Fitness Friday Facebook Questions and Answers

To go along with my Fitness Friday segments at 103.9 The Juice Kelowna every two weeks, I will also be answering fitness related questions on my Facebook Fitness page. Some of these questions will be discussed on air with Juice hosts Christy Farrell and Gary Long.

Ask your questions here at

Fitness Friday Questions and Answers

by Angelique-Fitness and Personal Training on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 5:53am ·
Its Fitness Friday! Here are a few questions and answers asked on my page to start your day.
Happy Training!

Susie Helland: How to get past a 3 month plateau

If you have been stuck in a plateau and feeling frustrated, you need to think about a few things. Have you been doing the same routine over and over again at the gym? Have you been slacking on the cardio? How has your diet been?

Think of ways to change up your routine. Try supersets, giant sets, circuit training. If your body is used to doing the same routine over and over again, you will stop seeing the results you want. Get a trainer if you are completely stuck and need new ideas.

If your cardio sessions are always the same boring thing, add HIIT like sprint intervals on the treadmill or rowing intervals on the rowing machine. Adding High Intensity Interval Training to your cardio sessions will not only challenge you and keep you from feeling bored, this may be the little adjustment you need to bust yourself out of your plateau. HIIT burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time, and is great for the busy person without hours to spend at the gym, or the busy mom who only has 45 minutes to train.

Perhaps your diet is not as clean as you think. Use a journal and write down everything you eat everyday for 1 week. You may surprise yourself. Maybe you are eating too many carbohydrates or packaged foods. Perhaps you picked at one too many treats during the week. If you are confused about calories, there are plenty of websites online that help you count calories like or Your phone may even have an app for you to use. Even if you are always eating clean, you may still be eating too many calories. It is good to be aware of what you are actually doing.

Sylvia Roche: Losing the last 10lbs

Just like hitting a plateau, there are always little tweaks you can add to your diet and fitness routine. Add extra cardio intervals during the week, lift heavier at the gym, or cut back on your calories. The last 10 pounds are always the most frustrating, and sometimes you have to sacrifice a few things in order to lose the last 10 pounds, like no alcoholic beverages for a few months or cutting back on treats.

Drew Baillie: Goal setting, pre and post workout meals

Goal setting

Set realistic weight loss goals. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, don’t expect to lose it in 1 month or you may set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Set a realistic goal of .5 to 1 pound per week. 1 pound of fat is 3500 calories, and suppose your BMR is 2000 calories, you would have to eat 500 calories less per day in order to lose 1 pound in 1 week.

Set realistic fitness goals. If you have a goal in mind to run a ½ marathon, you need to prep for this goal in order to avoid injuries. I have talked to people in the past that decided to run a marathon last minute with no prep, and regretted their decision for weeks after when they could not walk or pulled a muscle. To prep for something like a marathon, you need to run at least 3 times per week, and start slow adding 1 or 2 km per week or every two weeks. This can even take up to 1 year for some people.

Set long-term goals for muscle growth. If a goal is to put on more muscle, you have to give yourself time and the proper weight training along with proper nutrition. Everyone is different. There are the hard-gainers and the ones who put muscle on very quickly. Everything depends on age, gender and hormones. Some people will put on 10 pounds of muscle in 1 year, and others will take 3 or more years. I believe in hard work and proper nutrition, and eventually everything falls into place.

Great examples of muscle-building foods: chicken, eggs, salmon, bison, quinoa, spinach, protein powder

Pre-Workout Nutrition

It is important to eat 1-4 hours before your workout to ensure that your body has the energy it needs to perform properly. A few good snack ideas before your workout are carbohydrates that will digest quickly and not cause stomach issues like ½ cup cottage cheese with ½ cup grapes or ½ a banana with 1 cup yogurt(increase portions for men)

Post-Workout Nutrition

Eating immediately after you finish a workout is beneficial for many reasons. Your body will automatically use the calories you eat for good (repair and recovery) and not bad (fat storage). In fact, research shows that your body's ability to refill muscle energy stores decreases by 50 percent if you wait to eat just 2 hours after your workout compared to eating right away. Eating after your workout may also increase your body’s insulin sensitivity or its ability to use carbohydrates—an important factor for weight loss and health) for the following 24 hours.

A post workout meal should consist of carbohydrates and muscle building protein. Some good examples are tuna and rice, or chicken and sweet potato. Some people like to drink a protein shake immediately after a workout, and studies have shown that consuming a protein shake when you are done training has many benefits since the liquid is easier to digest and basically goes straight to your muscles.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to consume about 0.8 grams of carbohydrate per 2.2 pounds of body weight within 30 to 60 minutes after your workout. Any longer and you may miss your “window of opportunity” (the time period in which your muscles will benefit most from nutrition). You’ll also want to take in about one-third or one-half that ratio in protein or about 0.2 to 0.4 grams per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

If losing weight is your goal, try a low carb post workout meal like a spinach omelette. Spinach is loaded with iron and phytoecdysteroids, a form of plant steroid which have recently been shown to speed human muscle growth. Popeye had a reason to eat all that spinach!

Tash Kasves: is it better to do cardio before or after weight training? What is the logic?

There are many methods about cardio and weight training, and when the most appropriate time to do both. Here are my recommendations:

Do most of your aerobic exercise before your weights program if you do both in the same session. Then complete your weights session, cool down and immediately concentrate on recovery, repair and rebuilding rather than additional exercise.

Consider separate sessions for cardio and weights on different days. This is a popular option and something I like doing when weight loss is not the primary goal. You could also experiment with separate sessions on the same day, like cardio in the morning and weight training in the evening, but you need to get your refueling right with this approach and can be time consuming and also tiring.

If weight loss is a primary goal, doing both on the same day with cardio first may offer some advantages in increased metabolism and energy expenditure. When you get to your weight training, focus on super sets and full body routines to make the session shorter since cardio was already done first. That way you won’t burn out.

If strength, rather than hypertrophy (bigger muscles) is a goal, you probably should do cardio and weights on separate days because the heavier lifts may not go as well after doing cardio first. You need to have as much energy as possible for strength training.

You could mix and match upper and lower body workouts. For example, rowing machine and upper body weights one day and lower body weights and running another day.

Don't get too hung up on this whole idea; if it suits you to reverse the order occasionally, it won't be a problem. As long as you get in your cardio and weight training, sometimes that’s all that matters!