Stephens: Four Simple Tips For A Quality Workout


Linda Stephens is an award winning fitness trainer living in town.


The following seasonal fitness column is from Linda Stephens, NASM, CPR/AED Certified Personal Trainer, who runs a gym in town. Stephens is a local fitness instructor, weight management consultant, and NPC Amateur National Figure competitor.

Four Simple Tips for a Quality Workout

As a nutritionist and personal trainer, one question I get a lot from new clients and members is: Im not sure how to start my workout and what to bring to the gym.

Most wonder if they should stretch before or after their workout and which stretches are best.

Ive tried to be concise and to the point below as to how everyone can get the most from their individual workouts.

Tip 1 Drink Plenty of Water

Given that our bodies are made up of about 60% water we need to make sure we are consuming enough especially before, during and after exercise.

Just a 5% drop in body water will cause up to a 30% loss of energy in the average person.

If you wait until you are thirsty to drink water your body is already on its way to a dehydration state.


Stephens only began competing in fitness shows in recent years.

During exercise youre losing water through your breathing and sweating mechanisms.  This makes it extremely important to hydrate constantly with water especially if youre outside in the heat.

You may need to take in even more than when in the gym.

According to the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM), you should consume about 20-40 ounces of water for every hour of exercise. So, bottoms up. Also, make sure youre drinking water from a BPA free bottle. Try to avoid bottled water at all costs for yourself and especially your children.

Tip 2 Self-Myofacial Release or Foam Rolling

One type of important stretching before a workout is called self-myofacial release or foam rolling.

It focuses on the fibrous tissue that surrounds the muscles.

It works great on muscles that are tight or when you have trigger points that are causing specific pain within a muscle group. It helps to relax and loosen the muscle in order for the circulation to get through the muscle fibers.

Muscles can be rolled both before and after a workout. Muscle groups that should be targeted are the quadriceps, gluteus maximus and the inner and outer thigh area. Also, roll the left and right sides of your back up into the back of your shoulder/scapula area.

Foam rolling should definitely be done after a strenuous workout in order to prevent tightness and stiffness later on.

Most importantly, when you find a spot thats sensitive let all your weight sink into the roller as you wait for the trigger point to loosen up.

While foam rolling may not always feel pleasant, especially if youre sore know that the benefits far outweigh any discomfort you might experience.

Tip 3 Warm Up Set

After you have your water bottle all ready and youve done your stretching and foam rolling you now need to get into your workout.

The warm up set is equally important to the other two steps I mentioned above. Before you start pressing or squatting you need to let your body know whats expected of it. Always take a lightweight and perform 15 to 20 reps of the first exercise youre going to do.

This preps your muscles to work.

What you dont want to do is pick up a heavy weight right away and risk pulling or straining a muscle.

After you perform one or two warm up sets, go up in weight a bit more and do another heavier warm up set.

Prime your muscles, get them warm and when you feel ready, hit it hard.

This strategy should help keep you injury free.

If during your warm up set a muscle hurts or feels tight, go back to the foam roller and try to roll it out. Then, go back to your set and see if it feels better.

If not, listen to your body and try another movement that doesnt cause pain. You never want to work through pain that will set you up for an injury down the road.

Tip 4 Quality Protein Supplement

After your workout, youll need to replenish all the nutrients you used up. According to the NASM, one reason to ingest supplemental protein is to quickly get amino acids into the blood after exercise.

This helps the anabolic hormones focus on building muscle instead of repair after anaerobic or aerobic exercise.

The school of thought is to consume a quality protein supplement (usually whey) within 20-30 minutes after your workout.  Personally, I say the sooner the better.  I keep my shaker cup with the measured amount in my gym bag.

I add water, shake and down the hatch. It makes me feel energized and strong.

While there are many types of protein powders on the shelf, I suggest you sample some different brands and flavors.

Look at the labels and notice the protein amounts in a serving; 20-25 grams in a serving should be fine.

Also, look for a whey protein isolate. This will be easier to absorb/digest and shouldnt cause any bloating or gas pain.

Of course, keep drinking water from your BPA free bottle all day long too.

I hope that this provides some helpful tips.  As always, its my passion to help people reach their goals from a health and fitness perspective.

Feel free to email me at or visit me at Infinity Fitness Gym and please be sure to watch my website for new health and fitness tips at[1].

Linda M. Stephens M.S.

Clinical Nutritionist

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

NPC National Figure Competitor


  1. ^ (

Original Story Here


Fitness Assault: Pre-Workout Motivation And Training Tips

Attack your workouts with this supercharged collection of fitness tips, tricks, and muscle-building motivation! Don't approach your goals; assault them.

5 Tips To Boost Your Workout Routine | Sarah Fit

It's the middle of August and you might be sick of hearing bikini body and swimsuit season. If you're like me, you've pretty much decided to enjoy the rest of summer and go sober for September. I may not always.

Pilates Workout Fitness Information Tips Website Online Home Business For Sale

2013-08-15T01:58:41.000Z $0.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Aug-21-2013 18:58:41 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $20.00
Buy It Now | Bid now | Add to watch list

NEW! ULTIMATE WORKOUT PLAN 2012 Training Program Tips NUTRITION Cardio ++

2012-06-19T02:46:34.000Z $13.89
End Date: Wednesday Sep-11-2013 19:51:34 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.89
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

You May Also Like These Topics...

Top 4 Nutrition Predictions in the New Year

Several food and nutrition trends were in the spotlight this year, including the continued rise of plant-based diets, non-dairy ice creams and superfoods that are blasts from the past — legumes, apples and cabbage. It can be easy to experience nutrition whiplash in the New Year, but don’t be a victim. Get a jump-start on […]

Wrist straps Rip lifting tacking (par) – Bono eBook – Lifetime Warranty – cotton quilt – For weightlifting, bodybuilding, Crossfit, strength training, Powerlifting, MMA

Achieving bodybuilding gains. Last week I spoke with a client of mine who had been busy working during the holidays, {because it is the peak season for your business} and had not been able to work as much as wanted in the gym and also has not been able to get in all the meals […]

Yoga for Weightlifters: 7 Poses for Increased Range of Motion

Flexibility is an important yet often overlooked component of a well-rounded fitness routine, especially for those who tend to gravitate to strength-based workouts. Adequate range of motion around the joints is imperative to perform loaded movement patterns safely and effectively using strength-training tools such as barbells and dumbbells. In addition to enhancing performance in the […]

Why Personal Trainers Should Consider Teaching Group Fitness Classes

Even though it has not aired a new episode since May 1998 (yes, it has been that long), it seems as if there is a Seinfeld episode for almost every one of life’s situations.  One of my personal favorites is the “Worlds Collide” episode, where George Costanza is trying to keep his relationship persona separate […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Previous Post
Healthy Lifestyle Running Walking & Hikiing

25 Percent Do Not Change Bad Health Habits After Heart Attack, Stroke

Next Post
Health & Fitness

How To Handle A Major Health Issue At Work


    • XP
    • August 16, 2013

    Can I Have Some Good Workout Tips? Hey could I get some good workout tips. I’m medium built but i want to be lean and fit. I also want to tone and shape my legs a lot. Please tell me if you have any good tips!

      • HealthNut
      • August 16, 2013

      Yes,visit the following sites for fitness.You may not need a full-fledged diet right now, but you can still incorporate some slim-down strategies into your daily life.

      Eat breakfast. Studies show that eating breakfast is associated with keeping weight off once you’ve lost it.

      Fill up on low-cal foods. Start every meal with the items on your plate that are lowest in calories. By the time you get to the other foods, you won’t be so hungry, possibly decreasing your total intake.

      Begin with soup. Starting lunch or dinner with a broth-based, vegetable-filled soup will curb hunger so you’ll be less tempted to eat higher-calorie foods.

      Arrive fashionably late. Without as much time near the buffet table at parties, you’ll eat less.

      Divide your lunch. Afternoon snacker? Cut your lunch in half: have part at mealtime and the other half later in the afternoon.

      Swap mustard for mayo. A tablespoon of mayonnaise has 100 calories, compared with 10 calories for a tablespoon of yellow mustard.

      Duration of Exercise
      You may not be exercising long enough. The rule of thumb is cardio for 30 minutes, three times per week. If you really want to reach your goal, try five 45-minute cardio workouts per week. That sounds like a lot of exercise, but remember this is in order to meet your goal, not necessarily maintain it.

  1. Reply

    Can You Give Me Some Workout Tips On Buns? I have a big butt and I don’t know how to lose the waight. Can someone help me out? Can you name some workout tips that might work for me?

      • HealthNut
      • August 16, 2013

      Squats….work a treat, trust me!

  2. Reply

    Can You Give Me Some Workout Tips On Buns? I have a big butt and I don’t know how to lose the waight. Can someone help me out? Can you name some workout tips that might work for me?

      • HealthNut
      • August 16, 2013

      I suggest you eat bread buns for lunch daily. the buns will give your butt a boost in self confidence. it will then want to sit more and you will make more biscuits. dogs love biscuits. and i love dogs. i dont understand how hard it is. by the way, dont use recycle bins..use regular bins to dispose your old buns. or take then to the local park to feed to the birds. its great to give back to nature!! give back! NOW!i demand you leave at once. you are breaking and entering!!

  3. Reply

    Can You Give Me Some Workout Tips On Buns? I have a big butt and I don’t know how to lose the waight. Can someone help me out? Can you name some workout tips that might work for me?

      • HealthNut
      • August 16, 2013

      I saw an interview with Fergie not long ago. She said that using the uphill setting on a treadmill is what gave her her glorious booty. My friend has been doing just this for a few months and i’m already seeing results. It works the thighs and hips too!

    • Ben
    • August 16, 2013

    How Can I Get A Good Source Of Carbohydrates And Proteins, Plus Workout Tips? I am wanting to start working out and getting healthy and gain lean muscle mass but i don’t really know what foods i should eat before and after a workout to get a good serving of protein and carbohydrates. so anyone who is maybe an athlete or just trying to get healthy too share some meal ideas? and maybe a few workout tips? thank you.

    By the way I’m a 19 year old male weighing in at about 164lbs and about 5’7″ if that helps
    Oh and i have access to workout equipment like dumbbells, that machine where you work out your legs by pushing weights with them, (don’t know what its called) treadmills, and those stationary bikes and an elliptical.

      • HealthNut
      • August 16, 2013

      I’ll give you a list of some common foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and take notes because it’s great for you to add them to your meal plan:

      Home-Made Pizza

      The above mentioned foods make your stomach full for a few hours. They make you have a slow digestion. So it’s good for those who want to slow down their metabolism. These foods are also beneficial for those who want to build muscle because they are great sources of energy for your body and muscles.

      Now I’m going to give you a list of foods high in protein that you should make sure you add to your meal plan. These foods are very important to build muscle mass.

      Here is the list:

      Sausages (healthy choices)
      Seafood (Fish, Calamari, Octopus, Salmon, etc.)
      Poultry (Chicken, Turkey, etc.)
      Peanut Butter
      Dairy Products
      Protein Shakes
      Protein Bars
      Liquid Protein

      As you can see there are many sources of proteins. So I recommend that you choose various, not just one.

      Doing combinations of these foods high in complex carbs and proteins will be the best way to create your meal plan.

      Three other foods you might want to add to your meal plan are:

      Ice creams

      These 3 are very good and delicious.

      Workout Tips:

      Get your form straight before you go heavy
      Progression is key – Add weight or reps when you can.
      Don’t get greedy – This is a long game. Adding too much too soon can leave you injured
      Eat. Adjust as needed.
      Focus. Gym time is work time. Socialization is fine, but spend time under the bar.
      Don’t buffet train – You don’t need to hit your biceps from 8 different angles, you need to get your primary lifts up.
      Get brutally strong – Your chest isn’t impressed with 15 pound flyes. Get your lifts up and good things will happen.
      Have fun – If you hate your time in the gym, you aren’t likely to make much progress.

    • Deej
    • August 16, 2013

    What Are Some Good Workout Tips That Will Help Me Get Into Shape Quick? Im 22 5’6″ and weigh 178lbs. im sick of being fat and repulsed when i look in the mirror at my body. i just would like to know some great workout tips to help me get fit and lose about 40 lbs in 2 months

      • HealthNut
      • August 16, 2013

      Well the best way to lose weight is to run everyday morning and night or after for hour and of course you wont be able to run the whole 1 hour as your not in shape yet so try to run for 30 minutes or more if you can and then walk for like 10 minutes and then run until you get to an hour and if your finally able to run the whole 1 hour start running for 2 hours

      also start weight lifting as well as muscle burns fat so just get normal 15 lb or lighter if its to heavy and do curls dumbbell presses etc and most important of all do free weights such as push ups and if your unable to do allot of push ups do like 10 rest 10 seconds 10 rest 10 rest until you get to 100 or 200 if you can also get a bar and try to do pull ups front wards and you probably wont be able to so try really hard and go to the top and go down slowly, and you will have to do ab workouts like crunches and raise your legs

      and do a quick warm up and and stretch before you lift and also with running do a quick warm up run like 10 minutes then stretch and start your 1 hour run

      the other most important key fact to weight loss is a big change in your diet which mean more calories out then in so no to any fast food for the rest of your life unless you want be fat the rest of your life, don’t eat any junk foods high in fat like donuts and stuff like that because if your going to be burning like 1000 calories and then eating 3000 calories you wont be losing fat but instead just gaining fat and the only difference will be you will be gaining 10 lbs everyday instead of 5 lbs

      what you should eat is salad fruit vegetables yogurt eat meat but not one in a kfc bucket a kind that homemade eat eggs also good in protein

      follow these steps and i guarantee you of you being fit

  4. Reply

    Does Anyone Have Any Good “at Home” Workout Tips To Tone Stomach, Thighs And Butt? I’m not overweight or anything, I would just like to have a body that is more toned and healthy looking. I just need some workout tips that i can do at home in order to get rid of the fat; and tone my belly, thighs and ass. I DO NOT WANT ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH DIETING, JUST EXERCISE. Thank-you 🙂

      • HealthNut
      • August 16, 2013

      I know this sounds vague, but just use youtube. it’s awesome because you don’t have to buy an expensive dvd or anything and because you can specify exactly what you want to tone. You can search like “inner thigh workout” then choose from a bunch. Same with butt and stomach. There are some great variations. But, don’t expect perfect results from just working out. How you look is mainly due to your diet. Exercise just aids in that and tones you.

      Good luck

Leave a Reply