Name: Train Magazine
The Official Print Partner of Bodybuilding.com
Fitness model Samantha Ann Leete is passionate about helping others with her realistic approach to health and fitness.
Every month, Leete answers reader questions in "Train" magazine, which is available on newsstands and included in orders from Bodybuilding.com.
Check out her latest answers to your burning fitness questions!
Should I do cardio or weight training first?
It depends on your goals! If your primary goal is to increase aerobic endurance or lose weight, then perform cardiovascular exercise first.
If your primary goal is to increase muscular strength or size, then perform strength training first. To put it simply, you should perform the exercise that aligns best with your goals first, before you're fatigued.
After bringing the intensity during your first workout, you may not be able to perform the second one with the same vigor. If you want to both lose weight and increase muscular strength, alternating the order of your workout during different cycles of training is one way to satisfy both goals.
My doctor says I can lift weights six weeks after my upcoming jaw surgery, but nothing heavy enough to make me clench my teeth, and I can't bounce up and down. What should I do?
My advice is to do your best to stay active within your doctor's restrictions. You might be limited, but there are things you can do. You'd be surprised how beneficial small things, like taking a 15-minute walk with your family, can be.
Since you'll be able to lift six weeks post-surgery, use that time to really work on your mind-muscle connection. This could lead to the gains you're looking for even if you aren't lifting as heavy as usual.
A study published in Frontiers in Movement Science and Sport Psychology found that you can maintain strength gains even when you have to limit high-intensity strength training just by incorporating muscle-contraction imagery into your training program.1
With strong science behind it, the mind-muscle connection is something you should concentrate on to get maximum results from your workouts until the doctor gives you the green light to go full out.
After years of clear skin, I'm breaking out with acne again. Is it something I'm eating?
There's no conclusive science to support the urban legend that foods like chocolate, pizza, or dairy cause acne. If you have persistent acne that's still bothering you, despite trying over-the-counter fixes, see a dermatologist.
They can help determine if your breakouts are due to something internal such as hormonal fluctuations or bacterial infections. Both are treatable with prescription drugs. But before hurrying to the doctor, you may want to take a look at your daily habits—and riffle through your cosmetic case and bathroom products.
Makeup, soaps, shampoos, and even detergents can sometimes cause acne. If you've recently switched brands, go back to your old ones. If you've had the product past the recommended date of use, you might be better tossing it out.
Also, remember that it's always a good idea to cleanse your skin after working out and sweating profusely. To be prepared on the go, I keep facial cleansing wipes handy as part of my gym-bag staples.
- Reiser, M., Büsch, D., & Munzert, J. (2011). Strength gains by motor imagery with different ratios of physical to mental practice. Frontiers in Psychology, 2.