As I said in Part One, most of the questions I get are in regards to training, and quite a few on nutrition, which made up Part Two, but I do get a pretty decent amount of random questions that don't necessarily fit into either category. Those are the questions I have stuffed into...
Frequently Asked Questions, Part 3: Odds and ends
Q: "You mentioned that it took you a year to reset your metabolic set point after doing serious damage that resulted from prepping for your Figure Show. How did you go about doing this? I really want to do my body a huge favour and 'repair' it. I know feeding is the only way, and was wondering how you added your calories back and did you stop / adjust your exercise?"
A: One thing I want to be clear about - I am no expert when it comes to metabolic damage. Yes, it happened to me and yes, I got through it, but unfortunately all I can tell you is what worked for me. Long story short, my metabolism was seriously compromised after dieting and training way too hard for a Figure show. I packed on about 30 pounds after my show, even though I was eating clean 98% of the time and still training hard. I was exhausted, and not just your typical run-of-the-mill exhausted, but more like it-was-all-I-could-do-to-stay-awake kind of exhausted. Doctors and Endocrinologists had no clue what was wrong with me and I finally just gave in to it. I let my body gain, I backed my training down, I traded in all of my cardio for yoga, and basically slept every chance I had for a few months. I kept raising my calories and tried to focus on nutrient dense foods. Eventually my weight plateaued and finally, after about 10 months, my weight started to creep back down.
Q: "I am at a standstill. I have recently returned to my dreaded box gym which I HATE going to. I feel so lost with all the equipment, I am completely overwhelmed. How do I get back into it and how do I devise a nutrition plan?"
A: I'm so sorry that you despise your gym. That, in and of itself, would inevitably make training a great big pain in the butt. First off, can you find somewhere else to go? Somewhere that you actually like? I'd also like to see you have some sort of training plan. When you know exactly what you need to do it makes it much less overwhelming. I'd suggest the Beautiful Badass program by my friend and GGS co-founder Nia Shanks. In regards to nutrition, I'd suggest the Precision Nutrition system.
Precision Nutrition puts health at the forefront and it's balanced eating that is sustainable for a lifetime.
What about participating in some fun physical activity that doesn't necessarily have to do with the gym? Maybe rock climbing, hiking, yoga, a softball league, etc. Working out doesn't always have to be within the confines of a gym. I realize that there is a lot of information out there and it can be very overwhelming. Take baby steps, go slow, and make little changes to start.
Q: "I like to take yoga but my schedule only lets me take it on training days. Does this matter, or is it too much?"
A: Depends. What style of yoga is it? There are a lot of different styles of yoga that wildly vary in their intensity. Ashtanga, my personal favorite, is a very athletic and aggressive style of yoga. Vinyasa flow, which tends to be the most common style of yoga that is offered in gyms, can range from easy to very strenuous. There is also Restorative Yoga, and the sole purpose of it is to relaaaaaax. (Of course this is only the tip of the yogic iceberg, and there are other styles I didn't mention.) If it's a moderately paced Vinyasa class, I'd say that you are safe to take it whenever you want, even on training days. If you are attending Ashtanga or a very aggressive power flow type of class, then you may want to consider taking it on your off days from training, or at least spreading it out throughout the day, i.e., yoga in the morning and training in the evening. I took Ashtanga and took/instructed Power Vinyasa at least 5 days per week for about 2 years straight while I was following the West Side for Skinny Bastards program and it didn't affect my strength in the slightest; matter of fact, I think it helped from a mobility and recovery standpoint. I am a huge fan of yoga and think everybody can benefit from it. Watch for my upcoming blog post, "Get Your 'Om' On" that will talk about yoga from my perspective as both an instructor and a devoted practioner.
Q: "Where do you get those headwraps that you wear in your videos?"
Q: "I was wondering if you or Michael could recommend a daily multi-vitamin? I've been told Whole Food source versus the cheap CVS, etc... brands are better? I found one and was curious as to your thoughts?"
A: Actually, neither Michael nor myself take a multi-vitamin. We both only eat whole, unprocessed foods and an obscene amount of veggies with each and every meal. We do, however, supplement with a high quality greens powder each morning. My favorites are either Garden of Life or Amazing Grass. Warning: They taste isn't fantastic. I put it in a few ounces of water and slam 'er down like a
Q: "What do you do when you've lost some of that edge.... when you kinda sorta really don't care all that much if it's your best? When you feel so tired and beat down (and I'm not just talking overtraining here, I'm talking training, injuries, work, relationships). How do you get from feeling like you're doing ok and that's good enough, back to being hungry and alive and thriving and clawing your way through? I DID have that drive before, but honestly I'm in a longer-than-is-ok clip of being mediocre. Do you have any tips for people in that space?"
A: Ahhhh the doldrums. I am familiar with this feeling. I go through these periods too and I have found that it helps to do some soul searching. Journaling is a huge blessing for me and it's something I've done since I was 5 years old! (Hello Kitty Diary. Hey hey!!)
Time for some soul searching - what is truly important to you? What do you feel passionate about? Where do you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, a year, 5 years, and what do you need to get there? Those are some questions to ask yourself. I have also found help in reading some books. Have you read The Happiness Project? It is my #1 recommendation for you, and everybody else. That book changed my life. It's focus is on finding happiness, which is unique to everybody. Another excellent book is "A Purpose Driven Life".
If all of this fails, I suggest meeting your best girlfriends and taking a road trip. Does the trick for me every time! Try not to be too hard on yourself, because our journey through life is full of peaks and valleys and while it'd be great to be "on" all of the time, it's probably not realistic.
Most importantly? Pray about it. :)
Questions? Comments? Drop me a line below!