ClubSport San Ramon Newsletter Articles

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

10 Questions With Fitness Trainer Shawn O'Connell

Thanks to the East Bay's All News No Blues Blog for publishing:


 10 Questions With Fitness Trainer Shawn O'Connell

In honor of everyone who has fitness goals on their list, we asked Shawn O’Connell, a fitness trainer at ClubSport San Ramon, some questions to help people get started. O'Connell holds multiple personal training certifications including the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). O'Connell is also a certified nutritionist (ISSA) and a Sports Performance and Conditioning Coach for USA Weightlifting.

Here’s what he had to say: 

ANNB: How can you get rid of wobbly lower arms, often called bingo arms?
SO: Proper diet for body fat loss and any style of triceps extensions or pressing exercises, such as push-ups will help with tone the arm.

ANNB: Should you do cardio or weight training first if you are trying to tone?
SO: Cardio can be more effective after weight training, however you should always warm-up 5-10 minutes before any type of resistance training.

ANNB: Is it true that you should drink one ounce of water for every minute you work out?

SO: This could be true or false depending on how long you’re exercising. A better rule of thumb would be: if you exercise moderate to vigorously; drink one ounce of water per pound of bodyweight daily. Average water intake for most people should be at least half an ounce per pound of body weight daily.

ANNB: Should we believe those "charts" that list ideal weights and Body Mass Indexes (BMI)? 

SO: BMI, which uses height and weight to identify weight problems can be useful for most of the population, however body fat percentage, which measures the percentage of fat your body contains is a much better representation of health and ideal weight.

ANNB: How many calories should you aim to burn in a week?
SO: This depends on your fitness goals. If one is trying to loose we need a daily caloric deficit, if trying to gain we must increase caloric intake above maintenance level.

One helpful tool in trying to figure out how much to burn is one pound of body fat is equal to 3500 calories. So to loose a pound of fat, you need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories.

ANNB: What are some anti-oxidant foods?
SO: Antioxidants are vitamins A (specifically beta-carotene), C, and E. Any foods rich in these specific vitamins (many dark colored vegetables and fruits are helpful), Blueberries are among the best.

ANNB: I always start the new year with the intention of getting in shape, but get busy or distracted and fall into my old habits. How can I stay motivated to reach my goals?
SO: Tracking progress is number one. Tracking weight and body fat losses, food journaling, tracking increases in exercise performance.

ANNB: How much cardio and strength training (in minutes) do I really need to do?
SO: This depends on ones fitness level. A good goal to shoot for is: Cardio 30 minutes 4-5 days a week and strength training 30 minutes 2-3 days a week. Both of these can be increased or decreased as needed to accommodate ones’ fitness level.

ANNB: What are some of the mental benefits to getting in shape?

SO: When we “get in shape” we look better and physically feel better, this can give a more positive outlook on many facets of our daily lives. The stronger and more functional the body becomes through proper diet and regular exercise the less physically demanding our daily tasks become, which in turn lowers stress. Exercise also can release the endorphin hormone, which has a calming effect on the body and lowers stress.

ANNB: What are the benefits to joining a gym?

SO: Many health clubs such as ClubSport San Ramon offer many amenities, this make the exercise experience more enjoyable and more varied. Many gyms and health clubs also offer a variety of exercise equipment and a staff of fitness professionals to help the member use the equipment more thoroughly and effectively. Then there is the social factor, most of the members are from within your community and have a similar goal of getting or staying healthy.

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