10 Things Trainers Wish You Knew

Hello, friends. :-) It’s almost the weekend… woohoo!

I never got around to blogging last night because I attended my first UD Reading Alumni Club event with my friend/sorority sister, Laura! We went to a hockey game & it was a lot of fun; I realized once we got there that I had never been to a hockey game before. We sat pretty close to the ice & it actually was relatively entertaining to watch!

Laura, me, & Emily at my bridal shower in June.


A little while ago, I came across an article in the January issue of Real Simple magazine that I thought was interesting & worth mentioning.

The article, “10 Things Trainers Wish You Knew,” includes feedback from fitness experts on “common exercise infractions & how to correct them.” If you don’t subscribe to Real Simple, you can read the entire article online, here, or check out a few of my favorite tips below!

#1: You need to switch up your workouts.

‘After doing the same cardio or strength routine 3 to 6 times, your body adapts & you burn fewer calories,’ says Michael Sokol, owner of One-on-One Fitness Personal Training Services, in Chicago & Scottsdale, Arizona.”

Rather than do the same strength or cardio workouts day after day, week after week, the article suggests changing one thing about your cardio &/or weight-training workouts once a month. This is something I can definitely improve on. If you’ve ever checked out my Workout Log it’s pretty apparent that I follow a consistent rotation of spin class, BodyPump, & the elliptical. I need to start “spicing things up” a bit!

#2: Cardio isn’t the magic bullet for weight loss.

Although aerobic exercise will burn calories, it doesn’t really change your metabolism. What does: lean muscle mass.”

I learned this lesson last year, when I was actually doing more strength training than cardio. I’ve since balanced my workouts out between the two, but I firmly believe that strength training is essential for continuous results!

#6: A workout doesn’t merit a post-gym pig-out.

When you’re feeling virtuous after you’ve exercised, it’s easy to eat back all the calories you just burned (& then some).”

Even though I didn’t need the magazine article to remind me of this, it’s definitely something I to keep in mind! Since I’m not currently trying to lose weight, it’s easy to think that the gym & a hearty dessert portion equal each other out. While my calories burned may be close to what’s consumed during dessert, that still doesn’t mean indulging constantly is the healthiest decision!

#8: Working out on an empty stomach won’t burn more fat.

…people experienced a bigger boost in metabolism – meaning, burned more fat – when they exercised after eating breakfast than they did the same workout on an empty stomach.”

I usually try to eat something small before hitting the gym. If not, I definitely feel a lack of energy. If I’m working out in the early-evening, after school but before dinner, I’ll usually have a mix of plain Chobani, fruit, nuts, & a drizzle of honey. If it’s the weekend & I’m working out in the morning, I’ll usually grab a banana. If I eat a full breakfast, I often find that I can feel uncomfortable during a gym session.

How do you “shape up” when it comes to these “10 Things”?

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  1. Colleen @ Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill says:

    While it’s great that our society has become more health conscious, I think all of the information that is out there is extremely overwhelming (especially to beginners!). There is an inordinate amount of contradicting articles on the same topics and it can be rather confusing. I think it’s easy to lose sight of the whole point of fitness–to stay healthy. People try to follow crazy formulas and rules, when in the end, regular exercise is what is important.

    • 4thesakeofcake says:

      Good point! And I totally agree. I find articles like these interesting & (somewhat) helpful, but I also keep in mind that I’m doing what works and what’s best for me & it’s impossible to follow all of the “advice” out there!

  2. Colleen says:

    Number 2 kills me! I just read an article on the Washington Post social reader — that lean muscle doesn’t increase metabolism. I was so bummed when I read that because I’ve been doing strength training regularly to help with my back and thought it was a great thing. I suppose I’ll just choose to believe the article you posted instead!

    • 4thesakeofcake says:

      This perfectly illustrates Colleen’s (Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill) point! There’s a lot of “mixed information” out there — a lot of it from seemingly reliable resources too!

    • 4thesakeofcake says:

      I find that if I’m ravenous when I’m at the gym, that’s ALL I can think about. I always have to have just a little something in my tummy!

  3. Lindsay @ biking before bed says:

    I definitely need to work on eating before working out. I need too find gentle foods that won’t upset up stomach when I am jumping around. Glad u made it out to an alumni event. I’ve been to a couple UD events in Houston and they are a lot of fun.

    • 4thesakeofcake says:

      I’m lucky enough to have my friend Laura live right near me! She’s not from the area originally, it’s just coincidence that she ended up in my hometown after college! It was fun & I hope to attend more in the future!

  4. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance says:

    This is a great article! I was curious to read it because as you know, I’m currently in the process of becoming a trainer– and those are all things that I’ve either learned or heard before as well!
    ESPECIALLY the cardio obsession thing– boy oh boy did I used to be guilty of that!

  5. Pamela says:

    I was definitely guilty of #6 when I was in college! Now, I try to follow the (#1) advice and add variety to my workouts rather than doing the same DVDs at home every time!

  6. Kathryn @ Flopoodle says:

    The point about a workout not meriting a post-gym pig out is so important! I’ve seen people eat a bunch of cookies after their workout because they think they “earned” them, but they never see any results. It would almost be better if they didn’t work out because they wouldn’t have felt they earned the cookies!

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