Frequently Asked Questions about exercise, fitness, nutrition and weight loss.

Fitness FAQs - Ask Adam*

Q:  What’s the difference between Custom Fitness Consulting and a personal trainer?
Custom Fitness Consulting Personal Trainer
Provides a service. Provides a program.
Provides a fitness plan specific to your goals. Guides you through a circuit of exercises.
Provides a nutrition plan that complements your fitness plan. May provide advice on nutrition, but not a nutrition plan.
Support 24/7. Support during workout session.
Provides both virtual and in-person coaching. In-person training only.
Clients can be located anywhere in the world that has phone reception or Internet access. Clients must be local.
First-hand experience with bodybuilding competitions and training for events. Focuses on basics and functionality of exercises. Typically, no experience in bodybuilding.


Q:  It seems like everyone these days is on a gluten-free diet. What’s wrong with gluten? Is it really bad for you?
A:  Yes and no. People with celiac disease have an intolerance to gluten, and, therefore, must eliminate it from their diet. However, most people who adhere to a gluten-free diet do it simply because it makes them feel better. They mistakenly assume that it’s the elimination of gluten that makes them feel good, when, actually, it’s the cutting down of refined carbs that does it. So, no, there’s really no need to buy expensive, cardboard-tasting gluten-free foods—just eat healthier carbs.

Q:  Are carbs bad for you?
A:  Again, yes and no. All carbs are not created equal—some are bad and some are good. Good carbohydrates—whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits—provide energy and fiber. Bad carbs—added sugars and refined “white” grains—provide calories, and that’s about it. It’s all about choices.

Q:  How do I keep my blood sugar from spiking? I’m not diabetic, but after the initial boost from carbs, I’m wiped out.
A:  First of all, make sure that your carbs are complex carbs. Second, you can slow down the absorption of the sugars by eating a good fat with your good carbs. Example: eat an apple (which is a simple carb with nutritional value) with peanut butter (good fat). YUM!

Q:  What diet do you recommend for weight loss?
A:  I don’t. “Diet” is a bad word—erase it from your vocabulary. I recommend lifestyle changes: smart food choices; moderate food portions (just say NO to super-sizing); and eating four to six times a day.

Q:  What about supplements; do you recommend dietary supplements?
A:  Yes, I do. However, it’s always better to get your recommended daily allowances through the foods you eat. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, especially if you’re on a restricted number of macros for weight loss or for competition prep. Therefore, I recommend the following supplements for everyone:
  • Green drink – This is actually somewhere between a supplement and a food; it’s a drink made from whole food concentrates. An example is Nature’s Green by No-Tek.
  • Multivitamin – Multivitamin capsules—true capsules that contain powder—are better than pressed tablets or caplets because your body absorbs them more quickly. Plus, the ingredients of those high-quality multivitamins are combined in correct proportions, so you can be assured that the benefits of one vitamin don’t cancel out the benefits of another.
  • Fish oil – Good for cardiovascular health. Choose a product that’s high in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)—three to five grams each.
  • Fiber – To reach the recommended daily allowance of fiber through your foods alone, you’d have to eat a TON of vegetables. Your skin would turn orange from all the carrots! So, to maintain your digestive health, I recommend a fiber supplement.
  • Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ10) – CoQ10 is found naturally in the body; it promotes cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, protecting the body from harmful molecules. Foods high in CoQ10 include organ meats: heart, liver, kidney. Since organ meats are typically high in cholesterol, I recommend this as a supplement.
  • Calcium with vitamin D – Most women can achieve their recommended daily allowance of calcium through the foods they eat: milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, etc. But if dairy products aren’t part of your regular diet, I recommend a calcium supplement with vitamin D to build and maintain bone mass. 
IMPORTANT: Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium, so be sure your supplement has both.

Q:  Do you develop nutritional plans for vegetarians and vegans?
A:  Yep. Since only a handful of plant foods provide a complete protein, our vegetarian menus combine the essential amino acids to create a complete protein.

Q:  Is it better for me to eat before or after my workout?
A:  Both, actually. Before you work out, you need a little bit of proteins, carbs, and fats to sustain you through your exercises. For example, a banana and a handful of almonds are good before your workout.  After you work out, you need to consume a fast-acting protein within 30-45 minutes to help repair your muscles. One example of a fast-acting protein is hydrolyzed whey protein (ISO 100 Dimatize). Alternatively, you could eat a chicken breast, which is a low-fat whole food that’s high in protein.

ALSO—not necessarily a workout thing, but definitely a timing thing—if you’re trying to build muscle mass, a bedtime snack of cottage cheese or some other mutiblended protein, such as Prosein Vitasport, will extend the length of time your body gets nutrients while you sleep. 


Q:  What are the best exercises to do to lose weight—cardio or weight training?
A:  Both—and during the same session. Start with resistance training to support lean muscle mass and a healthy metabolism, and then move to cardio to burn calories and increase endurance. The amount of time you spend performing each type of activity varies depending on your goals.

Q:  I thought I was supposed to do weight training every other day. Don’t my muscles need time to recover?
A:  You’re right; you’re muscles do need time to recover; however, you don’t need to miss out on the benefits of a daily weight-resistance workout. Instead of working the same muscles day after day, vary your routine: do upper body one day and lower body the next day. Or focus on a single muscle group each day of the week: Monday – chest; Tuesday – back; Wednesday – shoulders; Thursday – arms; and Friday – legs.

Q:  Are abs upper body or lower body?
A:  Doesn’t matter; unlike your other muscles, your abs can be worked daily.

Q:  I’ve heard that doing planks is better than doing crunches. Is that true?
A:  It depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want to strengthen your core, then planks work great; if you want 6-pack abs, then that would be crunches.

Q:  I don’t feel challenged by my weight-training exercises anymore. Should I increase the number of reps or the amount of weight?
A:  The optimal number of reps for most exercises is between eight and 12. If you’re a beginner, two to three sets are good; if you’re more advanced, three to five. If you can perform the appropriate number of reps with good form without exhausting the muscle, CONGRATULATIONS! Now, increase the weight by 10%.

Q:  The day after I work out, I’m so sore I can’t move. Is that normal?
A:  Well … yes and no. You’ve heard the phrase “no pain, no gain”? That pretty much sums it up. If you work your muscles to the point of exhaustion—as you should—then you’re going to feel achy the next day. But if your condition prevents you from working out, then you’ve pushed a little too hard. Remember, stimulate, don’t annihilate.

Q:  I’m doing the same exercises as my friend, but our muscles look different. How do I change the shape of my muscle?
A:  You can change the shape of your body, but you can’t really change the shape of your muscle. The shape of your muscle—where it’s inserted and attached—is genetic. You can, however, change its size, which makes it look different.

Q: What about my waist? My waist and my friend’s waist measure the same, but my friend’s waist looks smaller. What gives?
A:   It’s all an illusion of proportions. You can make your waist appear smaller by developing your chest, shoulders, arms, glutes, and legs.

Q:  Any suggestions for someone just starting a fitness routine?
A:  Most definitely:
  • Do only half of what you think you can do. It doesn’t take much to overdo your first time out, and you won’t even know it … until later.
  • More is not better. Start where you are and increase your output gradually.
  • Sleep and nutrition are as essential to your success as working out.
  • Proper form is more important than the amount of weight you use.
  • During a cardio workout, you should be able to carry on a conversation. If you can’t, back off.

Virtual Fitness Coach

Q:  I’ve never heard of a virtual/online/long-distance coach. How does that work?
A:  Virtual fitness coaching requires you to be self-motivated. Unlike working with a personal trainer, your virtual fitness coach is not in the gym with you walking you through the exercises. Instead, you receive your fitness and nutrition plans by email and you are responsible for follow-through.  

What if I don’t understand the plans?
A:  Call, text, or email me directly. 

How can you tell if my fitness and nutrition plans are working?
A:  Each week you send me progress pictures, your measurements, and your weight. Based on that information, I tweak your plans to keep you moving forward.

Q:  I’m not sure I’m able to do this on my own. (Oops … sorry … that’s not a question.)
A:  That’s OK. Trust me when I say, You Are Not Alone. I am available 24/7. Feel like bingeing? Call me. Not sure how to execute an exercise? Call me. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed? Call me. The more you communicate with me and tell me what’s going on in your life, the more I’ll be able to help you and keep you on track.
Got a fitness question that's not in the FAQs? Click here to ask Adam at Custom Fitness Consulting.

*Results May Vary: Fitness and/or weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. 
All information and tools presented within this site are intended for educational purposes. Any health, diet or exercise advice is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider before beginning a new health care regimen; any weight loss program, exercise, training regime or any diet. Our services are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Custom Fitness Consulting    Olathe, KS 66061    913-815-8819
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