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

 

 

Most important element of your fitness journey is…

Most important element of your fitness journey is...

SLEEP.

That’s right. It’s not nutrition, not your workout, or how much water you are drinking.

Although they all play an extremely important part of your health and fitness journey..SLEEP is your money maker.

Let me first preface this: If you are apart of the crowd that thinks “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”…don’t even bother reading. Your quality of life will suck, and when you’re dead-you are just dead. This is all about living a life full of health and vitality.

“Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.”

Well, seems pretty important I would say…just by reading that alone.

Think of it this way; take a triangle and flip it on it’s head. At the very top is SLEEP, next layer is HYDRATION, next layer underneath that is NUTRITION, and the itty bitty point of the bottom of that upside down triangle is…YOUR WORKOUT.

I know for many that can come as a surprise. I always tell my clients this and they are always surprised/shocked.

This is an example of an ideal day: You wake up refreshed because you got your 7-10 hours of sleep (everyone is different). Energy is already up and you feel ready to face the day with a pep in your step. Mentally-you have your goals and you are ready to demolish them. You hydrate throughout the day. You eat sensibly, because when you DON’T sleep well-your body releases the hormone ghrelin AKA the hunger hormone, causing you to be-you guessed it-hungry. The hunger is there not because you are actually hungry, but simply because you did not get enough sleep. This where overeating of the wrong types of food comes into play. When this hormone is secreted, your body wants energy in the form of sugar and starchy carbs to combat that lack of sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. Ironically, this is also the same hormone that is secreted when you get the “munchies” when you ingest marijuana. ‘Food’ for thought. (pun intended) 

Anyway-if you slept well, this hormone stays in check and is only released if you are truly hungry, but it’s very controllable and a normal part of your day. You will also be more motivated to work out and your performance WILL increase.

All of what I just mentioned…your ENTIRE day will be better and you will reach your goals faster if you get the proper sleep you need.

**That is exactly why SLEEP is the most important part of your fitness regimen. Your workout (if it’s an hour) is only 4% of your day. 2% for 30 minute workouts. Your recovery begins as soon as that workout is over and you are in your stretch/cooldown. Your recovery continues with your post workout nutrition and hydration and goes right into the NEXT night of sleep. During sleep is also where your muscles recover. When you are weightlifting for example: you are creating micro tears in your muscle fibers. This is the feeling that makes you “sore” the next day. Sleeping good, eating properly, and hydrating enough are what heals these micro tears and helps your muscles to become stronger for your next workout.   Stronger muscles will lead to more muscle mass and therefore less body-fat.**

Did you just hear what I just wrote above?! Read it again.

If you are wanting to maximize your fitness potential according to your goals, the recovery is where it’s at. When you recover with good sleep, hydration, and nutrition, you become STRONGER and more fit.

The understanding of this cycle is of the UTMOST importance for you to reach your goals and keep them for the long haul.

As always feel free to ask me anything. I train in the Charleston area and would love to pass this and much more information to you if you are in need of a personal trainer. 

In Health-Demi

Letter to the “Resolution” Gym Crowd

Letter to the "Resolution" Gym Crowd

(I do not usually blog twice in one day. But I saw the above post/pic that someone posted and it  was borderline rage inducing to me and I needed to say something)

Dear New People at the gym:

As we near February, it is statistically proven that you may be questioning your intentions about going to the gym as part of your New Years resolution. I want to talk to you directly, if I can; and tell you to NOT GIVE UP.

I know you are the victim of many online memes or careless judgmental remarks (like the one I posted here, seriously screw that person) about the “NYE Resolution” crowd at the gym. How “you will never last” or  “can’t wait for this fickle crowd to die out!”  I know it sucks to read them. On behalf of all of them…we are very sorry.

That is not my wish for you. My wish for you is to endure and persist. I want you to stay and to be the anti-statistic so you can see how strong you really are. Prove them wrong, but do it for yourself. I promise-you are very strong. Male, female…it doesn’t matter. If a NYE resolution is what brought you to the gym, I want you to stay.

No matter what your starting point was/is…there IS an inner athlete in you. Your body CRAVES to be healthy and strong. That feeling is addicting and I want you to feel that way. I want you to enjoy being sore! I want you to know what it feels like to be properly hydrated. I want you to sleep good knowing you gave it your all today and every day.

I want you to walk into the gym like a boss-and handle yourself with authority and dignity. Hold your head up high-and fight the good fight.

There are people who NEVER make the commitment that you are making. The fact that you are in a gym means that you are doing more than 80% of the population (that is fact). Take that in and embrace that. The hardest part is just showing up. So if you show up whether it’s for 10 minutes or 30 minutes or an hour; you are still doing more than most of your friends, co-workers, and your neighbors.

Stay persistent and consistent, my friend. You will get the results you want if you don’t give up. Don’t you dare succumb to the statistic and fade out. Push through-make this so important as if your life depends on it. Because it does!

I’m always here if you need a boost, a helping hand, or a word of motivation and encouragement. I just want you to see yourself the way I see you: Strong. Athletic. Powerful. Warrior. You have all of those qualities and then some.

Game face; ON.

FOCUS.

In Health-Demi

“When will I see results?”

How long until you will see results

This is a question that I get asked ALL.THE.TIME.

And I get it. I was the girl who would workout, eat good, and get some good sleep, and I would weigh myself every single day! I would find myself very disappointed because sometimes my weight would go up, or there would be very minute changes. One thing you must know is:

THE SCALE IS A BIG FAT LIER.

(for the most part)

The scale is great to give yourself an overall glimpse of how your diet and workout are working for you BUT only as one simple tool, because it does not give you the whole picture of how you are progressing. That number does not represent how many pounds are fat and how many pounds are muscle are on your body at any given moment.

THIS IS WHY I MEASURE. 

Body measurements are more trusting and can give me and you a more accurate glance of how you are moving along. It can give us a baseline for body fat percentage, where we can measure every 4 weeks to make sure we are progressing and moving in the right direction. Keep in mind even measurements can vary in ways that are “not desirable” at the moment because it can measure water retention as well as differences in your body composition that is very common in the beginning of a workout program. What matters most is that we keep a general baseline that includes a combination of the scale AND measurements every 4 weeks.

Most people will tell me that their clothes are fitting differently and are looser. THAT is what I am looking for. That tells me that you are not just losing body fat, but you are putting on muscle. I had a client in the past that over 3 months of solid training with me: lost ONLY 3/4 of a pound. Do you know how devastated she was?! THEN we got to measuring. Sure enough she lost 22 overall inches! Can you see now how much the scale is SO not the end all judge here? The scale is just a tool. This woman’s clothes were so loose on her! Those numbers tell me she put on muscle and boy did she get strong! When she saw how many inches she was down, her happiness could fill that gym times ten. She was happy and I was so proud of her.

So getting back to it: you know you can’t spot reduce. Think of yourself like an onion. Every day that you eat good, workout, and sleep good-a SLIVER of that onion comes off your entire body at once. It will take time to get to any problem areas. But it is doable! You just have to stay consistent.

Here’s JUST AN EXAMPLE of what can be typical as far as when you can see results. Of course everyone is different; so please keep that in mind. This represents someone who is watching their food intake and hydrating properly, working out most days of the week, and sleeping well in general every night.

  • Week one: Most people start to see some change in the scale (usually up to five pounds) during this week. You’re likely to feel better, but not see major changes in your body.
  • Week two: During week two you’re likely to start to see changes in the way your body looks and feels. Exercise starts to feel easier and your clothes will start to feel loose.
  • Week three: Week three is when you start to feel momentum in your weight loss journey. If you’ve been consistent in your plan, your body is responding well and you start to feel like the program is successful.
  • Week four: By week four it is very possible that you’ve lost enough weight (safely) to be a different clothing size.

Again, remember this is all very relative and different for everybody. I will be talking more about all of this in-depth in the coming weeks and really breaking it down so please stay tuned. Feel free to ask me any questions you would like me to cover in the comments or send me a message via the ‘contact me’ tab on this website.

In Health-Demi