By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

Charles - Organic or GMO?

 

Charles – Personally, I choose organic whenever possible.  I made the switch a few years ago after reading “Wheat Belly”.  I would highly recommend the book and the motivation for moving to organic.

  

Traci - What exercises are best to lose my belly?

 

Traci – Losing belly fat is a combination of strength training (ab and core work), cardio for fat loss, great nutrition, and hydration.  Unfortunately, there  isn’t a particular exercise that will change your shape and decrease fat – go for an all-around approach!

 

Michael - How do you measure servings of fruits and vegetables? I'm more into weight gain than weight loss, specifically muscle toning and strength. I target upper body one day and lower the next. So I don't get sore. Should I do light work on the area that I'm not working on that day?

 

Michael - A serving of fruit is equivalent to one medium piece of fruit (like an apple or banana), 1/2cup of chopped fruit (like berries or grapes).   A serving of dried fruit is 1/4 cup and a serving of fruit juice is 6ounces. 

 

One cup of leafy greens is considered a serving of vegetables while ½ cup of raw or cooked root vegetables is a serving.  A 6ounce glass of vegetable juice is also considered 1 serving of vegetables.

 

As for strength training, especially when you are looking to build, I would give a muscle group at least one day in between to repair and recover.

 

Marwa -  I walk on treadmill almost every day between 30-40 min. but not noticing much benefit.  What is the best way to benefit from using the treadmill?

 

Marwa – Great job on being consistent but, it’s time to bring some variety to your workouts to prevent plateau.  I would encourage you to try treadmill intervals with either incline or speed.  The Treadmill interval workout from my blog noted here, is a great way to get started!

 

John - Im working with a trainer trying to bulk up my upper body. How many reps do you recommend per exercise and how many body parts per hour of training?

 

When looking to increase mass, you need to consider overall volume.  I would recommend 8-10 reps of at least 3-5 sets for each muscle group.  I would also choose at least 2 exercises for each muscle group.  When I am in muscle building mode (typically my triathlon off-season), I do the following split:  Day 1: Legs, Day 2: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps,  Day 3: Back, Biceps, Abs.  I do cardio mixed in there as well, I then take a rest day and repeat.  That might be a great option for you!

 

Melanie - I'm 20 years old,  5 '3, and currently weigh 123 lbs. I recently lost 25 lbs and am working to lose 8 more. I'm stuck and can’t seem to get anywhere at the moment. I eat a clean diet,  low fat,  lots of protein and veggies, and fruits. I exercise 4 times week. Any reasons I could be stuck?

 

Melanie – It’s always toughest to lose those last few pounds.  But ask yourself, do you really have more to lose or have you gained hard-earned muscle?  As you increase your exercise and boost your nutrition, your body composition has likely changed.  If you still have more bodyfat that you would like to lose, then make sure that you include high intensity interval strength training or cardio.  See my Treadmill interval blog to get yourself started with an example here.  Finally, mix things up with yoga or pilates as an additional day or two thereby increasing your workouts to 4-6x/week.  Good luck!

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