Q: Is it better to work out upper body or lower body first?
A: Some studies show that plowing through difficult exercises first can help prevent injury and maximize efficiency. For women, upper-body muscles are weaker than lower body, so a little more focus is needed. Start with those exercises while you’re fresh. Work the larger muscle groups first, such as chest and back, followed by biceps/triceps/shoulders.
Q: How many calories do I REALLY need?
A: Studies have shown that 11 calories per pound if you spend less than 2 hrs/week at gym, and 12 if you workout for 3 or more days. If your goal is to lose weight, run the number with your current and ideal weight. You’ll probably find the difference to be 200-300 calories a day. We can definitely handle that!
Q: Do I really need to break a sweat for a good workout?
A: Sweat and a high heart rate isn’t always a good cardio session. For maximum benefit, you need a dynamic moves that use large muscle groups(legs). Also try for a minimum of 30 minutes. If you can talk easily during your workout, you’re not working hard enough.
Q: The scale is moving, but I’m not losing any inches. What am I doing wrong?
A: It may mean that you are not getting the optimum workout and/or getting enough protein. Try adding strength moves to rev up your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories throughout the day even when you’re not working out. In addition, add some protein powder(2 scoops) into yogurt or a fruit smoothie.
Q: Will eating more small meals throughout the day satisfy my hunger?
A: The 5 meal a day method doesn’t work for everyone. You may eat healthier meals if you eat when you want. The focus really should be on the portion size. Some snacks sizes have increased so much, that they are almost a meal! Snacking more than once a day, and you’re adding 500 or more calories a day. Aim for 150-200 calorie snacks. You decide however many times you eat, but always keep an eye on your portion size.
Q: What’s better for losing weight, 3 square meals, or smaller ones throughout the day?
A: Honestly, there is no magic number. Our bodies are designed to eat when we’re hungry. However, research has shown that eating every few hours is good for your metabolism, keeps your blood levels in check, and prevents binging at the end of the day. If you are a vigorous am workout person, then work all day, 3 squares won’t cut it. Try not to go more that 4 hours without eating, whether it’s with a healthy snack(150 calories), or a meal(300-450 calories).
Q: Why isn’t the needle on my scale moving??
A: Don’t worry. Plateaus are common, especially if you’ve been working out and losing weight steadily over 6 months. When you weigh less, your body needs fewer calories, so what used to make you smaller is now what you need just to maintain your weight and size. To help you jumpstart again, you can cut up to 200 calories a day. Try to eat smaller portions. Chances are, what used to fill you up, isn’t the same portion size now. Switch up your workouts. Muscles stop responding when you do the same exercises over and over. Add some intervals(quick 30 sec sprints) to your run or walk. Raise the incline on your treadmill or find a hill outside. Just DON’T GIVE UP!. The needle will move!
Q: Many women ask me how they can tone their arms without getting “bulky”?
A: It’s difficult for women to gain muscle mass since we don’t have the same testosterone levels which is needed to build muscle. Also, you would have to eat a lot more calories to build muscle mass! To get lean, toned arms try push-ups, and triceps dips. These are my 2 favorite and they work!
Q: When I’m working abs, how do I focus on my lower abs, where I need it most?
A: First of all, there really is no such thing as “upper and lower” abs. Each muscle group is layered and runs vertically along the length of the abdomen. However, you can work the upper or lower portion of the abs. If you are relying solely on crunches or sit-ups, you’re only working on the upper part of your abs. To tone the lower portion of your abs, try reverse crunches(hips and legs off the floor), and leg raises.
Q: What’s better at the ballpark? Hotdog or soft pretzel?
A: If you’re counting calories, the hotdog has 460 vs 488 for the pretzel. However, the pretzel wins as the healthier option. One hotdog has 21 grams of fat, and more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium. The pretzel has 4 grams of fat, and only 557 milligrams of sodium. Kind of stinks for dollar dog day!
Q: Why am I able to lift more weight when I’m using a machine at the gym, than when I use dumbbells?
A: Free weights force you to use more muscle fibers to help stabilze the muscle that’s doing the lifting. When you use a machine, it provides that stability for you. It helps you to “cheat” a little bit. A recent study showed that exercisers were able to lift approximately 25% more weight when using machines instead of dumbells when doing shoulder presses and bicep curls.
Q: How much water should I be drinking when exercising?
First of all, it depends on what type of exercise you are doing. Running a race? Lifting in the gym? You can”t depend on thirst as a signal of dehydration. Here’s some basic guidelines: Before you exercise, drink at least 2 cups(16oz) at least 1 1/2 hours before you workout. It takes the body up to 20 minutes to absorb 16 oz of fluid. During exercise, you want to take smaller amounts, 1/2 cup every 15-20 minutes. You don’t want to take in too much or you may develop a cramp. After exercise, the rule of thumb is to replenish with 2 cups of fluid for evey pound you lost. Don’t have a scale nearby? Drink at least 24-32 oz