Monday, September 14, 2015

Mission: Fit Monday | Fitness Feature:
Chris Moore

Chris Moore is a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer at American Family Fitness Virginia Center Commons and the first person I thought of when I got the idea of doing a Fitness Feature series. His personal story of how he got into fitness is nothing short of inspiring, but what's more commendable is his dedication to motivating and helping others realize their own potential. 

Chris has five years’ experience in the fitness industry and specializes in fat loss, lean muscle building and functional training, which centers around normal, everyday movement patterns to correct functional limitations and asymmetries, promoting optimal performance and minimizing the risk of injury. Continue reading for tips on how to overcome feeling unmotivated, simple exercises you should incorporate into your exercise routine, and why you should think twice about eating less to lose weight! 

What does being “fit” mean to you?

People can be very superficial about it; it’s not just your physical appearance. I believe [being fit] is more so a state of mind. It starts with your commitment to the lifestyle. It’s more of a mindset than it is anything. If you lead with your mind, your body will follow. 

What motivates you to stay fit? 

Being a Personal Trainer, I have a professional responsibility. Some days, my professional obligation is what drives me because I have to be a beacon of fitness and motivation and an ambassador for the lifestyle to my clients, colleagues, and every member of the gym. Sometimes my clients are my trainers and biggest sources of inspiration. I will never tell someone to do something I don’t do. 

But to be honest, I’m human, and sometimes I don’t want to work out. But I push myself because I hate the feeling I get when I don’t work out more than I hate working out. 

Do you ever feel unmotivated? How do you overcome that feeling?

Yes, I feel unmotivated most days. There’s very few days I get up and say “I can’t wait to go to the gym.” When I first started in the industry, I got a lot of time outside the gym. But now working 12, 14, 16 hours a day in a gym, it’s easier for me to become unmotivated.

So, I definitely have days I really don’t feel like working out.  But just changing the gym I work out in does wonders in helping me overcome that feeling. Changing the atmosphere and the people makes it somewhat new every day.

What are 3 exercises everyone should incorporate into their exercise routine? Why?

Front Squats – One of the basic, fundamental functional movements to keep your whole body and motor function on point. One, if not the most important exercise to engage your entire body.

Core Work – Emphasis on rotational stability and total core engagement (Ex. Break Dancers, Supermans, Plank Variations) Sarah's tip: Remember that the core doesn't just refer to your abs; it's actually all of the muscles that make up your torso, including your lower back and pelvic floor. These muscles help you perform simple everyday activities and are engaged in almost every movement of the human body, so it's absolutely crucial you incorporate core strength and stability exercises into your training.

Recovery Training Exercises – Foam rolling and dynamic stretching are important for detoxifying the muscle, breaking down lactic acid buildup, and stimulating muscle recovery. These exercises will aid in the release of fascial tissue, or the connective tissue that surrounds your muscle, which is very important if you’re engaging in any strenuous exercise such as weight lifting.

What would your first piece of advice be for someone who is just starting their fitness journey and wants to lose weight?

The number one step is to make sure you are medically cleared by a doctor to work out. If you’re medically cleared, the next step is to seek out a fitness professional to help implement an effective, safe and personalized program. Most people’s pitfall is they watch a YouTube video or read an article and think they’re ready to hit the weight room.

However, nine times out of ten, people can’t move their bodyweight in a functional and efficient way. They need to be educated on a holistic approach to losing weight that includes functional movements to maximize results. It’s not just about losing weight, it’s about learning how to maintain the lifestyle you’ve earned.

How often do you recommend exercising in general to maintain weight?

To maintain your conditioning, 2-3 times a week.

How often should you be exercising if you want to lose weight at a steady rate?

This is relative. You don’t want to over-train, but for weight loss, a good benchmark is 200 minutes (3 ½ hours) a week of getting your heart rate elevated through both cardiovascular and weight training. This amount of time should produce steady weight loss, provided your nutrition is aligned with your goals. Nutrition is the most important thing. If you work out for 5 hours a week, there’s still another 155 hours in the week where you can back track. So relatively speaking, the gym is only a small part of your overall success.

Where is a good place to start for a first-time gym goer? What do you suggest someone do to feel less intimated?

I think a lot of people go straight for the machines they think they can operate themselves without asking questions. I always encourage people to ask questions. The best thing you can do is talk with a Trainer and go through a consultation to make sure you begin a safe and effective workout program. And why not take a class? Instructors are really knowledgeable, too. Most classes are for all levels and they can give you a really positive first experience as well as challenge and empower you.

Are there any misconceptions or myths within the fitness world that you would like to set straight?

The biggest problem I see and deal with is people overcomplicating weight loss. All it is at its simplest form is calories in and calories out. Approximately 80-85% of people who have weight loss goals believe their problem is that they eat too much food when in reality, they’re not eating enough – crazy, right? People tend to think if I eat less food, I’ll lose more weight. And that’s just not true. Will you lose weight? Yes. But you’ll also metabolize your muscle, inherently lower your metabolic weight and even worse, you’ll put your body in starvation more, making it difficult to lose fat because your body latches onto the fat stores you have and won’t let go.

I recommend all of my clients for core metabolic testing with a Registered Dietician to determine an effective meal plan to complement their workouts and help them achieve their goals.

Thank you so much, Chris!

I hope you like the new series. Leave a comment letting me know what you think, and stay tuned for more features!

xo – Sc

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