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This week's highlighted Q&A:
Why Can't I Get Rid Of That Pesky Belly Fat
Hello, I'm a 30 year old stay at home mom
with two kids. I'm currently on a weight loss journey. I have lost 20 pounds but
I'm having a hard time losing my belly fat. Any suggestions? Thank you!!
Ahh, if I could wave a magic wand and magically make belly fat disappear I
would be popular world-wide. Alas, no such thing exists.
Pesky belly fat is a common problem among women,
particularly those who have given birth to children. Part of it may not be
belly fat but more about stretched skin from pregnancies. That can get tricky
to make progress with. But let's concentrate on what you can work on.
Contrary to what many marketers pitch, crunches
and ab strength training alone will not do anything to reduce the fat. Just
like fat concentrations on other parts of the body, belly fat requires cardio
work to reduce it. That being said it is also important to strengthen your abs
with crunches, planks, core exercises, ball fitness and more.
one of our affordable programs to receive a complete body workout plan that
includes a huge variety of very effective abdominal strengthening exercises.
More Questions and Answers
Why I'm Not Losing Weight Or Inches
I exercise a lot and eat right but the scale
is hardly moving and my clothes feel tighter.
First of all, try not to focus too much on numbers. It is so common for
individuals to get so caught up, even obsessed, with the numbers on the scale,
on the BMI chart, on the tape measure. There is a place for tracking those,
but more focus should be placed on the healthy things you do daily and their
And keep in mind that muscle
weights more than fat. So, that can make a difference in the number on the
scale. Also, muscle actually takes up more space than fat, so that can have an
affect on your measurements.
The most accurate way to track your numbers is
through a body fat percentage measurement. So, you might try to set an
appointment to have that tracked. You may also need to evaluate what workouts
you are doing and how often. Also, are you eating the right amount and eating
Those are some things to look into. Again,
though, focus on how you are feeling and remembering that exercising and
eating right do all of the following:
Reduces Heart Attack Risk
Lowers Risk For High Blood Pressure
Lower Risk For Alzheimers
Diabetes Risk Is Reduced
Exercise Helps Ward Off Dementia and Memory
What Time Of Day Is Best For Exercising
Should I workout in the morning or evening?
Or another time? What time is best for exercising.
I could site study X or research Y and try to
pretend there is a correct answer to your question. But, in reality there is
no one correct answer. I personally think that is totally an individual
preference. Think about it, YOUR schedule truly will dictate the best time to
If you are SO not a morning person, then trying
to force yourself to get out of bed for a workout does not seem like an
effective plan. Or, if you work nights, then obviously your not going to be
able to exercise then. Maybe afternoon is your ideal time.
What I would suggest is that you take a few
minutes and seriously plot out your weekly schedule. Pretty quickly you will
see a pattern that reveals your most available times. Maybe that varies from
day to day -- that's okay. Now schedule your workouts based on that
information. AND, this is important, have back-up plans. Think about what
could potentially get in the way of your exercise and 1) determine how you can
avoid that happening 2) have a back-up time scheduled in case something
unavoidable prevents you from fitting in your workout time.
What Causes A "Bad" Run Day
I've been running for about 3 months and I've
make good progress. I've been able to go a little faster and a little longer
week after week. But this week I went for my 4 mile run and it was terrible. I
got cramps, I was exhausted and I had to walk a lot of it. What did I do wrong?
We may never know! But, there are a few things to consider. 1) Did you not
hydrate enough both during your run and before it? 2) Did you eat something
too soon before your run or had you not eaten for a long time prior to your
run? Did you skip your normal warm-up? Did you switch from always running
indoors to an outdoor run? Did you significantly change your pace? Were you
too focused on the run or instead possibly spending too much time thinking
about things your to-do list?
These are a
few things to think about to find the root cause. But, I will caution, there
may be no known reason. The reality is, even veteran runners occasionally have
what we all call a "bad" run day. They can just randomly happen.
Hitting A Workout Wall
Dear Sir/ Madame. I have been working out and
dieting for the past 3 months now, and energy levels are starting to run low,
and I find I an starting to "hit the wall" so to speak. I do rest at least twice
a week from weights and once a week from cardio. What do you think I need to do,
rest more, eat more, or just keep going and eventually will my body get use to
it? Please help as summer is nearing lol, thank you.
A: First of all, congratulations on
sticking to your plan for three months! Of course, I cannot give an absolute
answer since I am unable to see you in-person nor do I know your specific
workout plans and eating habits. So, first be sure to rule-out any health
issues that could be a cause of energy drops.
Once medical options are eliminated, then you
may want to try several things to see what works best. Here are some
1. Take an entire week off from all workouts.
Give your body plenty of time to completely get energized.
2. Check your calorie intake against your
calorie expenditure. If your dieting, don't go less than 500 calories in the
deficit direction. If you are not trying to lose weight, look for zero balance
on calories in/out.
3. Are you getting enough sleep? 7 to 8 hours
4. Is it truly physical tiredness or is it a
matter of your body getting bored with your current workout routine? Maybe
it's time to change up all of your workouts. Try something completely new and
Fitting In Exercise Time At Work
"I work in an office
building and sit most of the day. I was wondering if there are any exercises
that I could do while at work?
Yes, there are many exercises that you can do at work. For cardiovascular
workouts you can try taking short walking breaks or climbing stairs. You can
also do strength training exercises right at your desk, for example tricep dips
that work your upper arm area. This doesn't require any equipment you can do it
either with a sturdy chair or just on the floor. You also can try standing
push-ups where you place your hands against a wall. If you have a resistance
band/tube you can take that to work with you and do dozens of strength training
exercises for the entire body. Try taking a 3 minute break every hour at work to
do just one strength training exercise.
complete program that includes every single workout detail -- so you don't have
to waste a single minute of your time trying to figure out what to do, Enroll
one of our affordable programs. You will
receive weekly workouts with detailed instructions for cardio workouts, upper and lower body strength
training workouts, abdominal workouts and stretching. And you will have access to our entire HUGE library
of exercise demos.
Arm and Ab Home Exercises
can I get strong abs and arm muscles not going to the gym?
are many, many options for strength training that don't require a trip to the
gym. If you have dumbbells, a resistance band, or an exercise stability ball,
there are literally hundreds of exercises that you can do at home. With these
exercises you can increase your muscular strength, muscular endurance plus of
course get a more defined look in your physical appearance.
Even if you have
no equipment, you can still do a lot to strengthen your abs and arm muscles.
Of course there are the standard no-equipment exercises like push-ups,
crunches and tricep dips, but there are also a lot of other options available
Here are some
Preacher Curls, Tricep 90 Degree Pull Downs, Chest Flys
Band: Bicep Curls, Tricep Push Downs, Lat Pull Downs, Leg Extensions
Ball: Crunches, Hamstring Curls, Adductor Squeeze
Equipment: Tricep Push-Ups, One-Legged Tricep Dips, Oblique Crunch
To receive instructions and view exercise demos
for the above samples, Enroll
one of our affordable programs. You will have access to our entire HUGE library
of exercise demos. And you'll receive a complete body workout plan that
includes an extensive variety of very effective abdominal and arm exercises.
How To Get In Time For Summer
is just around the corner. What kind of exercises should I do to get in shape
for the summer?
are three major components to any successful fitness program. They are:
cardiovascular training, flexibility, and strength training. So, you will want
to ensure that you participate in a total workout plan that includes all three
of those components.
you want to do exercises like walking, jogging, biking, swimming, jumping
rope, etc. and including interval training is highly recommended. Flexibility
is as simple as performing stretches for the entire body. Strength training
should include some type of resistance (e.g. weights, bands, ball) exercise
for every major muscle group.
How Frequently To Train
Is it bad for your
body to workout some of the same muscle groups daily?
There's not a absolute answer to that
question because it depends on how hard you are working the muscles, what
exercises you are doing, etc. But, in general it's best to allow your muscle
groups about 48 hours to rest and recover before working them again.
This is generally the rule for strength
training. Usually it's okay if you for example strength train your legs on
Day 1 and then run on Day 2. You'll note that you are working the legs on
both days, but the cardio training is different and therefore probably
okay to do after strength training.
The key to any successful strength
training program is to be sure you are doing the exercises with correct
form, using the right resistance, and the right number of reps/sets.
You'll also be most successful if you use a periodization technqiue which
will progress you each week in a pre-determined, specific plan.
Proper Weight Size
a beginner what weight size ( in pounds) should I start with?
no one size fits all weight size that is best for beginners. The size of
weight you use depends on your goals, skills, past fitness experience, etc. A
good rule of thumb is start with about 70% maximum resistance with 8-12 reps
and 1-3 sets. To determine your specific 70% max. size, you must first
determine the maximum amount of weight you can lift.
you would determine what the heaviest weight is that you can lift just one
time on each of the exercises you plan to perform. From there then you reduce
that weight size down to just 70% of your maximum.
typically not recommended that beginners attempt to lift their maximum amount
of weight, for safety reasons. So, another simpler option is to choose a
weight size that provides fatigue after the 8th - 12th rep is completed.
Proper Rest Time Between Strength Workouts
it bad for your body to workout some of the same muscle groups daily?
you should allow your muscle to rest about 48 hours before working it again.
This is the safest approach and also the most efficient approach for improving
strength. It will help you increase hypertrophy more effectively.
So, if you
want to workout every day then consider alternating which muscles you work on
each day. For example, on days 1, 3 and 5 you could work your biceps, triceps,
and chest and on days 2, 4, and 6 you could work your shoulders, back and
muscle group that may be able to be worked more often is the abdominals. Most
of the time it is okay to work them every day.
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