Ask the trainer
Hi, My goal is to increase my fitness level and lose some weight. Do you recommend interval training or cardio training?
In your case I would definitely recommend interval training. Don’t get me wrong cardio is a great way to get fit and burn calories, especially when performing in a zone around 50 – 65% of you maximum heart rate. However, the down side to this is once you have you have finished a low intensity type activity, your body stops burning calories.
On the other hand, performing sets of intense interval exercises helps your body to keep burning calories 2 – 4 hours post workout. Therefore in terms of you meeting your goals sooner I would choose interval training as calories burnt would exceed that of a low intensity cardio program. Not to mention interval training allows you to change up your exercises regularly and can be done almost anywhere with limited equipment, keeping you motivated to keep training.
I have been training for approximately 6 months and have achieved quite a lot in that time. However, I have recently stopped losing weight. Do you have any ideas or recommendations that I can use to kick start my results?
I know how frustrating that can be, but the truth is it is very rare to keep losing weight until you have reached your desired weight. It can be a fluctuating and trying road, especially when you are the one putting all the hard work into your training. My advice is always this, keep changing up your workout routine, never diet or buy into the latest fad or craze but rather alter your nutritional plan regularly, and get good quality rest when you can. Try one or all of these at some point and I bet you will overcome your plateau.
What is the best advice you can give me on putting on muscle quickly? Any tips on particular training methods or exercises to do?
I know you are probably thinking that there is some big set of movements to follow or a secret remedy to take. But the truth is that REST & RECOVERY is one of the best tips to follow when wanting to put on muscle. Obviously sticking to a regular training regime and consuming the right foods and supplements will increase your chance of muscle growth, but it is easy to make the mistake of training too much. Try taking a day or two off after your biggest weight session, this will help restore glycogen, increase anabolic uptake and allow hormonal levels such as testosterone and cortisol to return to optimum levels which can result in improved and healthy muscle gain.
I have always found it tough to make good progress on my fitness and nutrition while at work. I work in an office environment and am always tempted by lunches and treats put on by the company. Have you got any tips to help keep me from slipping?
Work can pose a big problem when it comes to people health and fitness routine, busy days a sedentary workplace and the temptation of workplace parties can often derail your food and fitness plan. The key is to be organised and first and foremost be prepared to say no sometimes.
My advice is to always eat a breakfast high in protein with some carbohydrates, such as a piece of wholegrain toast with scrambled eggs or low fat yogurt with fresh fruit, nuts and seeds. Consuming a good source of protein early will keep you fuller for longer and should ensure you don’t cave in to morning tea muffins.
Take your own lunch – The secret here is to cook more then you need the night before and put it in a container before you serve up. By doing this, it will ensure you have a good quality healthy meal for lunch preventing visits to the takeaway store when hunger hits.
And finally – GET OUT OF THE OFFICE MORE! Try getting out and doing a quick workout on your lunch breaks. It only has to 20 minutes, but short bursts of activity can help boost metabolism, reduce cravings, increase fitness levels and make you more alert. It will even help to take your mind off those afternoon tea biscuits in the staff kitchen. Some exercises to think about here are push ups, sit ups, squats, lunges finishing with some mountain climbers or planks.
Do you recommend that people do more cardio or resistance training when it comes to fitness?
Strength training for the best results. Cardio is great, it can help you lose weight and increase fitness levels but without some form of strength or resistance training you will just end up a smaller version of yourself with possibly the same shape. Resistance and strength exercises will ensure your body shapes and tones, meaning more muscle leading to an increased metabolism which means you burn more while at rest.
Remember, resistance and strength training doesn’t mean you have do weights all the time, your body is the best resistance tool you have, so use it!