Q: Should I substitute a protein shake for a meal?

A: The ideal form of protein intake should come from real food. Protein supplements are just that… supplements. You receive the most nutrients and benefits from clean, non-processed types of food. Shakes or bars are convenient as a quick protein source for post workout or when you’re in a hurry or on the go. But given the right situation, I always recommend food versus a supplement. Quick, high protein source examples: lean chicken/meats, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. – Sara

Q: How much water do I really need in a day?

A: You need at least 72-96 ounces. Tips to meet your daily water needs include drinking a glass first thing in the morning and keeping a bottle with you at all times. – Sara

Q: Will eating carbs at night make me gain weight?

A: Not necessarily.  Carbs alone do not cause weight gain.  Consistently consuming more calories than your body needs to maintain its current bodyweight makes you gain weight.  Carbs help fuel your physical body as well as your brain.  Restricting carbohydrates has its place in weight loss; however, solely limiting intake after a certain time of day to lose weight holds substance.  This is even more true if someone exercises in the evening because they will need to consume carbs to help them recover. – Sal

Q: I want to focus on fat burning. During my workout time, should I lift weights or do cardio first?

A: Weight training always comes before cardio if you are doing both in one visit.  Strength training burns stored blood sugar and muscle glycogen at a very fast rate compared to most cardio. Doing cardio after weights means that your cardio session has a much higher chance of tapping into your stored fat to burn and not just burning off the calories from your last meal.  – Sal
A: However, it ultimately depends on what your fitness goals are. If your focus is strength training and lifting heavier, then doing that first will provide the most benefit. If you have a hard time fitting in your cardio or lack the motivation after a strength workout, then doing your cardio before might prove to be better for you. Also, remember that when it comes to cardio, less can be more; quality over quantity. Twenty minutes of high intensity intervals can burn more fat than a longer session at a steady pace. – Sara

Q: If I eat 2,000 calories of bad food it is the same as eating 2,000 calories of good food?

A: No, our body needs the nutrients contained in good food to build muscle, flush out all the bad toxins, and make sure our bodies function efficiently. Not to mention all the energy you will miss out on by not eating good food. You will be frustrated with not getting the results you think you should if you’re not consuming quality foods to meet your caloric needs. – Haley

Q: (T/F Statement) Working out every day for several hours a day will get me closer to my goal.

A: False. If you work out super hard every day, you are not allowing your muscles to recover, rebuild, and operate like they are supposed to. Many times, our muscles will swell after a hard workout or run. You need 1-2 days of rest per week in order for your body to recover and flush those liquids retained in those areas after a workout. Also, days of rest will help with avoiding injury which if incurred, will push you farther away from your ultimate fitness goals. – Haley

Q: Will using heavier weights make me bulky?

A: Not necessarily. Depending on your goals, there are benefits of lifting lighter weights at higher reps (8 to 20) or heavier weights at lower reps (5 to 10). If you are just beginning a strength training program, it is a good idea to focus on muscle endurance through lower weights at higher reps. This helps prepare the nervous system to handle heavier loads and more complicated movements. However, only lifting weights that do not challenge you at all will not create the results that you want. Don’t be afraid of lifting weights that challenge you or limit the reps that you can do with proper form. That’s a good thing! Ultimately, muscle growth comes from having a positive caloric balance (taking in more calories than you need to maintain your body weight) and intentional weight gain diet, and not from lifting heavier weights a couple of times a week. – Kristen

Q: What is “tabata”?

A: Tabata is a type of high intensity workout that was researched and designed by scientists in Tokyo. The scientific basis for all high intensity workouts are that this type of workout has a higher impact on both our aerobic and anaerobic systems, therefore, making the body work harder, taking more of our energy supply and burning more calories in a shorter amount of time. Originally, the Tabata workout was based on 4 minutes blocks with 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, for 8 rounds. The idea is to work as hard as you can for 20 seconds while recovering as much as you can for the 10 seconds that follow. Another characteristic of the Tabata workout is to repeat the same exercise for the entire 8 rounds before moving on to another exercise. An example of a 20 minute Tabata workout would be 8 rounds of the following at the 20s / 10s interval:
  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Crunches
  • Plank Hold
  • Squat Jumps
Tabata is a great option if you are short on time or if you want to switch up your fitness routine. – Kristen

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