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DIET AND EXERCISE TIPS Q&A Interview

The following diet and exercise tips are the product of an interview I had the privilege of taking part in approximately 5-6 years ago. A fellow fitness enthusiast and webmaster of Extreme Fitness Now, Lauren Bateman, kindly submitted these awesome questions to offer her readers. I was so impressed with the excellent questions she asked that I decided to include them here. 


KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR RED! Because the fundamental message is timeless, the tips remain very appropriate as extremely effective and essential advice. I've added or updated some information for the sake of keeping this site fresh with my current views and recommendations. I've chosen to highlight those in RED so as to better notify you of such addendums and/or updates.

I hope you enjoy and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions that you’d like me to answer.

1. Could you tell us a little about your background and how you got started in fitness?

2. What is your current workout routine like?

3. What does your nutrition program consist of?

4. Do you feel the use of supplements are necessary to be in good shape?

5. What do you think are some of the biggest obstacles for people who are trying to get in shape?

6. As a female trainer, are there any exercises you feel women over or undertrain in?

7. Many women are fighting a battle to lose weight in their stomach, legs, and hips. What are some exercises you suggest to help tone these problem areas?

8. Many women I talk to shy away from strength training because they feel they will become too "bulky". What can you suggest to these women?

9. Should women train differently from men when it come to strength training?

10. What keeps you motivated to stay in shape?

Diet and Exercise Tips Question #1: Tell us a little about your background and how you got started in fitness?

Answer: I have about 25 years of experience in weight lifting/strength training and about 15 years experience as a certified personal fitness trainer. 

Actually, I got into fitness for weight control. About 25 years ago I was battling about 10-20 extra pounds and wanted to lose it for reasons of pure and simple vanity in the beginning.

Lucky for me, a side benefit to working out was improved health. I wish I could say that I got into it because I wanted to be the exemplary spokesperson for health and fitness, but that’d just be a big fat lie...pun intended... More 

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Diet and Exercise Tips Question #2: What is your current workout routine like? 

Answer: I am currently finishing up about a 3-month bout of doing a routine that is very different than anything I have ever done before. And believe me, after over 25 years of strength training, I’ve tried just about everything at one time or another. So to say that I am trying something different is no small feat. And one of my favorite mantras is there are many ways to skin a cat! 

However, currently, I am alternating fat loss and muscle building routines from week-to-week... More 

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Diet and Exercise Tips Question #3: What does your nutrition program consist of? 

Answer: First of all I have figured out what my caloric intake needs are in order to maintain my weight. I did that through equations using my height, weight, gender, age, and activity level. 

I then took those figures and monitored my weight on a daily basis. I personally found that the figures seemed a bit high for me. I want to lose about 5 pounds of body fat and I was maintaining on the fat loss figures instead of losing. So I cut that by a couple hundred calories and began to make progress. 

I eat 5-6 small meals a day, dividing my caloric intake... More 

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Diet and Exercise Tips Question #4: Do you feel the use of supplements are necessary to be in good shape? 

Answer: 
The answer to this one may shock you. In a nutshell: No. I don’t feel supplements are necessary. 

I am not the kind of trainer who pushes supplements. The only supplement you will ever really hear me kind of push is a multivitamin. I think everyone can probably benefit from a multi, but I believe we should try to get our nutrients from whole foods when we can. 

Due to issues like depletion of nutrients in our foods and our soil... More 

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Diet and Exercise Tips Question #5: What do you think are some of the biggest obstacles for people who are trying to get in shape? 

Answer: 
I think that the answer to this question varies from person to person, but one of the biggest things I hear most often is probably: TIME. Everybody is so busy trying to multitask and manage their lives and their families’ lives that just finding the time to work out or get to the gym can seem almost impossible. So, not enough time is the biggest excuse I hear. 

To the time issue I say this: I can appreciate and understand this problem. However, the bottom line is that we all make time for the things that we really want to do... More 

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Diet and Exercise Tips Question #6: As a female trainer are there any exercises you feel women over or under train in? 

Answer: 
I see women do cardio and then when they go to strength train they only do like crunches or leg exercises or a couple of choice machines and they completely ignore certain muscle groups. This type of training can lead to imbalances and injury. You need to train every major muscle group in order to reap the benefits of strength training... More 

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Diet and Exercise Tips Question #7: Many women are fighting a battle to lose weight in the stomach, legs, hips, butt, etc. What are some exercises you suggest to help tone these problem areas? 

Answer: 
Great question and probably one of the most popular questions that people ask if not THE most popular. 

I almost feel like it has been asked enough that the cat should truly be out of the bag by now. But just to be sure you get it, here is the answer: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SPOT REDUCING. You can spot tone, but you cannot spot reduce. 

Let me explain: Let’s say your right biceps is bigger than your... More 

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Diet and Exercise Tips Question #8: Many women I talk to shy away from strength training because they fear they will become too bulky. What can you suggest for these women? 

Answer: 
Yes, a lot of women are afraid of weight lifting and strength training. They say, “I don’t want to get big muscles. I don’t want to look like a man.” 

Listen up ladies: You are doing yourself and your health a great disservice by not strength training. This is just an unfounded fear that is not going to happen. You see, the thing that makes a man bulk up with a fraction of the effort it takes a woman to put on muscle size is TESTOSTERONE! More 

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Diet and Exercise Tips Question #9: Should women train differently than men when it comes to strength training? 

Answer: 
For the most part, no. However, it is truly according to what your individual goals are and what your fitness level is at the onset. Of course a woman shouldn’t train like a male power lifter, but as far as general fitness training goes there really isn’t a lot of difference... More 

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Fitness Tips Question #10. What keeps you motivated to stay in shape? 

Answer: 
It has evolved over the years. In the beginning I started this whole thing to try and control my weight and it was all pretty much about vanity. 

Now, as I’ve gotten much older and many, many years have passed, (as in 25 years), it has become more about nurturing my vitality and health. I want to enjoy my life as I age. I want to be and stay active throughout my entire life and into my golden years... More

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