Allow me to officially welcome you to our family. I say that, because it’s truly the way we feel. From your very first interaction, I want you to feel how valued and important you are. From the moment you chose TF to provide your fitness needs, you became one of the family.
I’m so glad to have you on-board!
Below you will find a number of resources that will support you as you start the program. Click on the titles of each file below:
- TF Warmup
- Recommended Supplements
- Best 3-Minute Drink to Start Your Day
- Strategies For Overcoming Psychological Barriers Towards Working Out
- Fat Loss Meal Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
Starting any new program can be overwhelming at first. I understand that you probably have a number of questions, too. To help answer as many questions as possible, I typed these FAQs below that answers the most common questions I’ve received from clients.
If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. In fact, I hope that you don’t just blindly follow my plan; I want you to know why you are doing things and how they work. That being said, let’s move on to the FAQ:
How long should I wait between workouts?
Typically, you should have 48 hours between strength training sessions. However, life sometimes throws us a curveball, and we have to perform training on back-to-back days. If you are just getting back to working out, then we recommend 2–3 days of strength training each week. For example, this can be scheduled as Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday.
Here’s the catch: the human body is meant to move everyday. I highly encourage you to still be active on your “off” days from the gym by taking a 15–30 minute walk or doing something that you enjoy. Golf, Ultimate Frisbee, playing outside with your kids, roller skating, hiking, pickup basketball, etc., are all good ways to stay active on non-training days.
As you get further into your training experience, you may find that you are able to recover faster and increase the number of days you are training to 4–5 per week. As long as you are working with me to manage your training schedule and recovery, this is perfectly acceptable. However, there will be times where you should “deload” or take a period of time to lower your number of training days to 2–3 for a week or two to allow your body to recover.
Ideally, an advanced trainee will do 2–3 strength workouts and 2–3 metabolic workouts each week for optimal results. This balance allows for recovery while still providing you with enough stress to get the results you want.
How sore should I expect to be?
Being sore is a part of the process, especially if you are just getting back in to a workout routine. However, you shouldn’t be so sore that you can’t function or that it is painful to move. It is common for your first week or two to be a bit challenging. Sitting down and getting up, especially from the toilet, can be a challenge, and you will notice that you are sore.
Soreness is our body’s way of letting us know that we did some damage to our muscles. This damage is necessary for the muscles to rebuild and become stronger. After a week or two, the soreness will subside.
The best possible thing that you can do for soreness is to be active. Foam roll over the sore areas for 30–45 seconds at a time a few times per day, drink plenty of water, and go for a 20-minute walk to loosen up and increase blood flow. The activity will bring blood and valuable nutrients to the muscles to help them recover.
Most importantly, do NOT skip your next workout. I can always adjust the workout for you, but skipping the workout will not help you reach your goals. As your body adapts to the workout and the blood gets flowing, you will become less sore throughout. Reinforcing the habit of getting to the gym is such a key part of the process when starting, too. Skipping your second or third workout makes it too easy to stop coming altogether.
What is the best time of day to work out?
There is no perfect time to work out. The best time to work out is the time that you have available.
Find a time that is free of other distractions and that you can put in your schedule like any other appointment. This is the best time to work out—because you will actually do it.
How much “extra” training/cardio should I do?
When you are beginning your fitness journey, 2–3 days of training will be enough to get you great results. As your body adapts, you may need to increase your frequency to 3–4 days depending on your goals and the rest of your activity.
As a rule of thumb, we advise clients to get in about 2 hours of cardio each week. This doesn’t have to be done all at once; feel free to split this up to 20 minutes every day and you’ll easily hit the mark. Stay active on your non-training days and go for a walk, enjoy a hike, or do something else you love to do. Get outside, be with friends and family, and enjoy other healthy activities.
If you are eating right, sleeping properly, etc., then 2–3 days of training with 2 additional hours of cardio throughout the week is great for most people. At some point, if your goal is to accelerate your progress, then you may need to add in a sprint interval day to your program. This should be discussed if/when you get to this stage.
How do I know if I am training enough?
The question shouldn’t be about quantity but rather about quality of your training. For most people, 2-3 days per week is enough to reach your goals. Increasing your training volume may not be the answer if you aren’t doing all the other things needed to get the results you want.
Before thinking about adding training days, ask yourself:
- Am I eating according to my plan at least 90% of the time?
- Am I putting everything I have into each workout I currently do?
- Am I getting in about 2 hours of low intensity cardio each week?
- Am I sleeping and recovering well?
If you can’t answer yes to all three questions, you don’t need to increase your training to get better results. We need to focus on the other factors first, and then we can help you reach your goals faster.
Most of us live our lives in a state of stress. We are stressed at work, with kids, and at home, and we don’t get in proper nutrition or sleep. This all leads to our bodies being overworked and inflamed, which keeps us from getting the results we want. If you want better results, think of what you are doing in the 165 hours you spend outside the gym each week before we add another hour to it.
How much water should I drink?
The goal is to drink 1 liter of water for every 50 pounds of body mass. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, your daily goal is to drink 3 liters of water.
Start by drinking .5L (about two cups) at each meal, and get in more water throughout the day (especially when you’re bored and/or feel like snacking). Before and after your workout, drink another 250ml, and you should be close to reaching your goals. Breaking it down into small amounts will make it much more manageable.
Oh, and you can’t count soda (even diet), alcohol and milk towards your water count.
What should I eat before a workout?
Your body needs fuel to get the most out of your workouts, although some people handle food before a workout well, and others do not. You will have to find out what works for you and how your body reacts. Drinking a protein shake is an easy and convenient way to ingesting proper nutrients around your workout (especially if you can’t stomach food immediately before a workout).
What should I eat after a workout?
Post workout nutrition is important. This is the time that your body is looking for vital nutrients to help it start the recovery process.
Ideally, you want to take in 20–30 g of protein, and depending on your goals, a modest amount of carbs. If your goal is fat loss, you would shoot for 20 g of carbs after your workout. If your goal is to gain strength or add muscle, shoot for 40 g of carbs after your workout. This is very individual, but you will learn over time what your body needs. If you have specific questions, please ask.
Great carb sources for post-workout are sweet potatoes, plantains, white rice, or butternut squash.
What supplements should I take?
I recommend a few supplements that you can read more about HERE.
When should I eat? How many meals should I eat?
There are optimal times to eat, and then there is real life.
Ideally, you should keep your eating schedule consistent. Focus on eating a couple meals a day and a snack. Forget the notion that you need to eat small meals every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism going. That’s old bodybuilding folklore based off some misinterpretations from research. The real goal is to eat enough to keep you performing and feeling well.
On days that you work out, consume a good protein and carbohydrate source within 60 minutes of your workout for recovery purposes.
Lastly, fueling your body with good, healthy foods will go a lot further than trying to restrict your calories by not eating.
Are carbs bad?
Carbs are not bad. Carbs help fuel your body for your workouts and provide you with nutrients to help your muscles recover from your workouts. However, not all carbs are created equal. You should avoid added sugars and grains as carb sources. These foods don’t do anything to help your health or performance.
Some people and body types handle carbs better than others. Finding your individual “sweet spot” when it comes to carb intake is important. Most people that want to lose fat need to keep their carb levels to under 100g per day, and probably closer to 50g per day. These carbs would also only be consumed on days that you perform a high intensity workout or strength training.
Is fat bad for me? Will eating fat make me fat?
That sounds logical, right? Since it has more calories than carbs and protein, shouldn’t it make you fatter if you eat more fat?
Eating fat does not cause the body to store excess fat. In fact, just the opposite, you need to eat fats for your body to burn your excess body fat and to maintain a healthy body/optimize performance. Fat is actually stored on our bodies more easily from starches and carbs than it is from fats.
Now that we have removed grains and other starches from your nutrition plan and taken out processed foods, you need to replace those empty calories with healthy fats.
Good fats include coconut oil, almond butter, cashew butter, extra virgin olive oil, animal fats, clarified butter/ghee or pastured grass-fed butter, avocados, and nuts (excluding peanuts). Eating some of these will help keep you healthy and optimize fat burning.
Let me know if you ever have any questions that I didn’t address above.