Friday, August 22, 2008

Q & A Session with a Personal Trainer

Hey All,

I recently had the opportunity to ask 25 Health Questions to a Personal Trainer and he gave me a great set of answers, read below:

1.What do you recommend as a daily calorie intake diet for an overweight person?
Take their "normal" dietary intake and subtract 500 kcals/day. That equates to a 1 lb. loss/week. Of course I recommend healthy eating habits and a fit lifestyle. It's not about going on a "diet", it's about changing your mentality about being fit for life.

2.How often do you work out daily? Weekly? Monthly?
I attempt to actively partake in something everyday of my life, whether that be going to the gym and working out or jogging with the dog. Consistency is essential for being a fit person.

3.What does your diet currently consist of?
Diet is an evil word. I eat to live, not live to eat. All food is to me is fuel; like a with a car. If I need some energy I fuel up, if not than I'm content. Stay within your own means when it comes to food selection. We all know what's healthier to eat. Snack if you need to, but never let yourself hit empty. If you fuel up all at once you'll over eat, your mind will recognize those habits and get accustomed to eating that way.

4.What do you think of the “Big Breakfast” diet?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, just make sure to eat enough carbs and protein. Your day should realistically start off with more kcals and tapper off as the day goes on. The American diet is backwards; why do we need a huge meal before we go to bed?

5.What do you think of the “Atkins” No Carb diet?
Research supports the simple fact that your body will be forced to burn fat as energy if no carbs are present, however, zero carbs will result in fatigue and increased stress. It's a poor diet for the human body, a modified version of this would work much better, but again diets are short lived and breed failure.

6.What do you think of the “South Beach” Low Carb diet?
This is more sensible than the Atkins Diet, but still it's not a change in lifestyle.

7.What do you think of the Weight Watchers diet? Weighing your self in front of a large group of people, to learn and grow with each other, to loose weight.
This is the most effective type of lifestyle change. It does turn some people crazy into weighing all their foods and needing too much control over what they eating. It also turned into a great marketing scheme for Weight Watchers to sell their products. Once people live Weight Watchers they find it's hard to have that control without others helping them out, which nutrition should be easy and simple. In a confused state that tend to undereat for a while proceeding the diet, until it all comes to a crashing disaster. I witnessed my mom and her friends go through this. The didn't trust my professional opinion and all put on my weight than they lost initially because they slowed down their metabolism through eating less, thus making weight gain that much easier.

8.How often should people work out there arms, legs, and chest for stregth training?
It's all about balance and equilibrium. People today workout for aesthetics, not functional purpose. You must form a equation between what you NEED and what you WANT. Men want a huge upper body e.g. chest and biceps. Women want to "tone" their legs, butt, and arms. In reality everybody needs to have a strong core for everyday life, work on balance (especially the elders), strength train to build stronger muscles and bones, and train their cardiovascular system to help reduce heart disease and other potential diseases. Also, people should create balance to alleviate pain, not pop a pill because the doctor told you too. Not all trainers know how to solve problems, most of them exacerbate them.

9.How often should people work out there back, abs, and cardio training?
Refer above

10.How do you get bigger if you are very small? What do you recommend?
If you are training to get bigger, what's your underlying purpose? Are you hiding some insecuraties that by becoming bigger will help out? Regardless getting bigger is what we call hypertrophy, working the muscles into a catobolic state to create an anabolic rebuilding of the muscles fibers bigger than before. You can't create more muscles (only a species of birds can), but you can get "bigger" by training this way:
Hypertrophy Training:
  1. Duration of Phase 3-6 weeks
  2. Load 70-80%
  3. Number of Exercises 6-9 (Prime Movers)
  4. Number of Reps per Set 6-12
  5. Number of Sets 3-6
  6. Rest Intervals 2-3 minutes
  7. Speed of Execution; Medium
  8. Frequency/Week 2-4

11.How do you get smaller if you are very big? What do you recommend?

Haha, who wants to become smaller? If you're trying to get smaller do absolutely nothing, the muscles will melt away like butter on toast. Okay I assume we are talking about decreasing body fat. Combine a workout regimen that includes cardiovascular training with strength training, it's been proven to be the most effective. Cardiovascular training will burn more calories right away, which is good. Strength training will increase your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which will burn more calories throughout each and everyday. Why? Because the more muscle you have, the more calories are required for those muscles.

Strictly Dietary Parameters:

Calories in = Calories Out Stay the Same Weight
Calories in <> Calories Out Weight Gain

*Figure how many kcals you're consuming and compare that to your BMR, a nutritionist or personal trainer can figure this out for you.

12.Do you eat fast food?
I rarely eating fast food. They're nothing good that will come out of foods with trans fat or high levels of fat, especially saturated fats. Just like Jared if I don't have time, I go to Subway. If you need a quick fix, bring a snack just in case you're on the run.

13.What is your favorite fast food place to eat, when not dieting?
I don't like fast food, but if I can have anything it's definitely ice cream. I can take down a half gallon of ice cream quicker than anyone. It's okay if we indulge once in a while, but don't make it a habit. If you starve yourself from your cravings, you'll want them more and more. One day that craving will overtake you will power and everything will come crumbling down.

14.What is your fastest mile run?
I don't do anything for MAX results, whether it be running, lifting, or eating. If you had me run a fast mile after a good warm-up I can run just under 6 minutes. What you have to think about is why is this relative? Am I training to run a mile anytime? If your goal is to run a marathon, than your one-mile best has little significance. Just make sure your goals are aliened.

15.What is the most you have ever benched?
I did train this way before I was educated enough to realize this MAX efforts will only lead to injury. But if you want to know it was 335 two years ago.

16.What is the most you have ever squat?
With a belt on to protect my back I squated 615. I would have even gone for more but I didn't think my knee would be able to handle to load. My glutes weren't strong enough compared to my quads and hamstrings, thus putting unnecessary pressure on my knees.

17.How much cardio do you do a day?
I try to do a mile or so on the elliptical 5 times/week. In addition I jump rope for about 10 minutes 5 times/week to hit those higher heart rates.

18.Do you think it is better to run a mile straight or walk and run alternating for 2 miles?
It all comes back to what your goals are. If you're looking to become leaner than the more the merrier, but don't forget about time management. People nowadays don't have time to waste, so make it as effective and efficient as possible.

19.How often do you weight your self?
I never weigh myself unless the doctor makes me. I know I'm overweight compared to my weight (BMI) because I have a lot of muscle. What I look at is myself; how do I feel and how do I fit into my clothes. Scales as just a waste of space in most peoples bathrooms.

20.What is your average weight?
My average weight is 200lbs. at 5'10" and 10% body fat. That means I have 180lbs. of lean body tissue and 20lbs. of fat tissue in my body. For a male I shouldn't go below 3% body fat because it will start effecting my vital organs. As for a women they shouldn't get below 12% body fat. As before these measurements can be figured out by a nutritionist or personal trainer.

21.What is your goal weight?
I'm content where I am right now. 90% of people want to be thinner at all times. You have to realistic with yourself and know your own bodies settling point (where you normally are).

22.What is the most you have ever weighed?
The most I ever weighed was 220lbs. I was muscle bound, not fat, but I didn't like the way I looked so I stopped training so hard to lose some muscle to get back to where I wanted to be.

23.What do you consider a healthy body fat percentage?
Guidelines for body fat percentage go by age. You can find where you should be at

24.How much water do you consume daily?
It's recommended that we all drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. I try my hardest to but usually come short of that. I do however carry around a Nalgene bottle with water to remind myself to drink and as well as the pure fact I can drink it because it's in my hand.

25.Do you use any supplements; muscle milk, protein bars, wheat protein drinks, daily vitamins?
Supplements are unnecessary. The definition of a supplement is replacing something that can naturally and normally be attained. If you're asking about performance enhancers e.g. Nitric Oxide, HGH, Steroids, that's a completely different question. Most of us can attain these vitamins, minerals, proteins through our normal diet. I recommend a multi-vitamin and/or protein for those who don't get enough in their diets e.g. vegans.

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