Questions #1: How do I shrink my love handles?
I get this question all the time from both men and woman, and doing a million crunches a day won’t make your love handles go away. Nine out of 10 times, I tell them they need to be doing cardio. I recommend doing cardio four to five times a week for 30 minutes. But cardio won’t do it alone. 90 percent of it is diet.
Questions #2: What should I be eating?
You should be eating a healthy combination of fat, carbohydrates and protein. But any good trainer will say that you really need to sit down for a full consultation, because everyone is different and has different needs. But my overall recommendation would be to NOT go on a diet. A diet is a temporary fix. If you aren’t reaching your fitness goals currently, you need a lifestyle change.
Questions #3: How do I get bigger or bulk up?
Again, a personal consultation is in order. But when men usually ask me this question, I generally say to follow a high-calorie meal plan. To get even more technical, I recommend they take 1.5 grams of protein per pound of their body weight each day.
Questions #4: If I lift weights, will I get bulky?
No. Women need to lift weights because they have a higher risk of osteoporosis. Lifting helps with bone density and that helps fight off osteoporosis.
Questions #5: Where should my heart rate be during cardio?
Your max heart rate is 220 minus your age. That is not where you want to be to burn fat. Your fat-burning zone is 65-85 percent of your max heart rate. Find that sweet spot instead.
Questions #6: If my 13-year-old child lifts weights, can it stunt his or her growth?
The answer here is yes. Bone growth occurs at the epiphyseal plate. When a child works out too young, they can damage the plates, which are still forming. That damage could stunt their growth. I recommend they start working out at 16 years of age with core strengthening.
Questions #7: What much water should I drink each day?
There are a lot of theories on how much water you should drink, but use your common sense. When you’re thirsty, drink water. You should be drinking water throughout the day rather than gulping it down at the end of a workout. I suggest always having water with you throughout the day.
Questions #8: I’ve been doing the inner-thigh machine but it’s not working. How do I work that area?
Just like the love-handles question, you can’t do a million inner-thigh repetitions to tone that area. Continue to do cardio, four to five times a week for 30 minutes each day. Then, do side lunges to stretch and tone that area.
Questions #9: I follow my workout when I’m at the gym, but what should I do when I travel?
Traveling shouldn’t be an excuse to give up your healthy lifestyle. During layovers in the airport, walk around and take the stairs whenever you can. Once you arrive at your hotel, find the hotel’s gym and plan a quick cardio session each morning. You can also book fun outdoor activities to keep you active throughout the trip.
Steve Orlando is the owner of SO FIT Personal Training, with personal training, group fitness and nutrition services. Steve has more than 15 years of industry experience with a wide range of clients.