By Guest Blogger Paula Jager, CSCS
I asked for interaction and feedback in my last guest post and boy, did I get it! Excellent questions everyone. To those that contacted me directly I have already responded. I didn’t want to not answer anyone’s questions so we will do so on today’s blog and it’s a long one. So grab a cup of java with some raw cream, sit back and read on. Some of you had multiple questions in your feedback–if I did not answer them all let’s keep it coming on this post and I will do so.
In general I have received multiple requests for How to Guides, Basic Bodyweight Workouts, Intro to Weight Lifting, Scaling Options and Working Out at Home. You all have given me plenty to work with and these will be the subjects of upcoming blogs. As well as some video guides in the future.
Questions: From Margaret; how to work a fitness routine in at home and stay consistent while developing habits that you can maintain with traveling interruptions?
Answer: First, you must make fitness a priority just as you did learning to eat traditionally. Secondly, set a schedule (write it in your planner or appointment book just like you would any other) and stick to it, even while traveling. To keep it simple develop workouts that you can do with little to no equipment when you are traveling. Several can be found on this website Modify the workouts as necessary for your fitness level by reducing the number of reps, sets or intervals. Everything can be scaled. As far as the eating goes; if you are able to stay on the straight and narrow everything else in your life is easier to maintain. Stick to meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. That can be followed most anywhere.
Question: Emily asked “is it necessary to HURT, for an exercise program to be effective?”
Answer: Exercise should not “hurt” but in order to achieve any level of fitness there will be discomfort. You must progress and take your body beyond where it has been in order to become fitter on induce change. There is nothing wrong with a 3 day/week gym workout that combines exercise and cardio on alternating days as you have done in the past. That program in itself will develop a healthy level of fitness with–as you mentioned–the addition of proper nutrition. You also stated that you tried CrossFit and felt “if I stuck with it, I could really change my body”. Yes you could, it works plain and simple but “I didn’t enjoy it” and that is important also. If you are going to make exercise a lifelong habit you must find something you enjoy and there is more than one way to get there. Yoga? A great compliment to a strength and conditioning program but in my opinion it is not enough by itself.
Question: Joy found the CrossFit workouts on the blog difficult to implement?
Answer: Yes Joy, without the proper equipment and instruction a lot of the workouts would be very difficult to perform at home and even a potential for injury if one is not familiar with the techniques. And you can only learn so much from watching a video. Some excellent bodyweight workouts can be found on this site
Question: Carol asked about yoga for loosening up stiff muscles and a way to build strength in her arms?
Answers: Kudos Carol on your “CrossFit” workouts. Whether you realize it or not that “ranch work” is an excellent full body workout. Yoga would be a great accompaniment to it to help loosen you up as well as mobility work. Check out the entire series on Marks Daily Apple for a great how to guide you can implement at home with minimal equipment. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/?s=mobility+series&x=51&y=18 As for strengthening the arms some basic movements like push ups and pull ups will work wonders. There are progressions for both of those movements that again can be done with little to no equipment, please stay tuned for my posts on just that subject in upcoming blogs. Keep up the good work on the nutrition.
Question: Bethany asked about P90X and the best way to run?
Answer: Well Bethany although there are differences I have to say that the P90X program is good. If it is working for you and you enjoy it, stick with it! Their nutritional information on the other hand leaves a lot to be desired but I think you already ascertained that.
As for the best way to run, short sprints are where it’s at for the most part. However if you enjoy a long run on occasion that will only serve to enhance your fitness. I just would not over due them and be sure to incorporate the shorter sprints into your program as well
Question: Mali asked “what is more important to change first: exercise or diet?”
Answer: You already gave me the answer: “ideally together”. Life ain’t always ideal so I would say change the one first that you struggle with the most while not neglecting completely the other. If you are looking for external results most people will get more with the larger focus on nutrition, it’s about 80% of fat loss. At the same time you don’t want to neglect exercise. For optimal results both should be implemented to some degree.
Questions: Cory had a few questions about simple, basic workouts, done at home with family, little to no equipment and under 20 minutes?
Answer: Yes, yes and yes. There are many simple workouts that can be done at home with little to no equipment in less than 20 minutes. Keep an eye out for future blogs and in the meantime check out this site for some .
As for your age (46)–you are a youngster and can absolutely get in shape and workout right alongside your hubby and teenage boys! The workouts are something that both men and women can do together and enjoy. Actually, at CF Jaguar new male members have a difficult time at first keeping up with our veteran female members.
While some trainers do have a low tolerance for the “rest of you” when I say I am not compassionate I mean only with someone who is not willing to try–that is all I ask of my clients. I will give them all the help they need and go above and beyond if they show me they are willing to help themselves. You’re correct, most people have no desire to be on the cover of a magazine in a bathing suit–it’s about being healthy and feeling good.
Question: Jenny asked about fitness routines for busy moms? She has 3 children that are with her all day everyday?
Answer: I have no children of my own (other than my husband) but I have a deep and genuine respect for the demanding job of motherhood. Having children is a full time job in itself let alone those moms that must also work outside the home. My suggestion would be something that you can do at home. I would carve some time out for you even if it is only 10-15 minutes 2 or 3 x a week. That is your time; work with what you have at home–dumbbells, bodyweight etc. . .The rest of the activities I would include the kids in. They are 6, 9 and 11 so they are old enough to take to the part for a workout, or play various sports or games with. Make it fun for them, not too complicated and a part of family time. Include dad in some of the workouts also, even if only on the weekend. Yet another good idea for a blog. . .
Question: Ann asked, “CF looks over my head and abilities” “can it be tailored for someone age 56 and doable?”
Answer: Great question Ann. My 83 year old mother does CrossFit. As I mentioned earlier the website can overwhelm someone with the understanding of it all and the apparent difficulty. The beauty and applicability of it lies in the scalability of the program. I have many different skill sets in my group classes, however the ideal way to begin the program is with private foundations classes where you can safely and effectively learn the movements, scale everything to your fitness level and progress from there. And again, to do long term you should also enjoy doing it, which is why I encourage someone to find a fitness program they also enjoy.
Question: Kelsey asked what to do in the face of multiple health issues such as adrenal gland issues, asthma and vitamin D deficiency. She is seeing a naturopath for these matters.
Answer: Keldy I can’t stress the importance of proper nutrition to help with these issues, which I am sure you are aware of from reading this blog as well as working with your naturopath. It is outside my scope of practice but related to so here’s my opinion. You do need to listen to your body but I agree with you that at least some moderate exercise will aid the recovery process. Rest is an important and essential part of any health regaining protocol but leaving exercise out entirely is just as detrimental as leaving rest out IMO. My advice would be to listen to your body, give yourself a day between workouts and start with what you can do and go from there. I believe short, intense bursts followed by complete recovery will aid the healing process and create a favorable neuroendocrine response as opposed to longer moderate intensity workouts which would drain the body at this point in time. Your workouts could be 5-10 minutes in length.
Question: Audry asked for information on the practicality of implementing Olympic weight lifting and also doing so outside a gym?
Answer: Audry, I have to agree with you it does seem “completely out of reach for most people”. While an excellent endeavor with significant life altering results it must be done with proper instruction for most people. Once again this should ideally be done initially under the tutelage of a qualified instructor. You don’t necessarily need a gym or CrossFit membership but you do need barbells and weight plates. Many people set up “Garage Gyms” quite easily and with little expense.
And yes, you can incorporate a lot of the same exercises and movements in a more accessible way. That would be what I refer to as “scaling” and dumbbells and kettlebells can be used instead of barbells and is often equally effective and a great place to start. Excellent on your ability to do 5 pull ups–very impressive. I have plans for a future blog on the progressions you followed to get there.
Whew! I think that’s everything. If I missed your questions please do not hesitate and this was tough, very, very tough–all the questions were good–but the winners are. . .
Winners – Crossfit Certificate Giveaway
Emily–“Does it have to HURT?” and Ann–“Over my abilities, can it be tailored for someone 56?” To claim your Fit Certificate contact me at 813-908-6464 or email@example.com to set up your Free Fitness Intro and based on my assessment I will create you a Basic Exercise Program you can do at the location of your choice (home, gym, park, etc. . . )
As a consolation to those interested in further information I do offer a no obligation, complimentary Fitness Assessment to potential clients.
Next week we will begin our Basic Bodyweight Exercise Series. Stay fit!
Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar.
Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results
The Healthy Home Economist holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Mother to 3 healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and many others.