Your Questions About Fitness

Thomas asks…

is it possible to work full time and undergo this schedule while making a B?

I am currently a CNA in a nursing home and im working toward a BS in Behavioral Science I want to get a Masters in OT at our college of Health Sciences here is the schedule but i dont know if it is possible for me to do

Semester 1


BIO 521

Gross Anatomy for Clinical Applications

OT 531

Occupational Response to Pathological Conditions

OT 501

Fundamentals of Occupation

OT 510

Use of Occupations in Mental Health

OT 554

Fieldwork I-A


Total Credits:

Semester 2

BIO 530

Functional Clinical Neuroanatomy

IPE 509

Evidenced-Based Practice

OT 520

Humans in Motion

OT 502

Research Methodologies

OT 555

Fieldwork I-B

OT 670

Occupational Fitness for Life


Total Credits:

Semester 3

OT 540

Occupation using Adaptation

OT 560

Client Advocacy/Public Policy


Total Credits:

Semester 4

IPE 507

Ethical and Legal Decision Making

OT 556

Fieldwork I-C

OT 602

Occupations thru the Lifespan I

OT 602L

Pediatric Lab

OT 615

Client Care Techniques

OT 615L

Techniques Lab

OT 630

Research Project Design

OT 635

Program Development


Total Credits:

Semester 5

OT 557

Fieldwork I-D

OT 603

Occupations thru the Lifespan II

OT 603L

Geriatric Lab

OT 610

Clinical Reasoning

OT 640

Topics in Administration

OT 650

Research Implementation


Total Credits:

Semester 6

OT 682

Fieldwork Level II –A


Total Credits:

Semester 7

OT 692

Fieldwork Level II – B

OT 695

Senior Seminar


Total Credits:


Credits from Non-Major Courses


Credits from Major Courses


Credits from ValidationCourses


Total Credits


The Expert answers:

It’s possible… But it looks like you’re a full-time student every semester (over 12 credits). Unless your full-time employment is *very* flexible with your schedule or the classes are available as night courses, it may be difficult… Especially if you’re having to do field work some semesters.

Susan asks…

i need some philosophical input about a career decision.?

i am a fitness instructor (51 year old female)..very young in heart, mind, and body, but i’ve been through a lot over the last decade with horrible marital situations, etc. now, here’s the thing: i’m on the road to a new life. i was going to go back to school and study medicine (which was my original plan when i first obtained my degree in ’93)…however, in so doing, i would have to RETAKE organic chemistry and possible a couple of other classes…i’m feeling that this would feel like going backwards. should i base my decision on what “feels” like forward motion or what feels like “backward” motion? i COULD go a different direction, take the GRE and be in a master’s program THIS spring…the problem is that i have NO passion about anything. i’m trying to drum up some drive and motivation in spite of the lack of passion. is this possible? confused and alone in the suburbs.
good grief. some of you people are talking like i’m 90 years old. i have more stamina, energy and brain power at 51 than many people do at 21. a couple of you have major misconceptions about a 51 year old female. have you ever heard of madonna? we are the same age, size and fitness level. look at her energy level, drive, and ambition. then ask yourselves if yours compares.

the part about memory, perception and ability to learn. geez. you might as well put me out to pasture. that’s very funny.

The Expert answers:

So what are y our priorities? What are you trying to achieve? If it’s the medicine degree you seek – to enable you to do work in that field – then I do not possibly see how taking classes to that degree is a step backwards. It doesn’t matter that you took such classes before; you need to fulfill the requirements and that’s that. Besides, you probably do not remember it that well, and the field has changed…

It seems to me that your “feelings” of motion direction are unreliable and should not be trusted. Or rather, you should not be testing small components of your motion – just the whole move altogether.

Think of hiking – sometimes in order to reach the top you need to bypass some minor obstacles and make a couple steps in the downward direction…

Having said that, I can see how going toward medical degree is inline with your prior aspirations. I do not see at all how the GRE/masters fits in there… And you are not even interested in it!

A few years ago, a woman in her 90s got her degree in NJ. Yes, it is harder to learn new tricks with age; but it is possible. (You do realize that your memory, attention, and ability to learn are not what they used to be, right?) Besides, most younger students goof off most of the time anyway, so you will probably do better than most.

BTW, what ARE you going to do with the degree once you get it?

Sharon asks…

Classes I should take for Exercise science?

I am transferring to North Central College. They gave me a list of core classes I need to take for my major (exercise Science). I have a counselor’s meeting in a few day, and I’m suppose to have a schedule already set up, before the appointment. This school goes by trimesters, and I plan on taking 4 classes each trimester. Below is the list of courses. please tell me which ones I should take each trimester. For example “first trimester (list four classes), second trimester (list four classes) , and the same for the third.. Thanks in advance!!

1.BIO*100Principles of Biology1 course needed
2.HPE*103Weight Training1 course needed
4.BCM*140Nutrition1 course needed
5.BIO*147Anatomy and Physiology1 course needed
6.HPE*195Motor Learning & Human Motion1 course needed
7.HPE*222Foundations of Exercise Sci1 course needed
8.HPE*247Human Anatomy1 course needed
9.HPE*250Introduction to Sport Mngt1 course needed
11.HPE*280Human Physiology1 course needed
12.HPE*317Kinesiology1 course needed
13.HPE*347Physiology of Exercise1 course needed
14.HPE*354Applied Nutrition & Weight Mgm1 course needed
15.HPE*410Fitness Evaluation1 course needed
16.HPE*420Exercise Prgrm Fitness Prof1 course needed
17.HPE*497Internship1 course needed

The Expert answers:

They have it set up for you, as lower numbered courses should always be taken before higher numbered courses

Jenny asks…

How to prepare for high school cheerleader tryouts in one week?

How can I prepare for the cheerleading tryouts in one week?
But first, let me tell you a story why I want to be a cheerleader for my high school (yes, I know it’s a long story and I have a bad grammar , so please forgive me lol)
When I was in sixth grade, my dance teacher recommended me to tryout for cheer leading team because I was really good at it and I wanted to try it out because I always wanted to become a cheerleader so I can have great experience and get a better scholarship. Anyways, after the tryout I couldn’t made it to the team because I wasn’t prepared myself, I made a mistake of choreography and jumps, and I was a bit too shy in front of the judges. After they didn’t called my name, I cried and blamed myself so my life was ruined. =,(

Right now, I’m a high school sophomore and it’s been 3 or 4 years since tried out to be on the cheer leading and dance team and this time I want to make it. I can do cartwheels and a little bit of round-offs. Also, I can do toe-touch, pike, and herkies (I don’t know if it’s a right spelling and if not, sorry again lol) but not as good as the other cheerleaders I saw from the pep rally and football game. I know that girl who is a cheerleader and I have same class with her and I wanted to ask her. But, I don’t know because I’m kind of shy and I have a feeling that she might be a mean girl or something. Well, that’s enough about my story. What I’m trying to say is I want to make it to the team so I can have more experience (I have a little cheerleadeing experience lol) and please tell me how to practice jumps, motions, and tumbling. Also, the diet and fitness(I’m a bit fat and need to lose weight also lol).

The tryouts are next week from Monday through Friday. So, please give me advice or tips or you can give me your e-mail address just in case if I have more question about the tryouts lol
I know I won’t have time to prepare and I only have one week.
Thank you so much and sorry that’s a lot of details lol =3

The Expert answers:

Hi, good luck at the tryouts.

First of all, asking the cheerleader in your class for suggestions and tips is probably a good idea since she’s been through it all before, and she’s probably very nice. It could help a lot, and you won’t know until you try.

Second, if you can, I’d take dance classes as often as you can at a local studio. Most of them will let you take classes for the week if you pay for each one, and make sure they know why and for how long you will want to take the classes. This will help you get in shape, give you more experience in remembering choreography, and just get you back into dancing/cheering practice. Dance lessons are always a great idea for cheerleaders. It will also help with your flexibility, which will help with your toe-touches and other jumps.

If you can’t get into dance classes, watch some dance lesson youtube videos to practice, or find an empty space and choreograph your own dances. As long as you are moving and remembering steps, it will be helpful.

Also, you can watch youtube videos of the cheerleading team at your school and of other cheerleading teams.

Always remember to warm up before you dance or cheer. That’s very important so you don’t hurt yourself and so that you maximize your time. Start with something to get you moving and warm up your body (jumping jacks, etcetera), then once you’re warm, start stretching. Make sure to hold each stretch for about 20 seconds. Once you are warm and stretched, it’s time to dance or cheer.

Third, don’t try or expect yourself to lose a lot of weight in this week. Losing more than two pounds in a week can be very unhealthy. If you are dancing, you will be getting the fitness and stamina you need. You can also work out to help with this. If you can’t go to a gym, it’s easy to work out at home with different types of crunches, releves and eleves to work out your calves, push ups, pilates moves, yoga, etcetera. (Yoga and/or pilates classes would also be a good alternative if you can’t get into a dance studio). As far as diet goes, try to eliminate sugary foods, especially foods where sugar or high fructose corn syrup (or regular corn syrup) is listed as one of the first ingredients, since the higher up on the ingredient list an item is, the more there is of it in the food. Try to eat as much unprocessed food as you can (generally, the fewer the ingredients listed, the less processed it is), and of course eat a lot of fruits and vegetables (especially green vegetables). Eat lots of fiber, and don’t eat too much meat. If you want more protein, you can get it from nuts, peanut butter, eggs and cheese (though they are high in fat), seeds, beans, and tofu.
Don’t change up your diet too much right away, though, or else you could get sick.

Most importantly, make sure you get enough sleep each night, and have fun at tryouts! Whether you make the team or not, it will be a good experience :]

Charles asks…

Why do I get lightheaded when exercising?

Just this year I joined my schools Fitness Team. This is my senior year in high school and I haven’t played sports since the end of my sophomore year. Before that though I have always done sports, baseball, basketball, soccer etc. I have always had asthma problems but now they are basically under control and all I need is a rescue inhaler for when running indoors. Physically I am in shape and thin.

When I started fitness team it was really tough the first few weeks but that was expected after not exercising for over a year. Since then I have still been having problems though. Mainly its because I get really lightheaded and have to sit out for a bit. Just the other day I did a minute long sprint and felt fine at first. About a minute later I sat down and was feeling lightheaded. This lasted for about 5 or 6 minutes. During that time my arms and tongue felt like they were asleep and my stomach would hurt when i moved. I didn’t really tell anyone that i was feeling bad but I asked one kid to grab me my inhaler and i tried it knowing it wouldn’t do anything and it didn’t.

My mom called my doctor the other day and he said that it could be acid reflux because i had motion sickness really bad when i was younger. Short drives would make me sick basically. I don’t think this is it because its not really my stomach that is bothering me.

If anyone knows what I may have or have any suggestions It would be appreciated. Ive heard things like go easier and take a slower pace when doing the stuff but I really don’t want to do that.I would like to figure this out soon because I am going into law enforcement to become a police officer and now is a good time for me to get serious about getting in shape. Any help would be appreciated, and once again thanks for the help.
Also I know I am drinking and eating correctly before exercising. But thanks for thinking about that.

The Expert answers:

Well in running I dont know, but when your lifting weights if you are try to sync you breathing and lifting at the same time sorry if this didn’t help drink plenty of water as well before even exercising

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Your Questions About Fitness

James asks…

How to get skinny in 52 days?

I’m trying to get skinny before school starts again. Got any diets, exercises, tips, etc. Anything healthy and fitness related would be great. Thanks

The Expert answers:

Get from for fat burning pills for more effect . Basically , losing fat , you need to do cardio , a good diet plan , and 8 hours of sleep , and tons of water . You must try your best to keep oily food out . Exercise would totally be cardio and weight training , to get toned at the same time . You can find a diet plan at at find your plan , male/female , your age , fat loss or gaining muscle . I think you will need 3 months or so. Choose which type of cardio training you like , running , cycling , swimming , etc . Put it in your schedule .

Chris asks…

*Diet & Fitness Tips*?

Tarra gave me the idea to do this so thank you Tarra. I wanted to post a list of tips for people that are asking the same questions about losing weight and being fit. Below are some I came up with. Anybody have any others?

1. Never starve yourself. Starving yourself does more harm then good. It lowers your body’s metabolism and it makes your body want to store fat since its not getting any food.

2. Have 5-6 small meals throughout the day, and make breakfast your biggest meal. This will help you to feel fuller throughout your day. Make your last meal your smallest meal.

3. To feel more full and less hungry, make sure you are getting lots of fiber in the morning. Oatmeal is a great breakfast of choice.

4. Make your diet consist of lots of lean protein (chicken/fish), healthy carbs (whole grain/veggies), and healthy fats (nuts/almonds). Drink tons of water throughout the day. Water is pretty much the only beverage you need. Personally, I only drink water, coffee, and occasionally skim milk.

5. For exercise, workout at least 30-60 minutes each day. Lifting weights three days a week is a great way to tone your body and increase your metabolism. Running 5 days a week doing long distance runs, intervals, sprints, hills, etc. is a fantastic way to burn calories. Do different types of cardio and running throughout the week to get the best benefits possible. Take an off day once a week.

6. Remember it is impossible to target fat loss. The most stubborn areas to lose fat are the stomach, hips, and thighs. Just work hard and eat clean and the fat will come off overtime.

7. Keeping a log of your exercise is a great motivater to see how you are progressing. Count your calories and keep track of them if you want to too. This will help you keep to your daily calorie intake.

8. Losing weight and being healthy is going to take time. There is no quick fix. A healthy and realistic goal is to lose 1-2 lbs. a week.

9. Above all stay positive. Everybody wants to look and feel good and their are millions and millions of people trying to diet as we speak. Stay positive, focused, and motivated to achieve your goal and you will be very happy with your results.

The Expert answers:

Awwww!! Thanks for the mention. What a great guy.

Let me add my favorite mantra:

10. “Fitness isn’t a diet”
(c) 2009


Thomas asks…

I’m feeling overwhelmed about exercising…tips anyone?

Does anyone else feel like this? There are so many things you could do and not enough hours in the day. I have 30 minutes in the mornings and 30 in the evenings to devote to exercise. I have been walking at about 2 miles an hour for 30 minutes every morning for about 3 weeks. I have been walking in some capacity every day for the last 3 months. I feel like I need to do more because I am not seeing results like before. I am also morbidly obese and it can be hard to do floor work because my belly is in the way. I so want to be successful this time. I lost 20 pounds in 3 months and today I peaked at the scales and have a 4 pound gain this week that I am none too happy about. The thing is those 20 pounds…I know they were hurting my health but I am so big anyway, I can’t really tell I lost…still wear the same clothes. Maybe I would feel better going to the gym where people could help me…I don’t know but I would love tips in the meantime. I am on a semi-low carb diet similar to south beach right now (just started, have been counting calories for the past 3 months and never let myself go over 1700, 1500 most days.)
I get so frustrated because most websites about fitness are geared to semi-normal people who are actually almost fit. Sometimes I am really in a hurry to lose weight, other times I think I need to take it really slow because I am not going to be able to afford surgery for loose skin.
My BMI is currently 44 and I am 28 years old, to give you an idea of where I am at. My main goal right now is I need to lose about 2 1/2 inches off my middle to fit into some motivational clothes I bought. I also want to lose 30 more pounds to no longer be in the morbidly obese category (because my BMI would be under 40.)
I think those are reasonable goals. Sorry this isn’t more of a specific question but I could use any and all ideas, tips, support, suggestions, encouragement etc. I do know one fault in my diet I have discovered is it is too high in salt and my ankles are huge…water retention I think. I am hoping that is all the 4 pound gain is.
I am really serious about this so please, only serious answers. No advertising about this pill or that magic acai berry or stuff. I am doing this the old fashioned way and I want to work as hard as possible as long as it is safe.

The Expert answers:

Hi, I lost 85 pounds five years ago so I can relate to what you’re going through. I think you’ll find this website helpful and not at all geared towards the “already healthy” viewers. There are tons of weight loss tips, food and exercise logs (which I would recommend to you for motivational purposes), healthy recipes, motivational ideas, exercise ideas, etc.
Congrats on your weight loss so far. I so remember what you’re saying about no one noticing the weight loss. I was so heavy that I had to lose 30 pounds before anyone that didn’t know I was dieting noticed and said, “Are you losing weight?” After that first 30 though, people commented all the time and I was buying new clothes constantly as I went down through the sizes. A typical clothing size is 10 pounds, so once I got in “normal” clothes, I was buying basics (black pants, jeans, khaki pants) to get me through to the next size. To be honest, when people got used to seeing me look good, I missed all the attention. Try not to get discouraged. Losing a lot of weight is an endurance test, that’s all…you can do this! Good luck!

Nancy asks…

What are some good fitness tips….?

What are some good exercises to get a flatter stomach by September. Also How much weight can I lose in 3 months. New School! New Look! What is a muffin top? Also what should I eat more and what should I eat less of?

The Expert answers:

Try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and lean protein and to get your body in great shape, try Pilates. Essentially, all Pilates exercises are abdominal exercises, working from the powerhouse and they zero in on the abdominals, build your core strength, and flatten your stomach.

Susan asks…

Diet and fitness tips please?

Ok, so i’m going to a wedding in around 2 months, and i’d quite like to look a little slimmer in the wedding snaps! I’d like to lose about a stone if i can. I don’t want to do anything drastic, i like to look after myself and i’m hoping that after the wedding i can continue my new found healthy lifestyle 😀

So, i was just wondering if you guys had any helpful tips? I’m going to eat around 1100 calories a day so it’s a healthy amount but not starving myself. I want to do some exercise but i’m not sure what one’s – something that would tone my tummy, thighs and upper arms would be great. Maybe you guys could give me some good exercises?

Thank you in advance for your help 🙂

The Expert answers:

You should use the exercise bike to tone your legs & it also helps your tummy, walk/jog, and you should get those small pool balls that they sell at walmart or walgreens and put it on the floor then press your back against it and do some sit ups, it helps a lot more than doing sit ups alone on the ground. I recomend drinking these natural pills called Acai, they are purple and come in a white container. They are great! They don’t cause anyting bad to your body and it helps you lose more weight. I have been taking them for the longest time and they are great! They sell them at walgreens.
Good luck & I hope I helped!(:

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Your Questions About Fitness

Steven asks…

What is a good workout program for building muscle and loosing fat?

I am 21, 6 foot 1 and in OK shape. I basically want to burn fat and build muscle. This will not be for any sport specifically.

The Expert answers:

The most important thing in building muscle and losing fat is eating good healthy food with enough (not to much) protein. As for working out, the best way to build muscle and burn fat is high intensity, short duration workouts. Forget about the marathon (2 hour) workouts in the magazines ( those guys are taking huge amounts of steroids). It should take no longer than 10 or 15 minutes per body part. Here is an example for chest: grab some dumb bells that you can easily do 12 reps with, then rest for 1 minute. Grab another set you can only due 12 rep with and rest for a minute. Now go to a weight you can only do 8-10 and rest 2 minutes. Go back to a little lighter weight where you have to really dig deep to squeeze out 12 reps and then immediately go to flys with a weight you can only squeeze out 10-12 reps. That’s it your chest should be DONE by now. It’s important to go to absolute failure (go past the pain of the burn) on the last 2 sets to hit every last muscle fiber. Always use good form (you don’t want injuries and your muscles have to work harder if you use strict form). Some other examples would be: squats for legs, finish with leg extensions. Lat pull downs for back and finish with dumbbell pull overs. Barbell curls for biceps and finish with dumbbell preacher curls. With short intense workouts you are able to completely tax you muscles, yet still have the reserves to rebuild them quickly. Not to mention, why spend 2 hours a day in the gym, when 45 minutes is supperior to building muscle and burning fat. Also take 1 or 2 days off a week from working out to rest your body.

Edit: don’t listen to the answer above mine. It’s not hard to gain muscle and lose fat, just look at all the before and after pictures of the thousands of people who did the “Body For Life” challenge. You just have to eat the right foods and workout intensely.

Chris asks…

Is toning muscles in my stomach the same as building muscle?

In other words…i’ve been trying to lose weight the last month and i’ve lost 10 lbs. however i’ve also been doing lots of crunches and stretches, if i’m toning my abs am i building muscle that weighs more because this last week i stopped losing weight?

The Expert answers:

Firstly, CONGRATS on losing those really unwanted 10 lbs :). Way to go!
Coming to the point, toning muscle and building muscle are two very different forms of muscular stress.
I can guarantee you that you are only toning muscle and not actually putting on muscle – ie. You are only burning fat.
Resistance training is a relatively simple science. Now I can imagine that you have put in your heart to lose those 10 lbs. You shocked your body and muscle with your work outs and lost all that flab. So now you have reached the next level of fitness.
You seem to be giving your body the same level of stress as you did in the beginning, but now, your body has adapted itself to that level of stress, so it really will not respond. You need to increase your work out stress to get more, because now, you are already on level 2. Which is also a wonderful sign. You’re only getting better.
Just keep increasing your stress levels hereafter, until you reach your desired body form – then on, you could maintain that stress level to keep your shape. Good luck, you’re doing great!

James asks…

How many grams of protein do I need daily for losing fat and building muscle?

How many grams of protein do I need daily for losing fat and building muscle?
Also what is the best way to consume my daily intake as far as food versus meal replacement shake?
What are some good natural products? Thanks 🙂

The Expert answers:


I am asuming you are weight training but you don’t say how old you are

for a weight training adult you need between 1.2 and 1.6 grams pr kg of bodyweight, this is increased to 2 grams if your a teenager.

Most people can get their protein needs from a normal diet, fish, chicken and eggs are all good and if your vegetarian nuts, seeds, soy, tofu, lentils and kidney beans.

Don’t take supplements if you don’t need to.

Laura asks…

What is a good age to start lifting weights to build muscle?

At what age is it OK to start weight training to actually begin building muscle and getting noticeably stronger? Before what age is it damaging to weight train particularly arms? Is going for long, intense bike rides count as weight train for the legs and is it OK to go on intensive bike rides in consecutive amounts of days or should I rest my muscles? Serious answers from experience professionals please no jokes or just put in your opinion. Thank you.

The Expert answers:

You can run and bike as much as you want at any age. I would wait until you are at least 15 or 16 before hitting real heavy weights. You didn’t mention your age, but if you are younger than 16 you can start doing some Cross Fit or P90X type of workouts. These workout utilize your own body weight. Around the age of 16 your body’s joints and bone structure will start to mature. This will allow you to start using free weights without compromising your joints. Your testosterone levels will also increase greatly at this age and allow you to pack on the muscle mass through compound exercises like barbell squats and bench press. Always be sure to use good form and spotter if you are lifting heavy. It is essential to have a healthy diet as well. Good luck and happy lifting!

Sharon asks…

How to get a slim tummy without building muscle?

I tried getting a slim tummy without building muscle. I did exercises and I do a lot of sit ups and exercise for sports. I don’t want to get a whole muscular look but I want a slim tummy. How do I do that?

The Expert answers:

Eat plenty of protein and do plenty of cardio, unless you trying really hard for a six pack your probably not going to get it.

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Your Questions About Fitness

Daniel asks…

Can someone help me make a workout plan?

I’m 6ft 165lbs.
My main goals are
-Stregthen my core
-Get down to 130lbs
-Improve my upper body stregth (alot)

Get as detailed as possible, specific excecises, number of reps, etc..
Also if you can tell me what my caloric intake for a day should be based on my size.
Thanks in advance
EDIT: Im 16yo

The Expert answers:

Falkor –

You didn’t mention your age… That’s key too.
Ok, thanks for the ago info…. Here are some things to keep in mind besides exercise…

1- As a mid-teen your body and brain cells are still developing. Your brain cells (& bones too) will grow thru your late teens and then stop. Your body will begin using them up in your early 20’s, and that’s what you’ll have to live on for the rest of your life. I mention that because you must eat enough and get good nutrition to build brain cells. It’s not worth it to starve yourself or skip certain food groups then suffer later in life. So you have to balance nutrition with your physical goals.

2- Keep in mind that if you’re especially muscular, any weight charts or BMI charts you see for average people will be off. Because muscle weighs more than fat… So allow a higher BMI or weight level.

3- If your goal is “6-pack abs”, keep in mind that each person is built differently and has different body chemistry. Even within families. So some people may be able to achieve better muscle definition than others. It’s just a fact of life. You do the best you can with what you have, and at some point don’t sweat what you can’t change.

4- One last important tip – don’t use weight loss pills (they can cause heart problems & heart attacks, even in young people) or steroids.

Wt vs. BMI – Focus on your Body Mass Index (BMI), rather than your weight. It will measure relative muscle & fat balances. There are different charts for kids & teens than for adults. And, again, if you’re very muscular you will come in higher than the charts show… Here’s a pointer to a couple sources for BMI Calculators geared to teens – they’ll ask you to enter height, weight, age, gender then show you the BMI that’s considered good wt., overwt. Or underwt.:

Exercises – Here are some pointers to good abs exercises that include reps & sets. I think it would be too hard for me to describe & these are the same types of exercises my trainer had me doing. My suggestion is not to do any exercises that involve heavy weights 2 days in a row. Your muscles need to rebuild with weight training – so only do them every other day. For exercises that don’t use weights, other than your own body weight, change up what you’re doing every 4 weeks so your muscles don’t get too accustomed and aren’t challenged anymore.

(I like that this last one lists exercises in order of effectiveness)

** Another thing to remember – in certain things in life ‘more is better’. Not so in exercising & diet. Doing more than the recommended sets and reps can actually be damaging & detrimental to your health or can work counter to what you want to achieve. In other words, if you start to cut back too much on your food (besides the brain cell & bone devel. Issues I mentioned above) your body will think it’s starving & actually stop burning calories and you might even gain weight to compensate. Ditto in terms of damage to soft tissue and muscle. Stay within the recommended reps/sets and number of days per week suggested, don’t improvise.

Caloric Intake – Again, always consider your age & developmental stage, not charts for overweight, middle age adults who have to lose spare tires… Here’s a pointer (there are others on the Web):

Good luck in your goals to stay fit. If you eat and exercise appropriately for your age (at any stage of your life) it will keep your body young and working as well as it’s intended to work. Take care….

Laura asks…

can someone be too skinny to be pregnant ?

i am size 8-10, weight around 46 kilos and 5’4 inches tall…

but i have always been more or less like that – i never diet, i do light exercise, i eat healthy food, most people on my side of the family are on the thin side. we have been planning to have children but my husband reckons we shouldnt try having children coz i am very thin for it

is this true ? were any of you / your partners thin when u had your first baby ? did they cope ok ?
btw i am 25 and married for almost 2 years now…

The Expert answers:

Having a low BMI (body mass index) can make it more difficult to conceive. Basically, women with a BMI in the ‘normal’ range are most fertile. Being outside this range can make it more difficult. However, this does not mean that it is impossible. For many thin women, it is not a problem at all. It certainly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try!

You should be aware that being underweight carries a higher risk of miscarriage however. This makes a good diet and taking a pre natal vitamin and mineral supplement for a few months before trying to conceive a very good idea.

My mum was very thin when she was younger and had no problems with any of her 3 pregnancies.

Lizzie asks…

how big around should my theighs be? what to do with stretch marks?

if i were to take a measuring tape, and measure the length around my theighs more tward the vagina then the knee, what should it be? im 14 like 5’5 and i have like purple stretch marks all up and down my legs. im not a big girl. i weigh 136 is that normal? how can i get rid of the stretch marks, and why did i get them?

The Expert answers:

Stretch marks do not automatically mean you are over weight or obese. They could mean you just grew taller in a short amount of time. When you are about 13-14 your thighs and hips naturally widen. It happens because your body is of child-bearing age so your body gets ready to bare some children.
Being 5 ft 5 in and 136 is perfectly normal. You could stand to be as low as 112 or as high as 150 without any health risks. This was found out by calculating your Body Mass Index.

So, your stretch marks did not come from being fat but they came from puberty. Here is how fade your stretch marks in weeks ( I know this because I did it). Take a dry brush and brush the area to exfoliate. Now rub shea butter, cocoa butter, stretch mark cream, or baby oil on the area (you can also use other lotions and creams). Take some plastic wrap (the kind used for food) and place over the area. Now put a heating pad or hot water bottles there and leave them there for 20-30 minutes. Do this every day and you will see results very soon. Mine are almost faded after doing this for one week.

Don’t forget to do it every day and keep doing it until they are diminished.

Lisa asks…

What is the average weight for a 13 year old girl and 5.4 feet?

You see… I’m 127 pounds, my whole family is all fit and strong or super skinny and I think I’m like the typical fat one of the whole family but I want to change that. Everyone says I look like a girl of 17 years old and in my group of friends (they’re all really skinny) I’m like the biggest one. I don’t know if I’m influenced by everyone around me or is it that I really need to lose some weight and if I do please tell me how (especially in the legs)

The Expert answers:

A 13 year old (female) child who is 109 pounds and is 5 feet and 4 inches tall has a body mass index of 18.7, which is at the 50th percentile. Meaning half weigh more, half weigh less. At 127 you are in the 81th percentile. You are much more at risk of becoming overweight than most of your classmates.

You probably know better than anyone what junk food & sugary beverages you can cut out to make your legs look better.

Betty asks…

How much would a 16 year old’s weight be?

Um well im 16 and 5’7 and weigh 145 x.o
is that normal? i just wanted to know how much a 16year old girl is supposed to regularly weigh?

The Expert answers:

Given the information you’ve provided, here’s the result I found on-line.

A 16 year old (female) child who is 145 pounds and is 5 feet and 7 inches tall has a body mass index of 22.8, which is at the 73th percentile, and would indicate that your child is at a healthy weight.

Healthy is the most important word you need to look for when thinking about your weight. Your weight and BMI (body mass index) have huge effects on your overall health not just now, but far reaching into the rest of your life. Being too thin is just as unhealthy as being too large.

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Your Questions About Fitness

Maria asks…

Should I Go Ahead And Do A Gym Membership?

I’m trying to avoid paying for a gym membership because I can’t afford it on a continuous monthly basis. I know you can exercise outside for free but I don’t want people driving by or standing in there yard watching me TRYING to run or jog. Not much confidence do that yet. But I don’t mind being in a gym on a treadmill trying to run. To me treadmills give me more encouragement and the freedom to do an intense workout. I am in school and my school does have a fitness center but right now I don’t like going there. I’m burnt out on school so even just being there I don’t like. Plus I have to take the bus there which I have just recently started to do within the last few months. There is a 24 hour fitness really close to my home and I would like to join that because I can go and workout anytime I have available. I have tried walking in my home and outside but its not an intense enough of a workout to help me stay motivated. So I guess I am one of those people that is machine motivated. I can afford a 1 month membership with 24 hour fitness, should I go ahead and do that or still try to motivate myself to find others ways to keep myself on track and see good progress?
24 hour fitness has a 30 day membership option so I would only pay for 30 days and I assume that they will not put me automatically into a membership

The Expert answers:

If money is really an issue I’d try other activities first. Find something you like and stick with it. Don’t sign a binding contract unless you’re sure… Maybe have made that mistake 🙂

Sharon asks…

I CANT lose weight and tone up?

Heres my scoop. I’m almost 6ft and I weigh 250 lbs but heres the funny part I don’t look 250lbs! People tell me they see maybe 220 max on me but I hit the scale (butt booty naked lol) and everyday I get the same readout 2 5 0. I do have broad shoulders and do have a descent built but a GUT that’s pissing me off! I’m not Arnold nor do I have a six pack but there’s def. muscle there. I try sooo hard to reach my goal and my goal is simple yet demanding: “Lose weight and tone up”. I do exercise every other day. I do dumbell workouts : Mon- Chest n Triceps , Weds- Shoulders and Traps, Fri- Biceps and Back but before all that I warm up with Cardio EVERYTIME (1 for fitness but two as part of my leg workouts)!! I go on my treadmill and power walk (2.5 mph 0 incline/decline) for about 5 minutes and than crank it up to a moderate Jog (5.0 mph 0 incline/decline) for about 2 minutes (I’m usually winded by that time) and bring it back down to the 2.5 setting for my cool off mode and after five minutes of that my cardio is done and I’m off to the workouts mentioned above. My only guess is what i’m eating, I mean I can be a big eater at times but I have cut back drastically! I usually start off with a bowl of honey nut cheerios with skim milk and a bottled water (O.J has too much acid for me) and I take a multi-vitamin when I’m done. I eat like every 3 hours, for lunch i’ll have a turkey sliced sandwich on wheat bread and a small amount of fat free Pringles and for dinner I’ll have a 2 pieces of chicken and veggies and maybe a salad. I usually have apples and grapes and low carlorie stuff on stand bye for in-between snacks . Heres another thing , I am currently laid off! I Know I dont move around as much but theres only so much I can do right now. Like I said I do workout every other day and I just started taking walks round the neighborhood to get out of the house can anyone Please help me figure out what the Hell I gots to do to lose weight and tone up!!

The Expert answers:

The cardio you’ve described is a joke! In order for your cardio to do anything for you, you need to get your heart rate up and keep it there for at least 30 minutes. Even if you get winded quickly now, push yourself just a little harder next time (even if only for another minute) and eventually you’ll find yourself easily running 30 minutes at a time. Plus, getting your heart rate up before you do any lifting will help your muscle development. Without getting in good cardio you’ll never get rid of that stubborn belly of you, no matter what exercises you do.

Chris asks…

Dunking after working out .?

Im 15 & I workout everyday. its either a couple exercises from air alert or sets of free weight squats, glute exercises from machines at la fitness, or many sets of calf exercises. Somedays i get a good feeling and dunk. Other days i cant seem to get high enough to jam. Today i tried to dunk after working out and couldnt seem to get up enough. What can i do to dunk consistently.

Thanks for helping

The Expert answers:

Keep working on it. You are only 15, you will get there.

Ken asks…

What would make you want to hire a personal trainer?

I’m a personal trainer and ready to invest in creating a freelance home- training business. I’m trying to create my professional profile, including business cards, marketing, outreach, etc. First things first, I need to come up with a name for my business.

My training methodology incorporates coordination, stabilization, form and correct movement. I emphasize movement improvement, posture, injury prevention, understanding the mechanics of the body and using fitness tools as part of a daily routine.

I’d like the name of my business/service to reflect my particular style of personal training and I’m leery of using a simple name like “Personal Training with (me)” because these days people often associate personal training with the Biggest Loser, fat-burning, extreme style of exercise. I’m not opposed to intense workouts but my experience working in gyms pushing these extreme workouts taught me that, while catchy, this is not the service I wish to provide. Instead of the usual fat loss goal, I’d like to catch the attention of people who wish to use fitness as a means of achieving a healthy lifestyle.

I’m shooting around ideas of names that emphasize movement and well being:

Move Free, Move Freely, Movement Training, and Movement Well Being. Also, my email address ends in so I’ve thought about incorporating it, as in, “alive” into a name, for instance “Exercising Alive”, “Move Alive”, “Improve @live” with (my name)

I’m looking for any input people have on which of these names might work best and any other suggestions would be appreciated as well. Thanks!

The Expert answers:

I think a name like “Getting Healthy” or “Let’s Get Healthy” is one way to go. Most people I know of hire a personal trainer when they need to lose a lot of weight, and become healthy overall at the same time.
This would involve not only exercise, both cardio and weights, but also being a nutritionist at the same time.
Of course other people would just want to “buff up.” Some might want to learn to box or wrestle, but I still think you should continue to mainly think of getting the whole body healthy.
Maybe, “Improve Your Life.”
“Improve (Your) Life@live with Mara Vera.” Sounds pretty good!
Best of luck to you! 🙂

Sandy asks…

My Body is Degrading?

I don’t know what’s going on with my body. It seems like its degrading physically. I’m only 14 and I shouldn’t have these kind of problems.

It all started around 2-3 months ago, I found out when I ran or did intense exercise my body wouldn’t be able to handle it. My heart would race really fast and if I undergo extreme sprints for both swimming or running I wouldn’t be able to breathe after the process. Then My oxygen tubes through my lungs also seemed to shrink like I had a small case of asthma.
I just thought it was because I was tired or something but about 1.5 months ago, during my fitness course, our class took the normal mile test.
For me, I really wanted to drop a lot of time on my prior mile time so I went really fast. It was simple at first but after the 2nd lap, Mucus started to gather in my lungs and it seemed to clog the vents where I breathe and it was very hard to breathe. I kept going till the end and I sprinted, reaching the end of the mile,

Normally the human body would start rejuvenating at this point, but as for me, I felt like I was gonna die.
My head was hurting and it felt like there was blood rushing through it at an excessively fast rate. Same went for my heart. My heart was pounding fast and my lungs were really bad. They Hurt and BURNED like crazy. And Most of all, My head felt like it was gonna blow. I felt extremely dizzy and I wouldn’t have been surprised if I fainted. I could barely breathe and my lungs felt like being pricked by cacti.
I couldn’t walk anymore cuz I felt really dizzy. My friend helped me up and then when we had a short break I lied on the ground trying to Catch my breathe still. It seemed like I was lacking oxygen in my lungs and therefore I was extremely light headed.
It took like 45 minutes for me to start feeling better, whereas everyone else had recovered after a mere 5 minutes.

This never happened in 8th grade. When I ran the mile, I would just have mucus after and feel tired but then now even when I swim, I seem to have become slower. My sprints stay about the same but if I go long distance, my lungs seem to shrink and reject oxygen sometimes.

I do not have a case of obesity. I might have gone too hard on the mile because I had improved from a 7 minute to a 5 minute. I’m a hardcore swimmer and I swim a lot. Recently I’ve been experiencing the same symptoms when I swim especially when I sprinted a 100 yard yesterday, I felt like my lungs were blocked and I was unable to obtain oxygen at the normal rate.

My 50 yard free is about the same though (25.06) but I feel like my body is degrading.
When i was a little kid, I was diagnosed with Asthma but I dunno. after joining the swim team at the age of 8 the problem seemed to die down. And I’ve been normal up to this point.

I also eat alot more now and although I feel like I’ve been gaining weight, I still stay at the same weight (130.)

My body had started to feel messed up after hell week which was in december 2008. I had gone to 10 workouts in 6 days which all of them consisted of 3 hours of intense swimming. After finishing hell week, I had a case of ear infection and thats when i rested for 2 weeks and after another month my body seemed to start to degrade. Anyone know the problem or solution? Should I see a doctor?

The Expert answers:

Well what about your diet, if you arent eating enough carbohydrates or proteins, thats what happens.

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Your Questions About Fitness

Richard asks…

where to enter the 24 hour fitness coupon code?

I am having one 24 hour fitness coupon code. Where I have to enter the fitness coupon code and how much can I save?

The Expert answers:

It is very simple. First you should verify the site and goto the particular fitness marketing site. There you can find a box to enter the coupon code and the 24 hour fitness coupon code should be entered on the box. The percentage of amount you save will depend on the marketing site. All the fitness sites offers various coupon for the buyer to encourage saving.

Laura asks…

which are the best 24 hour fitness coupon?

I am looking for best 24 hour fitness coupon. Where can I find the best coupon for my purchase of fitness product?

The Expert answers:

You can find best 24 hour fitness coupon on many fitness marketing sites. The percentage of discount varies according to the products. You can save 30% on nutritional products order and $0 initiation fee on any monthly payment membership. You can also get 10% off plus free shipping on orders over $50. You can find many different offers on the site.

David asks…

how much for a 24 hour fitness membership?

How much is a one month membership to 24 hour fitness in Manteca? I want to have access to the pool, the jacuzzi, and the steam room.
I’m not looking to lose weight. I’m already very fit as I do a lot of jogging, push-ups, and ab exercises. I just want to have access to the jacuzzi, steam room and swimming pool.
I know that 24 hour fitness memberships vary depending on the city and I live in Manteca. How much is a 24 Hour membership in Manteca?

The Expert answers:

A one year membership single gym is usually 300 dollars per year and a multi gym membership is 350. I think there is a deal from costco for two years for 300 dollars.

Carol asks…

If I get one of those visa prepaid cards from walmart, will i be able to pay for a 24 hour fitness membership?

Basically, with the visa prepaid card, the ones that don’t require a bank account, can i use it to pay for a 24 hour fitness membership.

The Expert answers:

Anything that you can pay for using a credit/debit card, you can use the WalMart Money Cards for.

Paul asks…

What advertising agencies do US companies LA Fitness (NOT UK company with same name) and 24 Hour Fitness use?

I need to find this information out about the US companies not the UK ones. They are separate companies. I need to know who the advertising agencies are for LA Fitness (USA) and 24 Hour Fitness (USA).

The Expert answers:

The source you want is the Agency Redbook. You might check whether your local library has it in its business reference section. Otherwise it would cost you $2K to buy it.

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Your Questions About Fitness

Lisa asks…

What is the best way to deterime a diet and exercise program?

I don’t have the money to see a nutritionist or trainer of any sort, but want to figure out a good diet and fitness program for myself to follow. I’m 34 years old, male, about 6’1″ large frame, and weigh about 300. I think my goal weight should be around 170.

My health is generally good, I do have mild asthma (since childhood), and mild arthritis (for about 10 years). I was in good shape until I started college at age 21, and have gained about 10 lbs per year since.

What diet and fitness program would work best for me? Anyone know of any book-based programs they can recommend?

The Expert answers:

Almost any of the books by Men’s Health, especially the one by David Zinczenko – The Abs Diet.

Two-two has spoken

Nancy asks…

How to increase my pull ups?

I am training for SWCC. I have Stew Smiths ” The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness” Book.

I am a former wrestler. I am not TOTALLY out of shape, but not no way up to par with Spec Ops fitness.

I can only do 7 pull ups right now. Minimums are 6. I HATE doing minimum and want surpass it.

My goal for pull ups is 15-20. I do PT pyramids example. 1,2,3,4,5. 5,4,3,2,1.

Is there other exercises i can do to get at my goal for pull ups? thank you

The Expert answers:

Try working out your back, arms (biceps and triceps), shoulders, and chest. Having a strong core is the key to being able to do a lot of pull ups.


Joseph asks…

Fitness and Heath/diet question?

I started feeling like I’ve lost wieght, the book bag I carry is ligher on my back and the upper part of my torso has lessened in size.

My daily schedule for exercise is this aerobics machine for 30 mins, then because of my gut, I do about 5-7 or so push ups and then 10-13 sit ups.

I eat what I want to eat in moderation, when Im full I stop, and I only drink 1-2 cans of soda a day and try to drink plenty of water.
Any tips on helping lose more wieght?

The Expert answers:

Well, if you are drinking coke as in anything that isn’t diet, try to slowly decrease the amount of coke you drink to 1 or maybe even NO cokes. Try decreasing by 1/3 of a can that way you slowly train your body and keep decreasing every 1 week. Or- with diet cokes (Coke Zero personally being my favorite) you have some more benefits because it has no calories so you can drink probably 2 cokes at the most. Besides, the coke it like a speed bump that kind of slows you down from your best when you could be faster towards your goal if you decreased you coke intake or canceled it (:
But, DANG you are doing AWESOME I drink 2 BOTTLES of diet coke a day and I’m getting worse but when I completely eliminated cokes from my diet, I completely forgot the taste and had no desire for the soda. Also, if you go to and search 8minute abs, 8minute arms, 8minute legs and, 8minute buns (it hurts like heck- I tried it twice and I felt horribly sore the rest of the day and I know it’s prob like “Why would I want to do such a painful exersice???” but it WORKS) and it includes pushups, situps, side crunches, etc.

Or, if you’re not interested in those videos, try increasing your pushups and situps. Also, try to suck in your stomach whenever you exercise and try to make it a habit just flat out EVERYWHERE. Well, I guess that’s about it (:
But keep in mind- YOU CAN DO IT!!! Keep it up and good luck!!!

Linda asks…

Why does no one on this site know anything about fitness? read this and i will address some common myths?

Here’s a short list of BS i see advised to people on this site. I’m a huge health nut, and it pains me to see people following all this faulty advice.

1) If women weight train too much they’ll get big and buff.

Women CANNOT get huge and buff without roids. Their testosterone levels are not high enough.

2) to tone up ur muscles just do low weight for lots of reps

Total crap. “tone” is the result of your bodyfat percentage. Less bodyfat around the muscles, the more “defined” and “tight” the muscles seem. The low weight high reps combo does nothing for this. Period.

3) Doing situps will reduce stomach fat (and other exercises decrease fat in their respective areas)

Spot reduction is the biggest myth in exercise today. It is not possible to reduce fat from a specific area, and countless scientific studies confirm this. Doing situps will only strengthen the muscle underneath the fat, it will not get rid of it.

4) Fat can be converted to muscle, and vice versa.

In order to turn fat to muscle, you would need to change the molecular structure of it. Exercise will not do this.

5) To lose weight super fast, just eat next to nothing.

NO. You will destroy your metabolism (making it near impossible to keep the weight off when you start eating normally again) and your body will destroy more muscle than fat to create energy.

How to train: Go find the book called “starting strength” by Mark Rippetoe. Buy and read it. Read and read that too. (it is meant to be read IN ADDITION to the book, not instead). This is an amazing beginner program, and i gained a ridiculous amount of strength and size while on it. If you think you’re not a beginner, i can almost guarantee you are if you’re looking for advice on Y!A. If you still insist, do you squat anywhere near twice your bodyweight? With the top of your leg being parallel to the ground at the lowest point (lower is also ok)? If you said no, you’re a beginner, end of story.

If anyone has any more myths or questions they want to to address, please post them, because almost every question i see has to do with the things i addressed above.
Hey Gym Jock, yeah i’ve heard some good things about that program too, i recommend starting strength because if focuses on strength completely, which is what every beginner needs. IMO newbs to the gym should try to build up some decent strength before they try going for size (although if you eat enough, you can gain size as well)

The Expert answers:

You forgot to address the difference between the words LOSE and LOOSE. If I see one more person write “I want to LOOSE weight”, I’m jumping off a bridge.

Paul asks…

I need some fitness nutrition supplement advice.?

I’ll try to make this short. I’m entering a 12 week bodybuilding contest that is more or less for out of shape people, the winner is judged by their routine and amount of improvement. I’m very out of shape and I start my 12 weeks at the end of January. But any way I go to this con artist of a gym and my personal trainer’s job “doesn’t include nutrition advice” because they have nutritionist, which will run me another $40 per one hour session. (Luckily my membership expires in March, I found a good gym with people who care.) Anyway I have a little knowledge of supplements but I don’t want a cookie cutter routine out of a magazine or book. I know I need at least Whey, Casein, a NO2/caffeine workout enhancer….after that I don’t know. I read women can benefit greatly from creating but I also read it can cause bloat and I want to try to avoid bloating since the judging is purely aesthetic. Should I try a mass gainer as well?
Basically I want as much muscle gain and definition as I can get in 12 weeks (safely). My goal is to get as close to an IFBB bikini model as I can get in the long run and gain about 10-15lb or more in healthy fat and muscle. (The contest is just to get me motivated for now.)
I did some kind of heavy weight rep test and I apparently have more fast twitch muscle than slow twitch which my PT said was good for bodybuilding. Do I need to cater to “fast twitch” muscle differently or are they all the same?
My stack so far (though I won’t start taking anything till I start lifting in a few weeks so I have time to return if its not good.) Pre workout- Fast Twitch energy booster an hour before, Myofusion Protein mixed with 10g of Casein 20 minutes before, MyoFusion again post workout, and GNC generic brand 100% Casein at night. Also I take a multi vitamin and green tea supplement in the morning. Should I add creatine? Are multitasking supplements good to take (like Fast Twitch has NO2, caffeine and I think a bit of creatine, or am I better off getting them all separate and mixing them together?
I weigh 85lbs and am 5′ but I have a crazy metabolism so I always eat and never exercise so my body fat is at 23% which is high my doctor told me for someone as small as I am
I am completely lost so any advice would be great!!!.
Joyann Lewis, I mentioned whey, My fusion is a whey protien source…

Also I read that if you mix one or two protien shakes a day with a dairy (whole milk being the best) that it helped even more with recovery. And since I’m not worried about weight really I was going to do my post workout or before bed shake with whole milk or whole fat Greek yogurt….or should it be morning?

The Expert answers:

There is no way you need more than you are take now except maybe creatine
Vary the weights and reps.
I took only whey powder when I was in the body-for-life competition where I was a finalist (I had to lose fat though)
I did 1 day a week upper body and one lower and that was it – each time I was done in 45 minutes.
Good luck!

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Your Questions About Fitness

Paul asks…

How long does it take to gain strength with Gravitron Pull-up machine?

The Gravitron is a gym machine that gradually gets you doing full pull-ups and dips. I’m 35 year old female with embarassingly weak arms. I’m at level 5 right now – which according to the machine equals about 53 pounds of wieght. What is a good routine for getting better with this. I live right next door to the club so I could go every day. Or is better to rest? I follow the routine on the machine, which is the following:

10 dips
10 military pull-ups
10 dips
10 wide-grip pull-ups
10 dips
10 parallel pull-ups.
done with little rest in between.
complete within 6 minutes

Should I do this everyday? Or rest some days?
How long does it take to build muscle and advance levels?

(as you can tell, i don’t have any experience in lifting wieghts to build muscle)

How long does it take to increase reps and weights usually? 1-2 weeks, then increase? Or longer?

The Expert answers:

You can increase the reps and the weight/resistance a little everyday. Listen to your body – it will let you know. Just be aware of good pain and back pain. Good pain is fatigue. Bad pain is sharp. Always be aware of your posture. Keep your shoulders back, chin up, knees bent, tummy in.
Actually, it is your back that you are training when you do pull ups and your triceps when you do dips. It depends what you want to train. Varying your grip is targeting different muscles in your back. You will only get stronger by increasing the resistance (weight). Meaning you have to gradually tax your muscles more by doing more reps or lifting more weight. You will notice the original weight becomes easier as you struggle with increased resistance. Work the same body part every other day. You will need more than a gravitron. Use dumbbells and incorporate lower body as well as biceps, shoulders and abs. Depending on body fat you will see a difference working out everyday in 6 wks if you are training to the point of sweating. You will definitely feel firmer within a month. Nutrition plays a huge roll as well.

Donald asks…

What are some good hypertrophic chest exercises?

Wish I had the time to invest in a gym membership, but I don’t. I have P90x, but I don’t think doing a bunch of push-ups and pull-ups will result in much gains. I have lots of dumbbells. What are some good chest exercises to build muscle? I have been doing P90x shoulders and arms and saw results but chest & back seems to be endurance building rather than muscle building.

The Expert answers:

Good exercises with dumbells include, Chest Flys for the center, Dumbell bench press(incline for upper decline for lower regular bench for overall), Do low reps with heavier weight to gain mass and easier but challenging weight for alot of reps for definition. For example 3 sets of six with 60’s for size or 3 sets of 12 with 35 or 40 for definition.

Laura asks…

I want to build muscle but not get taller. How should i do this?

I am 17 years old and 6 foot 5. I am very weak on the arms and want to build strength and muscle, and i know that weight training and press ups etc are all vital. However, i also know that eating alot of protein and carbs is important. I dont want to grow any taller, but i want to gain muscle and strength on the arms and shoulders, and get bigger arms and shoulders. How should i do this?

The Expert answers:

It is a physical impossibility to make yourself any taller without surgery.

1. Eat about 6 small complete meals throughout the day (Grains, protein, fruits, vegetables) spaced out about every 2-3 hours. DO NOT BINGE EAT!
2. Be as active as you can. Nothing to do for 10 minutes? Knockout 10 elevated push ups.
3. Eat some spicy foods, take a lot of vitamin C, and drink between a half gallon and a whole gallon of WATER a day.
4. No more soda. Ever.
5. If you do drink coffee, drink it black.
6. Do at least 35 minutes of cardio straight at least once a day, at least three times a week, more if you are not trying to put on muscle.
7. Do a large amount of full body exercises whenever possible (Pull-ups, Chin ups, dips, squats, hanging leg raises, hanging knee raises, back raises, glute ham raises, burpees)
8. Get at least 6 hours of sleep a night, but no more then 9.
9. Avoid anything deep fried, white bread, sprinkles, and any refined sugar.

Mandy asks…

What is a good low budget bodybuilding meal plan?

I do bodybuilding, but I do not have a lot of money (we only get bout 400-600 a week). It’s hard to find really healthy foods that aren’t expensive. Does anyone know any cheap foods that are healthy, well balanced and can build muscle?

The Expert answers:

Whole wheat noodles($1.00) makes 7 servings per box, but to me more like 4. That’s about 90g carbs and 15g protein, 16g fiber, per serving if you split it into four servings. A dollar a box can’t beat that. Greek yogurt($3.00-4.00) four servings 7g carbs, 22g protein per serving. Eggs $2.50 for 18 large, much cheaper if you get the 60 pack for about $5.00, each egg has 4 grams protein 0g carbs You might want to limit the yolks to 1 a day. Bag of frozen veggies $ 1..50- 250 8g carbs 3 gram protein 4g fiber four servings per bag.. Peanut butter $5.00 name brand for big jar, 6g carbs, 8-10 g protein not quite sure but i thinks its like 20 servings. Good whole wheat bread, $4.00, 17gcarbs 5g fiber, 5g protein. Frozen bag of chicken breasts $7.00 a bag 0g carbs, 23g protein, 12 servings. Tuna 1.00 a can 0g carbs, 20g grams protein, 2.5 servings. Black beans $1.00 , 35-40 carbs, 8g fiber, 10-12g protein. Bag of frozen fish usually like 1.00 a serving, Nutrients vary but always a high amount of protein and amino fatty acids, no carbs. Well there is a good start, but most important cheap and health, other good food to add in Spinach fresh frozen canned its all good, apples, Bananas, potatoes. Those are all cheap and healthy for a body building diet. I find it best to just mix and match your own diet plan.

Helen asks…

How to run without gaining too much muscle?

I already have pretty buff legs, and I want to make them as skinny as possible by losing the extra fat on them. I was thinking about jogging for about 30min every other day, but wouldn’t that build more muscle in my leg? Like I’d get muscle where my fat was, y’know?
Also, I’m trying to lose my love handles. I don’t have much, but do I get rid of them with situps or what?
Thanks guys!

The Expert answers:

Running isn’t strenuous enough to build muscle on the legs, at best it tones the legs. There is no such thing as spot reduction, when you lose fat on your body you lose it from all over, not just one spot, even if you just exercise that one spot. One last thing, there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat and running burns 100 calories per mile which means you need to run 35 miles to lose a pound. Diet is 80% of losing weight.

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Your Questions About Fitness

Daniel asks…

is it possible to reach my required BMI index within 1 month by just going for morning walk for 45 minutes?

is it possible to reach my required BMI index within 1 month by just going for morning walk for 45 minutes? i am now 16 kg more than my required body mass hectic work schedule dont allow me to go to gym, walking daily morning is the only option left out.plz tell me what all things i should take care to reach my target

The Expert answers:

Not by itself; you also have to work on the diet end as well

Paul asks…

is it possible to reach my required BMI index within 1 month by just going for morning walk for 45 minutes?

is it possible to reach my required BMI index within 1 month by just going for morning walk for 45 minutes? i am now 16 kg more than my required body mass hectic work schedule dont allow me to go to gym, walking daily morning is the only option left out.plz tell me what all things i should take care to reach my target

The Expert answers:

You will burn around 200 calories by walking for 45 minutes, though this varies with your weight and the speed you walk at. Times 200 by 30 days equals 6000 calories. One pound (0,4535 kg) is 3500 calories. So just by walking you will lose only one and three quarter pounds – not even one Kilogram.

16 kilograms (35 pounds) is a totally unrealistic target for a month. I’m not sure if you’ve got pounds and kilograms mixed up, but even 16 pounds/4 pounds a week is too much to aim for. You need to look into what you’re eating and find out more about sensible weight loss through dieting supplemented by walking to keep fit.

Mark asks…

how to calculate the BMI or body mass index?

how can i calculate the BMI or body mass be more clear;using what formula is it calculated?a child of 5 feet weighing 65kg is considered obese but an adult of 5feet weighing 65kg is not.therefore how does age play a role in the body mass index calculations.ok solve this example using the formula to help me please.a boy of 6 feet weighs 80 kilos at the age of 17.what will the BMI be?

The Expert answers:

Age isn’t a factor in calculating BMI. The formula is (weight in kg/(height in m)^2)

if a child, e.g. Under 12 years old, weighs 65kg, then that is an indication of childhood obesity, which means they are at higher risk of being obese at adults. But the BMI doesn’t take this into account.

Richard asks…

Isn’t it time to throw the body mass index standard to the dumpster?

I hate the body mass index. According to the body mass index, I’m obese, even though I have a six-pack!

I swim a lot, and I eat tons of protein. I’m an excellent swimmer, but I don’t have much a swimmers built, people think that I’m a bodybuilder.

I love wrestling. I checked the height and weight of most WWE wrestlers, and according to the body mass index, they are all obese.
The body mass index claims that John Cena is obese, it claims that Randy Orton is obese.

I got a lot of muscle, and no matter how ripped my abs get, I’m still going to be obese according to the body mass index.

Why is such a faulty standard even taken seriously?

The Expert answers:

Your BMI doesn’t necessarily make you obese to people who know about BMI. But it could probably use some adjusting I agree

Joseph asks…

How do you interpret his nutritional status and disease risk?

Mr X has a body mass index of 31, a waist circumference of 108 cm and a waist to hip ratio of 0.98. How do you interpret his nutritional status and disease risk?

The Expert answers:

Obviously he has obesity..
Risks related to obesity are now 3 fold than a leaner person…

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Your Questions About Fitness

George asks…

Is my fitness routine sufficient?

I’ve been doing the following for about a month now, and do feel great. 🙂 But my long-term goal is to gain more muscle (on arms and thighs) and be more fit in general – is my workout sufficient or do I need to increase/modify anything? (Have already modified my diet accordingly, so it’s just the exercise bit)

Daily, twice a day (morning and night):
50 push-ups
100 jumping jacks
20 sit-ups
Dumbbell training (4kg each), reps on my biceps and triceps
20 lunges

Weekends only (due to hectic work schedule):
Jogging/Cycling for about 1/2 hr each on Sat/Sun

I look forward to your advice and replies, thanks in advance! 🙂

The Expert answers:

It’s good to hear that you feel good from this exercise, this is definitely important!

Your goals too, are on the right path. Gaining muscle increases metabolism and is really just great!

It’s nice to see that something works out for you.. You’re definitely on the right track and I know things are hard because of hectic work schedules, but there are some alterations I might suggest.

First of all, weight training is definitely important, but it is more important to focus on your heart getting an exercise. Once your heart hits the 20 minute mark, it is starting to get the blood pumping but a proper work out for your heart lasts 30 minutes. Though your heart is working out during all the exercises you do, it is much more beneficial in the jogging/cycling on the weekends. I would try to focus more days on the cardio rather than the other exercises.

As far as your exercise routine goes, like I said, you are definitely on the right track.. The 50 push ups and 100 jumping jacks are quite impressive, but I think you should definitely up the other areas. Whether you want to do 60 sit ups, or 3 sets of 20 reps of sit ups, it is up to you. Sit ups are great because they strengthen your core which improves your posture. I would even recommend looking up different styles of sit ups to try so you work different abdominal muscles. The thing is, with all of these exercises, your body will toughen up and be able to handle them. Yes, that will be able to feel good, correctly and somewhat easily doing exercises, but you always need to add more. When you’re beginning to feel “too” comfortable, it is benefitting your body less. Maybe set a goal by adding 10 push ups every month, or using double the weight on the dumbbells.

I think that you have a great regime going and I am impressed by your discipline and commitment thus far. I just think you should focus a little bit more on the cardio, while still doing weight training and toning (Also, in case you feel you’re getting too muscular and only want to tone, add to the reps and not the weights). I also recommend cross training every now and then.. It’s quite good to get your body using different muscles and working in a different way.. Whatever is convenient for you! And don’t forget, your body needs a break, take one day off completely!

Betty asks…

My muscle not growing the way it should. It looks smaller after second workout.?

Hi fitness friends and expert. I really don’t know what is happening to my darn stubborn body. I did a good shoulder exercise intense routine of 4 sets each for my first week of shoulder workout. Then I can see my shoulder bulking up during resting period. I gave it a week of good nutrition, creatine, whey protein, sleep, you name it. Then on my second week which i let my shoulder rest a week, now is time to work on it again this time I add more weight 10 pounds to my military press amd another ten pounds on my dumbell laterall raise 4 sets each intensely and I did other exercise. My workout only last 45 minute intense. And I get out of the gym ASAP… So I got a good night sleep after the shoulder workout. Then next morning I thought my shoulder will grow bigger than last time instaed it got somehow smaller? Next week adding more weight and switching exercise routine for my shoulder it still getting smaller? What have I done wrong? I didn’t overtrain… Only 3 workout days a week.

The Expert answers:

Two weeks of working out will accomplish very little… Give it a few months before you expect measurable results….

Daniel asks…

Is this a good daily workout routine?

Run 6mph for 30 mins
50 inner thigh on 80 lbs
50 outer thigh on 80 lbs
25 front leg on 30 lbs
25 back leg on 30lbs
50 (each side) waist exercise on 80lbs

This is the inner/outer thigh equipment I use

This is the back/front leg euipment I use

And for the waist

Does that sound pretty okay?
I wont get too big or musclely will I?

The Expert answers:

Looks really, really great to me! Good luck! 🙂

Nancy asks…

Fitness routine please help!! WILL CHOSE BEST ANSWER!!?

I have been trying to be more healthy lately, and i have tried doing many things so stay active but i cant seem to think of a daily routine to stay healthy and fit. So i was wondering if anyone who wants to… to make me a routine that i will do almost everyday.
These are the questions i need you to answer:

What days should i workout and what days do i take a break?
What exercises should i do and for how long?
When do i take breaks and rest?
How long should the total workout be?

The Expert answers:

You should work out 5-6 days a week and rest 1-2 days a week. Do cardio along with strength training alternating days. Do something everyday that works upper body and lower body, like push ups and then lunges. Run sprints. Eating healthy everyday with loads of veggies and some fruits, whole grains and protein is the best way to stay healthy.

Try this:
Eat brown rice, veggies and baked fish for dinner.
Oatmeal for breakfast with fruit in it.
Drink fruit smoothies during the day for a snack. Try to eat protein at every meal…for breakfast with the oatmeal, eat a scrambled egg white or a hard boiled egg.
Eat a salad or chicken/turkey sandwich on whole wheat for lunch. Use olive oil and vinegar dressing…no saucy dressings.
Drink water only.
Never eat white or processed foods.
Try baked sweet potatoes…mmm… Eat spinach salads, not plain lettuce and add all the veggies you want to it. Try red wine vinegar…a few splashes and a little drizzle of olive oil.
If you want a crunchy snack, cut up a cucumber and put in lite Italian dressing or better yet, half cold water and half white vinegar. I mix mine with some cherry tomatoes too…

A good smoothie needs a good blender, so make sure you have one, cut up 1 banana, some blueberries (about 10-15) and strawberries (about 5), a cup or so of skim milk, a sprinkle of flax seed (buy a container of it and keep in fridge), a scoop of vanilla protein powder and blend it up, add a bit of crushed ice and you’ve got a good smoothie. You can add any kind of fruit…I cut up peaches sometimes too or frozen cherries.

Try reverse crunches, where you lift your legs up and out. Go to for good tips…I love their workouts. Walk or run a lot and
use a stability ball for crunches.

Sandy asks…

Can anyone recommend a good beginner’s workout routine?

A few things you should know first:

I’m male, aged 25, weigh about 10st, 5ft11in, no major health problems but I do have IBS which prevents me from taking supplements like creatine or those weight gain powders (they make me sick.)

My goal: build upper body (I’m a bit weedy) and improve overall fitness.

I have in my possession: 2 x 5kg dumbells, a pull-up bar, push up bar/handle things and full access to a gym. My main problem is getting in said gym – the guys in there are all enormous, I’m not, and it puts me off, so I want to build a bit of muscle first before I commit myself.

So, what I’m asking is can anyone recommend a good routine for a beginner? In terms of exercises, repetitions, diet and any other useful advice?

Many thanks in advance 😉

The Expert answers:

Aerobic workout is a great way for beginners to start an exercise program.

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