My gym provides "free" personal trainers as part of the "gym package" however having done a few sessions with them in the past i quickly realised i knew more about fitness than they did and believe me when i say that isn't much.
So since then for the past 10 weeks or so I’ve struggled on alone pulling training plans etc off the web and fumbling in the dark so to speak, and sadly it shows in 10 weeks i really haven’t made the progress i would have liked.
A few days ago a young woman came into the gym and introduced herself around as a personal trainer who’d made a deal with the gym to allow her to work from it, and having checked her credentials i’ve booked a taster session with her. The taster session is free, apparently we will sit down and talk about my goals and what im currently trying to do to achieve them as well as talk about how she can help me achieve them.
Anyway when i have this session in a few days what questions should i ask?? Also how many sessions with a trainer a week/month do people normally have? I assume most people don’t take their trainer to EVERY gym session???
The last thing i want/need is to spend money on a trainer who is no better than the free ones the gym already provides, so basically what questions should i be asking to test her and how will i know if she's any good??
Sorry for the essay but Im already paying a reasonable amount for my gym and i’m going to be hard pushed to find the money to pay for a trainer so i really want to feel confident that she’s in a good position to help me.
There are some good articles on About.com on this very subject Here is a link, but there are more articles that are pretty good...
I work with an excellent trainer on a monthly basis, and feel quite comfortable that she is competent.
My advice is that there are some things to just observe. Here are some clues from my experience with Adrienne:
- The first thing she did was a fitness assessment which identified my strengths and weaknesses.
- She asked me about my workout history, amount of time available and my fitness goals.
- She asked me to keep a food-log for a week and evaluated my diet. She made recommendations.
- She helped me understand the relationship of body fat% to lean tissue% and set me on a path to reduce fat and add muscle.
- She regulates my cardio to meet needs as my body composition changes.
- She walks me through each new workout routine (we change every 4-6 weeks). That's the only time I pay her, but she's otherwise available for questions. The walk-throughs ensure that I understand how to do the exercises with proper form, and to gauge how much weight I should be moving with each exercise.
Note that all of these items above did not happen at the first session, but were experienced over the first few months.
She has some clients that work with her for a lot of workouts. I prefer to workout at my own pace, and don't like being prodded. Some people like or need the extra motivation, so for them it might be worth the money.
I can say that without Adrienne's help, I would have wasted a lot of time in the gym trying to figure out how to achieve my goals. I saw real results in a few months, and have seen continued improvements since I started back in December. I don't know if I could've gotten the same advice from the guys at the gym with the big arms and the big belts holding-in their stomachs; but for me, spending the money meant eliminating a lot of research and guess-work; and added a ton of confidence to help me keep up with my workout schedule.
I'm also very comfortable working with her, and believe that she understands my fitness level and workout pace and style. She creates workouts that are challenging, but in-line with what I can accomplish without causing pain (burn- yes/pain- no).
Hope this helps.
Thanks alot, some good advice.
Well i went and met with her she seemed really nice and seemed to really understand what i was working for, i asked alot of questions and she introduced me to a couple of her clients who all seemed really happy with her.
She seems happy to work to what ever shedual i want though she did recommend at least one workout a week, but im not sure my pocket can stretch to that.
She said she specialised in power and resistance training and seems to favor very compound exercises, she says the more muscles she can get working in one exercise the better, and her general plan is to keep your metabalism racing long after you leave the gym.
I went away really liking her but worried about the financial cost of it all as money is abit of a struggle and yesterday id pretty much convinced myself that i couldn't afford it.
However yesterday while i was in the gym she came over while i was working out and said that a client had cancelled and did i want a free taster session ... well i couldn't really say no.
I have to say i've never worked so hard in my entire life, i did a better workout within the first 5 minutes than i do on my own in a full hour and i felt the burn for about 4 hours afterwards
We did some circuit training type thing .. lots of different weight training exercises with bodywieght and calisthenics in bettween each set, every time i was just about ready to die she go "and 10 more" .... argh ... i felt like i was gonig to explode. She's asked me to keep a food diary, and said that when i bring it back to her we can sit down and plan the course of attack.
She also asked me to do a load of exercises she said where to judge my strenghts and weakness's. She said the muscles across my back and shoulders are over developed in comparison to my chest muscles which makes me hunch forward and i need to build up the chest muscles to balance it out..
which tbh is probabally right as i use my shoulders alot when i pole dance especially when i do spins, she also noticed my right arm is much much stronger than my left again this is because my right arm leads on the pole.
I thought the fact that she noticed these things and watched out for them was pretty good and she also said i had amazing core strength which i guess is a good thing even though im not sure what it is haha...
Im all in the air now ... what do you guys think do you think?? does she sound like she knows what she's talking about?? i should try and "find" the money for at least 1 session a month will it really help??
I've been with my trainier for a month now. I train with him one day a week and am on my own for 5 days, with one day off. He is generally in the gym when I am there, so when I am training alone (he keeps a good eye on his peeps) he will let you know if you are doing something wrong, etc.
You are going to see a lot of different advice about training. My trainer beleives in heavy weight (working to failure), 12 reps. I started with 2 sets, but am working 3 now. All sessions are followed by at least 30 min of cardio. Lifting to failure is the only way you will develop muscle. Muscles must tear down to repair and build. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn. Many girls reject heavy lifting thinking it will create bulging muscles. That only happens if you increase your calories to bulk. For bodybuilders (my ex was a BB) eating is a like a second job. First job is lifting. LOL
The program I am on is good if you can train every day. If not, circuit training can be a good alternative. Whatever you choose, give it a few months before deciding if it is a good plan for you. Either way, I believe even a few sessions with a good trainer is good $$ spent. Good Luck!
It sounds like you had a pretty good first experience. The fact that she took the time to talk with you to understand your goals, assessed and understood your current fitness level and includes nutrition in the overall plan are all good signs.
Don't get pushed into spending more money than you want or need to though -- realize that most trainers get paid based on how many sessions they do. That's money out of your pocket and into theirs. Like I said before I only do a session every 4 to 6 weeks and it works great for me. I think its good to change routines that often. I personally wouldn't pay someone to watch me do cardio for 30 minutes. It sounds like you're motivated enough to be able to workout on your own to get where you want to be, so weekly sessions might be a waste.
Everyone is different though, and some people might like the extra motivation of working with a trainer more frequently. But you're going to be working out more than once a week, which means that even if you do one session each week with a trainer, most of your sessions are going to be on your own. I'm not sure it makes sense to change workout routines every week; but like the Inspector says there are a lot of different approaches.
I also prefer to workout at my own pace. The routines I started with were very similar to the "circuit" training you describe. My routines are scripted with weight ranges and number of reps for each exercise, with rest periods built-in as well. But I am more comfortable when I can finish my sets without worrying when the hour is going to be up. I know it would bother me to have to workout on someone else's schedule. But, I also realize that there is an "intensity" element to many workout routines, so I try to ask questions to make sure I understand when pacing and rest intervals are important to the workout.
Also, some days hold more energy for me than others. When I'm low on spark, I can still go to the gym and get through the reps at a more leisurely pace if necessary. If I knew I was going to be driven hard by a trainer, those are days when I might be tempted blow-off my workouts.
Again, to me the value of the trainer is primarily in saving my time while achieving results pretty quickly. Without the trainer I would have wasted a ton of time in the gym, bouncing around on machines without knowing what I was doing, probably not making progress and possibly even hurting myself. In the past, when working out on my own, I'd quit after not seeing the results I'd expected. However, I've never been in better shape than now and I credit the trainer with a large part of that -- even though she just sits there while I work my butt off. ;p
The other part that I'm saved from is actually dealing with all of the conflicting methods and advice. I don't worry about whether I should be doing 8 or 10 or 15 reps of this-or-that-exercise or whatever. I trust my trainer to setup my routines to continually progress toward better overall fitness. I think that a key is to be confident and comfortable with your trainer. Also remember that you can quit or switch trainers at any time. A good trainer knows that and will be motivated to help you get where you want to be. They should also be motivated to maximize your time and money in pursuit of your goals. My trainer reminds when it might be time to change routines, but I always decide based on how my body feels, and how I feel I've progressed with the routine.
There might be a couple ways you could go from here. You could just try to remember the routine she took you through in your teaser session and just do that on your own for a month and see what happens to your body. But I think there is value in the nutrition side, so You could ask her to develop a routine and walk you through it - let her know you'd like to see how it works for you over a month or so; but also use that session to have her review your food log and make recommendations. You should then be in a good position to decide what makes the most sense for you.
Remember it's your money, your time and your fitness, so the plan has to fit with your needs and not the trainer's needs.
Btw - I recently switched from full-body workouts 4x/week to working different muscle groups 4x/week (eg- chest/biceps one day, then legs/shoulders, then back/triceps, etc). When I was doing full-body routines, one session was enough every time I changed up routines. But now that I'm doing essentially three different routines for the various muscle groups, we go through a couple or three sessions to walk through each routine when they change. So it's costing me a little more, but I still think I'm getting my money's worth. Just something to keep in mind down the road. If you have any other questions just ask. Good luck!
Well i saw her again on friday i was working out (trying to repeat some of the stuff she'd shown me in the taster) when she came over in her normal gym gear and took a nosey peek at my weights, i was just about to tell her off for bieng cheeky eyeing up my weights when i recognised her. I just thought it was some girl bieng cheeky haha perhaps have a laugh at my dinky weights.
Anyway she asked if i'd done ab's yet and i said no (tbh i only get about 45mins so i hadn't planned on doing abb's) Anyeway she said good and draged me off.
As it happens she was doing her own workout at the same time as me and needed a parner for some medicine ball sit up thing ... so we did our abb work out together (so she killed me twice in one week.... yay me)
Anyway at the end of it i've decided to book a session in with her, so im getting my first session on thursday but im taking my "weeks food diary" to her on tuesday so she can take a look at it and see where im upto and suggest some changes for thursday. I'm really nervous but exicted too.
Hi Again Leiela.
Sounds like fun to me. Don't be nervous. One thing I've learned that each time a new routine comes along it is challenging. I SHOULD be challenging 'cause that's how we get stronger. It always takes time to adapt to the moves and muscles working in different ways, but when we do adapt is probably time to change again to maintain the challenge. I always joke that my trainer is going to secretly make a video of me for one of those funniest home video shows. I'm particularly bad at balancing exercises - I should be wearing a helmet ;o
Good luck with your new trainer. Enjoy the ride!!!
Ok so i had my second session with the trainer, but im abit confused by some of her logic and was wondering what you guys thought of what she had me doing today.
Today she said we were gonig to work on legs, bums and tum's ... started off with a quick workout and then we hit the weights did some lungs and swats followed by some burby's / squat thrusts etc which i "get"
However after that she threw me on the treadmill and seriously tried to kill me. Normally i use the treadmill only for steady state cardio occasionally i do abit of intervals going from (3mph - maybe 5mph) ok i know it's lame but ill be the first to admit i am not a runner never have been hell i get winded running for a bus 3-4mph is a brisk walk for my stunty legs, 5 is a jog (which i can't keep up for more than about 15mins)
However when i got on she whacked it up 6mph i tried desperatly to explain that i didn't think my legs go that fast ad she just laughed at me, after 3 minutes i really prayed that the treadmill would kill me and be done with it.
Then she knocked it upto 7mph on a incline i might add and told me to keep that up for a further 3 minutes... well surficed to say within 30seconds i was practically hyper ventilating and she ended up reducing the speed down to 6 again which i manage to keep up for a further 2 minutes before she really had to stop it because i was turning purple and looked (and felt i might add) like i was about to vomit.
Anyway she's told me that i really need to improve my running before her next session as she said she really expected my endurace to be better as a dancer ... i tried to explain that "my" kind of dancing (pole dancing) is done in 3-4minute bursts and doens't really require endurance as it's all anerobic ... lasting pretty much the duration of a song.
So anyway i digress what was the purpose of her torture???
im never gonig to be a runner i make a point of NOT running because it always makes me feel like im about it die and as right now im trying to focus on "getting my body looking good" is sprinting like a manic helping that goal somehow?? i can do 50 minutes at a brisk walk with ease isn't that enough "cardio" to get my heart rate up an make me a much fitter and healthier person anyway??
i dunno im confused surely 15mins at a pace i can maintain is better than 5 mins at a pace that even if it doens't requires an ambulance causes me to go purple and unfit for anything for the next 10mins???
hahaha!!! That was comedy for real! I was laughing so hard at your story.
Girlfriend, you are a young woman. You need to get off that pole and do some cardio and build up endurance so that you have a strong HEART and CARDIOVASCULAR system. You know, the weights and steady state treadmill are great for the outside of your body, but you have to pump it up and get that heart racing to strengthen your INSIDES.
If you don't have the $$ for a trainer, talk to her about 1/2 hour sessions once every two weeks, OR if you can train with another person which reduces the rate considerably. She should be able to set you up with another person who would also like to train and save a bit of money.
Oh boy, this was the funniest thing I've read on this site, thanks for the laughs. Enjoyed your story immensely. :)
DL thought your story was funny, but I'm not sure that you meant it that way. Sounds like your trainer is either a) psychotic and sadistic; or b) really testing your endurance to see how hard you're willing/able to push. I would hope it is the latter, but it might be a warning sign.
I do agree with DL that cardio at the right intensity is key to weight loss. I lost about 20 lbs in about 4 months without ever doing more than 25mins/3 times a week. That was in addition to strength training four times a week, and cardio at that level was only for the first month. After that I've never exceeded 20 mins x 3 per week.
If you're not used to it, I think you do have to build up to it. I'm not a runner either, so the first week or so, I would alternate between walking/running. See what feels right for you. I started by alternating like 2-3 minutes running, then 1 minute walking, and just built-up endurance by extending the running time a little bit over time. It came pretty quickly. 20-25 minutes at 5 to 5.5mph is pretty easy for me now. I can do 6mph if I push hard, but that's too much like work for me. I know a lot of people do treadmill at 6mph constant, but the easier jog has worked okay for me. When I'm in the mood for pushing myself, I do some intervals, sometimes up to 6.5 or 7mph, but I would have been treadmill road-kill if I'd tried it without building up my endurance first. Once you get used to it, it becomes a challenge, but 7mph is a little out of control for me. If you ever see someone at the gym working-out with a crash-helmet, that's probably me -- just kidding ;}
One good thing is you were up around 6-7mph and didn't crash, so now you know you can do it. Once you get the endurance up little, another way to approach building-up intensity is to do pyramids. Maybe go with one-two minute intervals starting with a walk 3.5-4mph, the work-up and back down like 4mph for a minute, then 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, as high as you want to go, then back down a minute each 6, 5.5, 5, 4.5... down to a walk where you can recover and start again if you want. This also helps to break-up the boredom, since you're busy watching the clock, and adjusting the speeds. You can also do the same kind of thing by varying the incline over time. You can vary the time intervals too - maybe do longer periods at the lower speeds, but definitely stretch them out as your body allows it.
I might be wrong, but I do not think that walking for 50 minutes is equal to 20 minutes of running. I don't believe walking gets the heart-rate and metabolism going high enough to make a big fat-burning difference. I personally don't do this, but another approach could be to determine a target heart-rate, and target your cardio intensity around that number. You might also try some of the lower impact cardio stuff - eliptical, stairmills and stair-masters. Good cardio with less wear and tear on the body -- but when I need to drop a few pounds, my trainer gets me back on the treadmill. Running seems to be the most efficient way for me to burn fat.
I sounds like you're a lot like I was going into the fitness thing. "Kind of" in-shape, but kind-of out of shape too -- Just really needing to lose a few pounds, and tone up everywhere. Strength training is going to get you toned, but cardio, at the right the level, is going to burn away the fat. I really did not know my way around the gym, and was kind of intimidated by all the equipment and my lack of knowledge. I consider myself very lucky to have found a great trainer from the start. She never stood there and cracked-the-whip on the treadmill -- she just told me how much cardio to do and I found a way to get it done. You should talk to her about how to build-up the endurance. If she's good, she'll have some good advice.
Another word to the wise: Your trainer only did a lower-body strength routine for you, instead of a full-body routine. That probably means that you'll be doing a couple more sessions before you have the entire workout routine from her. That's okay as long as that's what you want. Like I said before, I did the first 4 months doing full-body 4 times a week, and have switched to rotating muscle groups the past couple of months. Honestly, the full-body workouts were hard work, but I can't complain about the results (also can't complain 'cause I insisted on full-body). It was also hard to do four workouts per week 'cause doing consecutive days of full-body is tough. Working on different muscle-groups in each workout is a lot easier, but I need to pay for 2-3 sessions each time I switch routines.
You and your trainer have to be on the same page. Otherwise, you're going to have a hard time trusting and following her advice. I'm guessing that it might take time for a trainer to get to know someone, and understand their physical capabilities and limits. On the other hand, I know that working-out is hard work, and it has to be challenging to get results. A trainer has to be able to find the right challenge level for you to attain a solid muscle-base and continually improve from there. I know I am almost always outside of my "comfort-zone" when I'm working out. Not at a dangerous level, but I know have to struggle to finish sets working through the burn, or not quitting 2 minutes early on my cardio when I'm low on energy. I could see how she could get the impression that your dancing would have you at a higher level than someone like me who drives a desk all day. Best advice may be to just talk to her and get her take on things. You have to be like a team working toward the same goals.
I don't have a lot of experience with personal trainers. Like I said, I've only had one and I've had success with her. For what it's worth, I have taken golf lessons from different people though, and have found over time that I can tell when they truly like to help people versus just like taking their money. I've seen my trainer working with all kinds of different people, and I'm convinced that she really likes helping people. I think the good ones understand that they'll only succeed financially if their clients succeed in their physical goals.
Hey, it's kind of cool to compare notes -- Did she give you any nutrition advice?
The first session i did with her was upper body, and then last week i did the lower body she did say those first two sessions where just to get an idea of my current "condition" ... which CV wise is BAD, strength and flexability i think im not too bad but im still waiting for her opinion on that haha.
She also got me to write a diet log which she took off me last session and i'm guessing ill get the verdict on that when i see her on wednesday for my next session which tbh is when i imagine she's gonig to have worked out what i need and how we plan to get me there by then so im guessing wednesday is going to be an important session one way or the other.
I did go to the gym today by myself and after doing my "set" on the wieghts i did spend 20 minutes on the treadmill... i sort of zig zagged the speed abit and ive come to the conlusion my legs seriously do not like going much beyond 6mph.
the main problem i had was with my heartrate monitor which was gonig off like a crazy thing telling me to slow down constently because it thought my heart was going to explode.
I found a jog at about 5 - 5.5mph is easily enough to get my heart rate upto about 170-180 ...anything higher totally made my heart rate monitor flips out.. and i have to drastically reduce the speed to settle my heart rate again because simply gonig from 6.5mph back to 5.5 or 5 simply keeps my heart rate though the roof because 5.5 is still pushing me pretty hard.
In the end i settled for zig-zaging bettween 4.5(a fast paced walk) and about 6mph (a fast run) though i'll admit i could only hold 6mph for about 30seconds - 1 minute, before i had to tkae it down even then i had to hold 4.5 for about 4-5mins before my heart rate came down to something respectable (160-170ish )
i'm just abit unsure about this whole heart rate thing im not sure how high is too high ... i really don't fancy dropping down dead haha ...
You can't out-train your diet, you need a calorie deficit to lose fat. No ifs, ands or buts about it, exercise of any kind won't do jack for you without a calorie deficit.Exercise helps in creating that but doesn't on its own do anything for you. But controlling for diet, cardio also won't do jack for you compared to strength training.
Just look at a sumo wrestler, powerlifter or football player to see someone who strength trains several hours a day, and despite having a workout schedule that would literally kill me they gain weight because they eat like it's their hobby.
Strength training helps with body composition and it determines what is lost, but it's secondary to having a deficit - i.e., you can lose without it, while you can't lose without the deficit.
However, just read this study for one of many, many comparisons of cardio and resistance training for fat loss that all come to the same conclusion - unlike what the cardio bunnies at Shape magazine tell you, strength training is where it's at for fat loss.
Really. Cardio can help you with creating that calorie deficit that you need, but as read this study by Strasser et.al which compared cardio+diet and diet only. They concluded that a calorie deficit through diet or cardio exercise alone gave you the exact same result.
Yes, running more improves your running performance, and biking more improves your biking performance, but it doesn't do jack for you in terms of fat loss that a calorie deficit created through diet alone wouldn't.
As the Westcott study shows - and my two other favourite studies, Kramer, Volek et al. Influence of exercise training on physiological and performance changes with weight loss in men. Hunter et.al. : Resistance Training Conserves Fat-free Mass and Resting Energy Expenditure Following Weight Loss - cardio is so outclassed by the strength training results that it isn't even funny.
Note that in all studies there was an observable difference in the effect of diet, diet+cardio, and diet+cardio+strength training - and in all studied cases diet+cardio+strength training beat out diet or diet+cardio in terms of results, but there was actually a difference in the results between the diet and the diet+cardio groups, which you wouldn't expect if the Strasser study was the whole story.
There is a weights-only study too that shows the expected result - weight training alone won't do jack for you when it comes to fat loss.
Cardio is however not a required element of any weight loss regime, diet+strength training is completely sufficient on its own.
Diet for fat loss, strength training for body composition results, cardio because moving is fun and it gives you room on your calorie budget without going insane from restriction, and because getting short of breath when you walk up a flight of stairs suck.
One more note:
D, DE, and DES demonstrated a similar and significant (P <= 0.05) reduction in body mass (-9.64, -8.99, and -9.90 kg, respectively) with fat mass comprising 69, 78, and 97% of the total loss in body mass, respectively.
-Kramer, Volek, et.al.
In the Kramer study, a third of the weight loss in the diet-only group was muscle(2.98 kg, or 6.5lbs) and the diet+cardio exercise group also lost significant muscle(1.98kg or 4.35lbs), while the diet+cardio+strength training group mostly retained theirs, losing 0.297kg or just shy of 0.6lbs of muscle.
You think maybe losing muscle is a bad thing? Especially when dieting - you're looking to reduce body fat, not get smaller and skinny-fat.
Ooooooh melkor don't shout at me :(
I wieght train 3 days a week im a good girl ... i've been following the lean recomposition plan you suggested
its working very well but even that suggests 2 days of cardio just to keep you active on your "off" days...
I only did running cause my trainer made me and she's mean haha ... even she says that exessive cardio does more harm than good which is why i assume she's getting me doing hill sprints (once a week) rather than steady state.
But i did ask about her "logic" of hill sprints in another thread http://caloriecount.about.com/forums/post/105 537.html
cause i wan't sure and i'd always thought that cardio was bad if you trying to tone up and build muscle ... but i didn't get much of a reponse so i figured id do what my trainer asked till i could question her further about it or someone answered.
i'm still testing out the personal trainer and as yet i havn't quite worked out if she's any good ... tbh i really don't know enough about fitness to know if she's leading me up the right path.
So i'm waiting for wednesday when she should be giving me "her plan" to see what she says about my diet and see what she lays out for me so i can get you guys to size it up and give your honest opinion.
I was thinking of the other guy ;)
There's specific uses for cardio; and I like doing hill sprints because it's the fastest way to get it over with.
Can't find it now, but there's a study out on interval training that compared the VoMax of trained orienteering and cross-country runners who'd been competing on a regional/national level for 4+years, and previosly sedentary females who'd undergone a 3-month interval training program.
The previously-sedentary group beat the experienced steady-state runners all to heck and gone - after 3 months of interval training they had on average higher VoMax-values than the group who'd been doing paced steady-state runs for years.
Hill sprints are a variation on the HIIT theme, and it's the fastest way to improve running parametres and sports-specific fitness for running., and the anaerobic demand of HIIT appears to do some sort of porly-understood dark magic that via an unexplained mechanism leads to greater fat loss than steady-state cardio.
Which makes it a good complement to strength training when it comes to fat loss - though Tgpish ran the numbers on the Tremblay study on HIIT vs. steady state for fat loss and the nine times greater fat loss per calorie expended isn't so impressive when you translate it into actual numbers. It only worked out to about 200 calories worth more of fat burned a day, but that's still 150g more fat lost per week for half the time spent.
So perhaps it's anaerobic intensity that's the point when it comes to fat loss - you certainly can't beat strength training when it comes to intensity.
You're already doing as much strength training as will do you any good though, more of it will only serve to overtrain you; which leaves more cardio as the only real option you have to increase energy turnover.
Hmm - you could maybe add Alwyn's Complexes for Fat Loss to your workouts; they're an interesting way to really beat up your body. Other than that though, you're doing everything perfectly already - when you're down to The Last 10 Pounds you're limited in what you can do and the lean recomposition program you're following is pretty much optimal already.
Gee - musta been something I said...
Sorry if I mis-spoke somewhere along the line. I thought we were talking about strength+cardio+nutrition all along. Of course people lose weight all the time just by dieting, but we were talking about all of the above in the context of how individual trainers are approaching the issue. I stand corrected. Cardio burns calories, not fat. Deficit creates weight-loss, but not necessarily just fat-loss. Gets a little confusing at times. Thanks for straightening me out on that. ;)
The point about strength training + diet being as effective is interesting. I would think that I would need to be much more restrictive in my diet if I stopped doing cardio, unless I dramatically increased the time and/or intensity of strength training.
According to the calorie-burn estimates on this site, vigorous strength training burns at the rate of about 460/hour. 5.0mph cardio burns at about 613 an hour. So for 20 minutes of moderate cardio, I figure I get almost half-again the calories burned in one of my strength workouts. Sounds like a decent trade-off to me. I'm guessing I would be at the gym 7 days each week instead of just four to burn the same amount without cardio. It seems like everyone needs to find the right balance in terms of workout-time, intensity and diet. In the future, I'll be more careful about sharing my personal experiences.
Good luck Leiela!!!
And the world is full of magazines who perpetuate disinformation about exercise because telling people the truth after talking nonsense since their first issue would kill their bottom line.
And the world is full of "fitness gurus" who tell women that they should fear the free weights and do low resistance/high rep workouts to "tone" and other lies in the gym.
They're all three on my pet hate list, and words like "cardio for fat loss" push all my puttons at once :)
It says up top - written by yours truly, in the FAQ section, second paragraph from the top:
Generic caveat: There is a difference between efficency and long-term effectiveness when it comes to exercise and dieting. Crash diets don't work, crash fitness programs don't work. What does work over the long haul is to incorporate activity into your lifestyle as a regular thing. So keep in mind that exercise efficiency is secondary to exercise consistency, and that crosstraining and doing more than one thing works better than sticking to a single activity. You wouldn't eat only oatmeal for the rest of your life as a "diet", you shouldn't only run or lift weights as your only exercise.I'm just telling you that the popular myth about cardio for fat loss is wrong, not backed up by any of the science, and in general isn't neccesary, while strength training - particularily for women, and particularily for women dieters who tend to lose more muscle mass than men while dieting - is crucial.
I've worked out 3xweekly training with strength training and essentially el zippo cardio and until I had an accidental encounter with some carbs in a back alley I was losing fat at a predictable rate; somewhat slower than the maximum because I've been at this diet thing for a year, have lost 60lbs with just strength training and essentially zip cardio (apart from that one 22-mile mountain walk!) and haven't really felt either deprived or restricted on my diet plan.
The idea isn't "don't do cardio" though - as I said, getting out of breath walking upstairs sucks - it's "don't do excessive cardio because you think it's neccesary to lose fat"
Ok so im weight training 3 days a week atm ... 1 day upper 1 day lower and 1 day full body circuit training.. 45min sessions each.
I also do 2 days cardio ... light cardio following my lower body day becasue i'm warely of overdoing it, and Hiit following my upperbody day, leaving me 2 rest days a week.
I eat cleanly and carb cycle eating low carbs and 1,400 cals on my rest day and cardio days and high carbs 1,700-1800 on my lifting days. (im female, 30, 116lbs and 5ft3) atm... so im not over weight.
Thus far i've made steady progress the scales don't tell me much but my composition is getting much better however progress is reasonably slow.
I have a deadline of 4 weeks when i have my first dancing job in 6 months (having recovered from injury) so im really looking to "ramp it up" ... im a poledancer who is currently still concidered to out of shape to hire by most employers.... so in 4 weeks i have to be bikini fit ...
If you had my deadline and my current workout shedual what would you change?? or add ??
Well, maybe you can try increasing what's cleverly acronymed your NEPA or Non-Exercise Physical Activity - otherwise known as a "walk".
Higher rate of energy turnover in your body is associated with increased leanness even in a calorie balance, so if you keep your actual deficit the same but increase your expenditure and intake the increased energy turnover in your body will help.
In practice, this means taking an extra daily walk in a reasonable tempo that does not rise to the level of exertion that qualifies it as cardio :)
haha i wish my diet was perfect "apparently" according the the girls over at figure athlete i still eat to much dairy haha... but im nipping that in the bud, im glad to hear im doing ok now i hate to think im not doing everything possible.
I have to admit my progress has speeded up over the last few weeks, i think im getting noticable leaner i think it's because im finally managing the fine tune my diet and getting rid of the reminents of the unclean foods as well as really starting to push myself at the gym i think the sessions with the trainer have given me an idea of "how" far i should push myself in the gym i think before i was abit of a lazy gym go'er ... not on purpose but i guess i just didn't realise exactly what my body was capable of and what "lifting to failure" really ment... as my trainer would generally make me do 5-10 extra reps after what i would normally considered failure and if nothing else she's taught me to push myself.
Ok so ive just finished my third session with my new personal trainer and i need your advice on her advice.
She's spend the last 2 weeks "assessing" my needs this has been done though having 2 session where one looking at my lower body and one looking at my upper body assessing my strenghts and weakness's as well as getting my to write a food diary for a week keep track of everything i eat and drink and my mood at the time.
Today was verdict day, she say i have quite a few imbalances, my right side if generally much much noticably stronger than my left... to the point that the size of the muscles is visably different. Not suprising concider i hold the wieght during my poledancing primarily on one arm using the second only for balance, also my chest and back are very weak in comparison to my shoulders which causes me to hunch over.
She's laid out a plan of action of how where gonig to bring my body fat down to an acceptable level and increase my muscle mass as well as generally balance me out and improve my posture.
Now the exercise part of "the plan" looks fine as far as im concerned, the general make up isn't that different to what im already doing, the whole think has really just been "ramped up" as it where, making it more intense than what i was doing on my own, to maximise fat loss.
She's added some hill sprints and has changed alot of my workouts to be more full body circuit type training, so i keep moving by minamising rest breaks and has included alot more compound exercises she says the plan is the every exercise should be working as many muscle groups as possible. Anyway so thus ar i think im on "her page"
However then we moved on to discuss my diet .... this is where she totally lost me because whats she's suggesting is very "alien" to what ive been doing. Atm im carb cycling (having low carb/low cal days and high carb/high cals days) eating bettween 1,400-2,000 cals eating clean.
The progress has been slow but steady and i've seen a real difference in my composisition especially during the last 2 weeks where ive made huge leaps forward. Which i partially put down to finnally finnishing cleaning up my diet and pushing myself in my own training sessions harder than i ever have before because i realised after the first session with the trainer i was being really lazy and my body was capable of far more than i was doing.
However she want to totally change my diet and im not sure about her sugesstions, the basic principles are there clean food, no processed carbs (white bread etc) and taking in a good deal of protien.
However she does think im eating too much protein, yes she wants to keep my protien higher than the "average person" but she thinks 1g-1.5g per lb is too much, secondly she wants to DRASTICALLY increase my carbs, she wants me to eat carbs with EVERY meal, and wants me to have a carb heavy meal before bed to help me sleep (she suggested oatmeal)
She hasn't given me the exact macro's yet(she gonne email it all to me tonight) but by my recconing im looking at at least 50% a day and even though they are gonna be good carbs im not sure this is a good plan.
I did ask her about it and she seems to think that "im not suited"to a low carb lifestyle apparently judging by my moods from my food diary she didn't think it agreed with me because the low carb days seemed to damn near wipe me out. (but i expected that right??? doens't it take time for your body adjust?? its not like im perma low carb because im cycling )
She also wants to increase my calorie intake ... to over 2200 cals a day ... and tbh although i eat 2000 atm on a "lifting" day i end up on a deficit at the end of the week because of my low days and 2000cals by my recconing is my maintaince, how am i going to lose fat eating over maintaince?? she insisted that i would but im not so sure???
Am i right to worry??
Well, you hired her for a reason, didn't you - she's got experience helping people reach their goals. Calorie cycling and carb restriction isn't a long term solution to diet - and personally I stay at around 50% carbs. But I don't have a deadline, and low-carb and calorie cycling is more effective for fast fat loss than the gentler calorie restriction I'm doing. If you want reassurance though... you might want to take a look at Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle guide for a closer look at bodybuilder/fitness/Figure competitor diets; at 300 pages it clocks in with a lot more info than you can get from articles and posts like this one. (No secrets in the book, and it's really nothing you can't put together on your own eventually, but Venuto saves you time and puts all of it in one place. The short version is 2beittybitty's Sharing Info from My Nutritionist- Slow Weight-Loss/Low Metabolism, Helpful Tips That Work - 2beittybitty's nutritionist essentially landed on the same program Venuto outlines, for many of the same reasons. Venuto's bok just expands greatly on those reasons!)
Mike Roussel wrote about his experience at the 2008 experimental biology conference in Low Carbs, Seaweed, and Crack: Experimental Biology 2008 - Dr. Volek's findings in his low-carb studies seem pretty solid but I'd need to read the studies myself to say for sure.
Anyway - even if the low-carb stuff is not sustainable over the long term it does have merit for the short term. (Personally, I don't think anyone's really suited to low-carb over the long term. Your liver is your body's second most energy intensive organ after your brain, and it's almost exclusively dedicated to managing and processing carbs. It would be a lot smaller if we - like cats - weren't adapted to eating moderate carbs.)
Protein... well, you definitely need the 1.8g/kg level that is supported in the literature as necessary/useful for strength trainees, but that works out to about 0.8g/lbs so she has a point that you're probably taking in more protein than you really need at 1.5g/lbs. So it depends on how drastically she wants you to cut back - you do not want to go below 1.8g/kg, especially when looking to gain muscle.
Hmm, maybe she wants to increase your hill sprinting - cardio is pretty good for burning calories even if it doesn't make for much of a difference in terms of fat loss, and there are some benefits to higher energy turnover even if the calorie balance/deficit is nominally the same. I mean, there's no reason to not do cardio unless it interferes with your other goals - when gaining muscle you want to keep cardio below 90 minutes a week or it significantly interferes with the muscle gain process, but apart from that you'd want to do reasonable cardio so as to not have to restrict calories unreasonably :)
Carbs before bed is just crazy talk - you want something in the way of casein or other slow-digesting protein that'll keep you protein-fed through the night.
Also, keep in mind that using dietary mesocycles as a complement to your training mesocycles has merit - I mean, check out the difference between the guidelines in part I and part II of "let's get jacked"; you need to eat to support your training goals in that particular training cycle. So the dietary changes your trainer's recommending are probably suited to the muscle gains she wants you to have, but it might conflict with the fat loss goals - you'd want to adress these concerns with the trainer directly too and have her explain her thinking :)