Category Archives: Questions and Answers

Selected questions and answers that you might find helpfull in achieving your goals

Negative Energy Q&A

Sep 2 2010

Hi Gina, I just wanted to comment on your journal entry this morning because it struck a cord with me! I have been dealing with a client/ friend situation turned ugly for over a year now. This woman actually set my husband and I up and she and her husband have been huge fans of my competing…leading her to do a show as well. So we were really close….until I got married. She turned and became almost jealous/envious, saying rude things, negative energy, and I train her 3 times a week. Well she took 3 months off recently due to injury and it was such a relief to be set free from that energy. Now she’s back to training and I feel the negativity creeping back. I love what you said “less is more with words” I just have such a hard time with confrontation. I think I need to cut it completely but it’s such a hard situation. There are no specific things that have happened recently, it’s just a feeling or energy she gives off. And it’s like poison. I’m guessing your advice would be to get the negativity out of my life, right?! Well thank you for that post because somehow, I need to muster up the simple words and just tell her, tastefully of course!

Have you ever had anything like this happen where someone was making you feel like this?! If you have any other opinion I would love to hear it! Thanks so much for your time and always thoughtful words!~Jess

Great question Jess and thank you for asking! Jess, life is too short, as hard as it is, it is best to remove any negative energy that is in your way. Even if you think that you can overlook or let things go, that negative energy is doing nothing for you and subconsciously weighing you down. You have no idea how you will feel when you let it go. I totally hear you and have had similar situations. It is hard because you hate telling people “no” or letting them go but the truth is, it is only holding you back. You have no idea the freeing feeling of staying true to yourself and following your heart. Your gut is always right! Follow your instinct and do what you need to do to remove that negativity from your life. I hear you, sometimes, there is not a particular reason and no explanation it is simply a feeling you have! Those feelings are stronger than a particular incident!!! Energy is everything!! Don’t feel like you need to explain yourself… remember less is more. Having your prep underway, is a perfect way to just tell her that you need to focus on you right now and hate to have to let her go but you want to commit yourself 110% to your training and prep so are going to have to stop training…

Keep me posted Jess and follow your heart! I am excited for you to feel the freedom of removing that negativity!! You can do it… No need to explain remember, less is more!! :)

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Snacks Q&A

Jul 31 2010

Q: Gina, can you please give me some examples of mid morning and mid afternoon snacks when competing to keep calories low but maintaining enough energy to keep training up. Thank You.

A: Great question and one that has been brought up before!! :) check out the post on healthy snacks at:

I just picked up some single serving size almond packs from Target the other day. I had been out for a while and had to restock. These are also fantastic. Super convenient to throw in your purse!

You always have the option to bake some of our healthy protein muffins or pancakes too for your snacks. :)

Hope that helps!!

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Q & A pelvis stabolization

Jul 12 2010

Q: Gina, I have a client that had a baby over three years ago, and has had problems with pelvis stabilization since, she has been doing physiotherapy for the last couple of years, but mainly stretches and cardio. She has approached me and wanting to doing some training. Is there anything I should be aware of and not to do, or could you give me some advise on some exercise, apart from the normal floor pelvic exercises, any suggestions would be great. Thanks Gina!

A: Great question! That is great that your client wants to get back into training again! As long as she is not having any further problems, she should be fine to incorporate your basic pelvic exercises.
Pelvic muscle exercises can be done in many different ways. You do want to be sure to ease into these exercises and if your client experiences any pain or discomfort, she should let you know immediately and stop the exercise. Maybe start with simple muscle contractions to see how she feels and move on from there. I would avoid any resistance or weighted movements. If she has been stretching, seeking and the proper care, been cleared, and it has been a few years, she should be good to start easing into training!

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Post workout meal Q&A

Jul 10 2010

Q: By the time I make it to the gym, it’s about 6pm (by the time I get off work and pick up my son and get dressed). So, when Im done it’s about 7:15. I found a post-workout shake recipe in this months M&F Hers. I had it a few times, not too bad, but I’m not hungry after I have it. Should I force myself to eat a healthy dinner on top of the shake? Or is it fine to substitute my dinner with this shake? Here’s the ingredients: 1/4c fat-free plain yogurt, 1c water, 1c frozen mixed berries, 1 scoop whey protein, 1tbsp ground flax seeds, 1tbsp honey and ice….blend.

A: I suggest you have a simple whey protein shake post workout and then by the time you get home and prepare a nice meal, it will be time to go ahead and have that meal on top of the shake.. maybe about 1 1/2 hrs. later. They whey will get into your system right away, post workout and then enable you to get home and get dinner prepared without being ravenous! I would be sure to get in a nice hearty healthy dinner and not just a shake.

I like the recipe but I would have that earlier in the day or on the days you train earlier. I wouldn’t have such a calorie dense and high sugar shake that late at night and definitely not to count as your dinner meal. Whey shake with water and then a nice dinner (lean protein and veggies and moderate amount of complex carbs–or not) a little while later is my suggestion. :)

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Lifestyle training and cardio q&a

Jul 8 2010

Q: As you know, I am back at the gym this week and I am not really following a strict plan, going as I please between machines. Unfortunately, I discovered that this is not my style : I need to have a plan, otherwise, I’m not motivated. I will not be able to see my coach again before the end of month as he is leaving on vacations and was wondering what type of exercise program would be appropriate for an “off-season”.

Since I am eating a bit more than in prep mode, should I aim toward building mass and increasing strength? … this should be done by lifting heavy and not too many reps if I’m not mistaking? I also want to stay lean so, I was thinking about a sort of circuit training that would mix all this together. What do you think?

A: I hear you and it is so normal and common to want and need a plan. I suggest you ease off your cardio and end at about 35-45 minutes 4-6 days a week, not including walks or activity you do for pleasure. As far as training goes, I would focus on the body parts you are trying to improve, lifting them heavy or moderate to heavy but with good form. You should train every body part (s) 1x/week and the body part you are looking to improve 2x/week. I would constantly change things up so go for less reps 6-8 and then shoot for moderate or higher reps of 12-15. I would do some circuit training, definitely. Have fun with it and maybe do isolation exercises 4x/week and a day of fun faster paced higher rep, circuit training…

This is the time for you to have fun, change things up and just go with how you feel! Enjoy every workout because you are choosing to be there! gotta love it!

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Fish oils and EFA Burps Q&A

Jul 5 2010

Q: Gina, I’m back to taking my EFA’s, I cant believe I haven’t taken them in so long! I already feel so much better just in the last week but I don’t remember burping up fish taste so much!?? Is there anything I can do? :) A different kind I can take? or do I just continue to have the fish taste all day long and deal with it?? haha Help! :)

A: Great question! You are too funny! You are burping fish too! Yes, this is very common and happens from time to time! You can simply keep them in the freezer!

Also, be sure you are taking your EFA’s with a meal, not on an empty stomach. Also you want to be sure to use a high quality EFA. Flameout is a great supplement but again everyone is different! You may want to try freezing them and still have the burpees, you might want to try another brand… Also be sure that the pills have not gone rancid or are expired! Keep us posted and stock up on your gum!! :)

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Personal Diet Q&A

Jul 2 2010

Q: I’m eight weeks out of my competition, figure short region for the NZ Nationals. My weight loss is very very slow, I’m managed to lose 400 gms in 3 weeks, to my disappointment. Too slow I think.
My weight at present is 58.8gms, when I compete I normally weigh in around 52-53kgs,

My diet as follows:
1/4 cup oats, topped with little cinnamon 30gm serve whey in water 1x Omega 1000mg, 1x Chromium Picolinate,

100gms chicken 1 cup of broccoli & one medium kiwifruit

150gms steak, 120-150gms kumera raw weight, mushrooms, zucchinis, red onion, 1x Omega 1000mg, 1x Chromium Picolinate

30gm serve whey 1 medium carrot

150gms chicken, salad, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, beans sprouts, green/red capsicum, little balsamic vinegar

Cardio 55mins morning before breeky with 1x CLA & 3x Xendrine RFA-X thermos 6x weekly
30mins seated bike afternoon 2x RFA-X thermos 5x weekly

Drinking around 2-4 litres of water per day, plus green tea and black coffee


Monday shoulders abs
Tuesday legs quads
Wednesday back abs
Thursday hamstrings and glutes
Friday chest/shoulders abs
Saturday arms

I’m lost with where I’m going wrong, Probably my kiwifruit could come out, but not sure, carb count would only be around 60-75 per day? Is my protein count too high?

A: Sounds like you are on track. For being 8 weeks out, you are doing awesome and not far from where you have competed in the past! Nothing to worry about, in the least bit! You have a great foundation and sounds like you are utilizing several essential tools. It is really hard for me to be super specific with you, not knowing your body, physique, how you respond to different nutrients, training etc but I can give you some of my pointers…
–CHANGE IS KEY!! Try varying your cardio by doing more than just the bike at night. Maybe try interval training, utilizing some bike sprints or treadmill sprints. You can also go to a track and do stadium type sprints. Change… You need to continually change up your program, training and nutrition. If this is the same cardio and diet you are doing day in and day out, there is no doubt that your body is use to it by now…

–try replacing your Steak with a leaner protein such as egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast, seafood, Pork loin, etc.

–try cycling your carbs. Read my article on Carb cycling for more info. The good news is, you are 8 weeks out, which means you have room to play a bit! :)

–You can start to remove your fruit or ONLY use it for post workout and then slowly ween it out of your diet completely. I usually suggest removing fruit 6-8 weeks out, but again it depends on your body.

–I didn’t see any fats in your plan! You definitely need to be taking in some good fats, along with your essential fatty acids (omega 3-6-9) I suggest you add some good fats to your diet along with adding in this essential supplement! You need fat to burn fat!

It really looks like you have a great foundation and are doing amazing. You still have so long and so with patience and CHANGE, I am confident that you will seek the results you are looking for!

Keep up the great hard work and Try some things New! Different proteins, different carbs, different fats, different exercises, reps, sets and different cardiovascular activity!

Enjoy the process…

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Muscle Pain Q&A

Jul 2 2010

Q: Gina, I have a client that has some pain in her arm, between the shoulder and bicep,
She cannot do any pushing exercise, e.g.: chest press flat bench, incline press, shoulder press, but can manage Front raises D/B, no lateral raises. She is able to do one arm DB rows and seated row with handles, but still in little pain but not as much as any pushing movement. Can you please suggest what I can do to help her. I first thought of rotator cuff, but she cannot even do external rotation with D/B. Any feedback would be great.

A: Wow, sounds like your client has done something that she should have looked at. I do not want to diagnose anything or even try to come up with what it may be, without being there, seeing and having a better understanding of her form, history, etc. I suggest you have her go and seek medical advice. Maybe even a chiropractor who may be able to look at her, adjust her and see if it is a simple readjustment or if she needs to go and have further medical advice. These are things you do not want to mess with and rather than working around an injury, I always suggest taking time off to ice and use IB profin for a few days. If the problem persists, seeking medical attention right away! Better safe than sorry! Definitely Do Not work around the injury as you could make things worse or prolong the injury pain.

Sounds like there is definitely something going on. Hope she feels and gets better!!!

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Male Treadmill Post Op Q&A

Jun 28 2010

Q: Hi Gina, Can you please suggest a treadmill workout for 45 years of age male, problem with knees had operation MCL?? He has been doing a lot of single leg work to balance out muscles imbalances. He is a very
fit male, teaches boys rugby, trains at the gym 3-4x weekly. He has always been into fitness, running etc, before his operation. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciate.

A: Thank you for your question. It depends on how long he had his surgery. If it was very recent, I suggest he continues with his regular single leg work and incorporates cardio on the treadmill, bike, eliptical, and step-mill, if he can. Slow and stead, as his recovery continues. Now if he is a few years post operation, he should be fine to get moving on a regular cardiovascular program. I suggest CHANGE always so I wouldn’t recommend always just the treadmill, as his means of cardio. I would suggest always varying machines, changing intensity, intervals, levels, maybe even use weights while on the machines. For example, he can do walk, jog, sprint, intervals and incorporate holding weights or wearing a weight vest for some of his slower/longer duration cardio, for example treadmill walking on an incline while holding moderate weight dumbbells.

It really depends on how his recovery has been and his particular limitations based on his post operation. They say that after operations your muscles come back stronger so if he use to be an active guy and enjoyed running, fitness etc., he should be back in action, able to push himself, in no time, if not already!

I would suggest trying different machines with different intensities. Vary levels, incline, speed, utilize weights etc.

I cannot stress enough that it depends on his recovery, release from the doctor and how his personal post operation has gone. I do not suggest jumping right into something without A) the release from a doctor and B) without easing into a cardiovascular program.

The body is an amazing machine and the recovery is unbelievable!

Best of luck to him!

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Pregnancy Q&A

Jun 24 2010

Q: Gina, Can you please suggested the appropriate exercises for women pregnant, around 6 months. I’ve read in different articles, nothing above the head, no flat bench exercise or ab exercises. Can you please advise a good circuit program. Preferably free weights and machines, please?

A: Great question and if you are the one pregnant, Congratulations!!! How exciting!!! First of all, I have heard that too that you shouldn’t do any exercises above your head but who knows where that came from because you absolutely can!

So glad you are continuing to workout while pregnant as not only are you helping yourself stay in shape but you are ensuring your baby comes out as healthy as can be! :) You are also preparing your body for the birthing process so there are many reasons to continue with your workouts! The one thing to note is that you should avoid over heating your body, especially during the first trimester, so sounds like you are good in this area, being 6 months along. You definitely want to avoid any crazy high intensity workouts where your heart rate can go above 75%.

You really can do similar exercises as you were doing before you were pregnant such as your full body dumbbell workout or various machine exercises. Remember to go for less heavy weights and more for reps, focus on your breathing, and not over exerting yourself.

As far as training your abs throughout your pregnancy, you can but as you move to the second and third trimesters, it is not recommended that you lie on your back, for long periods of time, causing too much pressure so I suggest laying off your ab training as you get closer to your due date.

Along with your usual weight training exercises and cardio expenditure, done before you were pregnant, I highly suggest considering swimming! Swimming while pregnant is one of the best workouts you can do. It’s low-impact, low-intensity, and works out your entire body.

The big ball is one of the best things you can work out on/with. By sitting on the ball, you can use light hand weights and do a variety of back, chest, arm, leg, and abdominal workouts. If you have a ball or can get one, I would definitely use the ball for some of your exercises.

Here is a sample circuit, just for you! :)

Seated dumbbell alternating bicep curls
Seated light, dumbbell or machine shoulder press
Seated light, dumbbell side laterals
Standing light tricep extensions or kick backs
Seated Leg extensions
Lat Pull downs
Light seated hamstring curls

Repeat 2x


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