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What would a personal trainer do?
When it comes to our health and fitness, there are some situations that leave us wondering what to do. I mean, is it safe to go for a run if you have a cold? Or what happens if you have a sudden urge to eat a block of chocolate (we've all been there...)? To answer these common dilemmas we rounded up four personal trainers: Edwina Griffin (Fernwood Fitness PT), Luke Heath, Blake Worrall-Thompson and Shannon Clark. So whether you’ve had too many bevvies the night before, or just super confused as to when you’re meant to have that protein shake - we have you covered.
DILEMMA #1: I'm hungover, but I know I should workout. What do I do?
“I drink coconut water. It’s a rich source of electrolytes and high in natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.” - Edwina
“I get up as soon as I wake up and down a couple of glasses of water, put on my workout gear and head out for a run. I find sweating out the alcohol and keeping up the water retention up beats the hangover before it begins.” - Luke
“I sweat. The longer you leave the alcohol in the system, the more toxic you become, so sweat and then replace it with good quality water. If I don’t feel like exercising (like a large percentage of us probably do), then the next best option is a sauna.” - Blake
“I don’t drink so I’ve never been hungover!” - Shannon
DILEMMA #2: Should I exercise when I have a cold?
“When I have a cold, I change the structure of my training regime to enable my body to heal and recover so I can get back training at 100 per cent as quickly as possible.” - Edwina
“I go for a run… Yes, that’s right! Anybody who is training for any goal - whether you started yesterday or are a top-level athlete - will lose his/her peak of fitness after three days without exercise. So I back off the tempo of training and try to sweat out the cold so I can minimise any loss of fitness for when I can return to full training mode.” - Luke
“When I have a cold, I continue to eat regularly and will still exercise if the symptoms are above the neck.” - Shannon
DILEMMA #3: I only have ten minutes to exercise...
“If I only have ten minutes to exercise, I push myself to the max to release the happy hormones and burn as many calories as I can!” - Edwina
“I would smash out one of my five minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions. These sessions are a great mix of strength to tone the muscles and cardio for that fit, lean look. HIIT sessions are proven to actually burn more calories and body fat than your conventional 30-60 minute training sessions, and are perfect to perform in five-minute intervals.” - Luke
“I would do some strong exercises that burn fat and build lean muscle. I would do 20 sections of continuous deadlifts and then have a ten-second break before doing 20 seconds of continuous chin-ups. Ten rounds of that is MORE than enough!” - Blake
“I’d do compound strength training exercises with little rests in between.” - Shannon
DILEMMA #4: When is the best time to have a protein shake?
“I drink a protein shake after my workout to help my muscles recover, repair and grow.” - Edwina
“I have a protein shake when I just need that extra hit and I’m over munching on food. I love making banana smoothies with a drop of honey or a handful of berries to satisfy my sweet tooth, plus some egg whites if I want protein. Most milk these days is quite high in protein and calcium, which is a great mix for the bones, muscles and skeletal muscles for post-training recovery.” - Luke
“Personally, I don’t feel like eating proper food straight after a workout – so a protein shake is perfect. I opt for NuZest’s Clean Lean Protein. I’ll usually have one within 45 minutes of my workout to help rebuild, restore and replenish my body.” - Blake
“I drink a protein shake immediately post-workout.” - Shannon
DILEMMA #5: What should I eat before a workout?
“I eat canned fruit. It gives me that nice sugar hit and sits lightly in my stomach. We’ve all gotten a stitch because we’ve eaten something too heavy before training, or been in the position when your stomach feels like it’s eating itself and you’ve run out of energy. I’ve found over the years that a small tub of canned fruit hits the spot.” - Luke
“I eat nothing before a workout. The reason is I train at 7:15am and before that I train my 6 Weeks To Sexy group. I used to struggle with training on an empty stomach but your body is capable of great things when you retrain it.” - Blake
“I eat chicken and sweet potato before a workout.” - Shannon
DILEMMA #6: What should I eat after a workout?
“If it’s morning, I’ll eat oats with tinned fruit, milk and maybe some honey. After a lunchtime workout, I’ll have some pasta, fish and salad, but if it’s at night I’ll cut out any carbs and instead have some red meat and lots of veggies. I always try to get that right mix of protein, carbohydrates and minerals.” - Luke
“I’ll drink a protein shake straight after a workout and then some eggs about an hour later. As I mentioned earlier, I generally don’t feel like eating a proper meal straight after a workout (hence why I have the shake) but once I’m ready, I’ll have eggs - generally with bacon and avocado or salmon and avocado.” - Blake
“I eat a banana and have a protein shake.” - Shannon
DILEMMA #7: When is the best time to exercise?
“I find the best time to exercise is in the mornings so that nothing can get in the way of my workout!” - Edwina
“I love my short, sharp and efficient lunchtime sessions. I get out in the beautiful weather and soak in some healthy vitamin D, while getting the blood pumping and heart racing. I really find this breaks up the day and when I have to go back to the office mid-afternoon, I am alert and wide awake - and my head doesn’t want to hit the keyboard. We all know that 3pm feeling!” - Luke
“I think the morning is the best time. No doubt. The best thing you can do is get going with your exercise early in the day and get it out of the way. The longer you leave it, the harder it is for most people. And with so many people struggling with motivation, you don’t need that playing in the back of your mind throughout the day.” - Blake
“I find the best time to exercise is in the evening.” - Shannon
DILEMMA #8: What if I really need a treat?
“If I need a treat, I make delicious protein balls full of yummy superfoods. Raw cacao treats are another favourite.” - Edwina
“Chocolate! I love chocolate. Good 70 per cent plus cocoa is what I go for and I have been known to eat a whole block to myself when nobody is looking.” - Luke
“I’ll eat Lindt dark chocolate. It’s like all my Christmases at once. It makes me so happy.” - Blake
DILEMMA #9: I’m going out for dinner... what should I eat?
“I aim for protein with salad or veggies.” - Edwina
“ I go for authentic Thai food - I love it.” - Luke
“If I eat out, I tend to just enjoy it. Put it this way: if I’m eating four times a day, seven days a week, that’s 28 meals. So having two ‘bad meals’ (if I eat out twice a week) isn’t going to be too detrimental to my health and body composition.” - Blake
“When I eat out, I read the menu online first to figure out what I can eat that's healthy.” - Shannon
DILEMMA #10: I have no energy to excercise.
“If I have no energy, I listen to my body and adjust my lifestyle. I focus on my eating, do some EFT (emotional freedom technique) exercises, meditate and drink plenty of water. Those are the days I am more likely to do a yoga session or shorter workout to enable my body to recover.” - Edwina
“I’ll have an apple over caffeine because of its slow energy release. The vitamins in apples, specifically found in the skin, are released slowly throughout the body, making you feel more awake. There is no jolt of energy, no unwanted mood swings and most importantly, no intense sugar crash.” - Luke
“I rest and eat. I’m training a lot at the moment in the lead-up to a 50km run through the Blue Mountains. There are days when I’m knackered and those days are rest days, but I make sure my nutrition is spot on. Three months is a long time before a race - if I don’t look after and listen to my body, I might not make it to the start line.” - Blake
DILEMMA #11: I’m going out tonight and I want to drink. What’s the best way to go about it?
“When I drink, I alternate between a glass of alcohol and a glass of sparkling mineral water to reduce my intake.When I’m out socialising, I find it’s about having a glass in my hand more than it is about the need for alcohol.” - Edwina
“I love a good quality whiskey on the rocks. There is no carbonation, so it doesn’t give my waistline a double hit of calories” - Luke
“I’ll drink vodka soda - it’s much better for the body than beer.” - Blake
DILEMMA #12: What’s the best way to track my progess?
“I track my progress by regular fitness and strength testing every six weeks as well as body composition measures every few months.” - Edwina
“Before and after photos. I ask my clients to take them and so do I. We look at ourselves in the mirror every day and we can become our own worst critics because one day’s worth of training doesn’t really show much in the mirror or scales. But a photo from three months ago when you weren’t as focused and fit as you are now is a better compliment than what the scales or tape measure can ever give.” - Luke
“I test my bodyfat every two weeks and my strength weekly. From the start of 2015, I have been trying to increase four exercises each week: chin-ups, bench presses, squats and deadlifts. I start every workout with those exercises to make sure I get better than I did the previous week, and then I can get on with the rest of my session.” - Blake
Are you surprised by some of the personal trainer's answers? How do you make decisions when it comes to your health and fitness?