Question and Answer

j0089893Q: I’m a 26 year old female and stand 5’2” and weigh 130 pounds. Am I too fat for my height? 

A: Without knowing your fat content and bone structure it’s hard to tell without seeing you but here are some guidelines. First of all in the book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’there is a height weight chart that will fit most everyone’s needs and according to it’s guidelines you could stand to lose a few pounds. But here’s the catch…remember muscle weighs more than fat. You could be this lady of steel and in which case you are probably just fine. A quick check without looking at the charts would be to do this. Give yourself 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of your height and then add 5 pounds for every inch that you are above 5’ and now give or take 10 percent. So according to this formula, a healthy weight for you should be 110 pounds give or take 11 pounds. So you could stand to lose between 9 and 20 pounds.

Q: Are workout videos good for you? 

A: Anything that gets you moving is good for you. If you do jumping jacks while waiting for the bus, it’s good for you. Workout videos usually don’t have more than 30 minutes of aerobic training per tape and these workouts are generally low impact. For a person of about 150 pounds this would translate into burning between 170 to 250 kcal. per workout. To burn fat you need to expend at least 300 kcal. at least 3 times a week. So try to choose tapes that have longer aerobic workouts or go for a walk or choose some other way to burn fat. In the book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’ there is a great activity guide that will show you what activity will burn how many calories and you can find the activity that is just right for you.

Q: Why am I still getting Fat when I’ve cut out fat in my diet? 

A: Reducing dietary fat does not necessarily mean you will reduce body fat. Excess carbohydrates can be stored as fat once the liver and muscles levels are full, and excess protein can be stored as fat once the muscle tissues have had their share. So you may be cutting back on the amount of fat you are eating but you may be eating too many calories. If you eat more then you burn you will store the excess as fat. Check out the formulas in the book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’ to see how many calories you should be eating in your diet and then you can properly design a weight management program that will personally suit your needs.

Q: What do I need to eat to gain more muscle?

A: Well for starters only protein can become part of new muscles, but carbohydrates provide the fuel for you to exercise. If your carbohydrate intake is too low your body will go into the muscles to get the energy that it needs to perform the demands you put on it. So if you want to gain muscle mass efficiently make sure you eat enough carbohydrates before and after workouts so the protein you consume can do the job of building your muscles.

Q: If I eat too much at a party should I limit what I eat the next day?

A: I wish it was that simple. If you eat too much in one day, your excess calories will be stored as fat. By trying to make up for it the next day by limiting what you eat will lower your metabolism so you’ll burn even fewer calories. Don’t punish yourself for having a bad day and just try to get back to your normal eating habits. If you really feel you should do something, then perform extra time in your aerobic workouts. This will hopefully make you feel better and perhaps help you lose the extra calories you stored.

Q: How can I prevent all the muscle gains I’ve made from one day turning into fat? 

A: If you stop exercising your muscles in about four weeks will start to lose some strength and size but they will not and can not turn into fat. What sometimes happens when you stop exercising is you continue to eat as if you were burning all those calories, but you’re not. So those excess calories will be stored as fat. What you have to do if you stop exercising due to an injury for example, is to adjust your eating habits to account for this, and eat fewer calories. Once you resume working out you can increase your calories.

Q: What is the best time of the day to work out? 

A: Anytime! Whatever works best for you, your schedule and when you have the most energy. Your body will burn the same amount of calories doing a certain activity in the morning, as it will in the evening. In the book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’ there is a great activity guide that will show you what activity will burn how many calories and you can find the activity that is just right for you.

Q: What is a healthy diet? 

A: A healthy diet contains the proper amount of essential nutrients and calories that can reduce the risks of disease and help you to live a full and active lifestyle. This diet contains the proper balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. And you must eat a variety of different foods, because no one food can give you all the nutrients your body needs. For example oranges may be an excellent source of Vitamin C but contains no Vitamin B12. Cheese provides a good source of B12 but no Vitamin C. Check out the section ‘What’s in a serving’ in the book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’. This food guide will help you to balance your meal plan so that you choose foods from all the basic food groups.

Q: I’m afraid to weight train because I don’t want to get big bulky muscles, what should I do instead? 

A: Weight training combined with a proper diet will help you gain muscle mass but only if you perform low rep, heavier than normal weights. Your body has two types of muscle fiber; white (fast twitch) muscle fiber and red (slow twitch) muscle fiber. When you perform low rep (less than 6 reps) heavy weight exercises your white or fast twitch muscle fibers are doing most of the work and you will gain strength and size. In the 6 to 12 rep range you use both your red and white muscle fibers and you can build size to your muscles. When you perform reps in the 12 to 20 range your red muscle fibers do most of the work and although you may gain some size and definition, you are increasing the aerobic capacity of the muscle you are working. So if you want to gain a little muscle mass, but mostly shape and tone keep your reps high. If your goal is get big, lift heavy and keep your reps low.

Q: Will doing aerobic stop me from gaining muscle mass. 

A: It depends on how much aerobics you are doing. If you were running a marathon then the answer would be yes. If you train aerobically for long periods of time, you will burn muscle as well as fat. So if you want to gain muscle try to keep your aerobic training to between one and three hours per week. Do not cut it out of your workouts because it will help you to improve your cardiovascular system, increase your metabolism and help you to recover more quickly from heavy weight training.

Q: I get confused on when to breathe when lifting weights? 

A: Breathing should be so natural, but it can be confusing when you start to think about what you are doing. Just ask a golfer if he inhales or exhales on his back swing and watch him hit his next shot into the woods. The basic rule is to exhale on the toughest part of the movement. So in pushing motions like the bench press the toughest part would be when you push the bar off your chest, so you should exhale. In pulling motions, like pull downs, the toughest part would be when you pull the bar towards your chest so you should exhale. If you are lifting something than you should exhale as you lift the weight. You should never hold your breath as you exercise. Breathing will also prevent you from grinding your teeth as you perform heavy workouts.

Q: Can I workout if I’m sick?

A: Yes and no. If you just don’t feel well, sometimes working out can help lift you out of whatever you are experiencing. If on the other hand you have a fever, you should wait until the fever goes away before working out in the gym. If you simply must work out when you are sick, try to lower the intensity of your workout and let your body try to heal itself. Working out while sick can sometimes lengthen or worsen your illness because your immune system has to do double duty. It has to deal with the stresses of your illness and the physical stresses of you working out. So if you give yourself a break you will hopefully be back to optimum health quicker.

Q: Are vitamin supplements necessary? 

A: If you know you are getting all your essential vitamins and minerals from your diet than vitamin supplements are not necessary. But how many of you know if you are or not? If you lack just one of the essential vitamins or minerals, chemical and enzyme processors in your body can be impaired. Vitamins and minerals are needed for forming hormones, turning food into energy, and building a strong immune system. Almost every function in your body revolves around the use of vitamins and minerals in order to perform properly. If you consult with your doctor, he or she could recommend a good multivitamin/mineral supplement that would be good for you.

Q: I’m a Personal Trainer just starting out.  I just got a request to train an overweight 13-year-old girl. I’ve been thinking of a circuit routine with light weight in a 20-25 rep range 3 days a week as well as low intensity aerobics 3 days a week. I’m a little new to this, I was wondering if you could give me any training tips for a young girl or if what I was thinking is a good program for someone that young. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

A: The secret with training adolescents is you have to make it fun and at the same time challenging…the circuit weight training is not a bad idea but you must be careful you don’t allow her to lift too heavy because they are still developing and care should be taken…(especially if she is just starting to menstruate).  I like the approach of cross training.  I’m not sure where you live …but if the
weather is nice…going for a hike….biking…even canoeing, can get the teen active and that is the key, as well as working on a proper diet
strategy that can give her the nutrition required for a growing girl.

She could also be involved in a team sport such as soccer…lot’s of running which is good…or play tennis…There are so many elements to consider and a lot of personal trainers look at kids and treat them like adults.  They
will get bored going to a gym several times a week…but they won’t get bored if they are doing different activities…even Badminton and
bowling…gets them moving and at the same time you can teach them by not teaching them.  Make it fun…make it unique and at the same time challenging.

Q: Someone once said to me that if I’m going to eat Power Bars, I might as well be eating Snickers….is this true?  Power Bars are my favorite snack bar because their new varieties taste good to me.  I’ve tried others that just don’t cut it.  However, if I’m hurting my good nutrition habits I suppose I can cut them out.  Are Power Bars bad compared to other energy bars?

A: Power bars are an interesting topic.  I guess it depends on what you are using them for.  And your friend who suggested you might as well eat a snickers bar is partially correct.  You see once you look at the ingredients of most power bars and dissect it ….they are sugar…sugar and more sugar.

If you are looking for a quick high and don’t care about your insulin ups and downs then sugar…in the form of simple carbs will usually satisfy your needs.  But if you’re looking to maintain some sort of consistency…with lasting energy without the highs and lows then you should try to eat complex carbs.

I hope this answers your question…but there are many different kinds of power…protein and energy bars…some are better then others, but if they work for you then that’s all that matters.

Q: Is aerobics better for getting into shape then weight training?

A: Any form of activity is good, walking to the store instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, but if you truly want to reshape your body then you must do some kind of weight training.  As I discuss in my book ‘Get Fit Stay Fit’ when you gain muscle, you also increase your metabolism because your body needs more energy to maintain its new muscle and fat needs hardly any energy at all.  So if you are looking to lose weight, then weight training along with a proper diet gets right to the core of the problem.  Now if you just do aerobic activities, and eat less you will lose weight eventually but it may not give you the results you are looking for.  If you start out your aerobic routine say having a pear shape…you will like I said lose weight but still have a pear shape, mind you hopefully a smaller pear.  So if you truly want to transform your body and burn fat then nothing beats a proper weight-training program.

Q: Is weight Training only for young people?

A: NO.  I’d love to leave it at that but let me say that as we age we lose muscle mass.  And it starts at around 25 years of age.  From your early thirties to mid sixties your body fat levels can double.  We get older, we get fatter…we get fatter, we lose muscle mass…we lose muscle mass…we get weaker and lose our strength…we lose our strength we feel old, fragile, weak and begin to have all sorts of health problems.  This progression can be stopped and aging baby boomers are starting to catch on.  In fact the largest and fastest growing section in the fitness industry are of men and women over the age of 50.  No matter what your current level of fitness is, if you are healthy you are ready to step into the weight room of a gym. It’s also a very good idea if you haven’t exercised in a while that you have a physical and let your doctor know what your plans are.  I’m sure he’ll not only help but also encourage you and give you guidance as well as the health care professionals at your local club.

Q: I can’t find the time to exercise, but really need to lose about 25 pounds.  What should I do?

A:  Well for starters, no one has the time to exercise.   I have yet to meet anyone that has said to me…I’m bored I think I’ll start to workout.  In today’s fast paced world no one seems to think they can find the time for something new.  We all have the same amount of time 24 hours a day…1,440 minutes and yet some find the time and others just say they are too busy.  Once you prioritize and plan your workouts, you’d be amazed that you really do have the time. You don’t have to be in a gym 2 to 3 hours at a time…but a 40 minute workout with time to change etc…You should be able to be in and out within an hour.  When you plan your day to include your workout, then you will get it done and you’ll also be surprised that you found that extra hour that you didn’t think you had.  Having a healthy body and not exercising it is like having 20/20 vision and never opening your eyes.  You should make exercising a part of your daily routine, like eating and brushing your teeth.

Q: Should I eat something before I workout like an energy bar?

A:  It all depends on what your goal is.  Is you are concerned only with your performance then you should consume some sort of carbohydrates before and after you workout like an energy bar or sport drink.  But if your goal is to lose weight then it is not a good idea.  If you supply your body with carbohydrates (energy) before you work out, then as you work out you will burn what you supplied for energy instead of going into your fat cells and pulling out fat and burning it for your energy.  So instead of burning fat you are saving it.  Cut back on your carbs and your body will burn more fat.  So for maximum fat burning it is always best to exercise on an empty stomach.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !