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    Thread: Ask the trainer

    1. #1
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      Hi all,

      Seeing as I am frequenting this forum more and more and everyone has been so great on here, I thought I would give something back.

      I work as a trainer and nutrition coach. So fire away with any questions.

      I know that fitness can transform lives and personalities, and where better than to help people than those struggling with AL addiction.

      :l

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      What a nice offer, Londoner.

      For most of my adult life I was an avid medium-intensity, medium to long-duration exerciser (several years as a jogger, then power walker, also cardio machines at the gym). I started lifting weights about 15 years ago. So for years, I spent 60-90 min per day exercising.

      When I started cleaning up my diet a couple years ago, the same articles I was reading for that had information about high intensity interval training, also. I read some books and watched videos and have been experimenting with that approach for the last several months (you know, when you are changing your life, might as well just go for it...!).

      I have found that I love getting a thorough workout in well under a half hour. I still try to walk as much as possible (but not as fast as I possibly can), ride my bike for errands, and generally be active but those things are no longer my primary form of exercise.

      I've read several articles about how our bodies adapt to regular, moderate intensity exercise in the same way they adapt to restricting energy intake - by burning LESS energy. We are told that exercise increases our basal metabolic rate but in fact, the data are just the opposite! Learning that really inspired me to give up the daily hour long run/walk/ellipse/whatever.

      I think I'm in equal or better shape than before (of course, giving up AL last January coincided with all of this and so undoubtedly is a factor ). Do you promote this type of exercise program? I'm a mid-50s female.

      Thanks, NS

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      Now that's an offer I can't refuse!!

      I need to shift 35 pounds. Should I focus more on cardio? How many times a week ideally should I work out and for how long? Do you rate classes such a Zumba for weight loss? Any other classes you'd recommend? I'm also interested in HIIT as NS is above!

      Thanks in advance!!

      PS I'm 41!

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      I'm 55 year old female who spends too much time on planes, in meetings. Have gained 15 pounds in past five years, but in fairly ok shape. When I can, I walk the dog 5 miles a day (probably 10 times per month) but otherwise, exercise is limited to what I can squeeze into the hotel gym. I try to alternate between rowing machine, treadmill, and elliptical (half hour) with half hour of weights.

      My question is like NoSugar's--should I do more intense workouts and at what frequency?

      Bet you get a bunch of 50-60 year old women signing up for your online offer!

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      NoSugar;1563652 wrote: What a nice offer, Londoner.

      For most of my adult life I was an avid medium-intensity, medium to long-duration exerciser (several years as a jogger, then power walker, also cardio machines at the gym). I started lifting weights about 15 years ago. So for years, I spent 60-90 min per day exercising.

      When I started cleaning up my diet a couple years ago, the same articles I was reading for that had information about high intensity interval training, also. I read some books and watched videos and have been experimenting with that approach for the last several months (you know, when you are changing your life, might as well just go for it...!).

      I have found that I love getting a thorough workout in well under a half hour. I still try to walk as much as possible (but not as fast as I possibly can), ride my bike for errands, and generally be active but those things are no longer my primary form of exercise.

      I've read several articles about how our bodies adapt to regular, moderate intensity exercise in the same way they adapt to restricting energy intake - by burning LESS energy. We are told that exercise increases our basal metabolic rate but in fact, the data are just the opposite! Learning that really inspired me to give up the daily hour long run/walk/ellipse/whatever.

      I think I'm in equal or better shape than before (of course, giving up AL last January coincided with all of this and so undoubtedly is a factor ). Do you promote this type of exercise program? I'm a mid-50s female.

      Thanks, NS
      The bike riding and walking etc. is what I consider NEPA (non-exercise physical activity). Keep it up as it is important. Studies are showing how sitting all day is linked to more and more health problems.

      There was an interesting article I read a while back talking about how our body adapts to our activity levels in multiple ways - it can alter metabolic output, it may alter our energy levels (so we laze about more at home if we exercise more) and change our hunger levels. This can result in a negligible change in net caloric balance.

      The way I coach people is small changes planned in a gradual way that make big impacts over a longer period of time.

      There are two ways you can train:

      1) Hard
      2) Long

      You cannot train long AND hard. I think workout of 30-45 minutes are optimal for most - from a hormonal and time aspect. I normally recommend a combination of weights based workouts and energy systems workouts (both lower intensity aerobics and higher intensity intervals).

      Sounds like you've got a great idea of what you are doing NS, keep it up

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      Wine-no!;1563713 wrote: Now that's an offer I can't refuse!!

      I need to shift 35 pounds. Should I focus more on cardio? How many times a week ideally should I work out and for how long? Do you rate classes such a Zumba for weight loss? Any other classes you'd recommend? I'm also interested in HIIT as NS is above!

      Thanks in advance!!
      The most important thing in shifting weight is nutrition. You cannot beat the simple science of calories in and calories out. If you eat more than you need you will generally gain weight and vice versa.

      With regards to exercise, I would recommend a combination of:

      1) Weights

      2) Cardio - both low intensity steady state and intervals work very well in combination. You may look to do Zumba one day if you enjoy it, some sprints on a bike the other day after your weights and a nice long swim another day.

      An over reliance on traditional cardio can cause muscle loss and excessive hunger - which is the opposite of what you want. A combo of weights and various forms of cardio works very well for most.

      The problem I see with many is doing too much too soon. Make sure you build up gradually and look at how your nutrition is. Think of nutrition as your primary fat loss tool, and exercise as the tool which will turbo boost your nutrition as well as helping to shape your body.

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      free at last;1563717 wrote: I'm 55 year old female who spends too much time on planes, in meetings. Have gained 15 pounds in past five years, but in fairly ok shape. When I can, I walk the dog 5 miles a day (probably 10 times per month) but otherwise, exercise is limited to what I can squeeze into the hotel gym. I try to alternate between rowing machine, treadmill, and elliptical (half hour) with half hour of weights.

      My question is like NoSugar's--should I do more intense workouts and at what frequency?

      Bet you get a bunch of 50-60 year old women signing up for your online offer!
      Hey FAL.

      Walking is a great restorative form of activity. It is cleansing for our minds and bodies (providing it doesn't turn into a crazy power walk).

      When you can fit it in, your plan sounds pretty good. I would probably say the less frequently you exercise, the harder you want to push if you can handle it.

      For most I recommend 3 workouts a week. Weights followed by cardio is great - 30 mins of each (make sure you warm up and stretch off too). Keep rest periods on the weights work to no longer than 60-90secs between each set/exercise.

      You may want to do steady state cardio some days i.e. 30 mins @ heart rate of 120-140bpm and on other days do 15-20 mins of say 30secs of heart rate 150-160bpm alternated with 60secs of recovery. Both offer completely different physiological adaptations. If you are short on time, ultimately, the shorter and more intense intervals will work better.

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      Londoner;1563729 wrote: The most important thing in shifting weight is nutrition. You cannot beat the simple science of calories in and calories out. If you eat more than you need you will generally gain weight and vice versa.

      With regards to exercise, I would recommend a combination of:

      1) Weights

      2) Cardio - both low intensity steady state and intervals work very well in combination. You may look to do Zumba one day if you enjoy it, some sprints on a bike the other day after your weights and a nice long swim another day.

      An over reliance on traditional cardio can cause muscle loss and excessive hunger - which is the opposite of what you want. A combo of weights and various forms of cardio works very well for most.

      The problem I see with many is doing too much too soon. Make sure you build up gradually and look at how your nutrition is. Think of nutrition as your primary fat loss tool, and exercise as the tool which will turbo boost your nutrition as well as helping to shape your body.
      When you say nutrition - can I ask your view on carbs? I have cut out bread (and all baked goods) and wheat but do have potatoes and rice. I did Atkins for a long time and did lose most of the weight (despite drinking a great deal...) but when I recently tried it again, I just couldn't stomach it any more. Now I concentrate on balanced eating (protein/carbs/veg) 1500-1700 calories per day. I walk a lot now and average around 12000 steps a day. Would you keep the diet very low fat? Thanks for your advice! :l

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      Wine-no.

      Most people see good results with low carb initially is due to the water loss/glycogen loss. Oh and it is far too easy to slam down loads of refined carbs in one sitting. Let alone one day. Ultimately the calories in/calories out is the most important part of the equation.

      I tend to advocate a moderate carb/moderate fat/ moderate protein diet to most people. Target the starches more so around workouts and aim to get fruits/veg at other times.

      Each macronutrient has it's place in your diet. Fats are important for many, many processes in your body.

      I think where a lot of people go wrong is they consume too much fat and too many carbs in combination with each other. A gram of fat has 9 calories and a gram of protein/carbohydrate has 4 calories. So if someone were to eat 100g of fat, 100g protein and 200g of carbs per day that would equal 2100cals.

      I like to keep protein (0.8-1g per lb of bodyweight) a constant and then incorporate an inverse relationship between fats and proteins - that is either moderate fat and carb some days, or higher fat/lower carbs other days and higher carb/lower fat on others. Does that make sense?

      You sound like you are on the right track. It is far harder to overeat on a diet made up mostly of whole, natural foods. And it also provides far more nutrients than a processed diet.

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      Thank you for the reassurance Londoner. I really appreciate the advice and will pop back and tell you how I'm getting along x

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