Archive for the ‘Question of the Week’ Category

Here is a basic tutorial on how to use a foam roller. If you need to buy a foam roller click the second link below and search foam roller!

http://www.power-systems.com/?affId=141044

Carlos,

Thanks for the great question and thank you from viewing from CHINA! Obviously you have done your homework.  I am very familiar with the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet but I am unfamiliar with the Blue Print Book you mentioned.

Overall, I think you have thought this through pretty well and you have a good understanding of carbohydrates and the difference between carbs and sugar.  I will answer this question as best as I can, however, I am not a nutritionist and therefore I do not want to say too much as that would be practicing out of my realm of study.

None the less, this is what you need to know about carbohydrates.  Other than water, carbs may be the most important nutrient for human function.  Neurological function is almost completely dependent on carbohydrate as a fuel source.  Fat cannot begin the process of beta oxidation (fat metabolism) without the metabolic break down of carbohydrate.  Also, high intensity exercise is very much dependent on carbohydrate.  So, diets that vastly cut carbohydrate are not only unhealthy, but are very dangerous.  Therefore, you need to make sure you are getting enough carbohydrate whether you are active or not, and the more active you are, the more important this is.  Exercise science, and the dietary research I have read over the past 10 years has not changed too much despite the popularity of low carb diets over this time and this research recommends that 50-60% of your caloric intake comes from carbohydrate.

Now the big question is, where do you get your carbohydrates?  As you mention, many Asian cultures have lots of rice and lots of noodles in their diets.  Much of their diet is high carb and they are often times not obese, and generally healthy.  I am not exactly sure as to why this works for them.  However, I would take a look at their serving size, daily caloric intake totals, their diet outside of carbohydrate and their activity levels.  I would bet the people are more active, eat smaller portions, eat less calories each day and probably do not drink as much soda, eat as much junk food etc.  And by junk, I mean chips, candy bars, and SODA (or here in the south…schweet teeeeaaa…).  Also, look at how many vegetables are in their diet.  I feel this may be the key…vegetables.

Vegetables are where you should get your carbohydrates over noodles and rice.  Personally, I am trying to cut gluten out of my diet, so noodles and rice are generally not in a gluten free diet (minus a few exceptions).  However, I do not feel they are “bad” for you from time to time.  None the less, most of your carbohydrate should come from vegetables and some fruit.  Vegetables have lower levels of sugar generally, more fiber and more vitamins and minerals.  Fruit has more vitamins and minerals, however, they do have high sugar content.  So, if you are trying to cut out sugar (the worlds current health scapegoat), fruit would not be a great choice, although again, a serving or two of fruit a day will not kill you…Plus it’s better than eating ice cream!

So, to answer your question, your diet should be 50-60 % carbohydrate, much of this coming from vegetables.  The more you exercise the more you need to eat period, I would not change the percentage of carbohydrate (unless you are doing triathlons or marathons etc.) since you also need more fat and protein the more you exercise.  I hope this answers your question!

We have a very good question from an anonymous donor this week regarding a popular exercise format called Crossfit.  The question was: Can you explain the Crossfit craze and why it seems to be the best form if exercise out there today, with its scale-ability and only basic equipment needed. Why isn’t everyone doing it? Don’t they know bicep curls aren’t functional?

Thank you anonymous for submitting your question.  This seems to be somewhat of a loaded question and to directly answer your question, I cannot explain Crossfit’s popularity.  I would say it is very popular because it is basic, exercises vary from day to day and you are able to compare yourself with the top performers of the exercise routines on a daily basis.

However, there are a few things in your question that I would like to address.  You make some valid points in regards to some positive things about Crossfit.  However, not all of your statements are quite accurate.  For example, Bicep curls, are functional.  It may not be considered a “functional movement exercise,” but doing biceps curls (or any isolated exercise) provides some function in fitness, for example,  in regards to gaining strength for a specific muscle group (i.e. forearm and bicep).  Even though it is an isolated exercise, isolated exercises are still a very efficient way of breaking down muscle tissue in order to elicit muscle hypertrophy.  While this strength may not be gained through a range of motion used for every day activity, as Crossfit helps to do, the isolated Bicep curl would still be the best way to induce hypertrophy of the bicep.

I don’t mean to come across as anti Crossfit, I am a huge fan of Crossfit.  I incorporate some things from Crossfit in my workouts as well as the workouts I design for my clients.  In fact, my personal fitness goals are centered on  improving my mobility so I can begin doing Crossfit workouts.  Despite my efforts, I have not improved enough to start.

This brings up your question in regards to why isn’t everyone doing it and it is the best thing around.  The truth is; Crossfit is not for everyone.  Those individuals who cannot pass a functional movement screen should not come anywhere near many of the exercises prescribed on a daily basis in the Crossfit program.  In fact, many of these people should see a physical therapist.  As you point out, Crossfit incorporates a great deal of scale-ability, or modification.  None the less, these modifications are not enough to allow someone with shoulder impingement, restricted ankle movement, or back/pelvis issues to safely participate…especially without professional supervision.

Also, Crossfit’s program design can also be argued as a weak point.    Crossfit has an overall plan and the progress you make in regards to focused exercises do not progress linearly.  One day you may do 5 sets of 5 repetitions of squats with a heavy weight and two days later you may do 10 sets of 15 squats with a much lighter weight.  This is considered an undulating or non linear exercise program.  Undulating programs are arguably as successful if not slightly more successful than a linear exercise programs where volumes of exercise and intensities increase rather constantly.  However, despite a great deal of planning which goes into Crossfit’s program design, the undulating model of program design used by Crossfit can be too inconsistent.  Often times, inconsistent prescription of exercise can yield varied results.  Also, the design cannot accept feedback from each individual as to how their body is adapting.  Without a fitness professional to assess this it is difficult to know if the following a prescribed undulating exercise program is appropriate for an individual.

None the less, many people have great success in meeting fitness goals and do so without suffering major injuries with the Crossfit plan.  Honestly, I do think it is the best mass fitness plan (insanity, p90x, etc.) available for many people who are physically capable of performing the movements.  However, I would say that the best or most ideal “fitness” thing around would be to workout with a highly experienced fitness professional who has a high level training and who is goal oriented in regards to your fitness success.  Again, I am not trying to come off as anti Crossfit, there are just things to consider when deciding to begin this program as there would be with any program, and the masses need to know!

 

Thanks again for the great question!

We have a great question this week dealing with increasing one’s running pace.  Thank you so much for the question.  Also, this person gave a great suggestion for the site….If you have any suggestions please let me know!….So here we go!

What’s the best way to increase my running pace? Try as I might I just can’t seem to get faster!
Also, I’d suggest you add a Submit a Question category so that people can easily see where to ask a Q of the week!!—Anonymous

Anonymous,

There are various ways to increase one’s running pace depending on the type of run the person is training for.  Also, there are numerous factors that are involved in performance, such as motivation, hydration, diet and the amount of training an individual is doing.  However, my basic answer to this problem would be to make sure to do some interval training once or twice a week if you are not already.  Simply just trying to run a faster pace every day can help, but you need something more structured and direct to push your lactic threshold a little higher so you can maintain a faster pace during your run.

Now, the big question is what kind of intervals….this is where understanding what kind of run your training for would be very beneficial.  I have a feeling you are not refering to a sprint but a run that is a 5k or bigger.  Also, I would assume we are not refering to an ultra marathon (more than 26.2 miles).  So our range is 3.1 miles to 26.2 miles.

One of the first things I would add into your program is at least one day of short, high intensity sprints.  These sprints should be an all out effort for one minute with one minute of rest in between or a 1:1 ratio.  This rest is not considered sit down and suck water, but would be a recovery walk.  I would do 8-10 sets of these.  High intensity intervals are good for all types of training, including runs whether they are 3.1 miles or 26.2 miles.  The lower mileage your event is, the more often I would suggest doing these.  These types of intervals are really going to enable your body’s ability to buffer hydrogen that accumulates during exercise which is one major factor of fatigue and what causes us to hit the wall.

You can also do what I refer to as pacing intervals.  These intervals are longer and are less intense.  For example, you may go out for a 5 mile run.  You may run 2 minutes at a pace slightly lower than your normal pace and then 2 minutes just over your normal pace.  Some people go by miles.  They might do one mile at their normal pace another mile at an elevated pace an alternate these paces for 10 miles.

I know this is kind of a vauge answer.  However, based on your goals and your body you could use a variety of different interval runs to increase your pace.  Honestly, I would just play with it a bit and see what works best for you.  Everyone’s body chemistry is slightly different so everyone will react slighly different.  None the less, I would definately add in short, high intenstiy sprints one day a week and try to get another day of some sort of longer, less intense interval runs in.

Question of the Week

Posted: September 23, 2012 in Articles, Question of the Week

What are your questions this week?  It is fall and it is a great time to start a new exercise plan, or do some outdoor activities…..

Speaking of fall the low should be around 39 degrees tonight here in Highlands, NC…Frost advisory in effect!

Thanks to my buddy Doc at athletes performance for pointing something out about my video…not only did I not demonstrate lifting correctly, but I did not discuss a proper lift…So here you go:

In your exercise of the week “Ball Sprints” You emphasize lifting the ball properly from the ground. Can you discuss in greater detail, Things to consider or steps to safely lift and carry heavy objects both in and out of the gym?

Yes, I should have gone into this in more detail. I am still getting comfortable in front of the camera so I tend to forget things. Thank you for pointing that out Doc. By lifting properly, whether it’s a refrigerator, a toddler or a Dynamax ball, lifting objects off the ground properly involves flexing at the hips with an upright spine. It is also important to keep your feet flat and push through your whole foot as you lift. Something else to consider when lifting things off the ground or anywhere else for that matter is to keep the object over your center of gravity. The further away from your center of gravity a weight is; the more stress it puts on the joints of the body.

Question of the Week

Posted: September 16, 2012 in Articles, Question of the Week

What kind of fitness things have been bouncing around your head this week???

Please ask!

This week our selected question of the week comes from Stan “the man” Kee, best disc golfer to come out of Cape Hatteras High School!

Stan asks…..What are some super foods that you would recommend?

Stan, Great question!

I have never been a big fan of the term “super food,” because all foods are super.  Your body needs so many differnt chemicals to function it is a bit overwhelming to understand and depending on what you do in regards to physical activity, the chemical needs of your body get more complex.  So, all foods have good properties that can help your body ranging from lard to blueberries.  The general term super food is used to describe a food with lots of vitamins, nutrients, or nutrients that are rarely found in our diet.  Often times with lots of “super foods” there are also lots of antioxidants.

Today’s most popular super food is Advocado, because of the subway commercials with Robert Griffin the 3rd.  Advocado has lots of healthy fats and other vitamins and minerals.  However, the advacado at subway I venture to guess is not pure advacado because of its ability to stay bright green all day long (as many of you may know advocado turns brown after only a few hours of being exposed to air).

Anyhow, I digress, and I appologize.  Here is a list of some very nutrient dense foods with lots of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients; Beans, Blueberries, Broccoli, Oats, Oranges, Salmon, Soy, Spinach Tea (green or black), Tomatoes, Turkey, Walnuts, Yogurt and Advacado.

I hope this answers your question!

Thanks and tune in next week.

Question of the Week

Posted: September 7, 2012 in Articles, Question of the Week

Hey everyone!  Thanks for viewing my site.  Here is this week’s question….

Hey Garrett! I have a question for you. I have lost 33lbs since June, it’s September now, and I’m looking to lose another 20 lbs. But in all my weight loss, I’ve only dropped 2 sizes. I’m going on a cruise next month, mid October, and wanna look my best. My biggest areas of concern are my pregnancy areas, stomach, thighs, waist, and hips. What is a good way to drop some sizes, not just neccesarily the weight?

First off, I want to say congratulations for losing 33 pounds!  I am sure you worked very hard to do that and made some big sacrafices as well. I hope you are proud of yourself!  You have lost a significant amount of weight.  Unfortunately, dress sizes don’t always corrlate to the success you have had.  Perhaps this is because dress sizes can be vauge.  Or perhaps you were a large size 10 and now you are almost too small for a size 8.  That would be more like losing 3 sizes.

Often times I have clients and friends who are really concerned with their weight; some others are more concerned with their looks.  Honestly, I am always more concerned with the way you feel.  Do you have more energy?  Can you exercise longer?  Do you no longer get winded going up stairs?  Those are the things I am most concerned with.  I hope you are seeing these benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

None the less, I understand the desire for the improved looks of weight loss.  However, like your dress size, this does not always correlate with the success of eathing healthy and improving your exercise habbits.  Unfortunately, the areas that you are trying to work on are the toughest areas to lose.  However, do not be discouraged improvement in these areas can always be made.

My biggest advice to you would be to keep in mind that fat comes off proportunately from head to toe.  This means you cannot do crunches and lose significan fat around your stomach.  More simply put, you must take in less calories than you burn (with this said, you need to do this in a healthy way, eating balanced meals throught the day etc, not skipping meals!).

Also stay away from focusing your exercise on small muscle groups.  Many people try to tone and shape the same areas you want to improve by doing a bazzilion crunches, leg lifts, etc. (think suzanne summers thigh master).  However, this burns very few calories.  Remember, our goal is to burn more calories than we eat.  The more calories you can burn (for the most part) the better.  It is much better to do things like squats, push ups, pull ups, other full body exercises and cardiovascular work.

As far as cardiovascular exercise goes, I am a huge fan of interval training.  This is training where you would do an interval of very intesne exercise, such as a sprint, followed by a period of rest, such as walking.  Often times you perform much more work in a shorter amount of time than when you just jog for 30 minutes or get on the eliptical and cruise at the same pace for an hour.  I would suggest a 1:2 ratio for beginers.  An example of this would be to run for 30 seconds and walk for one minute.  This would be repeated for however long you have the energy or time (I suggest setting a time in adavance, such as 30 minutes).

I hope this helps and good luck!!!

Here is the answer to the question of the week from the wonderful Mrs. Tina Rogers!

 

https://garretttandyfitness.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/question-of-the-week-5/#comments