Q: Hi Martin. It’s hard to keep up with all the diets in the world at the moment. For me it’s all about energy, as currently after working a 9 hour day 5 days a week I struggle to find any motivation to go to the gym or for a run when I return home. I know my diet is poor and would like to know what foods you believe I should include in my diet to help boost my energy levels so that I can indeed find that will to not let the sofa get the better of me when I get home? – Laura x
Its great to know that your looking at nutrition the right way… By questioning all the current options, its true there are so many to choose from. The truth is that no diet designed for the masses is really going to give every individual the results that they want from them. The only way to achieve that is to have a nutrition plan created, which is as unique as you are. Luckily that is exactly what The H Effect does. The H Effect is a unique nutritional/exercise system, which is performed on line, without the need for a private consultation. Utilising a cutting edge formula; your physiology will be assessed and total stress loads calculated. A nutritional plan based on your current requirements, along with relevant intensity and type of exercise will be advised, then if you need any help on the exercise front you just need to give me a call. For more information hit our website. www.martinpetriepersonaltraining.co.uk/nutrition.html
Q: Can you keep hold of muscle size whilst going on a brief cardio kick? I’ve signed up to do Warrior Run after seeing it on your Facebook page and know I need to get more aerobically fit for it (I’m doing the 12K route!). Saying that though I don’t want to lose the size I’ve worked hard to put on this last year. Any ideas? – Paul
Hi Paul. Yes and No is the answer. You will get leaner so lose size but… you should be able to maintain strength if you are still getting in two weight workout a week. You could get aerobic benefits from doing high rep full body Weights routines. which would also help your core strength. Here’s a little super set for you. 5 Minute warm up on cardio (or use dynamic stretches). Clean n jerk up into shoulder press. Moderate weight 5 x 10-20 reps Plank 3 x as long as possible, but maintain good posture throughout. Bent over row 3 x 10-20 The rest I’ll let you piece together, If you get stuck get in touch.
Q: What are your views in intermittent fasting and is it safe? – Clare
Hey there Clare. Like you I watched the program recently on TV. I was intrigued as to how that actually works. Put it this way it’s not something I’m going to be suggesting to any of my clients that’s for sure. Especially as MP PT has access to a unique nutritional program, which is 100% based on the client.
Q: Is it good to work the same muscle group on consecutive days during the week? I always thought that you should leave 48 – 72 hours rest but have heard people who want growth are working the same muscles one day and the next? For example back on Monday and Tuesday. Please enlighten me as to whether this is a safe and proven way to train or not. Cheers, Darren
Hi Darren. For muscles to develop to their full potential they need to rest and repair. I never suggest more than two days training back to back, especially on the same muscle group. Its not dangerous but its not ideal either. By looking at the way your training days are split you will be able to re organise to gain more mass. Don’t forget to train your legs…
Q: Can you build muscle without the help of protein shakes? Stephen T
Hey there Stephen. Yes of course you can, as long as your diet contains everything that your body is needing to grow. with regards to your protein intake work between 1.5-2 grams per kg of body weight, don’t neglect your carbs for energy control. Supplements are great as they fill in the gaps in your diet, such as providing more of the BCAA’s.
Q: I’m not based in Brighton but my husband is for work and has brought your magazine home with him since last year. What a great premise for a magazine! My question is this: I don’t live near a gym but do jog 3 times a week. What else can I do to help lose a few extra bits of fat? I hope I win your competition! Best Regards, Julie
Hi Julie. Well if your diet is well balanced then all will come together in good time when matched to the jogging. But in the meantime don’t forget to mix it up every now and again, maybe with cycling / swimming / skipping. Think outside the box and use your surroundings for resistance training, eg small tree truck for squats and throwing… This could help increase your body’s ability to burn calories and help keep you toned. Hope that helps.
Q: I’ve recently purchased a 10kg weight vest where I perform pull ups (wide grip, shoulder width grip and narrow grip) and also various length sprints. What else can I do that would really benefit using the weight vest?- N Dusevicius
Weighted vests can be used to make any element of exercise and training harder. From the trusted press ups, tricep dips or squats/ lunge combinations. But have you ever tried your plyometric training whilst wearing it? Always takes it out of me when I have tried it.
Q: Are rolling sit ups a good exercise to do? – Chris Harrison
Hi Chris. I’m actually in two minds about Rolling sit ups myself. Mainly because it uses momentum created via the legs to get the upper body moving. Meaning it takes out the element of control from the abdominals flexion of your trunk. I would also see them being done to quick/wrong in the gym too. But in a core activation frame of mind I like them, but again the technique has to be spot on.
Q: With the TRX and bootcamps being so popular what do you think is going to be the ‘next big thing? ‘ – Dubes
Hi Dubes. Unfortunately I think all these home systems such as Xbox’s Kinect fitness, will be huge. Which of course has its good points as it will work well for those who lack the confidence to train within a group. But it may kill off personal training to a point. But for those who thrive on the feeling of group training then its got to be CrossFit. it is still just getting its name out there at the moment, but it is taking the world by storm..
Q: I’m running the half marathon next Sunday and read your article from Fitness Shop about Gel Shots. What do you think of these and what do you think I should eat / drink before and during the race? – Lauren
Hi Lauren. I think that they do help, but i have had clients get the same boost/help from jelly tots n other sugary sweets. With regards to what to eat I’d load up on carbs the day before, pasta dishes are always favoured. stay as hydrated as physically possible. Some people prefer to stay with just water, yet some others prefer the likes of Lucozade. It really is just a personal preference.
Q: I read an article previously in another health magazine about computers eventually taking on the roles as PT’s. Kind of like Nintendo Wii in large studio classes. Can you see this happening within the next 10 years like they say? – Stephen
Hi Stephen. Unfortunately yes i can. the reason i say unfortunately is because they would take the truly personal element away from PT. And the job away from trainers like myself.
Q: Is ‘retro-cycling’ a good activity for individuals with knee problems? – David T
Hi David. I can only presume that your referring to Spinning (static bike classes). To be totally honest David, it would all depend on the knee problems the participant has. As you can work with some but not with others. I would always recommend you seek medical clearance to partake in a class of that kind, especially if your concerned enough to ask. Feel free to contact me for a consultation, so we can see what’s happening.
Q: Any advice for handling a strange dog that approaches while I am jogging? – Carole G
Hi Carole. Right then you joggers out there. just follow these rules and all will be fine:
1. Stand still and try to remain calm.
2. Do not yell at the dog or run, movement can trigger the dog’s chase/play instinct.
3. Let the dog sniff you. In most cases, it will just go away once it determines that you are not actually food.
4. If the dog does attack, try to “feed” it your workout jacket or anything that might distract the dog while you slowly back away.
5. If you are knocked down or fall to the ground, immediately curl into the “fetal position,” covering your ears, face and neck. Try not to scream (too loud).
Q: The last couple of months I’ve been getting a shooting pain in my wrists when lifting weights. I’m 35 and am not lifting overly heavy weights. An example is when I do dead lift. My one rep max is 120Kg’s. At this weight I feel the pain but lower than this it subsides. Any ideas what it could be and what I should do? – Robert
Hi Robert. It could be as simple as the grip your using on the deadlift bar in that case. or the fact that you have found the limit of your grip strength and its now causing you to feel a pulling though your tendons. When your next training your biceps use a barbell using an overhand grip, that way your working your wrist flexors to, helping them to increase in strength. hope that helps.
Q: Why do I keep catching colds when I push myself in the gym? I’m a keen runner and often run outdoors 4 times a week. I train at my local gym 3 or 4 times a week if I can but it seems that doing all this in a week for say a month or two in a row often results in me getting ill. I feel like it’s a constant hindrance and am wondering if this is usual when you push your body too far. Any advice would be much appreciated to help me cut down my time off in the new year. Thanks Martin, great mag by the way! – Justin C
Hi Justin. It sounds to me like your over training. I never suggest any more than 2 training days back to back. currently your body isn’t having enough time to replenish or relax. so when the airborne germ particles are around your immune system would be more at risk. and in a gym environment where its humid, sweaty etc there is far more risk of coming down with a bug.
Q: Great mag you have going there. I’ve been a reader since you first launching getting my copy from the Prince Regent round the corner from my work. Looking forward to what you guys have planned for next year!! My question is this: I play cricket and want to generate more power from my throws. I asked the trainers at my gym (LA Fitness, sorry) but got the impression they had no clue. They mainly told me leg exercises but when you bowl it all comes from the hits. Any help would be much appreciated for an avid reader – Martin H
Hi Martin. Well to a point they are right, depending on which exercises you were given. strong quads and hamstrings are needed not only for your your approach bit also to stabilise the hips. if they are trained along side your obliques and core you will have the best of all worlds. I would get you doing high step ups with high knees as well as single leg medicine ball throwing (with either a partner or at a wall). with a moderately weighted ball 2-4kg with hi reps. If you would like to know how to perform these correctly or to learn more, call me with your diary handy.
Q: As I’m sure most people are, I’m planning a new year kick up the back side. I’m sure your readers would like to know your view on what would be best to shell out their hard earned cash on… personal trainers such as yourself, boot camps, pricey gym memberships etc. I think that would be an interesting feature as well for one of your up and coming issues
Happy holidays – Sue H
Hi Sue. Well that all comes down to 2 things. 1st being the individual and the 2nd being their bank balance. also would the client prefer a group environment? training outside in all weather? being left to it in a gym? or to be lead via a one on one with a pt? yes the pt option can be expensive, but not as expensive as signing up with a gym, then not attending it. the hardest thing about getting into a fitter healthier lifestyle is the targeted support you need to help break down any barriers your lifestyle might put in your way. Once your set on your way any good personal trainer would help you find a training path to follow. Hope that helps.
Q: I’m looking to start playing rugby but want to put on some mass before. What and how much do I need to eat? I weight 79kg. Also I don’t go to a gym but have weights and a bench at home – Pete
Hi Pete. Really hard one to answer as i don’t know how fast your metabolism is, so its hard to say how much to eat. You just have to remember that to gain mass from training you will need to take on board 1.5-2 grams of protein per kg of your body weight. Also don’t forget to train your legs, as by doing so you will naturally increase your bodies testosterone levels meaning greater gain may be had. Even after all of this it is important to remember that with modern rugby the players are actually getting more lean and are more focused on speed and agility, it you get to large some of these elements may get hindered or lost.. Good luck.
Q: I’ve only recently started taking exercise more seriously, and I’ve found that I much prefer regular cardio work to weight training, but I’m concerned that by focusing only on cardio I’ll be compromising the effects of all the work I’m doing. How important is weight training for maintaining general fitness? Does adding weights to cardio burn more calories? – Alanna
Hi Alanna. Weight training will help you maintain your functional fitness, so your bodies strength though all movements, where as cardio training alone will not.
By training large compound movements with moderate – heavy resistance levels you could boost your metabolism plus calorie burn potential. Some people combine both by using high rep sets to burn calories and target cardio systems at the same time.
Q: How important is to change gym workouts and switch exercises? I read somewhere that your body gets used to it if you do the same workout all the time and thus you don’t burn fat as well as you would if you changed it. I’m also a vegetarian and need ways to get more protein after a work out but I’m also trying to lose weight – are diet protein shakes a good way to go? – Ally
1) An old mentor of mine explained the reason for changing your workouts is due to habits. Once we have completed one thousand reps our bodies find a way of doing it more effortlessly, namely by using other muscles to help the movement. So to promote change it’s suggested that a review of training 6-8 weeks depending on how often you change.
2) After having a search on a suitable protein source for you i came across a website called MyProtein.com they stock a large range of Vegtable based proteins which i feel would cover all your needs. Please bear in mind though, shakes will only help if the remainder of your diet is balanced…
Q: How many times and how long should I exercise each week? Is three one hour sessions better than six half sessions a week? Also, is the no pain / no gain mantra of exercising true or do you risk damage by pushing through the pain barrier? – Michael W
Hi Micheal. Well it all depends on what your trying to achieve. 3 x 1 hr sessions are OK if your able to sustain the right intensity for that period of time. 6x half hour is a little over kill especially if your really pushing it during all sessions. I would recommend no more than 2 days back to back followed by a rest day. For ways of splitting your current workout to suit this structure, ask your gyms instructors as reviews are normally free with your membership.
With regards to NO PAIN, NO GAIN.. yes it is true but only in reference to aches not joint pains.
Q: I’m not at a gym but I do work out 3 times a week at home. I usually do a circuit of press ups, sit ups, squats… the bodyweight stuff. I want to gain muscle though and am not sure if this is really working. Is there then a way to work out at home and gain muscle? Or am I gonna have to give in a join a gym? – Stevie K
Hi Stevie. There will be a point where body weight will stop being enough. Now gyms won’t like me for suggesting this but, have you thought of using a simple back pack filled with anything you could use and vary for resistance? I’m also hoping you have a chin up bar or solid door frame for doing back work…
Don’t forget that results are 70% diet based, once that is in place gains will be had.
Q: I train twice a week and really enjoy it, especially being an older person at 65. I take a protein powder after training but wonder if you could suggest a supplement that could give more energy prior to training? There are so many items on the market all offering wonderful results it’s hard to know how true they are – Malcolm B
Hi Malcolm. I agree there are so many options on the market, but one has to be careful of any confliction with any medication you may be taking, for example blood pressure. Try to Limit your sugar intake and avoid candy and junk foods. These foods release quick energy which goes straight to your fat stores. Complex carbohydrates such as oats, sweet potatoes and other whole grains provide sustained energy for your daily activities, and for a boost a good few of my older clientèle swear by having a cup of coffee 20 minutes prior to training.
Q: I’m thinking of becoming a Personal Trainer so I’m going to head along to the YMCAfit open day. What do you find then are the best and worst things about being a PT? – Nick
Hi Nick. On the negative front there is a lot of competition out there so staying on top (or close to it) does make it hard. Plus If your not really good at time management you will also suffer. There are though many positives: having the independence to go freelance and the potential for high earning just a couple of them. Being a qualified PT is all good but the course doesn’t give you experience, so take your time and get in some gym instruction first. A final tip to being a good PT: find what’s unique about you and roll with it.