“Flooded” With Fitness Questions: How To Improve Fitness Performance

by TaylorR

We are recovering from some serious weather today! If you live in the south then perhaps you had torrential downpours yesterday too?

I realize that we’re lucky and not having to go through the chaos that New Orleans and other Gulf cities are having to face but we ended the day with record rain falls around Charleston. If you’re facing the storm, good luck, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Gotta love Charleston humor!

Of course since parts of Charleston are below sea level, we had some flooding problems. The picture above is from Market Street downtown! Crazy, but looks like fun.

But today the sun appears to be fighting to break through the clouds and the water has resided, so that means we can resume life and I can get to Ask Away Wednesday!

There were so many awesome questions this week! I’ll do my best to answer as many as I can, however if I don’t answer yours I will make sure to tackle it on Facebook!

And if you have a question for next week’s Ask Away Wednesday just post it below in the comments! I am loving Wednesdays and hearing from you all, so don’t be shy.

Fitness Performance Ask Away Wednesday

After looking through the questions, I realized a majority of them were overall fitness performance based. Which rocks, and just so happens something that I can talk all day about (but I won’t).

Q: This is not something new, all the experts put their 2 cents in but I would like your opinion. How much exercise should you complete each week (or daily) to actually lose weight.

I think all the experts have different answers because we all disagree in what “exercise” is defined as. Some say you should workout every day, some say 3 days, some say something in the middle.

Those that say working out should be done every day aren’t giving exercise a fair definition, I don’t think walking the neighborhood, cleaning the house, or playing frisbee with the kids is “exercise” this is an activity but nothing where you’re exerting your muscles or body beyond discomfort.

Exercise in my book is an intense 20-60 minute activity of full body moves where your pushing beyond your comfort zone… you’re sweating, working muscles and at the end you can say “wow, I worked out.” This is the sort of exercise that results in a higher metabolism and fat burning state.

For this, I tell clients to workout between 3-5 days per week. No more than 5 so that the body can have time to rest. That doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk or be active with the family though.

Rest is essential for seeing results and recovery. Personally I workout 4-5 days per week with Mondays being a COMPLETE rest day, no exercise just walking the dog and moving around the house.

Q: Is it ok to work on abs on consecutive days?

Great question! And the answer is…

No.

The abs are a muscle group just like legs, chest, back, etc. You wouldn’t work your legs two days in a row because they need to recover and the same is true for abs. Over working your abs can lead to delayed results. They don’t need to be targeted more than 3 days per week.

Q: What are the best vitamin supplements to help in toning?

Personally, I don’t take supplements for toning (read here), I am a full believer you can get great results from a balanced diet. For toning, the trick is to have a 90-10 diet. 90% clean, 10% freedom, abs and toning are made in the kitchen!

Avoid processed foods, sugar, fried junk, cokes, etc. Aim for whole foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans and lean meats.

Supplements I have used in the past that I don’t object to (just talk with your doctor first) include creatine, which can help improve performance and stamina so you burn more calories during a workout or perhaps lift 1-2 extra reps; and protein powder.

Q: I’m currently following weight lifting plan 4-5 days/wk. I also do kickboxing at night (4 nights/wk – half cardio, half non contact boxing). I usually lift first thing in the morning and kickboxing at night. My bf said that I might overwork myself by working out too much but I feel great doing it. Do you think my routine is too much? Can I see result by this routine or should it be changed?

Wow, you are dedicated! I do agree with your boyfriend that you may possible be setting yourself up for overtraining. This is 8-9 workouts per week, which is a lot on your system. Even though kickboxing and weight training are different they still place stress on the body.

In order to get the most out of your workouts, it is necessary to give your body plenty of time to recover fully so that it can show off the results.

Overtraining can lead to a lot of issues: depression, lethargy, decreased metabolism, decreased results, weakness, injuries, and more.

  • I would scale back to doing the weight training perhaps to 3 days per week, and the kickboxing to just 1-2 days.
  • I personally don’t advise doing more than 5 workouts in a week, especially when these seem pretty intense.

Q: Tricep help from A to Z?

Ahh, you just so happen to be in luck! I did a video of just tricep exercises a while back, you can also read about the moves here.

Q: I started a new running regime about 12 weeks ago. I am fairly fit – lots of mountain hiking out here in the West – and I run on trails. My problem is, I have hit a wall. I can’t seem to get past running for 15 minutes before I am out of breath. I am aiming to run 20 minutes or more without stopping. What can I do to improve my breathing?

Now, let me start off by saying I am not a running coach, and this is advice I have picked up a long my own personal training and research. First off, congrats on getting started! And secondly, I know you can push through this plateau.

There is an ultra runner named Scott Jurek who is awesome, he teaches runners to breath through your mouth to get a “deep breath” going during runs, you should be breathing through your diaphram and not just letting your chest rise and fall (which happens when you breath through your nose). Your whole stomach should rise as you engage the chest and diaphram to work together.

As for pushing through the 15-minute barrier, I am a full believer that running is 20% ability, 80% mental. You can break through it and hit 20 minutes, just tell yourself, “it’s only 5 more minutes”. Slow down your pace if you need to and another great tip, if you wear a watch, take it off!

Don’t have anything where you can glance down at and see how far you’ve gone. Just run, play some music, listen to a podcast and go. You might surprise yourself.

Lights Camera Action!

I have some big stuff that I’ll be working on today, I can’t share it yet, but it will be revealed soon! The sun is finally out so it’s time for the camera and mic to make it’s way out as well.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  • What’s your favorite way to pass time on a run?
  • Do you have a go to pre workout snack? 

 

  • http://www.runningaddiction.me Alex (@alexbridgeforth)

    I pass time on my run by either just chatting with friends or enjoying the trail. I like to have a banana or some other easy carbs before a workout.

    • http://www.theartofweightlifting.com TaylorR

      I wish we had more trails around here, I got a taste of it in Phili and now I am jealous!

  • Alma

    Have you found a daily vitamin that you recommend? I can’t seem to find one that has an RDA of 100% for Vitamins A, D,E, and K. Also having trouble finding 3 to 1 ratio for Iron and Zinc. (I’m paying attention! lol) Let us know please!??

  • Ana

    Hi Taylor, I am a 52 year old female. I started exercising almost a month ago. I found your website because I needed a workout for toning my arms. I’m working out 5 days a week for 1/2 hr. Let me tell you, I used to feel tired all the time. However, I’m beginning to feel better. I wake up earlier without my alarm clock!
    Now, my question is if I incorporate the tricep workout, can i do it the 5 days or not?
    Thank you in advance for answering my question.

    • http://www.theartofweightlifting.com TaylorR

      Hi Ana, thanks for reading! The answer is no, you shouldn’t work the triceps 5 days, as you should never work the same muscles on back to back days. I would incorporate the tricep exercises in 3 days a week, every other day. Make sure you’re giving your body time to recover before hitting it up with exercises again. Great job getting started, sounds like you’re committed and doing great!

  • Roxanne

    Hi Taylor,
    I do the Bar Method on Monday, Tuesday and Friday and cardio on Monday-Friday. Is this enough.

    • http://www.theartofweightlifting.com TaylorR

      Yes that is plenty, especially if you enjoy the bar class! :) I definitely wouldn’t add anything to it, the only other thing I would even consider would be to take out a bar and add a strength training, but again if you like the bar, then stick to the program your’e on.

  • Melissa

    I pass time when I am running by praying to the creator. I also chew gum. It helps to pass time.

  • Tiffany

    Hi Taylor,

    I have a question in regards to the 30 day shred program by Jillian Michaels. I am on day 3 and sooo sore, but I feel great! I actually feel like I get an awesome work out in just 30 minutes.

    Although, the program is 3 levels, each level every 10 days for a total of 30 days. Is it really harmful to work out every single day for 30 days?

    • http://www.theartofweightlifting.com TaylorR

      Hey Tiffany, I haven’t looked at the program personally but I have heard Jillian defend her program in an interview saying that she has positioned the workouts in a way as to not over train the body (ie, working different muscle groups, different intensities, etc). Personally, as a trainer, I do feel that working out 30 days straight is pushing it for sure and would personally take a day off each week to recover, rest, and stay motivated. i think working out every day can lead to exhaustion and anxiety of trying to fit it all in. But again, i haven’t looked at the program personally.

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