Fitness & Health Questions

Fitness Training Questions for WomenIn an ongoing attempt to make this blog the best fitness blog for women, I wanted a place where you can ask your questions. I wanted to just use my email because it would be more intimate, but there are many many thousands of women who read this blog every month… and I could not possibly keep up.

So here’s what we are going to do…

This page is where you can ask your questions regarding fitness, diet, motivation… or anything like that. Heck we can even use it for some girl talk if you want to.

I also want it to be a place where you can put your suggestions for the blog.

Here’s How to Ask Your Questions:

You will see a comment section right underneath all these words I’ve typed. Just type your questions in there and they will go to use so we can moderate them. We don’t want to put spam out there… but that’s really it.

So ask your questions and we will respond!

Thanks and keep staying fit.

Fitness Taylor Ryan

Taylor Ryan

  • Vaunda

    I know that strenght training helps protect against colon cancer. Can you give me more specifics as to what it is exactly that helps decrease risk. I know it increases your digestion. Any more facts and why?

  • TaylorR

    Vaunda, great question! Strength training helps prevent colon cancer because it increases the “transit time” it takes for food to pass through. One of the biggest culprits of colon cancer is slow digestion… there’s actually a 56% increase in this transit time after just 3 months of strength training.

    So… the faster your food goes through the less chances of colon cancer!

  • Sarah

    My husband and i just bought a Nintendo WII. I want to get the Ea Sports Active. Do you think these games actually help? Are they worth the cost? Do you have a preference? I would like to hear a professionals opinion on these programs.


  • TaylorR

    Hey Sarah… to be honest I haven’t really tried these out. But my impression of them is that they are great if you’re an exercise newbie. Any exercise at this point is great. I do think that once you adjust to working out that it’s important to take it up a step to make sure you’re getting a great strength training workout. I think that these game style workouts are great fun for you and your husband… it’s a fun way to hang out but like I said after probably 4 weeks or so you might want to look into upping the intensity up, also to make sure you don’t get bored.

    I do think it’s awesome that you’re taking action and getting moving!

    I have some people tell me that they feel they get a decent workout, but like I said to really tone your body and keep results coming it’s probably a good idea to look into other workout programs too…
    Here’s a few past posts that I did on home workouts that you and your hubby can do together:
    Home Workout 1
    Home Workout 2

  • Jeannie

    I love to lift free weights, my problem comes when I can’t remember a routine or go from one part to another with no program; what I need and am looking for is a small spiral bounded pictured work out book to take to the gym – you can’t take a laptop….but a phamplet would be ideal….I am about ready to make my own….I could just take pics of people doing the excercise and put it in book order and routine order.

  • TaylorR

    that’s a great idea… that’s what we provide for clients at my women’s training site we actually allow for the exercises to be downloaded to your ipod! If you’re looking for a great book that you can put workouts in the make small (9×7 ish) that you can put index cards and stuff in. I just use a small spiral notebook to track my workouts.

  • armyy

    how long does it take to lose arm fat??

  • TaylorR

    Armyy, great question. I know a lot of women suffer from the dreaded “wings”. Unfortunately I am probably not going to give you the answer you really want… you can’t simply lose arm fat… or just butt fat… or any specific fat for that matter. I wish we could! To lose body fat your body will lose it from all over… you need a total workout program designed for fat loss in mind. Of course you will lose arm fat if you follow on but you will also lose leg fat, face fat, and fat everywhere else.
    Don’t fall for those crazy pieces of equipment that promise to shape your arms with just a few minutes a day. Sure doing particular weight training exercises will tone your body but if you’re just concentrating on arm moves you will still hold on to fat and your tone new muscles will be hidden.

    Great workouts are of course here… or I suggest heading over to my women’s only fitness training site for help with workouts and programs.

  • Dawn

    Cellulite, any insight to this? Thanks!

  • TaylorR

    Insight on cellulite… of course! cellulite isn’t the result of being overweight and while all women are embarrassed but it, 90% of women (fat, skinny, tall, short) battle with cellulite at some point. Technically it’s fat, but it’s a different kind of fat… Click below, I dedicated today’s post to you!

    War Against Cellulite

  • Christina

    My question is, is it REALLY ok to take a day off and do nothing fitness-wise?

    I am a mother of 5 and a nurse, and there are weeks, like this one, where I feel weak and my body is just saying “NO!” but I keep working out anyhow! I’ve read, push through that and continue and I’ve read take a day or 2 per week off. But I have a very hard time with the guilt! Just a brief history: Ive lost over 120lbs in the past two years and workout almost every day a week for 2 hours. I have been at a weight loss stall FOR 6 MONTHS! (would like to lose 20 more 5ft 3…150-ish lbs) I Found your site in my struggles and am trying to turn things around desperately!
    I feel like I’m trapped.
    Thank you so much for all that you do!

  • TaylorR

    Wow, Christina that is amazing! Congrats on the weight loss and on being a mom to 5… you deserve a trophy, that’s for sure. Let’s clarify this exercise/rest thing once and for all for you. I am actually willing to bet that if you take 1-2 days off per week you will start to see results again. When you workout, your body goes under a lot of stress and needs to recovery. It only recovers when you give it time. That is why you should never work the same muscles out back to back days. If you’ve been working out 7 days a week for a while now you are likely to be in an overtraining state. As a matter of fact I am giving you a prescription:
    Take 2 days off in a row! Just to rest. If you don’t you will lose motivation and the guilt will drive you crazy. And 2 hours… that is too much too, to keep your body in shape, keep workouts under 1 hour. After an hour you risk dehydration, losing electrolytes and again Overtraining.

    What’s your workout schedule like? Here’s an example of mine and most of my clients:
    Monday: Strength training 30 min followed up with 20 min interval cardio
    Tuesday: Light cardio 40 minutes
    Wednesday: Repeat Monday
    Thursday: Off… or light cardio
    Friday: Repeat Monday
    Sat: Fun active activity (jog outside, take the kids skating, etc) NO GYM!
    Sunday: Off

    Another reason you may not be getting results… when was the last time you changed your workout up? Make sure to do something new every 4 weeks to keep from plateauing.

    GOOD LUCK! If you need help with your weight training you know where to look!

  • Dawn

    What’s the safest, fastest way to loose belly fat?

  • TaylorR

    Hey Dawn… good questions. Here’s a post I did on losing belly fat… let me know if you have any more questions!

  • jamie

    I am 44. I wear a size 12 but I weigh 190. I am 5’6
    I have been lifting the last month about 4 times a week….my weight goes up but I feel better. I know my age and my metabo;ism are affecting me. I actually eat less than I really should. If I continue doing whatg I should will I see results. Could I actually be 200 plus, but have a tone muscular build…or will the weight eventually drop?

  • TaylorR

    Hey Jamie, great question and believe me a lot of women are in your place. What is your workout like? Is it 100% strength training… are you lifting heavy with low reps or lighter for high reps? Since you’re trying to lose fat, to maximize it I suggest your reps being around 12… and make sure you’re doing full body workouts like the ones I have here on the blog.

    As for diet… this part is so important, Exercise alone isn’t the answer unfortunately If you’re eating less than you should I suspect this is a major culprit. I know it sounds weird but by eating too little you hurt your efforts. Aim for 4-6 small meals aday, each being around 200-300 calories. Stay away from processed foods, and stick to natural clean foods.

    No, you’re not stuck at this weight, it’s all about getting the program together with nutrition, workout, and mentally to get you to where you want to be.

  • Ashley Robinson

    I am 25 years old and I feel like I “don’t belong” at most gyms because of my size/age. I am 5’1 and 107 pounds. The assumption is made that because I am small that I am also in shape. I am NOT in shape and I have the butt(s) and thighs to prove it. I am going to Jamaica in April and I’ve given myself a few months to tighten up my thighs and butt. Nobody seems to take me seriously when I ask what I should do. I have never stepped foot in a gym and I’m terrified by all of the equipment around me. Short of paying someone $150 per session to hopefully show me what to do, I’m simply at a loss!! Help?!

  • TaylorR

    Ashley… first off, let me assure you that I do take you seriously. Just because you’re in a healthy weight doesn’t mean you have a tight sculpted body you want. It is not to say you should lose weight by any means but you can lose “skinny fat” and add some toned definition… to your butt, thighs and entire body.
    There are great at home workouts you can do that can help with this if you’re very self conscious about the gym… but remember all those people in there had to start from some where too; and chances are 90% of them were out of shape. But I completely understand feeling overwhelmed.
    April is a great time frame, that is the perfect 3 month range to really see some fantastic results. You just need a program to hit your goals.
    Have you looked at my site … not that I am trying to sell you but there are great programs for your goals. I don’t recommend a program based solely off of cardio since you want to tone up, running only hurts this goal.
    A program based on weight training with mid range reps would be best for you, keeping it total body workouts with of course extra attention to your trouble zones. Good luck!

  • amanda

    hi i m Amanda. i’m having a serious problem with the shape of my boobs. my age is 24.i was 180 pound after gym andn diet i have reduced my weight 4m 18 to 140..due to this reason i m having a saggy boobs and also i have got side boobs which looks too much odd…this side boobs is so flabby its look very much weird suggest me some exercise or something which can help me to get rid of this n have a perfect shape of firm boobs…thanks

    • TaylorR

      Hey Amanda… I understand your issue, when I was at my heaviest I had D size breasts. Unfortunately if the flabbiness is due to skin there isn’t much you can do exercise wise. You may want to talk to your doctor about having the skin removed. If you are looking to tone your chest then some great exercises would be: push-ups, bench press, dumbbell flies.

      I wish I could give more specific details… but from what it sounds like you are battling loose skin issues. Congrats on the weight loss!

  • Mandy

    I want to tone and firm my legs and have been told that squats and lunges are the two of the best exercises to use. I was wondering though how many times per week should I do these exercises for best results? I don’t want to necessarily get bigger legs, just want to tone and firm my legs and butt.

    • TaylorR

      Great goal Mandy. I recommend doing them every other day as part of a total body workout. I suggest keeping the reps around 12. Are you doing body weight or weight dumbbells? If bodyweight I would go even more if you can, 15 range. Go for 3 sets.

      Total body workouts will help decrease body fat at the same time by burning more calories so make sure to add in some push-ups or go to the Art Of Weight Lifting to get help with programs. Actually I have a specific workout there for toning thighs and butt!

  • christy l

    I was just wondering if you could give me some advice on toning inner thighs…I have been strength training for about 5 years and I am satisfied, overall, with my body and the tone muscles that I have achieved by my hard work! The one area I have noticed, especially since I turned 40, are my inner thighs…I just can’t seem to tighten this area. I do lunges, squats, pliaes, inner thigh presses, etc…nothing is working! Am I doomed to have jiggly inner thighs?

    • TaylorR

      Good for you for keeping it up for 5 years. No, your not doomed at all! I have a few questions: how are you lifting? Heavy, light, etc. Have you changed up your program and the rep/set counts? And then how is your nutrition? Having a great workout is really important but to change your body nutrition is equally (if not a little more) important. Let me know the answers and then I will give more specifics to help you out!

  • Andrea

    Hi there,
    I came across your blog this morning after searching specifically for a blog in South Carolina, and I am so relieved I did! I have been reading American fitness blogs for about 5 years now since my interest in weight loss/health began, recently alot more as I have developed more of an interest in exercise & well-being over weight loss. I am coming to the US to study at the College of Charleston from England in September, and have been worrying about difficulties I might encounter maintaining a healthy lifestyle while living in college residences.
    While I am excited to have access to so many products not available in England (you wouldn’t believe how much option you guys seem to have for healthy food choices!) and a new city to jog in and explore, as well as the chance to join new fitness classes/try out new sports, I am worried about falling out of routines and off the wagon! At home I am used to being in walking distance to a store that supplies inexpensive, whole foods and having my own kitchen to store/prepare food. While I’m unsure how restricted my residence amenities will be, chances are my meal options will be limited. A balanced, nutritious, strictly vegetarian/bordering vegan diet is virtually impossible on college meal plans, which I aim to avoid as much as possible.
    I was wondering if you could advise health shops/supermarkets in Charleston, accessible without a car. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated… I have no idea what I am coming over to! I will have access to a car for the first week while I am there, is there anywhere that is a must go to stock up on products for the year?

    • TaylorR

      Welcome Andrea! I will admit that living downtown can be hard to eat healthy because there are a lot of “college focused” places that aren’t healthy… but I do have a few suggestions. First off, when you first get here with your car there is a Whole Foods store less than 10 minutes away from campus, but it’s over the Ravenel bridge. Also, on Saturdays there is a BIG downtown farmer’s market at Marion Square that I think you’ll love. All local produce, and it’s so fresh. Plus it of course helps to save money. Lets see… are you staying on campus? I am not sure how the food is on campus, but I know with meal plans you’re cofc card will work at a few local restaurants. Places like King Street Bar and Grill has the best salads ever! Then there is Smoothy King to get some great protein shakes. If I think of anything else, I will let you know!

  • Andrea

    Thanks so much for your suggestions! Really appriciated! :)

  • Beth

    Hi. I enjoyed reading through the website and I have a question for you. I have been working with a male personal trainer for 7 weeks now and I have lost 9% Body Fat based on the caliper tests he does on me weekly and I have lost about 16 pounds of fat and gained about 13 pounds of lean mass. SO of course it appears on the scales that I have only lost about 3 pounds. I have also lost about 26 inches all over and I am down 2 shirt sizes and 1 pants size. My boyfriend thinks that I should be working with a female trainer that knows how a female body works and responds instead of the one I have. I keep telling him that the weight on the scales should not be his factor of my success. Are my stats about where they should be or is my boyfriend right and I should switch trainers to see better results?

  • Lennys

    Are there any exercises to open up tight hips?

    • TaylorR

      sure… sitting at a desk or in a car tightens the hips up… good moves are lunges, hip extensions (lay on your back, knees bent and arms by your side. Push your butt off the ground as high as it goes). Also I love leg raises which are actually more hip moves than core.

  • Sherry

    Hi, I am 5′ 2 and weigh 160 pounds. I run on the treadmill for an hour and would like to start some weight training to slim and tone my arms. Please advice me on how much weights should I use so as not to bulck up my arms but just slim and tone them. I am also on a low carb diet.
    Your sugested exercizes for the arms are certainly helpful.

    • TaylorR

      Sherry, that is great you’re ready to take your workout up to the next level with strength training. I would recommend that you start out by doing 12-15 reps of each exercise. That means using a weight heavy enough where you can not go past the 15 reps. That will just take some playing around with to get the right weight. Then make sure to always challenge yourself. The weight you use today might be too easy next week so grab for heavier! Good luck!

  • Chrissy

    Hi Taylor! Great website. I currently workout 5 days a week. My regimine is as follows: 5 days a week 30 min interval run/walk on treadmill 30 min arc trainer. Mondays weights with legs. 12 reps with 3 sets, light weights. Wednesdays weights with arms 12 reps with 3 sets, light weights. 5 days a week situps and pushups. I want to concentrate on lean sculpted muscles and losing the fat around thighs and butt. I am 5’3 115 pounds, 20% body fat. How can I modify my routine to give me the best results? Thank you!

    • TaylorR

      Well to be honest Chrissy, you may be working out too much. I would cut back your intervals to 3-4 days a week, since they are a very intense workout. Second, I would switch up the rep/set count. If you’re looking to get toned then up the weight and cut back the reps. More like heavy weight for 8 reps. Also, give total body weight training workouts w/ minimal isolation moves. This will help you burn the most calories and tone the biggest muscles. You only need to do it three days a week, alternating days. Also, avoid doing sit ups everyday, abs are like any other muscle and needs time to recover from workouts. SO avoid training them within 48 hours of each other.
      You’re determined, so I know you can do it!

  • Christine

    Do you have an App. to download on my Ipad so I can take my Ipad with me to the gym and do weight training from your App.?

  • Katie

    Do we have to go to the gym to weight train? I am really interested in getting started but I want to do it from home. What would you recommend? I currently walk alot pushing two kids up hills in a stroller as well as doing the 30 day shred. I keep hearing how good weight training is. Hoping you can give me some advice.

    • TaylorR

      You can definitely do it at home. If it’s brand new to you, you’ll start off with mostly body weight moves. But I do recommend a stability ball, a few sets of dumbbells (5-20 pound range), exercise bands. That will basically create a total home gym for you. Weight training is definitely great for you and i am excited you’re looking into it!

  • kalo

    I am 5’3.I weigh 148 and I want to get down to 120.I want to lose my belly and make my hips wider but i dont know what to eat on a daily basis or what excersises to do.Can you help me with this please?

    • TaylorR

      You have to eat a 100% clean diet if you’re really wanting to drop the weight. Along with a weight training program designed around fat burning. You might want to see for more help. It has great total workouts and food plans.

  • nithisha

    Hello Taylor,

    I started gym like 15 days ago, and I’m not seeing any body weight difference. I’m not losing weight and in fact some times it shows me little more than actually I was when I started gym. How many days after starting gym we see the results. Also, I’m keeping track of my intake daily. I’m 144lbs now and I’m taking around 1500 calories of food everyday. Is there something I need to follow. Please suggest

    • TaylorR

      Ney Nithisha, that’s great you’re taking steps towards being more fit and healthy. What kind of workouts are you doing, as this is critical to seeing results. Also, obviously you’re looking at your food intake, and 1500 sounds like a good restriction for your weight, but are you looking at the quality of food? 100 calories of cake isn’t the same as 100 calories of chicken breast. The chicken breast will actually help your body burn more fat as the cake spikes blood sugar and continues to promote fat storage.
      Have you checked out it might be able to help you!

  • Mariann Saunders

    I am a 64 year old afro american women and i was diagnosis with servere arthritis of the coccyx area, the pain that i experience the pain that extents down my left leg. But i take medication that help the pain. what would you recommend for me to do. I have serveral equiptments at my job that i am able to use and i have staff available to me also. P/therapist and O/therapist too. I wa informed to loss weight by my doctor, so i eatting correctly and i know expercise works hand and hand. I use to walk but that is very difficult for me. Would please give some advise what to do, how many time a day etc.

    Many, Many thanks to you

    • TaylorR

      Have you tried swimming? Because its in the water it is a good option for low impact and it’s great for strength and cardio to help give results. Other good options would be exercising with bands and stability balls that can help you and almost work like physical therapy. Eating is def key too, eating clean and following a good program. To start I suggest working out 3 days a week and then as you progress and you can move it up to 4 or 5 if you want. Def talk with your doctor though about what he recommends due to your pain.

  • Sunnie

    Im 17 and i want to work out this summer and through out my last year of high school,but i hav a problem two weeks out of a month i cant do much physical activities because of my period.( the last time i did i ended up in the hospital) i know im not too over weight i really jst want to lose a couple pounds and tone my body. i was wondering if mayb yoga was a good exercise i should consider? but could yoga in itself help me lose the weight i want to lose? or should i consider something else to go along with yoga…Please help!

    • TaylorR

      Congrats on being a senior! That’s exciting. First off make sure you talk to your doctor to make sure you can follow a workout plan. If he gives he ok, then I suggest working out with weights and intense cardio intervals on your good weeks and then those other two weeks you can turn to yoga for a lighter, less intense workout. There are so many types of yoga that yes, you can lose weight and tone up with some of them… but not all of them. You’re going to have to do some research.

  • d

    is better to workout with weights first are do cardio first?

    • TaylorR

      Its best to do the weights first so you don’t tire your muscles out before hand. Then finish off with cardio.

  • Lauren

    My question is regarding muscle mass: if I build muscle through exercise let’s just say from weights in this instance and then stop or change my exercise routine will my muscles deflate? Would they eventually go back to their original size prior to exercise?What happens to muscle when if it is not used e.g. if you suffer from a disability which makes you unable to use a group of muscles will you loose them other time? So I guess what I’m asking if it’s a case of a contiuous commitment to exercise in order to maintain muscle mass and does it deflate/disperse when no longer needed toits original size?

    • TaylorR

      Yes it is a case of continuous workouts. If you don’t use your muscle then it will atrophy or get smaller. If you’ve ever noticed people who are confined to wheel chairs often have very small leg muscles because they don’t use these muscles.
      Keeping muscle mass is work which includes working out and proper diet.

  • janet

    i want to have good hand grip without having muscles, please sugguest some exerise for it.

    • TaylorR

      The best way to improve grip is to simply pick up heavy weight and hold it for as long as possible. Doing exercises that requires grip are also good such as walking dumbbell lunges. If you have access to a chin-up bar, another great idea is to hang… and keep hanging until you can’t hang any longer. The time will increase as your grip improves.

  • janet

    thanks a lot dear, one more question if we use hand griper will we get gtrong hand grip with out getting muscles. please advice with exercise which can be done at home.

  • TaylorR

    doing grip exercises won’t cause muscles. However, I do recommend strength training as getting toned is nothing more than a feminine way to say muscle.

  • John

    I am a baseball pitcher who is in good health, good size, and has a good diet. I was wondering what the best supplement for me is. I know a couple of pitchers that have used winstrol and have added a few miles an hour to their fastball from it. I want to avoid any “legal steroids/hormones” because I don’t want to cheat. So I guess my question is, what supplement is either closest to winstrol or what supplement would help my velocity improve that is completely legal and follows the rules?

    • TaylorR

      Hey John, I am not going to lie, I am not the most knowledgeable when it comes to baseball. But I think it’s awesome of you to do some research before trying anything new. In terms of supplements, have you looked into creatine at all? Creatine is the fuel that your muscles use for fast action like pitching. It gives an extra bit of C-P to the muscles so they can handle a few extra throws at a fast pace or perhaps make the toss faster.

      Look into brands though because some want you to cycle, starting with a huge dose to get your muscles pumped with it.

      Other options are NO supplements. I like NO-Explode by BSN and my husband like Gaspari Size On.

      These two are kind of expensive and I think you’ll be just as good with a pure Creatine Monohydrate supplement. Hope this helps!

  • Angela

    My name is Angela Bonilla and I am a sophomore attending Irondale High School. I was wondering if I could conduct an e-mail interview with you for a health project I have for school. I will simply post some questions regarding health and new fitness programs. It will be very beneficial to me if you are able to respond. Thank you for your time.

    What is the most effective exercise program that will benefit teens and adults in a healthy and safe way?

    How do home fitness programs vs. group fitness benefit you?

    How do the video game exercise programs work and have they been proved effective?

    Are the diets safe and coordinated with the fitness?

    How will the people online help motivate me?

    Which program will teach me to eat healthy and stop my bad eating habits?

    If I’m trying to lost weight fast, what is the safe way to do it?

    Is exercising through yoga or Pilates more beneficial?

    What are the different and unique ways of working out?

    Which gyms have classes available to me and of the type that I enjoy?

    Which programs will allow me to carefully lose weight in a manageable time?

  • TaylorR

    Hi Angela, thans for thinking of me. I will be glad to answer your questions to the best of my ability! Good luck on the project.
    1. The most effective program for teens and adults is a program that they enjoy doing. If you hate your workouts then you’re not going to stick with them. you’er likely to not try hard and end up risking injuries as well. Strength training is 100% important though, but there are so many forms. For new beginners, especially teens it’s important to start with body weight exercises and plyometric moves. These are great for protecting and strengthening the bones without putting too much pressure on the body for growth. But strength training boost metabolism, increases bone strength, burns body fat and builds lean muscle which is critical for everyone.

    2.Home workouts and group workouts can both be great. With home workouts you have to have the discipline to push yourself. For me personally I am not good at working out at home because it’s too easy to get distracted however some people love it because they have the privacy to sweat and work without others watching. Group workouts are great because you have a team around you to help push you. The dynamics of the workout is much different. My boot campers are amazing because they help cheer each other one when no one thinks they can. Same goes for working out in public like a gym, having people around can sometimes just help increase the intensity overall.

    3. I am not a pro at the whole video game fad. I have never owned a game station and aside from wii tennis once with friends I have never done it. I don’t think that these should replace workouts and should be looked at as more for recreational than body transforming. Studies show that they can be beneficial for people who are new to working out though. They do burn calories and some programs I have heard are quite good such as the yoga.

    4. Not sure I understand this question? My diet? When I create a diet for a client I always make them write up a food diary for at least three days before I write up anything. I think it is important to find out where people are at now because if a diet changes too drastically then no one will stick to it. Instead it’s about making functional changes over time that can be made into a nutritional lifestyle plan. So yes, my diets are safe. I don’t believe in extreme low calorie diets, it is important to keep an overall balanced and well nourished plan. Small meals throughout the day is the best.

    5. I am again assuming you’re talking about my site… at The Art of Weight Lifting, I strive to not only give the info women want such as the workouts and meal plans but to help them with all aspects. Through the forum they have 24 hr contact with me, with biweekly live chats they can ask anything that is going on and with their own personal member plans they’re able to keep in touch and motivate one another.

    Ok, that’s half. I will finish up the other half tomorrow! Promise!

  • Mary


    I’m really having a hard time to get rid of my flabby tricepts. My arms it’s getting a bit tone but even though i lift weights , my tricepts it’s like the same.
    My routine is 3 SETS OF 12-15 REPS 10 POUNDS around 6 different exercise each.
    Do i need to lift more weights or less and more rep? Help please!!

    • TaylorR

      Hi Mary,
      Thanks for the question! First off, it’s time to change things up for a bit. If you’ve been lifting the same 10lbs for that same rep count for a while you’re not going to see results because your body has adjusted to it.
      Second, for a better toning affect I suggest upping the weight and lowering the rep count. A weight that only allows you to get 6-8 reps would be perfect. If you try it and think you can do 10 reps then up the weight some more.
      And last, is this 6 exercises of purely tricep exercises? That could be a bit much… I suggest a full body workout with these smaller isolated moves at the end and only doing 2 spot specific moves. You’ll burn more fat way and see better results. Best of luck!

  • Stephanie


    I am a petite, 40 ish woman, who has recently had a hysterectomy, and going through the
    whole menopausal thing. I’ve always been little, and have a high metabolism. I’ve never
    had to work out, but always have been active. My problem is, my body is changing and
    I have a belly now. I am not over weight, so I don’t really want to loose any, except in that
    area. I work in a hospital where I walk anywhere from 2-4 miles in a 12 hour shift, so running,
    like I used to, doesn’t seem too appealing when I’m worn out. Please help!

    • TaylorR

      Hi Stephanie,
      This happens a lot to women when they go through menopause… thanks to a crazy change in hormones. To bring your metabolism back up and help reduce the belly fat, you can’t just target your stomach area, I wish you could. Spot reduction isn’t possible. However, strength training is what you need to get into. Body weight moves work great, but by building some muscle you’ll naturally bring your metabolism up and burn off extra fat. There are several workouts here on my blog but even more so over at theartofweightlifting(dot)com.

  • Michelle

    I am 40 years old and have lost over 70 pounds this past year and have been maintaining for the last 4 months. I am 5′ 6″ and weigh 137.4. Unfortunately, with two c-sections and the weight loss I have some loose skin in the lower tummy area. I work out several days a week and have overall good muscle tone everywhere but in my tummy. Is there any exercises that will help tighten that area up? I have cut out all diet soda, refined sugars, and fried foods. Those changes have helped a lot by reducing bloating. I know I shouldn’t let it bother me but it does. I have worked so hard to lose weight and gain definition but my tummy discourages me daily.

    Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

    • TaylorR

      Congratulations Michelle! That is awesome and you should be super proud. If it’s loose skin and not fat unfortunately that’s a tough one because really the only thing you can do is have it surgically removed. If on the other hand it’s still some excess fat that you’re trying to get rid of I want you to look at your workout program… are you lifting weights to help increase your metabolism? Changing workouts regularly? With food, you’ve made amazing changes but now it might be time to get a little more specific such as how much protein are you eating? Eating small meals through out the day? This will help keep your blood sugar under control and your metabolism on high.
      Are you a member of the art of weight lifting? There you can get workouts and recipes and have more one on one help from me… just a suggestion.
      But you should be so proud of yourself and there is nothing wrong with trying to be the best that you can! Great motivation!

  • Amanda

    Did you finish answering Angela’s questions?

    • TaylorR

      Yes, I emailed her the rest so it would be easier for her.

  • NickM

    Hey my name is Nick, I am 20 and I’m looking to get more toned while still building muscle. I workout 4 times a week and I have a pretty healthy diet. My biggest problem is that my mid-section never seems to change. So I was wondering if there is a good proven fat burner, or if a fat burner is the wrong route to go. I really just want to be more defined. Thanks for the help.

    • TaylorR

      Hi Nick! Unfortunately fat burners are not worth the money. In fact studies show that people who take fat burners vs. those who take a placebo don’t lose any more weight. To burn off the fat, make sure on top of your workouts that you’re eating a very clean diet with about .7-.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Also, make sure your workouts are intense and each one you’re challenging yourself with more weight or reps. Good luck!

  • Kate

    Hi! I’m a 19 year old and for the past few years I have trained for athletics and dance around 3-4 times a week, and so keeping fit was not a problem for me. Unfortunately due to studying and general fatigue last year I do not complete anywhere near the amount of workouts that I would like to.
    Do you have any advice on easing myself back into working out regularly? And do you have any suggestions for cardio that I would be able to fit into short spaces of time between studying?
    Please help!

    • TaylorR

      Hey Kate! School can have that affect for sure! For easing yourself into working out, don’t do too much too soon. I suggest starting with body weight circuit style workouts, these are fast and efficient at working those muscles. Cardio wise I 100% recommend intervals, they are intense and because of that only take 20 minutes to do. I have a lot of these style of workouts at There are a few workouts here on the blog as well! Here’s a great circuit workout:

      Good luck!

  • Joy

    Hi, I am a 30 year old mom of 3, new to fitness. I started working out in November. Diet wise, I have been Paleo since October. I am seeing great progress and feel like I rockstar. I have an odd problem that is the opposite of most women. I hate cardio and love strength training! I am working with a trainer in a group class 2x a week, and am definitely building muscle and losing fat. However i struggle to get in my cardio. I typically spend my half hour lunch 5 days a week on the treadmill doing brisk walking (3.8 mph) with hill intervals. I also do a weighted Zumba class on Sundays, just for fun, with another hour of strength training. Would you say this is “enough” cardio? I have knee problems which steps and stairclimbing seem to aggravate with that motion. I tried interval sprints and I’m not sure if its because I’m still somewhat overweight but I felt like I was going to die LOL. Any thoughts? I am really struggling to burn through the last 10 pounds or so, or at least firm up some more.

    • TaylorR

      hey Joy, first off I am super impressed by your dedication! The paleo diet is definitely not easy to stick to, so good for you! Your workouts seems great and yes, I think you are getting enough cardio. I know the intervals seem really tough right now, but even if it’s a slight speed increase and decrease can make all the difference. And when doing the hill intervals work on trying to up the speed up even if its just 0.1 faster…. each workout try to get that include up a little more.
      For example… start with 0 for 3 minutes, go up to an incline of 3 for a minute, the back down then up to 3.5 then down then up to 4.0… continue on for about 20 minutes and you’ll feel great!

  • Jessie Leon

    I weight train and have gained some muscles from it. Will I be able to maintain muscle size and raw strength if I switch over to only bodyweight exercises? For example bench pressing is harder than push ups but what about handstand push ups? Will I be able to increase my current strength and muscle size with only bodyweight exercises?

    • TaylorR

      Yes and no, body weight moves are great but you have to do ones that target that area and continue to push boundaries. For example, handstand push ups don’t work the same muscles at all as bench which is why they are harder. They work your shoulders while bench press works your chest. This is a hard move for shoulders to do, making it feel crazy hard. For body weight push to high reps and work until it burns and try lots of variations of exercises. Good luck!

  • peter

    I am a 20 year old boxer and train 2/3 times a day and would like some advice from a conditioning coach of your caliber and knowledge, my first session everyday is running, I usually run an interval/sprint session on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and do a steady 6/7 mile run on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I was wondering if you could devise a running programme for me please as I’m not sure if I’m performing the correct type of training to benefit my needs in the ring, am I running too far?, am I running too much? How best to arrange my running on what days? That sort of thing, thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    • TaylorR

      Peter, thanks for your question. However I am not a running coach nor a boxer so I really don’t feel I have the creditentials to help you inside the ring. Simply from looking at your running schedule my very first thought was “wow, this guy is overtraining” as in running too much which can put a lot of stress on the body. The intervals 3x a week is what I max myself out at and clients. Again, I don’t know about helping your training as a boxer, but if it were my, I would probably limit the cardio to 2-3 days of interval sprints (which are very taxing on the body) and just 1 day of long cardio. But that’s again from me as a strength trainer not a boxer. Sorry I can’t offer more help.

  • Kayla

    I am 22 years old and weigh 135 lbs.I have a muscular shape(small stomach/waist, big thighs and butt) I have been attending the gym now for 3 years now and have recently started going 3-4 times a week. I start my routines either run/walk on the treadmill 2minutes run 1 minute walking or go on the stationary bike 5 mins moderate speed, 2 min fast. I than start with 5lbs weights. I alternate days doing Abs+Arms one day and legs the other day.
    My nutrition is quite good, I eat no sugar unless it is sugar free products, protein with each meal and consume a lot of fruits and veggies. I do not calorie count however and do not weight my portions(figured I go to the gym this often and eat healthy it wouldn’t matter).
    I would really help with any advice you could give me I would like to slim my bottom half tremendously. Nothing seems to be working, I have been at this weight since I started the gym and have tried different weight loss diets(Body by Vi) is what I am doing now, but it doesn’t seem to be working.

    Thank you!

    • TaylorR

      Hey Kayla, you’re working very hard. One part about your question that I wasn’t clear on is that you said you don’t weigh portions but yet you’ve tried fat burning diets and such in the past? One makes is sound like you don’t want to lose weight and then the final part of your question sounds as if you do.
      No matter how healthy you eat it is still very easy to misjudge portion sizes and over do your calories. It sounds like you have a great understanding on clean eating which is awesome but if you are trying to slim down some my first piece of advice is to look at your diet and make sure they are proper sizes.

      Also, since you find it easy to put on muscle have you considered not doing split workouts but doing total body workouts instead? This will actually help burn more calories and help. If you are trying to decrease your body half, I wouldn’t spend an entire workout working it, especially of muscle gain comes easy to you. Great going with the intervals though, that’s a great workout.

  • Sabrina Mar

    I was wondering if you can give me advice on an issue I seem to be having.

    I recently lost 50 pounds and have kept it off for almost a year now. I do about 45 minutes of cardio 5 times a week. I recently wanted to incorporate weight training into my schedule so I went to see a personal trainer who then gave me a program to follow. It is a 6 week/5 day fitness plan. I’ve been following it for about 2 weeks now and I have gained weight instead of loosing weight or maintaining my weight! I feel as if it has something to do with what i am eating before or after my meals, which might not be enough. I usually go to the gym in the morning after breakfast so my pre workout meal would be all natural oatmeal with fruit or shredded wheat cereal with fruit. I then go and do my exercise and I sometimes do weight over an hour to eat, and when I do get the chance I will have a boiled egg with a slice of whole wheat toast and some greek yogurt with fruit on the side, I then wait until my dinner to eat my next meal which can be all sorts of things but still very health conscious. Do you find that I am not eating enough and therefore my body is storing my food as fat? or should i give my body a few more weeks to adjust..

    Thank you in advance,

    • TaylorR

      Hi Sabrina, you definitely aren’t eating enough! For the intense workout plan you’re following it is really important to make sure you’re giving it fuel to recover and show off results. By not eating enough your body wants to hold on to all the fat it has because it’s worried. You should be eating every 2-4 hours during the day. Has your personal trainer not discussed this with you?
      Make sure that you eat a lunch, then you eat a snack sometime in between your dinner and lunch. I don’t know what your dinner is but I am assuming it’s clean from your breakfast you described. I recommend writing down your meals for a few days to see what is going on. Make sure you’re getting over 1000 calories, preferably between 1200-1500.

      And last, it can be common to see the scale go up at first when you first start adding in weights as you add muscle, But this will reverse itself as that muscle helps to boost up your metabolism.

      Good luck!

  • Sherri

    Hi Taylor,
    Just found your site today and I have to admit, I am hooked! :)
    I have a question on what type of workouts I should be doing based on my body type. Mainly over the past year or so I have slowly lost some of the weight I gained when I graduated college and began working in an office. I probably maxed out around 135 – 138 (I am just about 5’5”) and I now average between 125 – 127. This happened due to a mix of eating better (I became a vegetarian around the same time I started working so I think I had to adjust to eating properly), and working out more, mostly strength training with weights, classes such as body pump, TRX, and yoga, with some running/walking or spin mixed in. At one point in 2009, my weight really got to me so I actually wrote down my measurements and weight to signify my starting point. In looking at those numbers I have lost inches everywhere, specifically, thighs 23 to 22, hips 37.5 to 35, waist 31 to 28, chest 38 to 36…except I haven’t had any change in my arms which stay at 11in. I have always had broad shoulders but I think with my increase in strength training and total body workouts, my body seems even more slim on the bottom which only emphasizes my broad shoulders and thicker arms. It seems I just hold weight in my arms and upper back. A part of me hopes my upper body is just a little slower in reacting and will catch up eventually ha. It seems silly but my self-image is a pretty shaken with how my upper body looks. I love muscles but I don’t exactly want a masculine V shaped figure! I know to lose fat in general (since you can’t spot reduce) I must increase cardio, which I readily admit I don’t do enough of.
    I guess my question is, what should I be doing? I am afraid of lifting too heavy of a weight and swelling up but I also know if I don’t challenge my muscles I won’t see any results and I will never get stronger. Are there any exercises I should avoid?
    It’s getting quite challenging finding clothes, specifically dresses, that fit my slightly unbalanced figure so any advice you may have will help my closet and my confidence immensely. Thank you!

    • TaylorR

      Thanks for reading Sherri! I am glad you found me! I love my readers and love getting questions!

      It seems like you’re on the path and really understand your body well! How’s the vegetarian diet coming? I just went vegan about 1 1/2 months ago, so right there with ya!

      Having an unbalanced body is a problem for a lot of women. You’re not alone in this at all. To keep your body balanced, you have to train it as it is. That means for your lower body I would work on adding muscle to help balance your shoulders. This means lifting heavy with reps around 8-10, and a weight where you can’t get more reps in. Your upper body on the other side, should be trained for more of a toning, fat burning workout with reps being with less weight for around 12-15+ reps, and a faster tempo.

      Keep up with the cardio, but I think for your body intervals would be best as it will help your lower body maintain muscle instead of burn it off like steady state cardio does.

      If you’re looking for specific workouts, and more one on one, look over at my other site,

      Good luck! And keep the comments coming! xo :)

  • Chelsey

    I’m 19 about 5’6 and I weigh 155 I started really trying to get in shape about 2weeks ago i workout 4days a week for 2-3hours I’m taking women one a day vitamins and also xenadrine once a day before my workouts I’ve been working on all areas but I’m really focusing on my butt I’ve added barbells to my squats I’m looking to build my gluteus maximus muscles and give my butt more of a pop I’m looking to add high protein boost drink to my diet because I read it will help with my butt is this information true and should I try this method and will barbell squats give me the pop im looking for please help i have no idea wat is true and false!!!    

    • TaylorR

      Hi Chelsey. Are you working out for 3 hours per workout or is that total for the week? If that’s the case PLEASE look into decreasing that time. Each workout should only last around 60 minutes max. You’re on the right track with total body workouts with an extra emphasis on the butt for extra toning. But the protein shake thing is false, no food will help a particular part of the body. But it is a great post workotu snack for recovery and I would keep it, just know it’s not going to directly have impact on your tush. And last, yes keep up with the squats, lunges, step-up exercises. make sure to continuously up the weight so your body keeps progressing. And change the reps up as well. Good luck!

  • Chelsey

    Thankk youu!! I’m so glad I found you!(: I was also curious about the boost high protein drink. I read it helps build muscle, but my boyfriend said it will also make me gain weight. And I want to lose weight not gain! Will the drink make me gain weight? Or will my diet and workout plan cover this?

    Thank you!!(:

  • Lisa


    I have a question that is puzzling me. Ok first off I am 218 lbs at 5’5. I am currently working out to Jillian Michaels body revolution. However I ramped it up by doing her cardio (for that month) plus the weight training dvd a day. I take Sundays off. For my eating habits breakfast I eat either some kind of fruit, yogurt, or special k cereal. For lunch I either have veggies with light dip, a tomato sandwich or soup (not cream soup). Then for supper I have my meat, veggies, and starch. At night time I really struggle with this time but I usually if I break down and have something it usually is a bowl of cereal, or light popcorn and on a rare occasion I have cheese and crackers. On the minimum side I drink 6 cups of water and can range up to 10 cups (and it is lemon water). I feel as thou I am being extremely healthy, aside from the carbs at dinner. I have been doing this for 44 days, close to 7 weeks. I have only lost 8 lbs! It is devastating. I keep going because I know I wont get any closer to my goal by stopping. My question is why haven’t I lost hardly any weight? I am on the heavier side, I eat well, and I workout for an hour a day. I drink all my water, I take vitamins. I feel as thou I am doing everything right but not seeing a progress. I know that working out puts on muscle and the whole spiel about muscle is smaller than fat.. Well when will my weight catch up to my smaller frame. I know I have lost inches and look better but I mean am I really going to be 218lbs but leaner? It doesn’t seem right. Oh and just in case, I am not big boned and I actually weighed 110lbs before.

    So, my questions are: what am I doing wrong?, Should I stop working out in order to weigh less?, if I keep working out will I be the same weight forever but a leaner version of me? , should I cut out eating at night and go to bed hungry?


    • TaylorR

      No, do not stop weight training! Since I cannot see you and know exactly what your workouts are and lifestyle here is my first impression… your diet is VERY low in protein. Protein is necessary to help the body repair and recover from workouts as well as to help keep you feeling full longer. Aside from dinner there is no protein in your diet and could very well affect your results. In terms of your workouts, I would recommend scaling to 3 weight training workouts per week and getting in cardio most days of the week. It’s great that you take Sunday off, that’s a must!

      I hope this helps, best of luck.