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  • I am unfit and my lungs hurt when I exercise too hard. What should I do?

    Whilst I am a big believer in high intensity exercise, if you are just beginning an exercise regime it is important to begin slowly. It can be dangerous exercising too vigorously if you are not in good shape. Often a good idea is to initially increase the duration of your exercise and decrease your working level.

    Once you have been exercising at this level consistently, you would have set some solid foundations to build upon. From there you should look at decreasing the duration and increasing the intensity.

  • I was told that you should not eat after weights because it will draw blood away from your muscles. When should I eat?

    Whether you're looking at building muscle, losing fat and/or increasing fitness, correct eating is essential to achieving that goal.

    I have heard theories just like the one you have quoted. There is also the idea that resistance training on an empty stomach encourages testosterone production, thus encouraging muscle gain. Another concept with cardiovascular exercise is to work on an empty stomach in order to 'tap into' your fat stores. Personally I'm not a believer in any of these theories for a number of reasons.

    By not eating prior to your workout, your body will be in a starved state. If your body cannot access the right nutrients in order to perform the desired exercise load, guess what's going to happen? Intensity suffers - period. There's a tonne of articles on Amino Z as to why intensity is a key factor in assisting fat loss, muscle gain or fitness improvements.

    Meanwhile let's assume you complete your workout. Your body is now in a state of catabolism - it's breaking down muscle and fat tissue in order to recover properly. Again if you don't feed your body, you are starving it of essential nutrients required for effective recovery. This will inhibit protein synthesis (ie. building muscle), slow down your metabolism (thus slowing fat loss) and run your body down significantly (decreasing fitness improvements amongst other things).

    In my opinion, one of the most important meals of the day is IMMEDIATELY after your workout (post workout). I recommend this to all of my clients. A serving of fast acting protein (eg. whey protein isolate) and carbohydrate (eg. dextrose) is an essential tool for getting your body back on track to build muscle, lose fat and/or increase fitness. I also recommend a pre-workout meal or shake in order to allow your body to perform at it's peak during the workout.

  • Do you think it's worthwhile hiring a personal trainer for my 12 week challenge?

    When I embarked upon my challenge I did hire a personal trainer. This was about a year ago, but I think a trainer can be a very good investment no matter what level of experience you are at. A trainer can be a great source of information and motivation.

    Because I did have experience in the gym prior to my challenge, I hired an online trainer which worked out great. Basically I was told what to do and I went ahead and did it - simple. Ultimately this helped me to win BodyBlitz (the whole reason I'm doing online coaching now).

  • How much food do I need a day?

    The amount of food you need a day depends on entirely what your physique goals are. If you want to INCREASE your lean body mass, then you need to eat in a positive calorie manner. This means you need to eat more calories on a daily basis then your body actually needs to perform all its metabolic functions. If you want to DECREASE the amount of fat you are carrying, then you need to eat in a negative calorie manner. This means you need to eat less calories on a daily basis then your body actually needs to perform all its metabolic functions, so it draws energy from your reserve tank - your fat stores.

    To increase size = more calories then required
    To decrease size = less calories then required

  • I'm a teenage guy and I want to get big - can you help?

    You will be happy to know that this is an easy question to answer. There are no secrets to getting big, no expensive supplements or complicated training programs, just sound nutrition and effective training.

    Training - Firstly you need to train in a manner which is geared towards muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth). This means training with a program that focuses on compound exercises with heavy weights and low reps. You need to choose a weight where you will be working with maximum intensity. In a rep range of 4-6 for example, if you can manage 6 reps comfortably, then you need to increase the resistance. During this time, you still need to focus on some type of cardio-vascular training. Not the traditional fat burning 1 hr long sessions, but 2-3 15 minute high intensity sessions per week. This will increase your physical conditioning, which will enable you to push harder in the gym. Make sure though that your cardio training does not interfere with the recovery needed from your weights. If you feel that the cardio is taxing your body too much and you are not recovering, reduce the number of sessions, not the intensity.

    Diet - Remember what your goals are when it comes to your approach to nutrition. Mass just doesn't happen by accident, but is a result of high intensity training and sufficient eating. To increase mass, you need to eat more calories on a daily basis then your body uses for all its metabolic functions. Whilst your goal is + calories, you still need to focus on quality. Focus on lean cuts of meats, enough carbohydrates to meet your energy requirements, and don't forget the essentials fats. If after a week you have not increased in weight, slightly increase your total calorie consumption by 300-500 calories per day.

    Most important, remember to consume a Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate and a high Glycemic Index carbohydrate drink directly before and after training for best results.

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