Celebrities are real people with concerns that parallel our own when it comes to fitness. Through my 16 years as a fitness professional, I have had the pleasure of helping many star moms get their bodies back after pregnancy, as well as creating programs for those who sought to drop the last 10 pounds for a red carpet or movie role. Though you may not be dodging the paparazzi, you probably have the same burning questions that many of my celeb clients ask me on a daily basis.
Below I've outlined the top five questions that celebrities have asked me over the years. Send me a comment on twitter @JayCardiello and let me know if any of these questions ring true for you!
1. What burns more calories: cardio or weight training? I hear this question almost weekly. But although you may sweat more during a steady-state run as opposed to a strength training session, you actually burn more calories with the latter overall. Strength training gives your metabolism a boost due to the energy required to repair the tiny tears that occur in the muscles during your workout. Plus the lean muscle you build will continue burning more calories as you go through life. [Tweet this fact!]
2. I can't seem to lose any more weight. How do I break out of this plateau? First, change things up. If you have been doing the same routine for a while, implement new training plans or challenge yourself with a new class or group activity. Second, rest. The thought of this may scare many of you, but take a few days off: You may be overtraining and your body might just need a break. [Tweet this fact!] I recommend that you take a week off every 8 to 10 weeks and concentrate on your diet. Lastly, do not go in panic mode and diet harder! All too often, when we don't see the scale moving down, we deplete our bodies of important nutrients. Instead of cutting calories, add a few hundred to your plan for a day or two. You may find that you were eating too little. By keeping up your exercise regimen and trying this approach, you will keep your metabolism guessing.
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3. How do I get rid of flabby arms? That infamous "angel wing" flab that somehow lands on the back of our arms is a reality for so many. Why it happens and how to get rid of it are some of the most common questions I get. Here is the truth: As we age, our skin naturally becomes less elastic, and you cannot spot-reduce or aim to simply eliminate the fat in this area. But all hope is not lost. You must think of your body as one unit and train it that way with compound functional exercises (i.e. deadlifts, squats, lunges with overhead presses, and triceps extensions). Performing these exercise will turn your body into a calorie-burning furnace. Couple these exercises with adequate sleep, a healthy diet, and proper hydration to help tighten up that area.
4. Are crunches to best way to reduce my pooch? Simply, put: No. Abs are made in the kitchen. However, if you are looking to strengthen your core and add some definition and tone, the following exercises are far more effective than crunches: Planks. The plank is not only a safer move than a crunch, it also engages more of your core muscles as well as strengthens your posterior (lower lumber). If you are a mom or wear high heels regularly, having a strong lower back is key to avoiding unwanted stress in this region. Uni-lateral exercises. Performing moves that require you to balance on one side of your body greatly increases the activation of your core and internal abdominal muscles. Exercises that work below your navel. Focus on compound exercises that target your glutes, thighs, and hamstrings. These three are the largest muscle groups in the body, and working them will cause greater caloric expenditure post-workout and boost your metabolism, helping that fat-burn affect, which further slims you (and your waist) down. [Tweet this fact!]
5. Is it safe for me to train when I have my period? During your menstrual cycle, it is safe to train and engage in a fitness activity. But there are some things that you should think about: 1) Try using a menstrual cup. Unlike a tampon which absorbs your menstrual flow, a cup simply collects it. It can be worn with any spandex and tight material too. 2) Don't overdo it. Exercise will help relieve the feelings of cramps, but keep the same intensity as you would with you regular session and avoid trying a new class or training type until your period is over.