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What gets the pros moving: Exercises recommended by personal trainers

By Jeannine Stein
Los Angeles Times
Personal trainers don’t always pluck their ideas out of thin air. Sometimes they’re inspired by books and videos.
We asked a group of local trainers to recommend books and DVDs they found motivating.George Padilla
Group exercise coordinator, Los Angeles Athletic Club
Book: “The Purposeful Primitive: Using the Primordial Laws of Fitness to Trigger Inevitable, Lasting and Dramatic Physical Change” by Marty Gallagher (Dragon Door Publications, 2008)
This book encompasses strength training, nutrition and cardio, and has some pretty interesting ideas about working out that go more toward intensity and away from those long cardio sessions. Instead of getting on the treadmill and having to slog away for an hour, you get a lot more out of the workout. You’re doing shorter workouts, and that lessens impact on the joints, which helps prevent overuse injuries. Shorter workouts are also good for busy people.
The nutrition portion of the book doesn’t necessarily focus on counting calories, but more on the composition of the meal, and the importance of pre- and post-training eating, which will help keep your metabolism up and maximize the body’s ability to use calories to recover from a workout, versus being stored as fat.
People perhaps intuitively think that they’re going to get a better workout on an empty stomach, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you fuel your workout beforehand, you’ll likely end up having a higher intensity workout.Sara Willis
Personal trainer, Joe’s Gym, Los Angeles
DVD: Mahler’s Aggressive Strength Beginner Kettlebell Training Workshop
This video really breaks down how to do the kettlebell movements, and explains why you’re doing it. (Mahler) also gives a lot of modifications. Kettlebells are so intense, and not everybody can even start out with one ó some people might have to use their body weight. Once you get that down, you can progress to using the kettlebells.
Kettlebells are the hot thing right now, but using them does take a lot of conditioning. What’s great about the DVD is that it explains step by step how to get proper alignment.
When I do kettlebells with clients, they gain not only power, but core conditioning as well, because when you throw the kettlebells up, you create an instability, and your center of gravity is slightly different than using a dumbbell. The cardio benefit is incredible ó just doing two reps you’ll feel it. You really shock the system, and by doing so it helps you burn more fat ó and it’s fun and different.
Kim Schneeberger
Personal trainer, the Easton Gym, Santa Monica, Calif.
Book: “Get With the Program!: Getting Real About Your Weight, Health, and Emotional Well-Being” by Bob Greene (Simon & Schuster, 2002)
I have a hard time agreeing with trainers who are out there ó there are so many things written that are just not true and aren’t encouraging for people to read.
Bob Greene really has a good understanding of what he’s doing, and anybody can follow his advice, if they want to lose 10 or 100 pounds, if they’re a beginner or an athlete. Anybody can understand it, and he’s very compassionate. He’s a likable trainer.
The exercise programs are very straightforward, and he gives you options. You can start off with the basics, or if you’re already exercising, you can jump into the program (at a later stage).
It’s pathetic to think about losing weight as having to follow so many rules and having to calculate things. In terms of nutrition, Bob will point out things that are maybe not as well known, like hidden calories in foods most people don’t know, or foods that aren’t that filling or are high in sugar. Very simple things that make sense.

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