Most common questions... For the Newbies and the Curious!

For the Newbies, and the Curious!

For those who get the courage to go to the gym, but still get butterflies when they walk in for their workout. To those who sometimes become confused with “bro talk” or “gym lingo.” To anyone who just needs a refresher for confidence. These are questions I COMMONLY hear from clients and from people in the gym.

What is the best exercise?

Now are we talking one exercise or a type of exercise? First thing is first. If you are not working out right now, find something you LIKE to do. Why? If you like doing it you are more likely to be consistent even when you have a bad day, it’s raining, you had to work late, you are tired, etc, etc. If you are currently working out but want to make further progress, take a truthful and honest look at your workout routine. Does it include some cardio and weight training? Does it challenge you? Do you have a plan when you enter the gym? Does that plan progress over time? Once you pass the “newbie gains” you need to get more specific with your training to reach your goals. If you are unfamiliar with fitness or quite frankly don’t want to put in the time to research or have trouble with accountability, find a coach, it will pay dividends.

What is the difference between the free weights and machines?

Free weights are dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells. Whereas machines are the pieces of equipment generally in the middle of the gym in which each machine works one body part. The biggest difference is in the word FREE. In other words your joints are free from a fixed point and you need to stabilize the joint as well as core to stay balanced throughout the exercise. Machines will take you through a fixed range of motion for a muscle group. Each can have their place in an exercise routine. For general fitness, especially when fat loss is a major goal, I would HIGHLY reccommend a routine that consists of primarily free weights. They will increase joint stability, core strength, but also increase heart rate(metabolism/calories burn) more throughout workout! Machines in turn can be helpful in building absolute strength and help in hypertrophy(muscle building) phases!

I have been working out, and eating better, but I cannot seem to lose the belly. How do I do this?

OOOF. The age old question. Quite frankly, this probably should’ve been number one. There are so many parts of this question to unpack that although this question seems simple, it is so much more complex! First, are you being 100% honest with yourself about your workout consistency and your nutritional habits. Take a week and journal everything, both your workouts and diet. Really take an honest look of where you are at and if you are truly being as “good” as you think. Second, did you initially see results and continue doing the same thing for the past 6 months but have not seen any further progress? It may be time to BUMP IT UP! You are likely stronger and more cardiovascularly fit! Be sure your plan progresses with you! If you have not made adjustments to your diet in 6 months either, guess what… it may be time! Lastly, are you still making progress just not seeing a flat belly? It takes time. Breathe. Appreciate how far you have come, what your body is currently capable of doing. Everyone is built differently. Everyone gains weight differently. Everyone loses weight differently. Finally, if you gained 50lbs over 10 years do not put pressure on yourself to lose 50lbs in 2 months. It is setting yourself up for failure.

Should I lift or do cardio first?

What is your goal? Prioritize your goal first. If you are training for a 5k or marathon, prioritize your runs. If you are training for a powerlifting meet, prioritize your lifts. If you are training for life PICK either and don’t be afraid to switch it up as well.

You look great, but I don’t want to be muscular, I want to be toned. What do you suggest?

Thank you, I think?? This is the weirdest possible compliment hidden in someone’s insecurity that I get WAY MORE OFTEN than I would like to admit. That being said, I am muscular, I get it. However, just like a moment ago when I said you cannot expect to lose 50lbs in 2 months that took you 10 years to gain… you should not be concerned with waking up muscular because you starting a lifting routine. I am a female, that builds muscle easily and it has taken me YEARS of lifting as well as “bulking/cutting” to get the amount of muscle I have. Here is the thing… if I had lifted and maintained or cut I would have less muscle. I would look more like what people call “toned.” I dislike the word toned for one reason, to be “toned” you NEED MUSCLE! You need to build muscle if you are thin or lose fat and maintain(or build!) muscle if you are overweight. Either way to attain this look you need muscle.

What supplements should I be taking/What supplements do you take?

People are generally shocked to hear I don’t take many sports supplements. I drink protein powder 4-5x a week. I also take a magnesium supplement every day. When I am in intense training or a cut I will add BCAAs but just as insurance not because I think they are going to enhance my performance. I do take health supplements though and they are: probiotics, tumeric, tart red cherry juice, hair skin & nails, and collagen. Yes, most of my supplements revolve around my never-ending goal of having flowing locks ;). What do you need to take for supplements? NONE! Honestly, having a sound diet is way more important. I would rather people spend their money buying healthy, high quality foods. My first suggestion for a supplement would be a protein powder, especially for those who struggle to hit their protein goals or need a snack on the go!

What is the most important thing when you start working out?

Do not rush it. Do not try to do too much right away. Learn how to do exercises properly and how to use machines. Many of these things are strictly to keep you safe and injury free!