Thanks for all the Q & A! I love to answer your questions...hopefully in a helpful way!
Do you flavor plain yogurt or have a favorite over the counter one?
I love all yogurt! When eating plain yogurt I usually add some yummy stuff.. like grapes, apples, shaved almonds, and celery for a more fulfilling snack/small meal. Or I add some strawberries and cereal. My fridge is stocked with over the counter yoplait (the only kind my husband will eat), which I normally buy in the original form. I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners and tend to stay away from them in my yogurt even if that means eating more sugar. When I'm feeling really smart, I make my own yogurt and stick to adding fruit or honey if you like the taste. I'm eager to buy a yogurt maker, which is really easy to use and works really well.
When you lift weights, what is your recommended reps and sets?
That's a hard question to answer in one way because strength training is always contingent on WHAT YOU'RE TRAINING FOR. The average person looking to gain muscle tone and strength should stick to these guidelines:
*start at a comfortable weight you can lift 8-10 times for 3 sets.
*when you can lift that weight 12-15 times for 3 sets it's time to move up,
add another 5-10 lbs. (the different between 5 & 10 lbs may seem like a lot, but the larger muscles always adapt faster and can handle larger weight increases).
*once you've moved up weight, go back to 8-10 reps for 3 sets until you can make 12-15 reps for 3 sets and it's time to add more weight again.
*one of the most important things to remember is to CHANGE how you attack the muscle. Muscles will get complacent if you do the same type of lift every time and STOP responding to the weight, whether or not you're adding more poundage. This is why a trainer is invaluable because they should know about 3,000 different ways to attack the bicep muscle :) If a trainer is not an option, try searching online, reading books, checking back here and I'll try to get some posting done on different lifts for your muscles.
Do you hire out Kelly? I start going to the Rec Center in the morning and I am looking for a personal trainer. What do you charge and what is your schedule like? I ordered the book you recommend ‘Core Performance’ by Mark Verstegen and it came today.
Yes, I hire out. As a Nutrition/Exercise Consultant I help a client put together a personal diet plan, keep a food log, start an exercise program, stay motivated through daily interaction and much more. I truly LOVE showing people new ways to work and watch as they become more flexible, stronger, healthier. For more details you can just email me at
I really enjoy the "Core Performance" book because it focuses on several areas that many people overlook, such as flexibility and kinetic movement. I hope you like it!
What are some good muscle strengthening/lifting workouts for training for a marathon?
While training for a marathon I tend to ween off of the weights a bit largely because I spend all my time running and because the muscles become torn (thus strengthening and building the muscle) from running for long periods of time. It can do more harm than good to strength train even more on these worn muscles. I recommend following a simple training plan that allows you to strength train your entire body just two times a week through isotonic exercise (or lifting weights) and through isometric exercise (like yoga) the remainder of the week.
Plan on working isotonically on hard workout days, like tempo work or an interval session, but NOT on long, endurance days (like your 18 miler for the week). This will allow your body to recover more fully on the light days and really dig into the glucose storage on the hard days. All other days should be followed by isometric work to strengthen and retain muscle flexibility.
...Twice a week, following a fast/hard workout, lift on all major muscle groups of the body. Arms: bicep, tricep, lats, delts
Core: pecs, abdominal, obliques, transverse abdominis, hip flexors
Legs: quads, hams, abductor/adductors, calves
Make sure to mix up the type of lift you're using for each muscle group between the two sessions.
...All other days...YOGA, what more can I say? Look HERE for yoga help or try buying some videos or books. My fav. video instructor is Rodney Yee and my FAV book of all time is "Yoga Mind & Body" by Living at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center. PLEASE do not overlook isometric training as you plan for your marathon! It will keep you feeling good, strengthen in ways you can't imagine, and keep you injury free!