’m talking about today is MUSIC.

I attached this photo collage above taken by the fabulous Abigail Marie¬†photography because I wanted to illustrate this very point. In this photo shoot the memory still rings clear. The music was THUMPING, and I was simply dancing…it got me to loosen up and we captured some pretty rad images.

Yes-this is still a fitness blog. Bear with me. ūüôā

“Research consistently finds that listening to music distracts athletes from their ‚Äúbodily awareness‚ÄĚ (read: discomfort). And a recent study found that not just listening, but controlling and creating music in time to one‚Äôs pace had an even more profound effect on perceived effort during a workout.”

This is straight up science.

Many of you reading already know this-you cannot bear to go on a run or to the gym without your favorite tunes in tow, and I am the same way! When you have your music lined up all ready to go, you’re workout is different. You feel motivated, stronger, and it can push you when you feel like you want to stop. Music is such a powerful tool!

One of the best things ever to happen to me besides this man being my boyfriend, was when he came out with his own music app. ūüôā Chris A.K.A DJ Rehab¬†knows exactly what kind of music I like and he created me some amazing workout mixes under their very own section labeled “Workout Mixes” on his free music app that you can find in the app store under his DJ name.

The biggest thing with making new and healthier habits is building a positive mindset that aligns with your goals. If you can find ANYTHING that helps you on your fitness journey-USE IT. For me if I don’t have my music, I’m not going to the gym. It’s apart of my routine and gives me a positive mindset and motivation to get the job done. Sometimes having that “certain song” at just the right time in your workout when you are feeling like you want to give up is all you need to keep going and finish strong. It works for me. Anything that works for me, you better believe I’m going to share with you!

As always feel free to ask me anything. Wedding season is in full swing-so if you need some help getting ready for your big day; I’m here.

In Health-Demi

Integrity

Integrity

This word carry’s A LOT of weight, and applies to everything in our life; personal life, relationships, business, all of it.

It’s hard to do the right thing when no one is watching sometimes. There are just moments when we must be our own personal COACHES, and have discipline with not just our bodies, but our minds as well.

Because I am a personal trainer, and this is a fitness related blog-I am going to stick to the health related side of this word.

Do you think on the weekends that calories don’t count?

Are you still consuming those empty calories, i.e. soda, juice, etc?

Do you think you are hydrated enough, but deep down you know you only had probably a glass of water today?

This is where we need to keep our focus. When we are out and about, do we cave in to the social norm of eating and drinking in America? We need to get real with ourselves and take control.

80% of America is obese or heading in that direction. If we want to change our lives not just for ourselves but for generations to come, we have to have integrity with what we eat and drink every single day, and what our lifestyle portrays. We still must workout of course, but as everyone will say, that tends to be the easier part. After all, a workout is only 2-4% of your day. The rest of your day is what is going to make or break the results that you want so bad.

Let’s start the week off with integrity in everything we do. When no one is watching, let’s try to make the right decisions. In the end, that’s when the real pay off will come.

P.S. Have you voted for me in the Best of Competition yet? No matter where you may live, I could really use your vote for Best Personal Trainer. Currently I’m in the top 5, and I just need all of your wonderful support to seal the victory. I truly am so grateful! Go Ahead and vote HERE!¬†(Once you click there, scroll all the way down to “Best Personal Trainer”…then click on “VOTE” next to “Demi Eliese Fitness” and you are good to go after verifying your email address so they don’t think you are a robot. ūüôā¬†

In Health-Demi

Body weight training for results

Body weight training for results

As soon as you go into any store and see any kind of fitness magazine, the first thing you see is usually some buff dude in a gym holding a 100 pound dumbbell. So it’s no surprise that the majority of people think lifting weights is the ONLY way you can see results.

This is simply not true.

While weight training with with equipment is a VERY needed element for long term fitness…you can seriously tax your muscles, add some variety, see some great results and lose some unwanted lb’s with your own body weight.

To get the best results of body weight training, I recommend taking a group fitness class in a gym, or take a personal trainers boot-camp. Many boot-camps are equipment free since it would be very difficult to travel with gym equipment.  If you are in the Charleston area, I host boot-camps on Saturday mornings, and you can get more information by sending me a message via this website or keep tabs on my Facebook fitness page HERE.

To do proper body weight training-break up your body parts and THINK about how you would work them in a gym. Bench press? Push-ups. Back Squat? Air Squats. Lunges. Jump squats. Shoulders? Variations of plank movements. Tricep pushdowns? Dips off a bench or on the floor. You get the idea. Write down your workout-break it down into 5 moves, done for 1 minute, take a break. Repeat for the duration of your workout.(This is just an example, and actually how I usually structure my group workouts most of the time.)

BODYWEIGHT TRAINING BENEFITS

  1. Free
  2. Versatile, many different variations
  3. Can be done anywhere
  4. Improves movement
  5. Improves relative strength
  6. Can improve reactive strength

The following are some of my favorite body weight moves that will definitely break a sweat and leave you sore!

  1. Push ups. There are SO many variations of a push up. Never under estimate the power of a push up. There is beauty in the simplicity of this move. You’re engaging your core. Your glutes are squeezed. Find that perfect plank with your hands directly beneath your shoulders (for a standard push up) and go to town. There are also tricep push ups, plyo push ups, wide push ups, side to side push ups, 1 hand push ups….the list goes ON. The muscles worked are core, shoulders, chest, and endurance because your heart rate will go up. As you can see, it’s one of my favorites because of all the variations.
  2. Squats. You can seriously work your legs and butt with no equipment. Think outside the box. Air squats, jump squats, side to side squats, pulse squats, plie squats, bulgarian split squats, sumo squats…etc. Not to mention the variety of lunges you can do to work your legs (alternating front lunges, plyometric lunges, reverse lunges, curtsy lunges) A five minute leg circuit could look something like this: *1 minute per move, than repeat 5 times depending on how long you want to train your legs*

A. Air squats

B. Jump Squats

C. Alternating front lunges

D. Jump Squats

E. Bulgarian Split Squats

*Just an example, or sub out some moves with some I mentioned above.*

3. Pull-ups

You never know what you can find at a public park! If you see a pull up bar-use it.

One of the biggest mass builders for the back, pull-ups are also one of the most versatile. They also work your shoulders and your accessory muscles such as the biceps.

How to Modify the Pull-up:

  • Varying grip element (towel, thick rope, offset grip)
  • Modifying linear movement; you can perform side to side movement, you can perform a leg lift or L-sit with each rep to also work your abs.
  • Overload the movement with a bookbag between your feet.
  • If you cant get your body above the bar-have a buddy hold your feet to give you an assist on the way up, than perform a negative i.e. very slowly come down from the bar with control. Yes; pull-ups are tough, but the only way to get better at them is to keep doing them. Over time you will be able to do them if you put in the work and stay consistent.

4. ABS!

Not much to say here…google some abdominal moves; there are so many to pick from and can be done EASILY with no equipment. Crunches, a multitude of plank variations, full sit ups, side planks, side plank pulses..this list goes ON!

Even though these moves and workouts can essentially be done for free: I must stress the importance of a trainer. There is a sequence that these workouts should be done to get you the best results, even with no equipment. Not to mention: teaching proper form. ¬†There is a rhyme and reason for everything that we do as personal trainers. I encourage you to reach out to me and ask me anything. That’s why I’m here.¬†

In Health-Demi

Finding Balance

Finding Balance

Myself and my boyfriend, Chris (DJ Rehab). ¬†Pictured here he was DJ’ing the biggest New Year’s Eve party in Charleston; Charleston Wonderland. (Picture Credit Dana K. Davis). Yes-you can be fit and healthy and still have fun.

When you are on the path of self empowerment via health and fitness, it can seem like an all or nothing kind of mentality. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.

I love to tell clients that YES they can still have bacon. They can still indulge in cupcakes. You can still have a drink with friends occasionally. It’s like I just lifted a 100 lb weight off their shoulders…like “did my trainer really just say that?” Yes, Yes I did.

There’s a popular thing that people hear about a lot, and it’s called the 80/20 rule. Now depending on your goals it can be more like 90/10. Basically: ¬†80% of the time, you are strict on your nutrition and going to the gym. 20% of the time…go ahead and have that cake at the office party or go out with your friends. The thing here is to find your BALANCE and see what works for you, while still seeing results. Everyone is different. Some can have bacon and oatmeal every morning, and for some it can impede your progress or slow it down. This is truly a hit or miss thing, you have to go through a lot of trial and error and find your sweet spot.

A lot of it is self intuition. If you still feel good post “cheat” and you are able to hop right back on the horse and go back to healthy eating and workouts the very next day or even the same day-it may be safe to say that you are just fine with what you chose to indulge in. This is just one technique of many. Also please remember there are NO cheat DAYS-ever. There can be cheat meals-but not entire days! Many people (like myself) plan their cheat, I like to do a once a week thing, personally. I can still stay on track and it doesn’t hinder myself from maintaining my fitness.

Bottom line: it’s going to take some time. Keep a journal of how you feel after you eat and/or drink certain things. See if anything “trends” in your performance after indulging. What’s important here is that the majority of the time, you are treating yourself like an athlete; eating and hydrating properly while still working out most days of the week.

Hon, you still have to LIVE. I don’t want you to be that person at a birthday party internally screaming because you want a slice of birthday cake. HAVE THE CAKE. (Just one slice though! Portion control is important for these kind of things!) Have a cookie. Have a beer. If you are able to control yourself and keep yourself within reasonable limits OCCASIONALLY…than these kind of things are ok.

Back to the picture above…that evening was a perfect example of myself still having fun, but I still went to the gym pre and post event. Nothing else changed for me nutritionally. That evening though-I did have some adult beverages and ate a bit more than I usually do…because it was just one evening, and I knew I was going to be back in the gym the very next day.

Find your balance. Live your life. Always remember your goals. Being fit and healthy doesn’t have to be a miserable thing.

Enjoy.

In Health-Demi

Common questions I get asked all the time as a personal trainer

Common questions I get asked all the time as a personal trainer

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!*

  1. “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.

Common questions I get asked all the time as a personal trainer

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!

In Health-Demi