FitDay got the opportunity to interview Hollywood fitness trainer, Erin O'Brien and we jumped at the chance. Erin O'Brien has been working as a pre/postnatal exercise specialist for the past 10 years in elite fitness clubs in both New York City and Los Angeles. She is certified through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (for group exercise), The Fitness Institute of Training (as a personal trainer), and Polestar (for Pilates mat and reformer training). is the proud mother of two children and resides in Los Angeles with her husband, James Denton. Read on to find out her answers to YOUR questions.
Staying focused is really difficult during the winter and your body really wants to slow down during the winter months. You may also start craving hearty soups (tons of carbs) and find yourself sleeping more. I say, listen to your body: get lots of rest, but be smart about exercising. Brisk walks outside (c'mon, I grew up in Minnesota and I KNOW cold) give you the added infusion of vitamin D. Try a new home exercise DVD or different classes at the gym. Make sure you continue to keep muscle on your body by lifting weights, then when spring rolls around and you are excited to go outside again, you won't have far to go to get back to your summer weight.
2. I'm nearing my goal weight and I've stalled with 10 more lbs to lose. I've been following a low carb diet. How do I get this weight loss started again?
First of all, be realistic and make sure you NEED to lose ten more pounds-- sometimes when we finally get our eating under control (something so difficult to do) we become obsessed with our newfound control. If you do indeed need to shed 10 more, change things up. If you've been running, add some sprints to your routine. If you take classes, try a full body, multi-joint class (cardio and weights at the same time). Purchase a few new home DVDs and do the ENTIRE workout from start to finish. Most DVDs offer 10 minute segments (mine as well) but I also give the option to do the entire program-- it will really give you a good workout.
3. What do you think about the use of rubber bands in workouts?
I love them and use them in class all the time. It really works the muscle in it's fullest range of motion, and I find it gives a very satisfying burn. You should, however, also lift regular weights as well.
4. I've read that so-called "muscle confusion" is important to prevent the body from getting used to a particular task. Is this true and if so, how does Strong Body, Fit Body mix things up so I gain the most health benefits from the workouts?
Yes, I call it "shocking the body." The human body is so smart-- after about 3 weeks of doing the same thing, your body stops being shocked by the routine and you aren't' burning as many calories as you did in the beginning. Strong Body, Fit Body moves quickly from exercise to exercise so you are getting both weight training and cardio in one. I made the exercises very athletic and combined upper and lower body moves so you are expending more energy (calories) while working out.
5. What are your best exercise recommendations for someone who can't (or doesn't like to) do weight training...I really want to get my heart rate UP!
You need to put muscle on all over your body... and not just for aesthetic reasons. Weight training will help control your body fat, strengthen your bones, and prevent injuries.
Now, you don't necessarily have to pump iron. You can do push-ups, dips, walking lunges, squats - and various other toning exercises - weights just help you isolate and specifically target a muscle group. I use several different "weight training" techniques in Strong Body, Fit Body. Some involve weights, some don't. Good form is also very necessary, and I really take the time to make sure you are performing each exercise correctly. And the best part of it is... your heart rate will skyrocket!