Ultimate Mini-Question Omnibus

There are a ton of questions floating out there in the world of fitness and nutrition. Today I’m going to answer a small waterfall of questions, each in two sentences or less. Considering my verbosity, this could be a challenge, but let’s do this!

Q1. I want to workout on my lunch break, but my office doesn’t have a shower. How do I avoid stinking up the office all afternoon?

Keep baby wipes and deodorant in your gym bag. After the workout, head into a bathroom stall, swallow your pride, do a wipe down with the Baby Wipes on all the most “offending” places, then apply deodorant.

Q2. Why do people wear hats at the gym? Fashion or a genuine fitness-related reason?

There are a couple reasons I can think of: to keep the sweat out of their eyes, to look super Bro-cool-tastic-sauce, or because their hair looks like total crap because they haven’t cleaned/brushed it yet.

Q3. If I can only do 2 pull ups at a time, should I incorporate them into my workout or keep doing Lat Pull Downs until I can do more?

Start doing pull-ups in your workout, because that’s what will make your pull-ups better. A simple schema of 3 sets of max pull-ups, and then finish with enough negatives each set to get to 8 total reps each set will work for now.

Q4. People who work 12+ hours a day, how do you get your fitness on?

Make the time somewhere in your day; you still have 12 hours left and only 7-8 are going to be for sleep. Right after waking up, during your lunch break, or wherever you can fit 15-20 minutes of work will suffice.

Q5. I went to a local event and did some light day drinking, then worked out with a slight buzz. It was awful. Why?

Alcohol affects your central nervous system as well as your ability to stay hydrated, which means two of the basic components of movement are impaired (borderline broken). Imagine trying to drive a car with 200,000 miles on it that has never had an oil change and you just replaced the gas with cooking oil – that’s what you just turned into.

Q6. If it’s really just calorie in versus calorie out, then why do I always read about celebrities eating six meals of chicken and broccoli every day (or similar) to prepare for roles?

Lean protein and green veggies are foods you can eat in high volume with lower calories but high protein content. They let you bulk up cleanly or cut cleanly, while also helping control hunger and cravings.

Q7. How do you log your progress?

In whatever way works for you. Some ideas might be an app on your phone, pen/paper, Excel/Google Docs, or a giant calendar for multiple months.

Q8. Will going dairy free have any digestive benefits? 

Maybe, with a strong leaning towards probably, since about 30-35% of Americans are lactose-sensitive or intolerant to some extent. The only way to know is to try it and see if things like gasiness or constipation improve over a couple weeks.

Q9. Anytime I do core exercises that involve leg raises, I feel it more in my quads and hip flexors than in my abs. What is the best way to fix this?

You probably have tight hips and/or hamstrings, which cause the muscles to strain before you abdominal muscles are reaching their working limit. Work on flexibility in those areas, which should help this feeling subside.

Q10. If I cycle a lot, can I skip leg days?

No, because your legs have likely gotten used to your cycling and need the lifting to help them get stronger and better able to handle more weight. Ask this a different way and it’ll make sense why this is the case: I walk every day, do I still need to leg day?

Q11. For the intermediate/advanced lifters, when did you just say “eff it” and start your own programming?

When the programming you find online (Starting Strength, etc.) either no longer provides you with benefit OR no longer follows your goals, you need to start programming for yourself (or having a trainer do it for you). This is also the case if you are looking to specialize in something like Deadlifting or Squatting.

Q12.I’ve been running regularly for a while now and can usually go for 4-5 miles in a session. Some days I get to the half-mile mark and I’m so dead I have to walk. This especially happens on hot/sunny days. What’s the deal?

Some days your body is weaker than others from a variety of factors, including sleep, meal timing, what you’ve eaten recently, and your hydration level. Being in the sun makes these factors worse if you’re not hitting something, so look for other patterns like not drinking enough or eating crap meals on the “weak” days.

Q13. What’s the general consensus on intermittent fasting?

There isn’t one, but many people who have done it agree that it helped them get control of their hunger response and make more healthy eating decisions. Like most things, it’s a tool that may or may not work for you, specifically.

Q14. Is consistency everything, or can you get a nice body by cherry-picking exercise days/healthy eating?

Yes, consistency is everything. End of answer.

Q15. I’ve been doing Planks for several months, up to 90 seconds in a set and I still shake start to finish. How do I fix this?

If your abs are shaking, then consider adding dynamic movements like sit-ups or leg lifts to help build core strength. If it’s your shoulders causing the shake, then you need to work on getting stronger shoulders via movements like presses, handstand holds, or handstand push-ups.

Q16. Love handles. How do you specifically target them?

You can’t target areas to remove fat – commonly called “spot reduction” – because the human body just doesn’t work that way. The only way to lose fat one place is to reduce your body fat overall.

And I think we’re done with 16 solid questions! If you have a question you’d like answered, shoot us an email or go lay a post on the CFC Facebook page!

Until next time!