How Much, How Often, and What?

Cheri Lila Govro asks these questions:

The first question I would ask a WOD Guru;

1. How little exercise do I have to do to maintain my current level of fitness?
2. What are the most effective exercises for a full body workout?
3. If there is one thing that I could cut from my diet that would make the most difference in maintaining leaness, what would it be?
4. Does 20 minutes of walking actually do anything for anyone?
5. What foods do you recommend for eating on the run? Whew, sorry for all the inquiries right out of the box…but this is what is on my mind right now. Thanks for your help!

Jenn Boudreau answers!  Jennifer Hallquist Answers!

1. How little exercise do I have to do to maintain my current level of fitness?

“Current level of fitness” is actually a very vague term.

If you are a ripped, 2% body fat specimen who’s been extra-low carbing for a month, you’d obviously have to maintain that regimen to maintain that level of fitness (which I absolutely don’t recommend, by the way!). 

I’m going to re-word your question and go with the assumption that you’re a fit, healthy individual who is happy with where you are, body-composition wise, and would like to maintain that. 

Again, there’s some wiggle room, but generically, I recommend that all my clients get about 20-30 minutes of high intensity sprinting a week, be it running or biking.  Something nice and hard paced that really gets the heart pounding.  Then, pick up heavy stuff a few times a week…usually 30-60 minutes each time is all you need…and the important thing is to make sure it’s fun! 

Whether you Crossfit, prefer kettlebells, love lifting…mix it up, but always enjoy what you’re doing.  The minute your workout becomes a laborious chore that you are simply checking off a list, it’s time to go play and try something new and re-discover your passion for fitness. 

The last step of the equation, one which I think many of us tend to forget…MOVE!  For as many hours a week as you can. Go hiking with your kids.  Take a walk after dinner with your dog.  Go for a bike ride with your best friend. Just move!  This slow, sustained movement is what our bodies is actually made for and needs for optimal functioning! 

2. What are the  most effective exercises for a full body workout? 

Compound, multi-joint movements — such as  dips, presses, squats – which work more than one body part at a time, maximize workout time and train your body in the movement patterns we use in real life are the most efficient and effective exercises to use in a full body workout. Training in this manner will make you stronger and less likely to get injured when you are OUTSIDE of the gym! 

3. If there is one  thing that I could cut from my diet that would make the most difference  in maintaining leaness, what would it be? 

Crap.  If you’re already crap-free, then it’s not so much cutting one thing out as it is watching your portions. I really am not a fan of vilifiying one particular food, as that tends to backfire and just makes you desire it even more.  On a more personal note, if I’m trying to lean out, I avoid pork.  All pork.  And a lot of bodybuilders and fitness competitors do also, so it’s more than just me! lol!  Also, dried fruit (little sugar bombs!) and nuts need to be eaten in moderation if you’re trying to maintain a low body fat percentage!

4. Does 20 minutes of walking  actually do anything for anyone?

Most definitely!  Slow, sustained movement is a birthright!  It’s what our bodies were designed to do and we need to include it in our regiment if we want to maintain optimal fitness.  I recommend 5-7 hours a week of walking or hiking or biking, but don’t scoff if 20 minutes is all you can fit in.  I think the mental, de-stressing that 20 minutes affords you…as well as a chance to be outside…will be a huge component in your happiness level, even if it does not necessarily burning a ton of calories or decrease body fat.

 5. What foods do you recommend for eating on the run? 

Easy, quick and portable!  My go to’s for car picnics (what we call meals on the run in my family) are sliced chicken or lean beef, hazelnuts, and either celery or baby bell peppers.  You can throw a whole meal in a sandwich bag in under 30 seconds (assuming you’ve prepped your food already).   If you’re asking about what to eat out at a restaurant, then focus of the leanest cuts of meat on the menu, steamed veggies or a salad, and ask for olive oil or avocado on the side for a healthy fat!
Jen Boudreau, C.P.T.
Moxie Strength and Nutrition
951-852-7781  moxie4you@hotmail.com

Jennifer Hallquist Answers!

First of all, I don’t know what her current level of fitness is right to guide her. Is she working on strength ie wendler?

My recommendation is to stay on strength cycle and vary met cons from 5-15 min with a longer met con 20 plus minutes 1-2 times per month.

Vary running with rowing, possibly some sprinting , short 50 meters to start.

Again, hard to answer as I don’t know what her current level of fitness is and what if any limitations are there or what kind of equipment she has or if she is going to a CF gym or what her experience level is?


About Eileen Taggart

Flagstaff Real Estate Agent. Top Producer. Olympic Weightlifter. Facebooker. Laughter is everything.

5 comments on “How Much, How Often, and What?

  1. How do you scale a workout?

    I am heavy, and out of shape.
    I don’t even know what I can do yet.
    Since I am trying to do CF at a globo with no support what is the best way to try to scale a WoD?

  2. More specific questions:
    If the workout calls for 20x pushups and I can’t do that,
    should I lower the number?
    should I do them from knees?
    should I do them on a bench?

    Workout calls for 20x KB swings with XX weight,
    I assume I should just lower the weight and not change the reps?

    My gym doesn’t have a wall to do wall balls, options?

    I can’t do running right now until my leg gets taken care of
    I assume some other cardio works?

  3. Jenn, thank you so much for the advice! This was so awesome to get this much help in one place! Like having a personal coach at my finger tips. I am definatley printing your response and keeping it near by! You guessed well on my current condition, I am crossfit and actively involved in power lifting at the moment. I am relatively lean, lean enough not be be obsessing right now. The reason my questions were about minimum required rather than maximum which you may get from those who are competing is that it felt like time to give it a rest…but I don’t want to lose my conditioning. Really Really appreciate your guidance.

  4. You are very welcome! I’m glad it helped!!

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