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{Guest Post} Interview With A Trainer

Happy Saturday and welcome to MCLV’s latest health & fitness post!

The goal of this series to help motivate us all to have a happy, healthy Spring. And to that point today I’m happy to be sharing with you an interview with a personal trainer, health & fitness nut, and one of the founders of the new Sacramento-based barbell gym Capitol City Strength & Conditioning. He’s joining us to answer some general – but extremely helpful – questions about eating habits, nutrition, working out, and other health & fitness related topics.

SeanMCLV

(1) Please tell us a little bit about your fitness routine (i.e How many days a week do you workout? What sort of workouts do you do?)

My personal routine varies greatly upon seasonal goals and lifestyle factors. Generally i focus primarily on Olympic lifting, training 4-5 times a week, a total of maybe 6-8 hours lifting. In addition to this I normally spend 30-60 minutes a day stretching and working on improving joint mobility. But my workout schedule is highly dependent upon social factors. If I am particularly stressed, I may substitute 1-2 lifting sessions for walking or reduce the overall volume.

(2) What are your long-term fitness goals?

My primary long-term fitness goal, I would say is to remain fully functional (i.e. running jumping, squatting, and fully able to play) well into my hundreds. If I had to think a little less long-term than that, I would say my overall goals are to maintain and or improve joint health and mobility while consistently improving my strength and power.

(3) When someone walks into your gym w/ no athletic or fitness background what are three exercises you would start them on? Why?

One, precursor I would have someone start with is to walk. I wont include this in my list of three, but ill mention it anyway. The benefit and value which simply walking for 30-60 minutes a day can have on almost anyone’s health is pretty impressive. I will generally recommend this to everyone regardless of their goals. But, in regards to someone who lacks much of a fitness background it can be especially useful. Anyways, on to the list (bear in mind these would be my recommendation for someone without any prior athletic history).

1-Lunge – A lunge is performed by stepping forward with one leg and dropping the rear knee to or close to the ground creating two ninety degree angles with both knees joints. Lunges can be a great tool. They are very easy to learn, with minor modification can be done safely by just about anyone with legs, and can be varied in many different forms to increase difficultly or maintain interest. Lunges are compound movement requiring several different muscle groups and require a degree of balance and coordination, two skills which are often overlooked, but when addressed can go a long way in injury prevention. Seeing that a vast majority of people, especially the older they get, have exceptionally poor mobility in the hips and ankles, lunges can help mobilize those joints in a safe and controlled manner will simultaneously promoting stability in the hip. Important safety note when performing a lung: do not let your front knee track beyond your forward toes and maintain an upright and neutral arch in your back. Squeezing your shoulder blades helps to reinforce this. Variations of a lunge can be done with barbells, dumbbells, to increase the difficultly or while holding onto something stable like a railing to make them more manageable.

2- Deadlifts – A deadlift is another compound movement, which is performed by picking up an object off the ground, generally a barbell, and standing fully upright. The deadlift is another great exercise which is a very effective tool to efficiently work much of your body. It is very easy to learn, but should definitely, and this can not be overstated, be taught by a knowledgeable professional. It is an excellent tool to strengthen muscles of the posterior chain (back side) and increase spinal stability. There is substantial carryover for the deadlifts to real life activities and significantly aid in decrease one’s chance of injury during normal activity. Like with the lung, always try to maintain a neutral spine and tight abdomen. Variations of the deadlift can be performed with dumbbells or kettlebells.

3- Shoulder press – A shoulder press is performed by vertically extending a weight from shoulder height to overhead, while maintaining a stable and static body. A should press is another great compound exercise because it will generally require you to move your shoulder through a full range of motion while simultaneously requiring you to remain stable and through your entire body. Like the deadlift, the shoulder press has a substantial carryover to everyday activity and can aid in injury prevention. Variations can be done with a dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell, or pretty much any weight.

DinahMCLV

{A badass client at her first competition}

(4) What’s some advice you’d like to impart to people who workout w/ out a trainer? (i.e. Tips, suggestions, recommendations)

Like every industry, trainers can run the spectrum from exception to downright hazardous. Trust your instincts and if a trainer ever asks you to perform a movement that your no comfortable with be, voice your concerns (back squats on a bosu ball are an excellent sign that you should find a new trainer). Just because someone has a certification does not mean they know what they are doing.

(5) What are your typical meals on a workout day? On a rest day?

Once again this is very dependent upon my goals and training program. On any typical lifting day, I will generally skip breakfast and eat pretty light throughout the day. Focusing primarily on fats and proteins. Chicken, avocado, ground beef, and eggs are typical. Immediately after I workout I will generally eat some type of lean meat and something starchy like white rich or sweet potatoes. And for dinner, I will typically stick to lots of proteins and fats with vegetables. Steak, chicken, or salmon, with broccoli or asparagus is pretty regular. But like I have said, this is completely dependent upon my goals. I’ve experimented with dinners composed of half gallons of whole milk and jars of peanut butter. On rest days I will generally eat in a similar fashion minus the carbohydrates after I workout.

(6) Is when you eat important? Tell us a little bit about why you time things the way you do.

Yes. But this can be highly dependent individual preference and lifestyle. I prefer to fast in the mornings till about noon, have my first meal start with a fatty dish, and follow my workouts with rapidly digestible carbs, and finishing with something high protein. Depending on your goals, what you eat and when you eat it can have a big impact on how your body functions. Why exactly I do each of those however is a very lengthy answer and ill have to save for another posting.

(7) If a client asks you for recommendations on changing their eating habits what are your usual suggestions? Anything you usually suggest adding or removing from their daily diet?

Almost regardless of a person’s goals, I try to encourage them to gravitate towards a whole foods (paleo-ish) based diet. I’m not a nutritionist, but asking people to not eat pop-tarts and pancakes is pretty much full proof. I will generally try to get people to drop bread and anything that doesn’t expire out of their diet, sticking primarily with good meats, fruits vegetables, nuts, and dairy (if you can tolerate it). Some people like the cold turkey approach, it works for some., but I generally prefer a gradual adjustment. I read somewhere it takes about 30 days to reinforce behavioral changes and I generally think asking people to change too much too fast leads to poor adherence. Small measurable changes make for better long-term progress, at least in my opinion. Maybe one month, cook every dinner, give up buying bread, next give up soda, ect ect. But then again this is very dependant upon personality

Handstand

I hope that you enjoyed this point and maybe even learned something new that you can apply to your own routine. We’ll continue this healthy living series so be sure to stay tuned for more interesting tips, suggestions, and recommendations on how to think about your health & fitness routines to get maximum results.

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7 responses

  1. Pingback: {Guest Post} Interview With A Trainer: Nutrition & Supplements | Moi Contre La Vie

  2. Pingback: Beginners Fitness: All About Medicine Balls | Moi Contre La Vie

  3. Pingback: {Guest Post} A CrossFit Year | Moi Contre La Vie

  4. Pingback: Beginners Fitness: All About Kettlebells | Moi Contre La Vie

  5. Pingback: Beginners Fitness II: All About Kettlebells | Moi Contre La Vie

  6. Changing eating habits is so important. I’ve been working on it, and it really is a gradual change that takes time. But it is so worth it in the end! I’m already seeing results in my energy level and abilities!

    February 23, 2013 at 10:51 PM

  7. You are so strong – awesome 🙂

    Follow Me – I will Follow You back ❤
    classicorcool.blogspot.com
    http://www.facebook.com/classicorcool

    February 23, 2013 at 12:36 PM

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