In this week’s group meeting, we had the pleasure of doing a Q & A with fitness expert Jerry Teixeira. Jerry shared his personal story and explained his approach to bodyweight exercise. He was a video game and book nerd before joining the Marine Corps, and after getting out of the military Jerry continued exercising until he was in his mid 20’s. After meeting his wife and having his first daughter, he gained around 60 pounds in two years time. When he saw pictures of himself at the beach, he realized he needed to get serious about getting his health back in check.

Discussion:

  • Dr. Tro talked about how he used Jerry’s bodyweight progressions after surgery to train to do push-ups again.
  • Jerry understands what it’s like to exercise and still gain weight, and acknowledged that a lot of the fitness world lacks empathy. “They just don’t know what it’s like for someone overweight and just beginning.”
  • Jerry recommends that beginners use bodyweight exercise because these recruit a lot of muscles where most weight training only isolates smaller muscles. Focus on compound movements incorporating multiple body parts — things like squats, pushups and bench presses.
  • It is very important to preserve and build muscle mass to prevent age-related muscle loss. This is also a key component in preventing health issues and if necessary, recovering from cancer treatments, broken bones, and even car accidents. The stronger your muscular system, the stronger and more stable your skeletal system. 
  • If you want to get stronger, do sets in lower rep ranges. If your goal is muscle growth Jerry recommends higher reps until failure. 
  • When starting any program, make sure to focus on your core because without a stable and strong core, you might develop lower back and knee issues.
  • Working out just once or twice a week helps prevent lean muscle mass loss and benefits you in preventing a lot of other issues.
  • Jerry says when working out no matter the exercise you should eventually pick up the intensity or switch it up instead of doing the same thing and intensity over and over because your body will get used to it and you will stop progressing.
  • Dr. Tro and the team discussed strategies they all used when getting started with an exercise program: start slow and set realistic goals, work at a comfortable pace. Also, if you had been working out but let your exercise routine slide, meet yourself where you are currently and progress from there without judging yourself too harshly. Everyone agreed that picking exercises you enjoy is the best way to go. Develop the routine of exercise before pushing and increasing anything. 

Article by Brian Wiley

Brian Wiley is a Certified Health Coach who struggled to lose weight for most of his life. He attempted most of the mainstream approaches, along with the standard advice to “eat, less move more.” This advice resulted in minimal short-term success, or no success at all. Brian then adopted a low-carb lifestyle in 2009, and succeeded in losing 100 pounds. He has maintained that weight loss ever since using a low-carb ketogenic IF lifestyle. "I see people every day, both in real life and on social media, struggling, going through the same cycles of unsuccessful dieting like I did. I want to serve as an example that this approach can be successful, is not a fad, and is a healthy long-term lifestyle solution." Brian is also an ACE certified personal trainer.