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CityFit: Top Tips from Top Trainers

Many of our resolutions for the year had to do with fitness.

Now, how many of you are keeping up your "get fit" resolution? How many of you are adhering to the.. "I am gonna get up at 6:00 a.m. and get to the gym and work out before I sit at my desk all day."


I know I am not.

I stay surrounded by "fitspos" (fitness + inspiration = fitspo) at work and at play. My boss, Marshall, eats well and strictly follows his diet. CityView's General Manager, Ashlee and Features Editor, Kelly, and our delivery man, Al, a retired Army veteran all probably run about 100,000 miles between them every week. And Ann, a new account executive, is a total kettle bell queen. Not to mention, every morning I personally know about 15 friends of mine will be lifting heavy at gyms across town and Fort Bragg.

It's a pretty active staff and group of pals we've got over here!

Luckily, the fact that diet and exercise play a big role in my life, has led me to meet quite a few fitness professionals in Fayetteville. The fact that we are in the backyard of a major Army installation where P.T. is a way of life doesn't hurt either!

For some quick fitness and diet tips from these fitness gurus... keep reading!

Rickie Hodges, J's Fit Factory (and my trainer) | www.rickrudehodges.com

Tip 1: Add a liberal amount of cinnamon (or take cinnamon in supplement form) to oatmeal, sweet potatoes and other carbs to help prevent large sugar spikes which can lead to fat gain or stall fat loss.

Tip 2: To progressively get more depth to your squats, stand a dumbbell upright on the floor by the squat rack. Squat until your behind hits the bell and "drive" up (don't pause or sit). Start with a 100 lb. dumbbell (you may need a trainer or someone else to place the heavy dumbbell). This will allow most people 5'-5'6 to get at least parallel to the floor. When squatting to the 100 becomes easy, drop down to using a 90, and so on! (dumbbells will vary in size)

Christina Kenon, The Fitness Boutique | www.thefitnessboutiquenc.com

Quick Tip: When embarking on a new fitness/health journey for weight loss… don’t look at the scale for at least a month. Yes, you’re working hard and you can’t wait to see the fruit of your labor reflected in your weight, But! If you look at the scale too soon you’ll most likely get discouraged at what you see. You're building muscle and training your body to burn fat, but that metabolism takes time to train. You have to burn 3,500 calories before you lose one pound. If you lose only one pound a week and you weigh yourself every day or every week, you will become more frustrated than anything. Be patient! Be consistent! Give yourself time to lose that weight and then step on the scale. Remember, you didn’t gain it all in one week; you sure aren’t going to lose it all in one.

Samantha Towe, The Fitness Studio Downtown | www.thefitnesstudiodowntown.com

Tip 1: Find a workout partner for motivation and accountability. Make sure they are encouraging.
Tip 2: Its important to hydrate throughout the day. It will help you to stay energized for your workout
Tip 3: Always seek variety in your workouts. Try a class at the gym, go for a run/walk outside. 

Nick Fitzgerald, Assailant Fitness | www.assailantfitness.com

Quick Tip: Sugar makes you fat? One common miss conception I see in most individuals I speak with about nutrition is that they think fat free is the way to go. This may not always be the case. Most fat free items have increased sugar content in order to substitute the taste from having the fat removed from the item. When we consume food with sugar our bodies then break it down into glucose. Then a small amount of glucose is then converted into glycogen and stored within the liver and muscles. Any extra glycogen is then converted to fat and stored as a reserve energy source. When caloric intake is more then output excess nutrients may be stored as body fat until caloric output exceeds the input. My tip to you is to avoid foods that are high on the glycemic index. A table to see which foods are low or high can be found at: http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm.

Jani Lincoln, The Spa Fitness & Wellness Center | www.thespafitnesscenter.com

Tip 1: Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Setting unrealistic goals (i.e. crash diets) only sets you up for failure and will leave you discouraged. It took time to gain the weight, it will take time to lose it. I find the myfitnesspal app useful in calculating caloric intake and macros. It is a science, do not guess what you are consuming. If you steadily decrease calories, you will slowly lose weight and keep it off. And some treats and cheat days are perfectly fine, just keep in mind that it is a lifestyle and needs to be maintainable.

Tip 2: Girls, do not be afraid to lift heavy. I often have women telling me they just want to be "toned" and not be overly muscular. Lifting heavy will burn calories and tighten your body. Female bodybuilders know that it takes years of tailored diets and supplements to achieve their very muscular look. For the average woman, lifting weights will shape your body, increase strength and lower your body fat levels when paired with the correct diet. Muscle does not grow over night. But in order to see "tone," you will need to build muscle tissue. For any woman wanting to transform their body I would suggest getting off the elliptical and picking up a barbell!

Jani, who is also expecting her first child, included something for all you fit moms!

Women are encouraged to continue with their regular exercise programs once they have been cleared by their doctor. Free weights are an excellent way to maintain muscle tone, keep body fat levels in check and stay energised. If you are a beginner, enlisting the help of a certified personal trainer would be beneficial, as he/she will be able to safely guide you throughout your fit pregnancy journey.

As your pregnancy progresses you may need to make modifications to certain exercises and lower your intensity. Always check that your heart rate is not too high, you are hydrated and that you are not overheating. The goal is to maintain a level of fitness, not overexert yourself.

After 12 weeks, you should avoid lying in the supine position and instead use an incline bench to do weight training. During this time you should also stop doing crunches and focus more on planks and other pelvic floor strengthening exercises. As your belly grows, your balance may be affected so it is advised to practice safety and switch to body weight only exercises, especially when doing leg and glute exercises. You may find it safer to switch to machines instead of free weights as these assist with stabilization. Listen to your body and if something does not feel right, do not do it!

Some days you will be tired and unmotivated, don't be too hard on yourself. Stick with your program and a healthy eating plan as best as you can. Your body and baby will love you for it. :)

Happy Lifting everyone! And remember... abs are made in the kitchen!

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