Well ladies and gents our second Q&A turned out to be very successful with 17 people providing thoughtful questions; 6 of which were personal trainers. I am super excited to see this knowledge being passed along. I will do my best to answer them all. There is definitely no such thing as a dumb question. Who ever said that anyways? My bet is that someone was trying to impress a girl; you girls are at the bottom of everything! KIDDING, kind of!! Make sure to consult with your physician especially if you have any knee, back, shoulder or hip problems. All of my responses are geared for individuals who have been exercising for at least 3 months and have a basic understanding of resistance training. If you are new to the game, pace yourself and listen to your body. Always begin new exercises with little to no weight. To save yourself all this hassle, just hire a Show Up Fitness trainer and you’ll be all set! Let the rodeo begin…
First question. Becky from Susanville, CA. (I love it when we move out of the Bay Area)! I was wondering how many days in a row I can train my legs without over doing it? I have my 10 year High School reunion and I want to look good in my new skirt!
Well Becky, my guess is that you have less than two months to gear up. So, here you go! Your legs are the biggest untapped resource we have yet to discover! Unless you are a body builder doing 15-20 sets, you can work out your legs on a daily basis. Try performing 3-5 sets of one exercise daily. Do a waterfall set. Begin with high reps (15-20) and gradually increase the weight while lowering the reps. Aim for 4-6 reps by set 5. Choose from a plethora of exercises such as lunges, hack squats, leg press, power cleans, and sumo squats. Also, start doing more jumps! Broad jumps, bounds, vertical jumps and depth jumps. You think it’s coincidental that volleyball and track athletes have amazing legs? Nope! They jump every day! Every time you jump as high or as far as you can, you are replicated that of a 1 rep man (RM)! In other words, your body loves it! Click Here for a video on how to do a proper broad jump. Let your inner tigress out! Jump like that annoying little girl in line with her mom singing, “the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND, ALL DAY LONG!” Have fun getting that song out of your head! You will begin to recruit larger, more powerful muscle fibers, essentially laying down the proper foundation for sexy & smoking hot legs! Remember to incorporate your upper body, cardio and stretching into your routine. If your legs ever get too tired or feel like they need a rest, give it to them.
Second question. Mike from San Francisco, CA. I hate running. HATE IT. What are some other things I can do to get my cardio in?
Mikie Boy, I’ve got to give you props for doing your cardio! Most guys lack in that arena, so keep it up! Here’s how to spice it up a little. Let’s try something new; high intense interval training (HIIT). This type of training is no joke if done correctly. Nothing I hate more when I hear or see people misusing exercise jargon. This type of training is just like the name implies, HIGH INTENSE CARDIO, followed by a rest period. Some misinterpret running on a treadmill at speed 5 then upping the pace to 7.0mph for the next 2 minutes as HIIT- well that’s just basic interval training. With HIIT, you will be going 100% for 10-30 seconds followed by 90 seconds to 3 minutes of rest. Ideally, have a work to rest ratio of 1:3 – 1:5. So if you sprint for 20 seconds, I want you to do little to no work for the next minute and a half. Try using the pre-core / elliptical trainer. This is my favorite undervalued piece of cardio equipment at the gym. Warm-up for 5 minutes, then up the resistance to around 5 and go as fast as you can, LITERALLY! Everything you have, like your girlfriend’s dad is sprinting after you with a shot gun for bringing his daughter home 2 hours past curfew! Start booking it pal! After you give it everything you have for 20-30 seconds, let up and go through the motions and rest for the next 60-90 seconds. Repeat this 5 times. You are utilizing a different fuel source compared to that of long distance running; do you ever see weak, skinny sprinters? NOPE. To get nerdy on you for a quick splash, this type of training maximizes left ventricle hypertrophy. This means your heart can pump blood more efficiently to the rest of your body. The end result is better oxygen exchange which will transfer over into performing better in the weight room. Stop doing 20+ minutes of running every day and try doing some HIIT training 1-2x a week. You will save precious time and your body (specifically your heart) will adapt in much better way!
Third question. Brian is a personal trainer from Oakland, CA. My client is a 58 yr old male who has complaining about knee pain ever since we began our first workout session two months ago. During his PAR-Q, he disclosed that he had previous knee problems: torn ACL and meniscus, but that surgery was over 20 years ago! I don’t want to exacerbate my client’s injury or leave out legs completely for our workouts; please help!!!
Tough one Brian, but let’s see if I can help. I would suggest having your client get his knee checked out again to make sure it isn’t anything too serious. In the meantime, just like Vanilla Ice said ever so perfectly in the early 90’s… Ice Ice baby! We want to keep the inflammation down, so having him ice it 3-4 times a day for 10-15 minutes is a great starting point. The pain could be from age, aggravation from the workouts (maybe too aggressive), or my best guess would be scar tissue. With surgery that long ago, if not rehabbed properly, it could have left a lot of scar tissue. Scarring is a natural and normal part of healing. During the healing process, scar tissue alignment is usually of inferior quality to the normal collagen (connective tissue). If not healed properly (properly breaking down and reforming the scar), the tissue may remodel with an inferior formation resulting in future pain. If this were the case, it’s just another great reason for him to see a physician who can determine whether or not the knee needs orthopedic attention. Try exercises in different planes of motion such as a side step-up (frontal plane) versus a sagittal step-up. Avoid repetitive and impactful movements such as jumping and running. Leg extensions place a lot of sheer force on the knee joint so I would suggest not using this machine.
Thanks for all the support and I love all the eager minds out there. There is nothing that I enjoy more than teaching and educating individuals who actually want to learn and who will apply the material. Pay attention to what I have said here, challenge yourself properly and you will get into the best shape of your life. If you get hung up or discouraged, realize that this is a lifestyle modification and weight loss and/or muscle building takes time. I am teaching you the proper tools for success. Implement them; you will not be lead astray. Keep smiling, drink your glass of red wine (or bottle), NEVER GROW UP and Shake and Bake!!!