I WANT TO ANSWER SEVERAL OF THE QUESTIONS THAT I GET ASKED ON A REGULAR BASIS. I ALSO TRIED TO CHOOSE QUESTIONS THAT APPLY TO THE LARGE MAJORITY OF FITNESS ENTHUSIASTS. I’M A BELIEVER THAT KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, AND THAT PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKLY TO ABIDE BY CERTAIN PRINCIPLE’S IF THEY HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHY THEY ARE ADHERING TO THEM.

QUESTION- I RECENTLY HAD MY BODY FAT MEASURED. I WAS TOLD THAT MY LEAN BODY MASS IS 12O LBS, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF KNOWING THIS?

ANSWER- Lean Body Mass (LBM) is found by subtracting an individuals pounds of body fat from their total body weight. This number represents the combine weight of that individuals muscle tissue, bones. and organs. A person’s LBM is important for me as a trainer to know for the purpose of nutrition. I personally calculate a clients daily requirements for protein, carbs, and fat according to their LBM. A pound of fat at rest burns 2-3 calories per day, a pound of muscle at rest burns 20-30 calories per day. Therefore I calculate in accordance with the clients LBM, otherwise I call this feeding the fat. Once the LBM is found I take a number of variables into consideration before determining the final requirements for macronutrients.

Q- I’VE HEARD IT’S IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE BRANCH CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAA’S) BEFORE AND AFTER MY WORKOUTS AS WELL AS THROUGHOUT THE DAY, IS THAT TRUE?

A- The amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine are commonly known as branch chain amino acids. These aminos in particular are required for muscle tissue repair and protein synthesis. BCAA’s are an essential part of creating an anabolic environment in order for the muscle building process to occur. One thing that a lot of people lose sight of is whey protein is comprised of over 20% BCAA’s. As long as you use a quality whey protein supplement a couple times per day, you are getting plenty of muscle building branch chain amino acids.

Q- I DO SIT-UPS AND CRUNCHES ALL THE TIME AND I STILL DON’T HAVE A SIX PACK, WHAT’S THE SECRET?

A- Let me make this simple….”abs are made in the kitchen and on the treadmill!!”

Q- MY DOCTOR TOLD ME I WAS BORDER LINE FOR ADULT ONSET(TYPE 2) DIABETES. WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE SURE I STAY OFF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS?

A- While I am not a doctor, I have witnessed a number of people learn to control their blood sugar by making a few simple changes. It’s important for everybody to understand how to control insulin for general health purposes. 1) Include more dietary fiber 2) Eat your protein and fats before your carbs at meals 3) Choose foods that are low on the Glycemic Index 4) Include plenty of essential fatty acids in your diet 5) Supplement with Vanadyl Sulfate and Chromium Polyniconate at meals. In order to truly know how foods and supplements affect your blood sugar I recommend using a glucometer.

Q- I KNOW THAT EATING PLENTY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IS IMPORTANT FOR MY HEALTH AND I EAT THEM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. HOWEVER I STILL HAVE TROUBLE MEETING THE DAILY RECOMMENDED REQUIREMENTS, WHAT CAN I DO?

A-Correct, an active individual must eat plenty of fruits and veggies to get the required amount of vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. However, due to poor soil quality, mass production, and the use of pesticides among other things reduces the nutrient value of the foods we eat. I believe it to be especially important for training individuals to include a multi-vitamin into their supplement regimen. The key things I look for when choosing a vitamin/mineral supplement are 1) At least 250 mg of vitamin C per serving 2) Between 20-40 mg of most B vitamins 3) A decent amount of calcium and magnesium.

Q- SOME FRIENDS OF MINE TRAIN AND DIET PRETTY SERIOUSLY BUT EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I HEAR THEM TALKING ABOUT A CHEAT MEAL, WHAT’S WITH THAT?

A- Some trainer/nutritionist have their clients eat a cheat meal usually once a week for a few reasons. First, to maintain sanity during a strict diet. Second, it gives the individual something to look forward to as a reward for staying on the diet all week. The reason I personally have my clients eat a cheat meal is after maintaining a caloric restriction for a period of time then introducing a mass influx of calories at one time places the body into what I call a “hyper-metabolic state.” This process also has a positive affect on the fat burning hormones naturally produced in the body.

Q- WHEN I DO BACK EXERCISES LIKE ROWS AND PULLDOWNS I FEEL IT IN MY BICEPS AND SHOULDER AS MUCH AS I DO IN MY BACK. WHY IS THAT?

A- It’s virtually impossible to eliminate the biceps when training back, but there are a couple techniques to emphasize the back muscles. Start by not wrapping your thumbs around the bar or handle, place them on the same side as the rest of your fingers. Start your back movement by retracting the scapula before pulling with the arms. Mentally activate the muscle you are training to ensure complete concentration. Include plenty of isolateral exercises, I find this allows for more intense focus on each side. Some athletes find that straps or training hooks allow greater activation of the training muscles.

Q- I’VE BEEN READING ALOT ABOUT NUTRIENT TIMING AT SPECIFIC TIMES DURING THE DAY, CAN YOU CLARIFY THIS FOR ME PLEASE?

A- The only nutrient timing you need to worry about is every 3 hours. Make sure your getting a quality meal every 3 hours in the form of whole foods, shakes, or as a last resort a meal replacement bar.

Q- IM A WOMAN AND I LOVE LIFTING WEIGHTS BUT I DON’T WANT A “BULKY” LOOK. SHOULD I JUST DO MORE REPS WITH LESS WEIGHT LIKE I’VE ALWAYS HEARD?

A- This is a common misconception. First of all woman don’t naturally produce the hormones required for substantial muscle growth. A person can lift all the weight in the world but if they’re not providing the muscles with enough calories to spark growth, it just won’t happen. We grow muscle through the foods we eat not the weights we lift. As far a rep range goes stay in the 10-15 range. Lightweights for high reps does not burn more fat.

Q- I’M RECENTLY RETIRED AND WANT TO GET BACK IN THE KIND OF SHAPE I WAS IN YEARS AGO. AM I JUST KIDDING MYSELF TO THINK THIS IS AN ACHIEVABLE GOAL?

A- Absolutely not! I won’t be cliche by saying “it’s never to late” but I guess I just did. Believe it or not muscle maturity is not fully reached until the late thirties. The aging process takes place at a cellular level, if we can keep our hormones where they where in our youth we keep the body healthy from a cellular level. If we can prevent cellular degradation we could hypothetically live forever. Resistance training coupled with proper nutrition naturally keeps our bodies hormones functioning to the best of their abilities. Now I’m not suggesting weight training and a healthy diet will allow you to live forever, but it will ensure that everyday is an opportunity to improve no matter what age you are.

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