Episode 189: Pinball Wizard

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We talk about training at home, fat loss plateaus, speed training, training for strength, and much more!

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  • Hey, I am a new listener to the FitCast. Thankfully I found your podcast to give me something productive to do while I pound away at a keyboard for my summer internship. Great content, I’ve learned a lot and it keeps me from going into “zombie-mode”. Anyway, I am moving to Worcester, MA soon, and I’ll need a good gym. From the sounds of the few podcasts I’ve listened to, it seems like you guys are located in eastern MA. This brings me to my question, can you recommend a good gym in the Worcester Area? Thanks, Colin
  • Hey Kevin, I want to thank you for all your hard work, the fitcast has helped me in my quest to change my life… I have lost 45lbs I am in the best shape of my life… On top of all that I am training to enter the provincial police here in Ontario. Fitcast has been a huge help for me.. Regards, Bryan chauvin
  • Hey Kevin and gang, just to give you some background information, my height is 5’8 and I’m 23. I started at 317 pounds and am now down to about 170 pounds. I have gotten many different body fat percentage readings from 12% all the way up to 22%. Looking at a lot pictures of body fat estimations, I think I’m still probably around 20%, but it’s very hard to tell since I have a lot of loose skin as well. It’s weird, I think I still have plenty of really soft fat in my abdominal area, but I can see my ribs and my neck area looks almost anorexic. I feel kind of sick from two years of dieting and am really really weak. Anyway, I’ve been stuck at a weight loss plateau for like two months. I’ve tried cutting my calories all the way down to 1500 with three days of lifting followed by 15-20 minutes of HIIT afterwards and about an hour and a half of steady state cardio on my off days. I’ve also tried taking a break, as well as bumping my calories up to maintenance. Nothing seems to work and my metabolism is just not doing anything for me. I’ve read that I should get down to 10% bodyfat before a bulk, but I am just wondering if perhaps bulking wouldn’t be a bad idea for me given my situation. Although I have been lifting since I began losing weight, I didn’t follow the 1g of protein per pound of lbm recommendation until very recently and feel that I might have suffered a lot of muscle loss in the process, but am not entirely sure about this. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks again guys for all of your hard work on this podcast. -Tony
  • I recently found the podcast and am really enjoying it. What would you guys recommend for someone that has a full time job as an engineer, but wants to become a trainer and ideally open a gym in the distant future? What certification would be best keeping in mind I do not have an exercise related degree? Keeping my current job is a priority until I would be able to replace my current income with income from the fitness field. However, I’ve heard most trainers make very little moeny. Thanks for any help you can provide and keep up the great work! -Kevin
  • Hi Kevin and Co., I’ve been listening to your show for a few weeks now and I’m absolutely addicted. The FitCast makes the workday much more interesting, and it’s nice to to listen to quality information while getting a few laughs. I’m a 25 year old female, 5’4, about 130 lbs. I have been exercising in the gym on and off since I was about 15. Throughout college I basically did zero exercise, apart from some bullshit elliptical workouts and occasional yoga or spinning, due to time constraints and my time-consuming major. I have been out of school for about two years, working out routinely, but only started seriously strength training about five months ago. I generally try to get into the gym 4-5 days a week, doing full body circuits, metabolic circuits and complexes, kettlebell routines and interval training. I’ve been looking at some of Craig Ballantyne’s videos, Athlean X routines, picking up things from TNation and Nick Tumminello’s site, etc. I’m a bit of sponge for information at the moment, good times. Anyway, I try to do one lower-body-dominant day and one upper-body-dominant day per week, but in general, I do as many compound movements as possible. I still can’t seem to do a single pull-up or chin-up. I do push-up variations just about every training day. I do all the basic upper body exercises, (shoulder presses, bench presses, lateral pulldowns, bentover rows, assisted pull-up machines, and I have a pull-up bar at home and try to use that with a chair underneath for support.) I’m SLOWLY improving but I would like to know what kind of routine I should be doing to accelerate strength and be able to do ONE freakin pull-up, at the very least. Should I be doing a few sets of assisted pull-ups every day?? I’m completely clueless. Any input or direction would be great. You guys are awesome. All the best, Marina
  • What up Kev and Leigh, Buckle up, I’m laying it all on the line! Let me be your challenge, please! Never have I solicited the advice of a professional(s) to help me when it comes to my body…until now. I need your help. Up until about 4 years ago if you said the word ‘gym’ to me I’d have to go a dictionary so I could look it up. Fortunately, I met my husband who was a firefighter at the time and he opened my eyes to a whole new world to say the least. Long story short I lost the 20 give or take extra pounds you get when you shove anything into your mouth you want without thinking of what it might be doing to your body and have been fluctuating between the same 10 pounds for the last 3 years or so. I am obsessed with fitness. I love working out, I love anything that challenges me, I love cooking healthy, I devour any new fitness article/podcast/book/recipe that comes out. Tosca Reno and Jamie Eason are my idols! So what’s the problem you might ask? My body is not, nor has ever been where I want it to be, plain and simple. I’m a newbie to The Fitcast and have just loved every second of every episode but a few things have struck a chord with me recently. #1. I can’t perpetually be in the fat loss state that I have been in for years now, I am getting tired! #2. I can’t build muscle and lose fat simultaneously from what I’m hearing you guys say and lastly #3. Everything I thought I knew may be going out the window with all my Jillian Michaels books…Here are my stats so that any advice you give me won’t include the word “depends” 😉 25 year old female, 150 lbs (the lowest I have ever weighed is 147, then up up and away….again), 5’9, I carry my weight downtown but I think I am also very muscular and not sure I have come to terms with that (I want Jessica Beil’s legs!), I exercise 6 days a week. 3-4 days a week I either run for 30min or hit the elliptical or run sprints, or anything that’ll get me sweating. I also usually get in a kickboxing class for an hour or a step class at least once a week. I ride my bike everywhere, probably averaging 20-40 miles a week. I lift 4-5 days a week. Back, Bis, Tris, Shoulders, and Chest all get 1 day, Legs and Butt get two days a week. But I have never had a steady program because you always hear PT telling people to stop doing the same thing over and over so I never do the same thing usually and because I can’t afford a PT. Nutrition: Honestly, 98% clean but with this caveat… I am hyperthyroid and ALWAYS hungry… I also have always aimed for about 1500-1800 cal/p/day and now that I am trying to once and for all purge my booty and legs of their excesses I am aiming for 1200-1400 cal per day. I heard Kev reprimand someone for 1400 calories a day the other day and said to myself “Uh Oh”… maybe that’s my deal?? I eat every 3-4 hours (although i’m hungry about every 2) for breakfast everyday 1/4c steel cut oats with a scoop of protein and berries, lunch and snacks and dinner 4 oz protein usually ground turkey with a vegetable of some sort broccoli, a salad with vinegar for dressing, carrots, and also if im still hungry some fruit or a fruit and nut granola bar.ill eat cereal after a workout for recovery. I take creatine before my strength training days. I workout at nights after a 12 hour shift of standing on my feet all day so by the time I get home I am very hungry. I need to immediately get into bed so I can get up for work the next day but i need to eat also, so yes, I eat right before bed on most nights, mostly because I thought we are always supposed to eat after a workout and a PT at Max Muscle told me that many weight lifters set their alarms and get up at 3 am to eat.. That’s a topic for another day. Soooooo WTF???????????? I have started a food journal and officially have 8 days now, I also have measurements if you guys want those, pics too…. Since Jan the only inches that I have lost is 1/2 from my thighs, 2 from my butt, and 2 from my stomach. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -Katie
  • Bore da Kevin and crew! (‘Bore da” is good morning in Welsh). I’m a UK listener so I’d love it, Kevin, if you could read out this question in your awesome British accent =D. My question is about running. Ever since I can remember I have been a very slow runner compared to my peers. I always thought that when I was younger I was slow because I was unfit, inactive and slightly overweight. Now I’m older I’m much fitter and more active than I used to be – I weight train regularly, play sports and have done a martial art for about 6 years. But I am still a REALLY slow runner! For example, I go to a circuits class once a week and in that class I can generally keep up with the best on most exercises except for anything that involves running or sprinting – then I fall behind pretty much everyone who’s less than 60 years old! So I guess my question is this: is it possible to be ‘fit’ aerobically, and to be relatively strong but NOT be a fast runner/sprinter? What factors determine a person’s ability to run/sprint fast? Thanks so much for the awesome podcast, you guys are bendigedig! Sally (Wales, UK) PS In case it matters at all, I’m 29 years old, 5’5″, 130lbs.
  • My name is Veronica Malloy. I’m sixteen years old. My family is a bit less fortunate so we can’t exactly purchase all the expensive healthy foods. I grew up rather slim but these past two years I’ve gradually put on 20 pounds leading me to being 5’4 143 pounds. I’ve been needing help putting together and exact fitness schedule I can partake in at home. (EX: 30 push ups, 20 sit ups, run 2 miles, ect). I’m emailing you to see if you could possibly help me?
  • Leigh, In an old podcast, you mentioned that you following a diet to help your ankle injury heal. Can you elaborate on that diet? Are there certain foods or nutrients that should be eaten to aid in healing? How does it differ for a bone vs. a tendon vs. a muscle injury? Related to this, I have had chronic problems with tendonitis. I’ve had plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, medial epicondylitis, and others. My ortho said that it is a blood supply issue and is probably genetic, but could diet also play a part? Thanks, BB

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2 Responses

  1. Hugh ( from NJ) says:

    This was one of the best ever, in my opinon. So many of my questions were answered. I am an IT Director at a large Pharma by day, and a budding trainer at night. I researched many of the CPT certifications and passed the NASM CPT in Oct/09, I was happy to hear you both recommended NASM. The discussion on how to get into this business was very timely. I attended the Perform Better in RI, I’ll be there next year( BTW Kevin, you are taller than i imagined, i was working out behind you during the Cosgrove hands on) I have a friends and family group i am working with and I love working with them. They all happen to be women ( Wife, sister In-law, Aunt & My dentist). So, when Leigh described that women do not like to rest between exercises and sets i can attest, great advise Leigh. Your Podcast is a truly valuable resource, keep up the great great work.

  1. August 12, 2010

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