Questions From Clients Answered

I had some great questions this past week from my clients and I wanted to share the answers!

1. What is an ab workout I can do this week in my house with no equipment?

  • Basic Crunches, 30 reps - Good to start with this to warm up the abdominal muscles. Laying on your back, knees bent and feet on the ground use your core to "crunch" yourself up and then slowly lower back down to ground. Remember to keep your gaze up at the ceiling/straight ahead and do not use your hands to pull/yank your head up.
  • Toe Touches, 30 reps - laying on your back, legs together straight up in the air, reach your fingers towards your shoelaces picking your shoulder blades off the ground each rep, slowly lower to ground.
  • Bicycles, 30 reps, 15 with each leg - Laying on your back, alternate sides bringing your knee into the opposite elbow, while the other leg is extended out straight 6 inches off the ground.
  • Reverse Crunches, 30 reps - Laying on your back, legs together straight up in the air (prefer not crossed as in video) - using your core, lift your butt and lower back off the ground about two inches and slowly lower. Keep your arms crossed on your chest.
  • Drops Downs, 30 reps, 15 with each leg - Laying on your back, legs start together straight up in the air, then alternate lowering each leg to the ground tapping your heel on the ground.
  • Plank Knee In's, 30 reps, 15 with each leg - Holding yourself up in a plank (on your hands in push up position - keeping your body flat and core tight) alternate bringing your knees into your chest. Slow and controlled.

Repeat this series 3 times, or 4 times if you are feeling good! Let me know if you have any questions.

2. How much protein should I eat as a physically active adult?

Protein should be no more than 35% of total caloric intake in a given day. 

  • 0.8 - grams of protein per kg body weight per day (sedentary adults) 
  • 1.2 - 1.7 grams protein per kg body weight per day (strength athletes)
  • 1.2 -1.4 grams of protein per kg body weight per day (endurance athletes)

(According to my National Association of Sports Medicine - NASM certification)

3. Is it bad to have Special K bars for breakfast?

First off, I never like to characterize good vs. bad. Almost nothing is ever quite that clear cut. No two people are identical, and I may recommend something for one person that I may not for another depending on their goals and many other factors. There are also different bars - with or without protein and different flavors. To keep it simple:

  • I would rather someone eat one of these bars rather than eat no breakfast at all.
  • Bars like these can be a good item to help people stick to a portion if they are struggling with overeating.
  • They can be easy to grab if you have minimal time in the mornings or have trouble keeping breakfast down.

Lets take a closer look.

1. The non protein bars have 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 6 grams of sugar and less than 1 gram of protein.

2. The protein bars have 180 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat, 15 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein.

  • For someone striving for weight loss, looking to watch calories in vs out - they are a low calorie option. With that said, the non protein bar has only 90 calories, which is pretty minimal and may not be enough for some people. The protein bars have 180 calories which is a bit better but with that you are also getting higher sugar and saturated fat.
  • Some people find protein to help satiate appetite between meals - so the protein bars may be a better option.
  • Both bars contain added sugar (not naturally occurring sugar) - which for someone striving for weight loss I would recommend watching as well. I am saying watching as in be aware of (not cut out or restrict from entirely). You can see the ingredient list has other forms of added sugar including Maltodextrin, Corn Syrup, Fructose, Dextrose, and Sorbitol.
  • All these facts are pretty subjective when you consider that deciding what a best breakfast for someone may be depends on many factors such as what are they eating for their other meals as well as what their activity level is.

I would always suggest an ideal breakfast have whole foods and ingredients that are fresh (can not sit in a pantry for a week+ without rotting ). However, this is in a best case scenario and no one I know has time every day to whip something up. There are other breakfast options I would consider healthier but a special K bar is absolutely not the worst thing you could eat - and may have its place for some folks as an on the go breakfast grab.

4. Why can my friend squat lower than me?

Every individual has different body structure, type, flexibility, overactive muscles, underactive muscles, faulty movement patterns, muscle strength and balance which can determine how low someone can squat. Working with a trainer can help to identify these factors and pinpoint what needs to be worked on to achieve an ideal squat.

I always stress this with my clients...WHY do people seem to always compare themselves to others? Do we have to look at others progress and failures to keep us motivated? If you strive to achieve for you I promised the outcome will be greater.

Samantha FriedmanComment