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America's Fitness Watchdog
www.acefitness.org




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www.consumerlab.com







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Ask the trainer

 

1. What will be gained by training with a personal trainer?

The commitment you make with me is really a commitment to yourself. In the end, you are the only one who can decide to change your life. But, it will certainly help you to show up to the gym 3 times a week if you know that I'm going to be there to help you through it. I also keep track of your progress and know when to push you past your current limits. Stop going through the motions and receiving little benefit from your workout! I will help you to shock and confuse your muscles into growth. Females can add curves by adding muscle to the right places, while trimming the waistline and thighs, with my help. Keep in mind, good training habits at the right intensity are going to lead to results.

2. Why do I need to change the way I eat?

The answer is as simple as you thought: you are what you eat. Most Americans eat simply too much and too richly. Drinking sodas and juices instead of good old water will keep on those extra pounds and will also make you dehydrated. Most of us should drink a lot more water, start with working your way up to 8 glasses a day. This will cleanse your body of unwanted toxins and will also help to suppress your appetite. Eat less fatty sauces and condiments with your food, learn to appreciate natural flavors and curb alcohol abuse.


3. How long does it take to see results?

Most people will show visible, tangible results as soon as 6-10 weeks into their workout program. Others are feeling a difference after 4 weeks. In any case results are directly related to your training intensity and original physical condition. Most people will feel a lot more energetic after a week of training. This is the time to continue and resist giving up. If you stick to your program and focus on your goal results are inevitable. As your trainer, I will help you to overcome any limitations that you put on yourself.

4. How often do I need to work out?

At least 2 times a week, but 3 times a week is recommended to avoid unnecessary soreness and get faster and better results overall. The body responds better if you work it more frequently, otherwise it tends to forget what you want it to do resulting in more muscle soreness. I work out with weights 5 times a week.

5. Do you have individual programs?

Everyone's needs are different. Some people want to lose fat, others gain muscle, and others want to gain flexibility or increase energy. Still others want to achieve better focus and coordination, self esteem or discipline...The list is endless. What kind of workout I design for you will depend on whether you are male or female and what your goals , needs, and interests are. It is your routine, designed for you and altered as your fitness level improves.

6. Is it bad when my muscles hurt after I work out?

When you first start training with me we will start with what is called a break-in procedure with the appropriate weights. The difficulty of this program should depend on your current condition. Later on, as you progress, there will be times when your muscles get sore. This merely means that you are making the muscle work to failure, and pushing it to grow or get stronger. The soreness is merely your body repairing itsself and the added benefit of this is that repairing muscles burns calories while you are at rest. This is a benefit you can rarely gain from cardio vascular workouts.

7. How do you get nice abdominal muscles?

Let's focus on diet first by following the steps below: Reduce your calorie maintenance level by 15%-20%. Eat 5-6 small meals instead of 2-3 big ones. High quality protein should be include in each meal. Natural, complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, brown rice, whole grains, oatmeal, yams, and fruits are best . Begin with at least 50% of your calories from complex carbohydrates and reduce carbohydrates intake, especially late in the day (after 4.30 pm)if you are not achieving the fat loss results that you desire. Stay away from refined, simple carbohydrates that contain white sugar or white flour. Reduce you intake of both total and saturated fats. Shoot for only 15-20% of your total calories from fat. Some "good fat" like flax oil is better than a no fat diet. Drink plenty of water, one-half gallon or eight 8 ounce glasses is a good goal to shoot for if you are physically active. Add 8 ounces of water per day for every 25 pound of fat you are overweight. The abs are several overlapping layers of muscle; the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques and the often-overlooked, transverse abdominis. These muscles are among the biggest in the body and need ample recovery time. Don't work them everyday if you are looking for results. If your abdominal muscles are covered up with fat, you won't be able to see them no matter how many crunches you do. You can achieve your goals by reducing your body fat through smarter food intake and exercise.

8. Of the exercise programs that are out there, what is the best one for my needs?

The best program for you is the one you will participate in consistently. This is why, as your trainer, I change your workout to keep your muscles and your mind involved and challenged.

9. I want to lose inches, won't lifting weights make me get bigger?

Contrary to what most people think, strength training is great if you want to lose weight. Many people are under the impression they will bulk up when just the opposite is true. Exercise experts believe that cardiovascular exercise and strength training helps maintain muscle mass and decrease body fat percentage and are both valuable for maintaining a healthy weight.

10. How are calories related to fat loss?

The most important factor in your exercise and weight control is how many calories you burn during the workout, we call this the energy cost. The faster you walk, swim or step, and the harder you lift, the more calories you burn per minute. If you are returning to exercise after being sedentary for a while or just starting out, make sure to start out at a lower intensity and work your way up gradually to more high-intensity exercise.

11. Why does my friend seem to be getting faster results from the same exercise program?

Studies have shown genetics play an important role in how different peoples bodies respond to exercise under the same training program. Your development of strength, speed and endurance are influenced by genetics.

12. Can I eat whatever I want if I exercise regularly?

Fitness results are heavily impacted by your dietary intake. Exercise alone cannot guarantee your ideal weight, although it is one of the most important factors for successful long-term weight management.

13. I am extremely overweight, what types of results can I expect?

Studies show that obese people who exercise regularly have lower incidents of health related death than sedentary people, this is regardless of their weight. Men and women of all fitness levels and sizes can improve their health by exercising regularly on a long-term basis.

14. Sometimes I feel too tired or stressed to workout, what should I do?

A healthy mental attitude is an important ingredient for success in your workouts. Make your workouts positive moments in your day, and relieve stress. We sometimes put a lot of pressures on ourselves through a negative mental outlook. Some of us have a harder time getting motivated to work out while others are too obsessed and too hard on themselves. Unhealthy attitudes like these can drain your positive energy. A positive mental attitude makes you feel more centered and adds to your inner strength.
 
15. What is the most effective way to burn fat, cardiovascular exercise or weight training? Most people will tell you that cardio is the way to burn fat and lose weight. They are both right and wrong. Cardiovascular exercise is what strengthens the heart and lungs. When you do cardio you also sweat a lot, so you are losing weight. Unfortunately, most of this weight is just water and you will drink that amount of water right after doing cardio because you will be dehydrated. People who do a lot of cardio do lose weight and most of that weight is muscle, not fat. So lets use cardiovascular exercise for what it is, to strenghten the heart and lungs. While climbing hills on a treadmill at 3.5 miles an hour for 30 minutes burns about 200 calories, and about 30 minutes on an eliptical trainer burns about 350 calories, intense weight training for 30 minutes burns about 500 calories, and your body keeps burning calories while your muscles are repairing for the next three days. While we are lifting weights we are tearing down that muscle tissue, your metabolism is elevated while your body is building and repairing. This can start right after your workout and continues for the next three days. In order to build and repair these muscles, your body needs rest and protein.

16. What is the point of training if I have a thyroid condition?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that almost 60% of Americans are overweight or obese. Some of these people are suffering from thyroid disease -- up to 10 million Americans. The thyroid is a gland that produces a hormone that regulates the functioning of our bodies, mood, emotions, and many other brain functions. Hypothyroidism (a deficiency in this hormone) impairs the bodies ability to regulate metabolism, which often leads to weight gain and difficulties losing weight. Hyperthyroidism (an excess of this hormone) causes a metabolism that works overtime and causes increased weight loss. If you're a thyroid patient who is trying to lose weight, eventually you are going to discover one of the most important issues of all -- the absolute need for exercise. People with thyroid problems may experience a slowed metabolism, a lack of energy, a higher susceptibility to simple carbohydrates (like sugar, white flour, and white rice products), and increased insulin resistance, make weight loss difficult. Sometimes it seems nearly impossible. There are also associated issues such as depression, loss of concentration, insomnia and irritability. One thing that can help to counter these symptoms is exercise. For people suffering from thyroid disease, exercise becomes and important part of treatment along with medication and proper diet. You may say that you don't have time, or energy to exercise, or you can't afford to join a gym, but a personal trainer can help you ease into a program to help you gain muscle and lose fat. Muscle burns calories and raises metabolism. So building muscle strength, and doing weight bearing exercise, is a critical part of your fitness program. Always consult your doctor before beginning any workout regimen, but don’t use the disease as an excuse for neglecting your mental and physical health.

17. Why monitor my heart rate?

You're huffing and puffing through another aerobic workout, wondering if you're really doing yourself any good. Are you working too hard or not hard enough? You look around. The person next to you has barely broken a sweat while the one in front is drenched from head to toe. Well, sweat may not be the best indicator of exercise intensity. For that, we need to look to our hearts. Heart rates, to be exact. When you exercise, your heart beats faster to meet the demand for more blood and oxygen by the muscles of the body. The more intense the activity, the faster your heart will beat. Therefore, monitoring your heart rate during exercise can be an excellent way to monitor exercise intensity.

For the majority of aerobic enthusiasts, there is a range of exercise intensities that is described as safe and effective for promoting cardiovascular benefits. To determine what range is best for you, you'll need to be familiar with a few terms. 

 1. Maximal heart rate: This number is related to your age. As we grow older, our hearts start to beat a little more slowly. To estimate your maximal heart rate, simply subtract your age from the number 220. 
2. Target heart-rate zone: This is the number of beats per minute (bpm) at which your heart should be beating during aerobic exercise. For most healthy individuals, this range is 50 to 80 percent of your maximal heart rate. So, if your maximal heart rate is 180 bpm, the low end of the range (50 percent) would be 90 bpm, and the high end of the range (80 percent) would be 144 bpm.

What does this recommended heart-rate range mean? Now that you've determined your target heart-rate zone, you need to know how to put that information to good use. These numbers serve as a guideline - an indicator of how hard you should be exercising. Those just beginning an aerobic program should probably aim for the low end of the zone and pick up the intensity as they become more comfortable with their workouts. Those who are more fit, or are training for competitive events, may want to aim for the higher end of the zone. Keep in mind that the target heart-rate zone is recommended for individuals without any health problems. Additionally, individuals taking mediction that alter the heart rate should consult their physician for recommended exercise intensity.

Where to monitor? There are a number of ''sites'' used to monitor the pulse rate. Two convenient sites to use are the radial pulse at the base of the thumb of either hand, or the carotid pulse at the side of the neck. Accurate pulse-count assessment is crucial when monitoring exercise intensity. By using the first two fingers of one hand and locating the artery, a pulse rate can be easily determined. Immediately after exercise, isolate your pulse and count the number of beats in a 10-second period. To determine the heart rate in beats per minute, multiply the number of beats per 10 seconds by six. For instance, if a 10-second pulse count were 20, then the heart rate would be 120 bpm.

A final word about heart-rate monitoring Remember, your estimated target heart-rate zone is just that - an estimate. If you feel like you are exercising too hard, you probably are. The best advice is to reduce your intensity and find a heart-rate range that works for you.

18. How do I choose the right personal trainer?

Certification is the first thing to look for A personal trainer should be certified because that's your assurance you're working with a trainer who has the knowledge to provide you with a safe and effective workout. Not just any certification will do. You want a personal trainer who has been certified by a nationally recognized certifying organization, like ACE, which happens to be the largest non-profit fitness-certifying organization in the world. Certification is more than a piece of paper. For example, to qualify for ACE certification, a personal trainer has to pass an intensive three hour, 150-question exam and written simulation that covers exercise science and programming knowledge, including anatomy, kinesiology, health screening, basic nutrition and instructional methods.

After checking certification, there are a few other things you should take into consideration when hiring a personal trainer. Many require asking direct questions. A checklist to help you hire the right personal trainer:

- Ask for references Ask the trainer for the names and phone numbers of other clients with goals similar to yours. Call to see if they were pleased with their workouts, if the trainer was punctual and prepared, and if they felt their individual needs were addressed. The best personal trainer to hire is the one others give high marks to.

- Make sure the trainer has liability insurance and provides business policies in writing Many personal trainers operate as independent contractors and are not employees of a fitness facility. You should find out if the trainer you want to hire carries professional liability insurance. A reputable personal trainer should also make sure you understand the cancellation policy and billing procedure. The best way to avoid confusion and to protect your rights is to have those policies in writing.

- Look for a trainer who is able to assist you with your special needs A personal trainer should always have you fill out a health history questionnaire to determine your needs or limitations. If you have a medical condition or a past injury, a personal trainer should design a session that takes these into account. If you're under a doctor's care, a personal trainer should discuss any exercise concerns with your doctor, and should ask for a health screening or release from your doctor.

- Find out what the trainer charges Rates vary, depending on the trainer's experience, and the length and location of the workout session. For example, a personal trainer who works in a fitness club will probably charge less per hour than one who works independently and needs to come to your home or office. Decide if this is someone you can work with Some people like to exercise in the morning, some in the evening. Will the personal trainer you're talking to accommodate your schedule? 

- The personal trainer you select should motivate you by positive, not negative, reinforcement. Even more important, that trainer should be someone you like. Ask yourself if you think you could get along well with the trainer. Ask yourself, too, if you think the trainer is genuinely interested in helping you. The personal trainer who best measures up is the one to hire. Because that's the professional who will help you get the best results.

 19. Why pregnant mothers must exercise

Prior to "Modern Medicine" no one had a problem with pregnant mothers being active. Families' socio economical status and lifestyle would have prevented many moms-to-be from being sedentary. "Prevalence of the Victorian view, fear of malpractice, and unscientific assumptions encouraged doctors for many years to advise women to put their feet up for nine months." says Dr. Raul Artal, professor of the Department of Ob/Gyn at SUNI Health Science Center at Syracuse, NY. "But with the exercise boom of the 80's, questions started coming up about working out while pregnant" he says. Frustrations were felt both by the medical community, athletes, coaches and active women by the "old" restrictive guidelines of '84. Inpatient with the very restrictive low levels of exercise, that women were "allowed" to do, scientists started to examine pregnant women at much higher than recommended levels of exercise intensity. The new studies are coming out in favor of active moms.

MYTHS DISPELLED
Modern medical research is disproving all of the old misconceptions about what pregnant women can and can't do. These myths of the entire concept of "prenatal exercise" that grew from fear or ignorance are changing as we become more knowledgeable on how exercise can be modified during pregnancy. This is what exercise was thought to cause, compared with new findings:

  • Miscarriage - exercise decreases the rate of miscarriage
  • Hormonal imbalance - exercise normalizes hormones and produces endorphins that reduces stress.
  • Increased risk of injury - exercise strengthens joints and prevents injury
  • Directs blood flow away - together pregnancy and exercise feto-protectivly from fetus to muscles increases blood volume to insure sufficient blood supply for all activities.
  • Overheating of fetus - pregnancy and exercise feto-protectivly improves a pregnant moms cooling system. (However, never exercise when hot and humid)
  • Uterine bleeding - only excessive exercise may increase spotting in early pregnancy.
  • Placental displacement - no relation to exercise found, but modify program if it happens.
  • Entangled umbilical cord - exercise reduces the incidence of entanglement.
  • Breech position - only inverted exercises after 32 weeks may increase risk of breech position.
  • Increased c-sections - exercise reduces C-sections by more than half andmedical intervention - reduces all other interventions.


Meconium stained amniotic fluid - exercise reduces this risk by half.
Premature labor - no exercise relation found.
Prolonged labor - exercise reduces labor time by about 30%.Fetal distress - exercise reduces fetal distress.

Low birth weight - babies are born 10% leaner, with normal height and cranial circumference.
Low Apgar scores - exercise increases Apgar scores at 1 min.
Difficulties for baby after birth - babies adapt faster to the outside and handle labor better.
Difficult maternal recovery - (?) of course fit mom's recover quicker and easier, and here are a few more reasons to exercise:

MOMS PRENATAL BENEFITS OF EXERCISE

  • Improves fertility
  • Reduces effects of biomechanical changes to your body such as upper and lower back strain, sciatica, and knee pain by maintaining strength and proper spinal alignment for better posture.
  • Eliminates or reduces discomforts of water retention, tension, stress, depression, and excessive weight gain.
  • Prevents and treats pregnancy induced diabetes.
  • Improves calcium absorption to prevent hypertension, preeclampsia and future osteoporosis.
  • Minimizes stretch-marks, varicose veins, abdominal separation and hyperventilation.
  • Improves self-esteem and well-being.
  • Increases energy, stamina, fitness levels and muscle control for an easier pregnancy and a faster and less painful delivery.

POSTPARTUM BENEFITS

  • Minimizes postpartum blues.
  • Minimizes future incontinence and organ prolapse.
  • Allows faster recovery.
  • Reduces back strain from carrying and nursing a newborn.
  • Increases energy and strength.

BABIES BENEFITS

Babies come out healthier and fitter by handling labor better and adapting faster to the
outside. Babies seem calmer, are leaner (with less chance of future weight problems)
and with improved neurological and mental development - they are more intelligent.

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