Ask Away Wednesday Returns: How To Have The Best Workouts

by TaylorR

Good morning and happy hump day!

I know it’s been awhile since I have done an Ask Away Wednesday so of course I am getting back into them starting right now.

I asked for questions, and questions I received! It always makes me happy when I hear from you guys, so please don’t be shy! Email me, comment here at the blog, or over on Facebook.

If you’re new to Lifting Revolution, Ask Away Wednesday is just like what it sounds… you ask any question(s) that is on your mind and I answer.

Fun, right?

So let’s get this party started!

Q: I wake up at 4:35am to be at the gym for 5:30am. On M/W/F, I do 40 minutes of weights/strength training first, then spin class for 45 minutes. On T/Th/S, I just do about 1 to 1.5 hrs of weight training.  Again, early mornings. I struggle with knowing what to eat Pre-workout that will fuel me enough but not be too heavy.  I don’t have a lot of time in the mornings.  Can you give me any suggestions? 

That is quite an impressive workout schedule! Make sure to listen to your body so you’re not pushing too hard.

This is probably the most common question I receive from clients. What should they eat before a workout? You want something that is light in the belly but that is easily absorbed so that you can get the quick burst of energy you need.

For pre-workout snacks it is more about the carbs and the protein. Try to limit fat intake a bit (though go with what works for your belly).

Some options: 

  • Dates
  • Toast (peanut butter toast is what i eat before runs and morning workouts)
  • Banana smoothie
  • Granola bar
  • Oatmeal (overnight oats are super on the go)
  • Here are 25 more that I have written in the past: Pre Workout Snack Ideas

Since you workout first thing, grab just a little something and then make sure to come home and fuel up with a standard breakfast. Otherwise, if you eat too much you’ll feel everything with each step and rep.

But also keep in mind that everyone is different. I am one of those people that can drink a smoothie while walking into the gym… but for some people that will make them want to throw up within 30 minutes. Experiment with a few of the foods and see what works and feels best.

Q: What does a 35+ guy do about that last little flab around the waist? Asking for a friend, of course… 

Of course… well… “your friend” needs to look at his diet. A flat stomach is made in the kitchen. And no matter how many miles your friend runs or how many crunches he does, if his diet isn’t clean then that last bit of flab will try its hardest to stay put.

Clean out high sodium foods, processed foods and empty sugary foods. Also make sure to drink plenty of water to help wash out the system.

While working on the diet, also take a look at you (I mean his) workout. If it’s been stagnant for a while, change it up. Lift heavier (total body moves) and change up cardio with intervals.


Q: I am 51 years old and I lost 30 lbs. How do I “plump” up the loose skin around abs and thighs without gaining fat?

Oh boy, this is a toughie. There are a few things going in this question. First off, losing weight suddenly can cause loose skin to appear. Unfortunately there isn’t a real cure for this.

However, you can tone up your muscles a bit more which can help fill in the area. It’s not adding fat, but adding muscle mass and definition. Of course adding in a great, muscle toning workout is what is in order here.

Not just one that works your core and thighs but all areas for the best results.

Most like heavy lunges, squats, deadlifts and my favorite for the thighs sumo squats may help. Just make sure that you push yourself with the weight. If your goal is to do 10 reps, it’s a weight that is heavy enough where you can’t do 11.

Always progress with your intensity (weight you’re using) and the exercises.

You might also look into skin tightening creams. Why they don’t cause the skin to suddenly tighten they can give the appearance of firmer looking skin.

Good luck!

elliptical-full-body

Q: Is it possible to get a full body workout on an elliptical? 

As for as cardio is concerned sure. Keep your hands off the handles and “pump” as you go. Also play with the incline/resistance on the machine to push your core, legs and arms a little harder. As far as strength training and toning up the entire body, no. The elliptical is a cardio machine, not a strength training workout and should not be used in place of exercises like lunges, squats, push-ups, etc.

It’s great for the cardio aspect of your workout (especially with the intervals) however to get the FULL body workout you want, step down off of it and step into the weight room!

Q: How to go from 5K to 10K? 

The secret to running farther? Run farther. Run faster. But not necessarily at the same time.

When aiming to add milage, it takes several forms of training. You want to do a run or two a week working on speed (i.e. speed intervals) and of course you want to get in 1 long run. For your long run, aim to go just a little bit further each time. For me, it’s 1 mile. So when I first started working up to a half marathon distance I would do 4 miles, then the next week aim for 5 and so on.

running hodgepodge

If you’re adding the interval speed workouts and a mild, easy run in each week that should be possible. 90% it’s all mental. Make sure you start each long run pretty routine: a carb rich pre workout fuel, same time, etc. It helps to avoid head games.

Also find something that helps to keep your mind occuppied so it’s not on the miles so much. I love books on tape and podcasts.

And I am going to wrap it up for the day!

Do you like the return of Ask Away Wednesday? 

If so, I will get back to do these each week… just make sure to get your questions in to me! I love hearing from you so don’t be shy.

What’s your favorite pre workout breakfast?

 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Cassie January 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I like reading your ask away Wednesday questions so I vote for yes continue with them.

Pre-Workout Snack: Before I was pregnant I never ate before bootcamp since class starts at 6:30 am. Now I try to eat a piece of fruit or 1/2 a bar of some sort. If I am working out later in the morning or competing in a race I always eat the same breakfast- English muffin with an egg ( I usually also add jalopenos and avocado).

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TaylorR January 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I love English muffins too. And those sandwich thins. They are great with PB and banana slices.

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Billy January 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Great answer! I probably need to change up the workout (mostly running) and be more careful about what I snack on.

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TaylorR January 10, 2013 at 8:28 am

Definitely try a new workout plan and of course those snacks can pile up too. Good luck!

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Suzanne January 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I like reading the Ask Away Wed. too! Eating so early in the am before workout is a challenge for me as well (but its the ONLY time). So I usually try to eat a kind bar or half a banana with a spoonful of nut butter.

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Alex (@alexbridgeforth) January 10, 2013 at 1:39 am

Favorite pre-workout breakfast is Figs, they are so good, 6 = 100cal, IIts like natures gu for us.

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TaylorR January 10, 2013 at 7:58 am

I love figs as well! Right up there with dates!

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Kim January 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I always feel I need something with protein in it before a workout. I pick foods that I won’t burp during my workouts, lol! I find protein smoothies, nut butters, fruit& nut bars or an egg good to eat ( leftover curry or pizza not good!). I LOVE Ask away Wed! Thx 4 bringing it back.

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