I have worked as a fitness professional in Illinois, Arizona, and Florida. Currently,I am a Brand Ambassador for Just Live, Inc. I enjoy meeting guests from all over the world and helping them stay motivated on vacation. I competed at Fitness Universe in June 2015. Here is a link to my choreographed performance:
"Use common sense and avoid trying to do too much too soon".
"The more you read, the better you become with understanding fitness concepts".
"The good news is that you CAN change your metabolism and learn to de-stress yourself".
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1 - How can I get motivated to start a healthy/active lifestyle?
Join a gym and sign a commitment contract. Find a training partner, create a kick-ass playlist on your iPod, and set goals for yourself that you can smash every week! Keep a training diary ready for every session! Buy a FitBit ® watch and use biometric data to track your daily results – something like this can be fun and you might just talk yourself into getting motivated. Also, learn to re-think your positive thinking – this will help tremendously!
2 - What are your best tips to get a flat stomach?
Genetics and having a stress-free life. It’s that simple. The male/female weight loss factor does come into play here. Men tend to get ‘central obesity’ around their stomachs whereas women tend to get what’s commonly called ‘thunder thighs’ around their bottom-half, when excess fat is deposited around the body. Weight loss and dieting pills won’t really help that much, and could harm your long-term health. Eating correctly and building up your core are other key ways to help ‘aid’ in getting a flat stomach too. Drink a LOT more water and reduce your sodium intake. Again, it comes down to having a balanced diet and having great product/technical knowledge (from regular reading) that will help you the most.
3 - Do I need to take supplements? Why?
Yes. Taking supplements are part of the ‘Holy Grail’ of physical fitness and perfection. Alone, they won’t do. But with proper training and strict dieting, supplements are that final step to help complete the chain. So ultimately, consumption of adequate supplements, coupled with dieting and training is the perfect key combination. One without the other two will not suffice.
4 - Do you think it's easier for guys to lose weight than it is for women? Why?
No. Both are difficult and both have their own unique set of factors that are as equally frustrating and challenging. Genetics is perhaps the number 1 factor. Everyone is different. Unfortunately, some people just have more fat cells than others. There is no ‘male’ or ‘female’ here, just the individual in question. The good news is that you CAN change your metabolism and learn to de-stress yourself – something that does tend to ‘fatten’ you up, whether male or female.
While the simple truth is that men are larger and have more muscle than women (due to testosterone) they are genetically designed to have a higher percentage of muscle and less fat – which works in favor of keeping them fit (muscle burns fat quicker than anything else) and allowing them to eat more calories. But with a little work, women can up the odds to even it out. There is at least one area, however, where women have the edge, weight-wise. When men deposit fat, it most often goes to their middles (central obesity), while women’s excess weight tends to settle below the belt and in the middle and thighs. And it turns out that the “pear-shaped” body has a health advantage over the “apple”: those who carry extra fat mostly around their middles are at a higher risk of developing heart disease than those who are bottom-heavy.
5 - What is the most underrated concept in fitness?
Definitely, WALKING and READING!! People do so little of each these days, however, the health benefits are far greater than you think. Walking and reading are both easy, low maintenance and can open your mind up to many possibilities. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that increases bone density but is easy on the joints; other benefits include reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and obesity. Americans spend a lot of time sitting in front of computers, desks, hand-held devices, and TVs – break up your day by walking around more and getting regular aerobic activity that makes you sweat and breathe faster.
Reading on the other hand is something that (alarmingly) decreases every year; an increasing number of adult Americans were not even reading one book a year. The more you read, the better you become with understanding fitness concepts. Dieting, supplementation, and training principals all require devoted reading. Fact: People who read are more likely to exercise, visit art museums, keep up with current trends, vote in presidential elections and perform volunteer work.
6 - How do you make exercise a more enjoyable activity?
If you’re doing an elliptical, running, or lifting weights, music can improve performance and even make you think the strenuous activity is easier than you otherwise might. Use an iPod when working out as music ultimately helps coordinate your workout.
Additionally, you probably don’t need science to confirm that a jog through the woods is more enjoyable than pounding away on a treadmill, but exercising outdoors (look at all those CrossFit people) decreases feelings of tension, anger, and depression, while increasing engagement and helping participants feel more energized.
7 - How much is too much training?
Use common sense and avoid trying to do too much too soon. It’s important to listen to your body. The key to a successful exercise program is “Little and Frequent.” Exercising should not be a temporary thing, make it a lifestyle decision. The most I would say is 6 days a week with one days rest if your body is in top condition, otherwise 5 days a week for most people.
8 - Please, give us your best pre-workout tips:
1 - Don’t have your post-workout protein shake after your workout – have it BEFORE!
2 - Don’t spend too much time stretching – it will compromise your strength.
3 - Don’t perform any cardio. Do if AFTER your workout, if you must.
4 - Review your goals and KNOW exactly what you are doing that day.
5 - Do a quick warm up set with every new exercise you perform. Very crucial.
9 - What's a good exercise and diet routine?
For beginners, I would recommend a 15-16 week exercise program (split routine hitting each body part once per week and allowing recovery) that will condition, strengthen and build your muscles while on a strict diet. Repetitions lower than five are designed solely for strength and power. Muscle growth is found in the 8-12 rep range. These are the two extremes. Meaning that if, hypothetically, 100% of strength is found in reps five or below and 100% growth is found in reps 10-12, then it’s safe to say that strength and growth can be attained (not 100% of each) at reps 6-10.
For a good principal diet, people need to be in control of their daily eating habits and learn to keep ‘hunger’ at bay. I would recommend the use of healthy (isolate) proteins, vegetables and fats, and also the proper use of insulin control in one’s diet, in addition to challenging long-followed nutritional strategies like the inclusion of a carb-laden post-workout shake when one is dieting to lose fat.
10 - What newbie mistakes did you make when you first started training?
Adhering to a well-structured diet. The main roadblock that keeps people from losing all the body fat they need and maintaining lean muscle mass is HUNGER. People tend to focus too much on supplements, overlooking a priceless diet adherence that is needed to maintain the perfect figure and improve your overall health. The key here is a synergistic diet and training program; supplements simply add to that synergism.