By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

I have injured my foot and can't do any cardio. What other exercises do you recommend as I have gained 5 lbs in 4 weeks?

 

Jodi the Trainer: Are you able to do any biking?  I would also take this time to focus on increasing your strength training.  Building muscle is a great way to boost metabolism and ultimately burn fat.  Just slightly decrease your overall calories and increase your protein intake.  You might be pleasantly surprised!

 

Is it bad to take a pre-workout supplement every time I work out? I'm really good shape currently.

 

Jodi the Trainer: I don’t think it’s a bad idea – many products recommend daily use – check the manufacturers’ recommendations to be sure.  That said, use products for a specific training goal but, don’t be afraid to cycle them – that is, use for a specific timeframe, stop using to give your body a break and then reintroduce.

 

I started back up at again at the gym after a 10 year break (since High School) and I was wondering, is it better to start off with cardio or lifting weights after a long break from going to the gym?

 

Jodi the Trainer: Great question.  It ultimately depends on your training goals.  If you are looking to generally get back into shape, I think it’s important to focus on both ideally!  If I had to choose one, it would be strength training more to boost your metabolism and then sprinkle in cardio to improve heart health. 

 

Is there a danger in over training?

 

Jodi the Trainer: There is always a danger in overtraining.   If you introduce exercise frequency or intensity too quickly, you are at risk of overtraining.  Symptoms of overtraining include:  overall body sluggishness, difficulty sleeping, pain in muscles or joints, loss of appetite..just to name a few.  Unfortunately, some of these symptoms are also normal post-workout reactions.  So, if you increase your frequency or intensity of training, pay attention to how your body feels before and after.  If you need a day off, take it.  If you “symptoms” worsen…take an additional day off.  Your training will suffer if you try to push through – remember, the body repairs itself during rest!

 

What us the best exercise to get rid of lower belly fat?

 

Jodi the Trainer: I wish I could give you the magic exercise – but, ultimately it comes down to a great diet, cardio, and strength.  Read my upcoming blog, “Flatten your Abs” for detailed information and exercises – being posted Thursday, July 20th!  I think that will give you the most thorough answer!

 

What exercises are the best to lose weight off of upper arms?

 

Jodi the Trainer: Unfortunately, you can’t “spot-reduce” certain areas of the body or be able to pick and choose what is more toned on your body.  That said, you can spot strengthen – for upper arms, I love a combination of 2 different exercises: One for rear deltoids…use dumbbells and sit on a bench, bend forward at the waist, pull the dumbbells out to the sides and squeeze the backs of your shoulders.  And, I love the standing overhead tricep extension:  Hold a dumbbell in your hands over your head, bend at your elbows to pull the dumbbell behind your head, the press your arms back up toward the ceiling – you will feel this in the upper part of the back of your arms (triceps).  Good luck!

 

Do you need to eat back the calories burned through exercise? Will your body go into starvation mode if you don't?

 

Jodi the Trainer: You need to put nutrients and calories back into your system before and after a workout, but this needs to come from high-quality vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes and protein.  The concept of “starvation mode” is really your body requiring calories and taking from muscle to get it.  If you take in too few of calories, you will lose muscle.  If you are trying to lose weight, I would recommend eating your normal calories (but again, from high quality foods) and adding exercise.  The calories lost through exercise (especially if eating better) will ultimately allow you to lose weight and keep hard-earned muscle.

 

I was previously a large bulky weight lifter that focused on strength and size and did not pay much attention to cardio. I have recently made a pretty dramatic life change and dropped 55lbs of mostly fat and some muscle (all at snap by the way!) I stopped doing heavy low rep movements and changed to 15 - 20 rep sets and started running long distances. My diet was previously heavily focused on building muscle with high protein and moderate healthy fats and carbs. I am really enjoying running and want to build up my endurance and speed and move away from weight lifting. I will still be doing high rep muscle focused workouts in between cardio but not much hardcore strength training. 
My question is how should I adjust my diet to accommodate my long distance running goals (5 - 10 mile runs) while maintaining my muscle mass?

 

Jodi the Trainer: You are more likely to keep some hard-earned muscle if you are careful to eat within a 30-45min window post exercise (especially high intensity cardiovascular workouts).  For longer endurance workouts, you should also consider a calorie/energy replacement drink like UCAN (it’s a powder that is added to water and includes a balance of easily digested calories, protein,  fat and electrolytes.  Your diet should still consist of the above mentioned “High quality protein, fats and carbs” – you just need to increase your calories enough to avoid drastic weight (and muscle) loss.  No need to increase the amount of a particular nutrient.  Good luck!

 

What is the best exercise to do at home for decreasing fat over the upper rib cage just below your breasts?

 

Jodi the Trainer: Your timing is great with this question as I am just completing a blog post titled:  “How to Flatten your Abs.”  Check it out – it will be posted next week Thursday!  Your best bet is to include a combination of planks, crunches, torso twisting exercises like bicycles.  We are also posting a Core specific workout that you will love – again, next week!

 

What workouts can my daughter find a good workout as a softball player. 17 yrs old

 

Jodi the Trainer: Softball requires good endurance, power (for hitting and getting to the base quickly) – lots of stopping and starting, and corework.  I would recommend that she does a combination of strength training, followed by days of interval based cardio (high intensity for 30-90seconds, followed by equal recovery at an easy pace).  Finally, she should do an interval workout that includes high intensity cardio, quick/powerful strength training, followed by an easy recovery – repeat for 5-10sets.  This interval workout can be done using a combination of cardio equipment and weights, or bodyweight cardio and bodyweight strength movements. 

                 

What do you think about Herbalife ? And compared to other products?

 

Jodi the Trainer: I don’t know a lot about Herbalife as I don’t use the product personally.  I do know that it includes soy protein isolates which has some controversial research and reports on the unhealthful effects of too much processed soy.  Personally, for a protein-based meal replacement or workout recovery, I stick with whey protein.  The Truestar products are available via our mysnapfitness.com website – simply click “mynutrition” and follow the link.   Hope that helps!

 

How do u prevent shin splints?

 

Jodi the Trainer: There are some people that are just prone to shin splints – and it usually is a result of biomechanics (posture, genetics, and gait).  You can minimize the likelihood of getting them by doing a few things:

1.)   Ease into your running program slowly – only adding 10% of time and intensity to your program each week.  Allow for plenty of rest days.

2.)   Follow up your running with ice cup massage on your shins.  Simply fill a paper Dixie cup ½ full of water, freeze and massage onto shin, peeling the paper away as it melts.  Use the entire cup.  Do this after every run until you have built a solid base.

3.)   Replace your shoes frequently – many running stores and coaches recommend replacing them once they have reached 300miles.  Some runners will write the month/year of their shoes and track mileage with a marker right on the sides of their shoes!

 

What would be a good work out for someone who has lupus, fibromyalgia, and RA?

 

Jodi the Trainer: Working with clients that have autoimmune diseases like lupus, fibro, and RA is near and dear to my heart.  I spent my first 7 years of personal training working with that specialty group and I can tell you…it’s all about managing inflammation.  From the foods you eat, to proper rest, minimizing stress, and proper workouts – it’s important to listen to your body.  To answer your question, you will have days where you feel great and want to push yourself – try to refrain from overdoing it!  You will pay for it the next day (far more than other people).  Instead, keep workouts light but, more important…consistent!  Low impact exercises like elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, and strength training – followed by a light stretch and corework for cooldown would be perfect.  Good luck!

 

I need to lose weight and I want to run a 5k. I've signed up for couch to 5k on a phone app. But I can't seem to run on the treadmill at the gym. I feel like I'm doing it wrong and my shins hurt soon after starting. I can do the elliptical. Is that going to be good enough? Are there any days you're at Snap Fitness in oxford for help?

 

Jodi the Trainer: There is such a huge difference between running on a treadmill to running on land.  Most people can handle it without any biomechanical problems but, consider the fact that you are essentially “keeping up with the tread” rather than pushing off and propelling from the ground.  This will affect how your body responds.  You can ease into treadmill work with a combination of walking, working with incline, and increasing your speed slowly (no more than 10% each week). 

                  The elliptical will be fine for improving cardiovascular fitness but, it’s important to practice the “specificity”, that is, doing the specific movement that you are training to complete.  In the case of a 5k, the best way to prepare for it, is to run.  So, start slowly, stay consistent, take the time for an easy warmup to get blood flow into the area, and finish your workouts with an ice massage (filling a Dixie cup ½ full of ice, freeze, and massage onto your shins when you are done with a run!)

                  I WISH I could work with you in oxford, but I am in MN.  I am happy to work with any of the Personal Trainers in that location.  Please connect with the manager there and they can contact me directly!  Best of luck.

 

I'm 55 and need to get going again.. Lost 65 pounds the first year at Snap Fitness now in at a stand still... Can't seem to get up n go again I need to lose another 80 lbs....  but I can't lift weights but I can do bike n treadmill and arch ...any suggestions?? Thanks

 

Jodi the Trainer: Congratulations on losing that first 65lbs, wow!  Finding your motivation can be tough but, the first step is really the toughest.   Take the first step to get back in the door and focus on consistency.  I am wondering though, why can’t you lift weights?  I ask because strength training would be a great way to build muscle, boost metabolism, give you strength, stamina, and improve posture with age.  Try starting with machines, keeping things light.  The bike, treadmill and arc trainer are great too – just shoot for variety, doing the things that are fun for you and will keep you coming back for more!

 

Is water better for you cold or at room temperature?

 

Jodi the Trainer: Though warm water isn’t bad for you, it often depends on your goal.  If your goal is hydration and cooling the body during and after exercise, cold water may actually be best.  Here is why…Cold water actually leaves your stomach faster (allowing you to absorb it more quickly into the rest of the body.)   According to a study by the American College of Sports Medicine, consuming water that is lower than body temperature (specifically 50-72 degrees F), hydrates better and cools the body from the inside out. 

 

I have lost 135 lbs in the last 18 months.. With eating right and working out. Lately, I seem to be at a standstill. I want to get it going again, and I seem to be going up and down with the same 5- 10 lbs.  I am wondering... what you would recommend is the best worked out for me. I have done straight cardio and I have recently started to do Jamie Eason’s fat burn. What do you think is best cardio cardio or weight training and cardio combo?

 

Jodi the Trainer: First off, congratulations on losing 135# - wow!! I would look at your strength training in addition to cardio. Having lost a significant amount of weight, you likely lost muscle as well. This will affect your metabolism for the long run. Start with strength training total body 3/week along with interval cardio. I also love the Octane Fitness cross fit programs because they balance both cardio and strength in a quick, efficient workout!

 

I am 51 and have an illness that has left me with a weak right leg and very poor balance. I take medication that limits the reaction of my heart and BP to accommodate for any type of aerobic exercise. I need something that will gently keep my joints mobile. Any suggestions?

 

Jodi the Trainer: I love arc trainers and ellipticals for this purpose!  I think you would enjoy the low-impact, cardiovascular improving benefits of machines like this.  Plus, they focus on movement for the entire body with the gentle movements of arms and legs – good luck!

 

What is the best way to get rid of belly fat? I eat healthy and workout hard but the six pack never seems to come through

 

Jodi the Trainer: I mentioned to another member that I have a blog coming up – so, great timing!  This should answer your question best.  You know its going to be all about diet, hydration…but, sometimes it’s about eating enough to build muscle.   Check out my blogpost schedule for Thursday, June 20th!

 

What is a healthy amount of carbs per day per meal?

 

Jodi the Trainer: It is typically recommend that you take in 1gram of Carbohydrate per pound of body weight.  If you weigh for example, 150lbs you would enjoy approx. 150grams of carbohydrates.  This could be broken down into Meal 1: 30grams, Snack 1: 20grams, Meal 2: 30grams, Snack 2: 20grams, Meal 3: 30grams, Snack 3: 20grams.  Just make sure that you are including quality carbs like: veggies, fruits, beans, legumes, and rice.

 

How do I lose my stomach without having to put pressure on my tailbone (broke it the end of December)

 

Jodi the Trainer: Thankfully Ab exercises don’t have to be done on the floor, or with a weight machine – so spare your tailbone and focus on what you can do:  Planks, standing torso twists, plenty of interval based cardio exercises and of course, improved diet!

 

I'm frustrated! I'm 53, female and overweight. I was working out until 3 months ago then went on vacation. When I came back I quit doing everything. I have undone all the good things I had accomplished. I need help finding my motivation again. Any suggestions? Also where can I learn what I need to do or how to do weights? I'm clueless!

 

Jodi the Trainer: It sounds like you just need to make that first step and get started again, right?  Grab a workout buddy that needs the same push that you do and push each other!    You had that motivation to workout when you were prepping for vacation.  So, maybe set another deadline and another goal to help get you started.  There are plenty of fun runs/walks to register for, plus might give you the push you need to get started and the deadline you need to stick with it!

 

I am over 50 and would like to tone my triceps---do a lot of reps with weights and machines--is it possible to develop this area at my age?

 

Jodi the Trainer: It is definitely possible to build muscle at any age.  My mom is 63 recently got back on track with weight lifting at her local Snap.  She impresses all of us with her rockin’ armsJ  The key to building muscle and strength is to constantly challenge yourself.  Don’t settle for the little 5# guys if you can do more.  Choose a weight that will make you work hard (to the point that you can’t even lift another rep)  Then, play around with the reps you do and the weights you choose.  For example, some days might be heavier with 6-8reps while other days might be moderate weight with 10-12 reps.  Always challenging yourself – good luck!

 

I've been working out almost two years 5-6 days a week. I was doing HIIT only and just started doing weights for about a month now. I also eat healthy fruits vegetables whole grains lean meats .rarely any prepackaged foods. I'm already at a healthy weight according to my BMI body fat is around 20% it seems I cannot get my body far to drop no matter how hard I workout or eat healthy. Advice? I work out about 1 - 1.5 hours 5-6 days a week. 30-40 minutes cardio and the, rest weights.

 

Jodi the Trainer: First off, as a female 20% bodyfat is excellent and actually considered to be in the fit/athletic range.  Though I know what you mean as you can safely decrease your bodyfat even more.  You could probably go to 18% with a change in diet.  This might surprise you but, sometimes taking in more calories and taking some time to build up some muscle (metabolism), then cutting down to the lower calories and higher intensity workouts again.  This is what bodybuilders/figure competitors do in their off-season – add calories and build back up.  They lower their body fat just prior to competition (women can range within 10-18%).  But, keep in mind, they are losing muscle in the process.  Doing this over time puts you in an eventual standstill – hence, the need to add calories back in and build back the lost muscle.  I hope this makes sense.  Message me if you need clarification (Jodi the Trainer on Facebook)

 

The "suggested heart rate" chart on all the cardio machines has 2 levels, fat burning and cardio. For my age my heart rate is always closer to/over the 80% cardio levels, even when I don't feel like I'm exerting myself. Would slowing down even more improve weight loss? That doesn't seem right to me.

 

Jodi the Trainer: Everyone’s % heart rate and max heart rate is different – you might not fall exactly as the chart shows.  The best way to know what % heart rate you are in:

60-70%- you can easily breathe through your nose and/or carry on a conversation. 

70-85% - You will not be able to breathe through your nose (try it, it’s crazy!) But, if you are exerting yourself within anaerobic metabolism, you will have to breathe through your mouth, plus you will not be able to carry on a conversation. 

You might use the above descriptions to know what exercise intensity you are in instead of the age/effort charts on some cardiovascular equipment.

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