Monday, January 6, 2003

Personal Trainer

Vary workout intensity to maintain fitness

By Dave Patania

Question: I took your advice and raised the intensity of my workouts and got great results. How long should I keep up my high-intensity work?

Answer: Assess your goals and determine if you are happy with where you are.

If so, go into "maintenance mode" and work out at high intensities every other workout or so.

Once you pay the price as you have and get great results, you can maintain those results by using various exercises, intensity levels and rest periods.

For example, after one of my clients lost the body fat and weight that she wanted, she would take a 45-minute, very high-intensity walk with a friend three or four days during the week after lifting weights.

On the other days and on the weekends, she swam with her swimming club - lower intensity but longer duration.

She would switch things around every month or so by walking at lower intensities, then signing up for some swimming competitions for her age group and pushing herself to maximum levels in the pool.

With some added rest periods each week to ensure recovery, she built a well-rounded program based on things she liked to do.

By working out hard enough to attain higher levels of conditioning, she doesn't have to work as hard to maintain those results because she has used variation, rest and a focus on quality over quantity.

This means that with her new levels of conditioning, she can focus on how well she works out rather than how many times she works out.

You can do the same. Choose a few activities that you enjoy, rotate them and your workout intensities, focus on quality and you will get more out of every workout. Good luck.

Q: Should I eat before or after my workouts?

A: Everybody is different and there are many ways of doing things with regard to pre- and post-workout eating. Nevertheless, I have my clients and athletes eat on their regular schedules but drink a pre-workout shake (60 percent carb, 40 percent protein or a 50/50 ratio) 30-60 minutes before each workout and another one immediately after training to maximize recovery and nutrient replenishment.

It is important to fuel up and refuel before and after each workout.

If shakes are not to your liking, just be sure to eat lightly before your workouts and have a light snack or meal after working out for recovery.

Contact certified personal trainer Dave Patania by e-mail:

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