Your Fitness and Nutrition Questions Answered
Force Fitness FAQ
How long should I wait between workouts?
Typically you would have 48 hours between training sessions at Force. 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. This would typically be scheduled on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. However you can do back to back days of training as long as you don’t do more than two consecutive days. So, if you have to do Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for your workouts that is acceptable.
You can still be active on your “off” days from the gym by taking a 20-30 minute walk or doing something that you enjoy and you consider active. Golf, Ultimate Frisbee, playing with your kids, roller skating, hiking, pick up basketball, etc are all good ways to stay active on “off” 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 a coach 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.
If you are extremely sore, too sore to function you need to address this with your coach so that we can adjust the program.
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 time a few times per day, drink plenty of water, and go for a 30 minute walk to loosen up and increase blood flow.
The activity will bring blood and valuable nutrients to the muscles to help them recover.
Whatever you do, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT skip your next workout. We can always adjust the program for you but skipping the workout will not help you reach your goals. As your body adapts to the training you will become less sore over time. We also want to start reinforcing the habit of getting to the gym. Skipping your second or third workout makes it too easy to stop coming all together.
What is the best time of day to workout?
There is no perfect time to workout. The best time to workout 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 workout- because you will actually do it!
How much water should I drink?
Our goal is to get you to drink a least 1 oz of water for every 2 lbs of bodyweight. So if you weigh 200 lbs you will need to get in 100 oz of water.
While that might sound like a lot you don’t have to get 100 oz in right start if you aren’t drinking lots of water already.
Start by drinking 12-16 oz at each meal and try to get in 12 oz between meals as well. Before and after your workout drink another 12 oz 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, pop (even diet), coffee or tea towards your water count!
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 up that 3-4 days depending on your goals and the rest of your activity.
Training too much can lead your body to be under too much stress and it will cause you to stop making progress. Recovery and rest is just as important as the actual training itself.
If you are eating right and doing everything else we ask of you then 2-3 days of training is perfect for most people. You are busy and don’t have the time to train 6 days per week for hours at time.
There is also no need for added “cardio”. You can stay active on your off days and go for a walk, enjoy a jog if you like that sort of activity or do something else you love to do. Get outside, be with friend and family and enjoy other healthy activities.
At some point if your goal is to get really lean then you may need to add in a sprint interval day to your program, but that needs to be discussed with your coach.
What should I eat before a workout?
Your body needs fuel to get the most out of your workouts! Some people handle food well before a workout and others do not. You will have to find out what works for you and how your body reacts.
If you train early in the morning then it would wise to have a whey protein shake or another form of fast digesting protein 30 minutes prior to your workout. Something like our Prograde Workout would be optimal so that you can get the needed protein and carbs to fuel your workout.
If you can’t stomach food early in the morning before your workout then you might be able to take 5g of BCAAs prior to your workout that will help maintain your lean muscle mass and help you recover from your workouts.
If you train mid morning or later in the day you can have 20-30g of protein before your workout. Your other meals should allow you to be well fed and prepared to handle the training session.
What should I eat after a workout?
Post workout nutrition is critical to your success. This is the time that your body is starving for vital nutrients to help it recover and prepare for your next training session.
If you are looking for something in a hurry Prograde Workout is a great source of protein and carbs to help you recover.
Ideally you want to take in 20-30g of protein and depending on your goals a modest amount of carbs. IF your goal is fat loss you would shoot for 25-30g of carbs after your workout. If your goal is to gain strength or add muscle then you would shoot for 30-60g of carbs after your workout. This is very individual but you will learn over time what your body needs. If you have specific questions as a coach.
Keeping fats to a minimum and avoiding fruits as your carb source during this period (within 60 minutes after your workout) is important. Fruits don’t provide your body with the right type of carbohydrate to repair your muscles and fats slow down the digestion process.
Great carb sources are sweet potatoes, plantains, white rice, or butternut squash.
What supplements should I take?
Supplements are not meant to replace anything in the diet- they are called supplements for a reason. In fact, with a solid nutrition plan you probably don’t need any, but not many of us have a diet that has enough variety, quantity and quality of foods to cover all our bases.
So, we recommend a few supplements for most of our clients. Others might be recommended depending on your goals.
1) High Quality Multi Vitamin to ensure you are getting all your vitamins and minerals. This is a coverall and ensures you have the necessary components in your diet to keep you healthy. Men and Women also have different needs so you need to ensure you have a gender specific vitamin.
2) Green Supplement– Even with a multivitamin we also recommend a Greens Supplement that includes probiotics to keep your gut healthy. These supplements help with reducing inflammation, gut health and immune function.
We recommend Prograde Genesis
3) High Quality Fish Oil or Omega 3 Supplement to ensure you are getting enough of this essential fat in your diet. The research is pretty clear that fish oil is critical for reducing inflammation in the body and keeping you healthy. Look for high quality fish or krill oils that have high levels of DHA and EPA.
We recommend Progade EFA Icon, Nordic Naturals Fish Oil, Biotest Flameout, Carlson’s Liquid Fish Oil or Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil
4) Vitamin D3 can be obtained through adequate exposure to sunlight but most of us don’t get enough for us to have healthy levels. We recommend taking 2000-10,000 IU of D3 each day. Consult your physician if you have concerns about taking this recommended dosages. You can find vitamin D3 at any drug store or grocery. The amount you need is very individual based on the time of year and how much exposure to sun you are getting naturally.
D3 is key for your immune system, hormones and much more. Many Americans are deficient in vitamin D and need supplementation
*NOTE: Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin so you should take with food or a meal that includes some levels of fat.
5) Whey Protein– This is something that can be added in for convenience or to ensure you are getting enough protein in your diet. We may ask you to remove this supplement from your routine for a period of time to establish some new healthy eating habits but many people handle whey very well and it makes for a quick and easy protein addition for snacks or meals.
Finding a high quality protein that has very few additional ingredients is important so that you are staying as close to the natural product as possible.
We recommend Prograde Protein
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. Focusing on 3 meals a day and one snack. If you have trouble with 3 meals a day then it may be 2 meals and 2 snacks. The goal is to eat enough to keep you performing and feeling well.
On days that you workout you should consume something 60-90 minutes pre workout and within 60 minutes of your workout for recovery purposes.
Do your best not to skip meals when just starting out on your program. 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 us 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 150g per day, and probably closer to 50-100g per day. These carbs would also only be consumed on days that you workout or perform strength training.
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:
1) Am I eating according to my plan at least 90% of the time?
2) Am I putting everything I have into each workout I currently do?
3) Am I sleeping and recovering well?
If you can’t answer yes to all three questions then 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, at home, and we don’t get in proper nutrition or sleep. This all leads to our bodies being over worked and inflamed which keeps us from getting the results we want and forces our body to hold on to fat. If you want better results think of what you are doing in the 165 hours outside of the gym before we add another hour to it!
Is Fat bad for me? Will eating fat make me fat?
Sound logical right? Since it has more calories than carbs and protein shouldn’t it make you fatter if you eat more fat?
Not in our nutrition plan! Not in any healthy nutrition plan really. 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, coconut butter, 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- following our Force Fit Plate Guidelines- will help keep you healthy and optimize your fat burning.