Welcome to the eleventh edition of "Ask Paul," where I answer a few of the questions I receive on the site. I get literally hundreds of questions every month from people all over the world, and a lot of them follow a pretty common theme. I've picked quite a few from June and done my best to provide people with some insight and assistance.
If you have a question for me, click here and fill out my online form. I can't answer them all, but I'll try my best to get to yours.
I know you get a lot of questions but lately I have been so confused about what type of exercise to perform and how often. I see you're not a big fan of cardio machines and prefer weight/plyo type workouts. My dilema is how often should this be done? I have seen where you recommend 45 min per day of exercise but I thought you're not suppose to do weight type exercise every day in order for the muscle to rest and recover. So how do you do this type of exercise everyday or six days a week and still allow the body ample time to recover? I know you can work different muscle groups but if your doing a whole body core type strenght moves, can you do this everyday? What do you recommend?
PS. I have been thinking of purchasing P90X. Any thoughts on this program?
Vickie from Belleville
With traditional type of weight training people would go into the gym and train muscle groups like chest and triceps or back and biceps. Today most personal trainers take a functional approach to weight training with their clients and train movement patterns like pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, squatting and lunging. In traditional body building training they would isolate one small part of the body and train it with many sets. When you do this the muscle fibers of that area are being stressed quite a bit and need a period of recovery time before they are trained again. In functional training we integrate not isolate the body. The entire body is being used with multiple joint action, multiple planes and multiple movement patterns. This is how the body functions in sports and everyday life activity. The workload is spread over a much greater cross section of muscle. You can do weight training taking the functional approach every day. The key is to find the exercises appropriate for your body and fitness goals. I will be offering a video exercise program feature on my website very soon. It will feature the functional exercises I am talking about. Regarding the P90x please refer to previous articles which I have answered.
I hope you will read my email because I really need help with my weight. I am 54 years old, grand-mother of 2 babies that I love very much. In the last 6 years or so I stopped taking care of myself after I went into depression. I use to go to the gym 3 times a week, I was eating well and my weight was 128. Today I'm 170 and I hate myself for what I did to my health.
I've been watching XXL every week and I found myself judging the people when they don't really get into the program......well well well, who am I do that????
Today I decided that I will take care of myself, put my body into shape but I don't know where to start and what to do to give me the strength to do the first move to get back healthy.
I hope you will help me put my body where it is suppose to be.
Thank you for taking the time read my email and hope to hear from you.
Carole from Laval
It looks like you want someone else to motivate you to take care of yourself. This may work for a short period of time but to be truly successful you have to become self motivated. You need to find out why you do not value yourself enough to take care of your health. If you value something enough you will give it priority and take care of it. You need to look back at what once made you successful and retrace those steps. If you were in the habit of taking care of your body and health once you can do it again. Identify what obstacles prevent you from exercising and making the right food choices and deal with them one by one.
I want to lose weight and I know that I have to watch what I eat and exercise.
What is the minimum amount of exercise that I should do every day?
Should I walk fast an hour a day.......7 hours a week? or is that not enough? Should I be lifting weights...every day?? I don't know where to start.
Jennifer from Digby
There is no exact rule on what the minimum amount of exercise is for someone. It depends on where you are starting from and where you want your fitness level to be. If you are sedentary and out of shape I would recommend walking everyday for one hour, do functional weight training exercises twice per week for 30min, plus pick an activity that is more strenuous that you enjoy to do (dancing, sports, stair climbing, yard work) twice per week for about 60min. In my opinion the average person should be doing this amount of activity to have a reasonable chance to achieve a healthy functioning body.
I have very bad joint problems (my ankles crack with almost each step), and I was wondering if exercising on a little rebound trampoline is an effective daily workout. I enjoy running, but I am afraid of damaging my ankles. Do you have any suggestions for other cardiovascular exercises that are low impact on joints?
Ps. You are awesome!!
Karen from Toronto
I have three suggestions better than the rebounder for this time of year that is low impact and ankle friendly.
- cross country skiing
- ice skating
- tobogganing (not kidding, multiple climbs up a snow packed hill is an awesome workout).
I'm sure you get bomb-barded with questions all the time but watching X-weighted frequently, your information is endless.
I am just wondering if it's possible to loose 20 pounds in 3months. I am going away to Mexico in Jan. I have hired a personal trainer to help get me over the plateau. I work out regularly and love it. My weakness is definitely SNACKING!
Just wondering if you could offer some good breakfast solutions for some-one on the go.
Also I work-out early A.M. what's best to eat before and after my workouts to maximize weight loss?
Thanks for you time.
Natalie from Port Elgin
It depends on how much you weigh to start with. I can say I helped a client of mine with an eating and exercise plan to achieve weight loss for a trip to Mexico. She wanted to lose 10lbs in 5 weeks. The problem is she was only 122lbs at 5ft 6in and 45yrs of age. She wanted a ripped bikini body look. Not easy to drop body fat off someone who is already pretty lean. She ended up losing 12lbs in that time period. She was willing to sacrifice a great deal to get the look she wanted. My answer to you would be yes it is possible to lose 20lbs in 3 months. The question is are you willing to do everything to get there?
Try one hard boiled egg, 1 cup of plain yogurt and piece of fruit for a quick breakfast. Right before a workout try 10 almonds and piece of fruit for immediate energy. Within 45min post workout make sure you plan a good large meal. You want to intake protein, fats and carbs. I would try a half chicken breast with 1cup cooked whole wheat pasta and a cucumber/tomato/feta cheese salad with a tsp of olive oil.