Any Trainers Out There??? I Have a Fitness Question.

Updated on November 29, 2010
L.T. asks from Allen, TX
4 answers

I'm looking to take my fitness to the next level. I want my muscles to be more defined. My first goal was to loose weight and I've done I want that defined, toned look. I work out 6 days a week and I do weights 3 days a week either on my own or part of a class. I try to change my cardio up so I don't get bored by doing cardio classes, cycle, zumba, and running. I wear a heart rate monitor and I'm pretty consistent with burning 500+ calories in a cardio workout. I think my diet is what's keeping me from my goal. The problem is I run out of ideas on snacks/meals. I feel like I eat pretty healthy. I'm pretty good about staying away from sweets and the kids' snacks. My downfall is wine, mexican food and pizza. I try to limit these but I guess I'm not doing that good of a job. Are there any suggestions on workouts, food intake, or any supplements I should look into. I've thought about making a food journal to see if I can pin point what I may be eating too much of or something along those lines. I'm torn if I should get a personal trainer or a nutritionist. Any suggestions out there?

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answers from Philadelphia on

Hey L.T.!
Been there and done that! I would suggest you look at the programs by What you are looking for is a program like ChaLean Extreme or P90X. They are pricey but you can usually find cheaper versions on Craigslist....if you really are interested in a cheaper version let me know. ChaLean Extreme is enough to prep you for P90X. Do not let people convince you that you are not strong enough for these...just adjust ofr your own limits. Both of these programs will really work on muscle definition. The other thing to keep in mind is that definition can be hidden by body fat. But certain areas, like shoulders and calfs, will show definition unless you are over weight. I agree with the food journal! That is the best idea, you would be surprised what happens when you are a lot more conscious of what you eat. Also, remember, low card does not always guarantee success, and personally kills me...I love carbs too much. Proportion is the key. Snack suggestions: things high in protein are great for what you are looking for. Do you like cottage cheese? What about almonds...plain not roasted? Cashews? Turkey jerky---actually not as bad as I thought it would be and I can't stand beef jerky! Low fat string cheese....there are plenty of good snacks out there. Some people recommend celery with peanut butter or cream cheese...also a good one. The other important thing is to drink water...and plenty of it through out the day. Also, don't forget sleep...another food plan component (I hate that "D" word!) that is hard to maintain with kids. Supplementation is ok and can help but only effective if you are exercising right and eating right. If you really are interested in potential supplementation...such as protein shakes or metabolism boosters let me know and we can have an offline discussion about them if you are interested.

Good Luck and feel free to contact me if you want any more advice or guidance!

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answers from Chicago on

Definitely do the food journal. You'll be surprised at how much easier it gets when you know how many calories are going into your body. Good, clean nutrition is about 75% of the equation. Cardio and strength training make up about 20% and genetics 5%.

If you want more toned, defined muscles you need to start lifting heavier. The biggest myth out there is that, as a woman, if you lift heavier weights you're going to get huge, man-like muscles. The truth is that women do not possess enough testosterone in order to grow Arnold-like muscles. If you lift heavier, you are challenging your muscles to do more than what they've previously done. As a result, the muscle fibers will grow thicker and stronger, giving you the definition and 'cut' you're looking for.

A good workout for you to do would be 'super-sets' if you are lifting 3 times a week. Super-sets allow for very little rest time because you do a push lift followed by a pull lift and then repeat - you are barely resting (yet you ARE resting the muscle groups in between) and keeping the heart rate up. Another good option would be trying PHA-style workouts (peripheral heart action). PHA works similarly to supersets, but you do an upper body exercise followed by a lower body exercise (routing the blood through the body) and then a short cardio burst (60 secs of jump rope, for example). If you are able to incorporate more lifting sessions in a week, you may want to consider a push-pull twice-weekly split session. Split sessions will allow you to focus on certain areas you're wanting to define (such as delts, bis, tris), hit them HARD yet give them 72 - 96 hours of rest and recovery for maximal growth and toning. Finally, make sure your cardio sessions are HIITs (high intensity interval training) so you can torch fat and burn calories. Steady state cardio once a week is good, but if you're always doing steady state, you're never really challenging your heart and muscles past what they are used to doing. If you've never done HIITs, you may wish to give it a try because you can get your cardio done in 30 minutes and burn more calories than you typically would in a 60 minute steady state session. A GREAT resource is Oxygen magazine. I have a binder full of training sessions I have pulled from it.

PM me if you'd like for more information on super-sets, PHAs, splits, or HIITs. I just finished an 8-week cycle of super-sets 2 weeks ago and am now doing an 8-week cycle of splits. My cardio (6 times a week) is mostly HIITs with one or two days of steady state. The longest workout session I have is 90 minutes, and that's only on Monday and Thursday because it's my upper body push day, which means I lift pecs, tris, and delts. Otherwise, I spend about 60 minutes in the gym.

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answers from Fort Wayne on

I might be off base here, but I don't think it's the wine, pizza or Mexican food. I think that toning muscles and losing weight require different types of exercises. Cardio is fantastic for calorie burn, but isn't going to give you toned muscles. Well, it will, but not in the way you are describing. I think you need more weights in your work out. I would see if your gym has a personal trainer you can consult. Maybe look at some sculpting work out videos to see what types of exercises they are doing. I've always read that women should use lighter weights but do more reps to get toned muscles, but to avoid the HUGE body builder look.
Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Pick up Oxygen magazine and Tosca Reno's Clean Eating book. Both are full of great snack options and eating plans. The 1st response you got here on training is spot ON!

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