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  • Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Finer points
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Q: What is the benefit of working with a personal trainer?

A: Here's 5 of the topreasons:

  1. Accountability
  2. Motivation and encouragement
  3. Supervision for new exercises (safety)
  4. Save time and money in the long run by providing a training and nutrition program that gets you to your goals quickly and efficiently.
  5. Injury Rehabilitation

Q: Is my fitness level high enough to work with a personal trainer?

A: YES!  The best place to start is where you are, right now.

Q: How many times per week should I train with a personal trainer?

A: If you're new to physical exercise, I recommend seeing a personal trainer 2 times per week at least.  That can be raised or lowered depending on goals, how hard you're willing to work, finances, and time.  I generally recommend no more than 4 per week and no less than once per week.

Q: I am a little apprehensive about personal training.  What is a typical session like?

A: A typical personal training session begins with warming up for at least 5 minutes.  During this time we talk about how the week is going, and what is going right, specifically.  We talk about any other concerns there might be at that time. 

Then we get into the meaty portion of the session where we focus on following the set training plan that I made specifically for working towards goals.  If someone wants to lose belly fat, then we work on that (usually in the form of high intensity full body movement).  If someone wants to get stronger, we work on that (usually in the form of resistance training with compound movements).    Each plan is made specifically per person, so there are no two alike.

After that, we cool down, stretch, and I answer any questions there may be about nutrition, the homework, or scheduling.  Simple!

Q: What should I eat before a workout?  What about after?

A: This is more of an in depth question.  Here's a couple rules to follow:

  1. Never train on an empty stomach
  2. Eat for your goals.  Generally, have some type of carb, and some type of protein in your system before and after training.  Healthy weight loss is NOT brought about by starving, so don't try it.  (especially around intense training sessions!)
    1. Want to lose bodyfat?  Don't load up before or after.  I recommend having Whey Protein Isolate and at least half a banana before and then some more Whey Protein Isolate after.  (You better be training hard if you're having protein before AND after)  If you're feeling light headed or dizzy after, eat some more banana or some other type of carb. 
    2. Want to get strong?  Eat a little protein and carbs before and after. (something that digests quick) I recommend a plain white bagel and jelly about an hour before with Whey Protein Isolate (WPI).  After training, eat a banana/bagel/white rice and more WPI.
  3. Stay hydrated.  This doesn't mean drinking alcohol the night before and then having a glass of water the next day immediately before training.  Your body hydrates over the course of 24 hours.  So drink water continuously. 

Q: Why can't I just do cardio?

A: Cardio is one aspect of fitness, and it's a great tool for moving you forward to your goals.  But just like a master carpenter, you need more than one tool, and you need to use them all to make a masterpiece.  You wouldn't use a file to make a cut, would you?  It's just inefficient.  The same applies to cardio.  Only doing lots of cardio to lose bodyfat is going to take longer and cost you more energy than if you combined a little bit of resistance training, a little bit of aerobic exercise, and a pretty good nutrition plan.  (1700 calories/day with a 55 percent carb,30 percent protein, and 15 percent fat split [percentages are by caloric intake, not grams])

You can just do cardio, but it's not an ideal use of your time or energy.

Q: How quickly will I see results of my training?

I have a problem with this question. 

Look at the body as an equation.  Where you are right now is a result of the things you have done (or not done), the food you have eaten (or not eaten), your excellent lifestyle choices (you see where this is going), and your genetics. 

Genetics are responsible for some of that, but that's not something we can change, so let's not waste our time discussing genetics and how much they determine our fitness.  (there's a Star Trek episode in there somewhere)

Back to the equation:

If we alter ourselves (the equation) by making significant lifestyle, nutrition, and training changes, then results can happen in as little as 2-4 weeks.  That's not working 8 hours a day, or going out on dates on the weekend, or having a few drinks every Friday and Saturday.  That's training every morning, eating boring food every day, and training again every evening. 

That's not sustainable.

Instead of asking ourselves how quickly we can see results, let's change it.  Let's ask ourselves "how quickly can I see results using a system that I enjoy and that I can sustain for years and years?" 

If you can eat nothing but vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, minimal nuts and fruit, and train 12 times per week, then the answer is 2-4 weeks. 

If you train hard with the time you have in your schedule, do your best with nutrition even though pizza and wine love you as much as you love it, and do what your trainer tells you, then you can expect to see results in about 12 weeks.

If you just want a result but hate the work to get there, the answer is never.