Me in August 2015
A while back, I sat down with an old friend of mine Linda Sproull who just so happens to be a personal trainer, to pick her brain a little. Here's a little Q&A which I wish to do on a monthly basis because I don't know about you but I constantly have questions about workouts, diets, my body, etc.
1. How often should you work-out?
That depends on what your goals are. General health is 2x/week. To see a difference you should train 3x/week, while 4-5x/week will give you best results.
2. Lifting weights or interval training (HIIT)?
Both are great. Ideally you should incorporate both into your training week. Lifting weights builds muscle which you need to do in order to raise your metabolism among other benefits. HIIT is fantastic and an effective way to get the best bang for your buck. Skip cardio on HIIT days!
3. How long before you start seeing results? And if you don't see any, what could you be doing wrong?
You'll start to feel results almost immediately: increased well being, better sleep, better able to cope with stress, to name a few. Visible results take longer and are dependant on our eating habits. If you don't address a bad diet...no amount of training and cardio will change your body. You just can't outtrain a bad diet.
4. What's the best way to get rid of pesky belly fat?
Watch what you put in your mouth after 5pm. Cut sugar and refined carbs in all its forms: bread, cheese, and alcohol are big culprits that most people are in denial about.
5. Cardio first or weight training first?
No research supports that doing one before the other is better. Start with the one that you don't like first, or the one that you want to focus on first.
6. What is the difference between weight machines and free weights?
Weight machines are great to teach newbies proper form. Otherwise ditch the machines and use free weights which are more functional by design and will recruit more muscles especially in the core.
7. Nutrition is extremely important in helping you achieve your goals. Can you share a meal plan for someone who wants to begin eating clean?
Make sure that you include lean protein in all 3 of your meals. Include green veggies in at least 3 meals. Complex carbs at breakfast and lunch only. Pay attention and include fiber in your food. Cut out refined sugars and carbs. 8 glasses of water per day minimum.
8. How often should I do cardio?
For health reasons you should include at least 15-20 minutes of cardio in your daily lifestyle. Buy yourself a pedometer and shoot for 10,000 steps a day if you can't get in a brisk walk.
9. What should I eat before and after a workout?
This is when your body is looking for protein to rebuild muscle and it's the optimal time to eat carbs as they will not be stored. Earn your starchy carbs and eat them after you train.
10. What is your opinion on detox drinks, juicing or replacing meals with smoothies?
The body is always detoxing naturally. Juicing and shakes should be supplemental and should never replace real food.
11. Why is it important to stretch after a work-out?
To return the muscle fibers to their pre-workout length. Also muscles are warm and will respond well to stretching. Never stretch before you train and never before you are warm.
12. Is it ok to have a cheat day?
Cheat day, no. Two cheat items in a week is a good rule of thumb if you're trying to lose fat. Otherwise a cheat day can set you back on all your hard work for the week. Don't fall into that trap.
If you guys have any questions that you'd like to ask Linda, please feel free to use my new "ask me" section which you will find at the top of my page. This can be used for any questions in general.