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Your health, strength and fitness questions answered.

(77 Posts)
leonferao Tue 13-Aug-13 12:11:54

Hi Guys

I recently became a new parent (23rd of July) and have been reading through the site for the last 10 months or so, which I must say has been very informative and helpful. I have found myself “ghosting” around the site in a bit of a panic attempting to absorb as much information as possible, so that I was as prepared as I could be for the baby coming.

One thing that I found while looking/reading through the forum was that there was a lack of advice and support for health, fitness (strength included) and wellbeing and given that fact, I would like to help out if possible.

At 31 years of age I have been in the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer, kettlebell coach, strength and conditioning coach, as well as running my own gym and Crossfit facility in Newcastle for the last 6 years now. I have been active in the fitness industry for almost the last 14 years now, so if you have any questions you would like to ask, I am happy to help. Whether it be diet, fitness, weight/fat loss, or anything even remotely related, just pop a question up and I will respond appropriately.

Between running my gym, working a day job as a marketing advisor, looking after a new born and fitting in my own training my time is sparse, so it could take a day or two before I manage to reply, but be patient and I will come back to with an answer.

My name is Leon and I hope I can offer you some additional value here on the forum.


SophiePickle Thu 07-Nov-13 22:07:41

Hi Leon. I'm 9 weeks pregnant and have been strength training since August. I've been using the 5x5 program.
Since finding out I'm pregnant I've lowered my weights and I'm currently maintaining instead of gaining.
Do you have any tips/exercises to do/exercises to avoid so that I can get the most out of my training during pregnancy and stay safe?



leonferao Tue 15-Oct-13 14:10:03

Hi Juneau

I think the first step for you would be your gym instructor level 2. baby steps :-)

leonferao Tue 15-Oct-13 09:42:38

Hi TooWetToWoo

Unfortunately (I have a real sweet tooth too), the only way to rid yourself of the last remaining stubborn belly fat, is to diet and cut out all sugars, refined foods and starches. Once you get there you can just maintain your training, keep a good diet, and allow yourself some freedom of choice by working hard in the gym. If you have a Crossfit gym that has a strength-biased program locally, I would recommend you go and check it out.


juneau Thu 03-Oct-13 12:49:37

I'd like to train to be a fitness instructor and was wondering where to start? I'm a soon-to-be 40-year-old SAHM with no background in fitness, but I have the chance to retrain and do something different starting next Sept and I'd really love to do this. I'm based in W. Herts. Any pointers on which qualifications I will need would be really helpful. Thanks!

TooWetToWoo Wed 02-Oct-13 17:16:19

I'm luckily quite slim but I have a bit of a pot-belly from having three kids. I'm currently doing Insanity (finish in 2.5 weeks) then I will be doing gym classes.

My schedule will be:

Mon: Body Pump and Boxercise
Tue: Metafit
Wed: Bootcamp
Thurs: Body Pump and Metafit
Fri: Body Pump and Body Combat
Sat: possibly an Insanity workout

I don't diet at all, I don't deny myself anything. Truthfully, I probably have a bit of a sweet toothblush

Sorry for the essay, I promise I'm getting to my point!! I've found that I'm getting quite toned especially my shoulders/arms. But I would love to have a flat stomach. I can see abs forming, I just need to get rid of the lower belly fat. How can I do this? Do I need to diet? TIA.

leonferao Tue 01-Oct-13 09:45:52

Any questions ladies smile

leonferao Tue 24-Sep-13 09:28:56

Hi Martha2013

You can't be disappointed in a 2:10 time, especially not when you put it into perspective. If you do it next year you will obliterate that time and to be fair, you won't need that much endurance training with you playing team sports already. What do you play?

You're right, sleep does take a back seat at the moment. I am finding that I can still cope with the volume of training but I'm unable to achieve max intensity when it comes to squatting. Everything else seems to be fine though, it's just occasionally a struggle to leave the house early in order to train. Needs must and all that jive though!

Ah, that is music to my ears, I really do hope that it passes soon as it does seem like there is nothing we can do at times.

Speak soon

leonferao Tue 24-Sep-13 09:15:12

Hi Ihatethecold

here are a few for you to watch and you will need a partner for a couple of them. Let me know how you get on.


wecantallbeperfect Wed 18-Sep-13 19:47:46

Thanks Leongrin much appreciated, thank you!

martha2013 Tue 17-Sep-13 21:22:37

Hi Leon.

Thank you so much for your lovely reply. Sadly I have just picked it up after the race but still it was nice to read. GNR was excellent fun although I ambled round with my sister very steadily in 2.10. Even though I havent had the time to train properly I thought I might be in 2 hour shape so a little disappointed. I play a team sport fairly seriously and our season is about to start so any endurance training will have to wait till April. Love your idea about doing it next year.
Im amazed by your training schedule....with all your other commitments I assume sleeping takes a back seat!!? Sorry to hear your daughter is suffering. My little girl was very similar, she is breastfed and would twist and squirm with wind after every feed. She seems much better now, a few weeks down the line so I assure you that it does pass!

Many thanks again for your reply.

ihatethecold Tue 17-Sep-13 19:13:51

Hi Leon, I found the website but it brings up no results when I enter your suggestion.

I tried to enter the suggestions separately but it didn't help.

ihatethecold Tue 17-Sep-13 19:02:17

Thanks for your reply Leon,
Hope you get some sleep soon and congrats on your baby. smile

I will look into your suggestions.

leonferao Tue 17-Sep-13 16:20:37

Thanks Sweetsweep.

Sweetsweep Tue 17-Sep-13 12:18:30

No it wasnt a joke. I thought you were calling someone a troll on this thread[which is not allowed, troll hunting is not allowed, they have to be reported], and I couldnt see who you meant.
Never mind, I misunderstood you.
I hope you get some sleep soon!

leonferao Tue 17-Sep-13 12:03:12

Oh.... Sweetsweep, was that a joke that I have just missed? if so, good one :-)

Man, I am definitely tired!

leonferao Tue 17-Sep-13 11:58:12

Hey Sweetsweep

Nobody at all and that is why I have answered all of the posts.

Just saying that I don't reply to them is all.

Sweetsweep Tue 17-Sep-13 11:25:25

Who are you calling a troll? hmm

leonferao Tue 17-Sep-13 11:21:39


the reason for the lack of posts this week is because DD is suffering from acute wind/mild colic. So last week with regards sleep was hell! We have tried lots of things from Dr Browns bottles (she is breastfed) which didn't help much, light massage and cycling with her legs (helps the wind), fennel seed water (has helped a bit with wind), infacol before feeds (so-so), Gripe water (not that much difference). Then we took her to the osteo on Friday who advised that we put two books at either end of the moses basket underneath the mattress so that it holds her spine in the natural c-shape so as not to irritate her bowels. She got 7 hours sleep after that visit which was a godsend but she also seems to be needing a lot of comforting too. I've been told that you shouldn't spoil her by picking her up etc, but when she is in pain and clearly frustrated/uncomfortable I cannot bear to see/hear, so have to pick her up and sooth her.

leonferao Tue 17-Sep-13 11:16:37

Hi Ihatethecold

When you see your sports massage therapist is he/she working purely on your back?

When you have issues like that the cause can often be from tight or weak glutes and/or tight quads.

If your glutes are weak and aren't firing then your low back bears the brunt of the load, which leads to overuse/wear and tear and ultimately injury.

A great resource for this type of thing is Kelly Starrett's Mobility Wod. If you google that and search quads, hamstrings, hips & glutes. Then pick out two of those daily, running through the whole test/retest protocol then you should make some great progress.

9 times out of 10, the really tight and hard mobwods to do are the ones you need most.

So, get soft tissue work on glutes and quads, mobilise your hips, glutes, hamstrings and quads then you can start strengthening the glutes with things like Romanian Deadlifts (posted earlier in this thread).

I hope this helps.


leonferao Tue 17-Sep-13 11:09:15

Hi Ihatethecold and lazysuzanne

Just to put you guys into the picture here it is.

I am a new father. My daughter is 8 weeks old (gets her first injections today) so as you can imagine, as much as she is a beauty, sleepless nights are taking their toll.

I run my gym 6 days per week
I work as a marketing consultant for this firm

and, I train regularly.

So, I don't have all that much time in the world, but like I have said, if you leave the questions with me I will get back to you all as I like to give back.

Any trolls I will just ignore as I literally do not have the time.

But yes, I am quite tired from all of my athletic endeavours and everything else that goes with it, but if Teresa can deal with a few hours sleep per night, then so can I.... I hope haha.

leonferao Tue 17-Sep-13 11:01:14

Hi wecantallbeperfect

It is very true indeed.

A combination of swings and Turkish get-ups are the way forward :-)

Lazysuzanne Sun 15-Sep-13 00:28:49

Probably knackered from all his athletic endeavors!

ihatethecold Sat 14-Sep-13 21:56:31

Wonder what's happened to Leon then ?

Havea0 Wed 11-Sep-13 20:10:28

My activity levels are minimal!

Am more concerned that. well bread and salt are all biblical stuff.

And I can never forget Gillian McKeith.

ihatethecold Wed 11-Sep-13 16:33:59

Hi Leon.

I really got into Gillian Michaels DVDs last summer and did them nearly everyday for about 4 weeks. I already had a good level of fitness.

I hurt my lower back and had to stop.
I see a chiropractor sometimes and have very good sports massages once a month. The relief is temporary.

I now cannot do things like weeding the garden anymore which I enjoy.

I do get exercise by walking the dog 3 times a day. But I feel like an old lady at 39.

Any advice, thanks

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