Personal Trainer Zone: Q&A with Michael Wood, CSCS

This week we welcome strength and conditioning expert Michael Wood to the Personal Trainer Zone. Michael shares some of his top tips on nutrition and working out.

1) What was your inspiration for beginning a career in the fitness industry and becoming a Personal Trainer?

Back in the mid-1980’s when I first became a personal trainer, it was about helping people of all ages and training abilities, from soccer moms to college athletes, to improve their fitness level.

Today, it’s about changing lives.

2) How many days a week do you recommend working out?

It depends on the needs and goals of the individual. But for the average person, start slowly, progressively building up to 4-5 days a week.

Be realistic with your available time but make it a priority.

3) How long should you rest between workouts?

Personal Trainer Zone: Q&A with Michael Wood | PT | Linked FitnessAgain, depends on your goals and needs – a D1 college athlete has different recovery needs compared to the average person.

Basically 24-48 hours between strength training sessions (if you’re doing full body workouts) and less recovery between traditional cardio sessions unless they are HIT-type workouts. If they are HIT sessions – a good 2-3 days off before doing a similar HIT session.

More recovery should be applied as the training intensity and volume (sets x reps x load) is increased.

In addition, pay attention to how your body is handling daily stress as well – this may impact recovery needs.

To help you monitor your energy & stress levels, download the free Welltory app, a data-driven assessment tool that utilizes HRV (heart rate variability).


Related: Is 10-Minutes of Jump Rope Equivalent to 30-Minutes of Running?


4) What is your favourite piece of equipment in the gym and why?

Actually my own body weight. We forget at times how good it can be to use our own body weight as a training tool. Pulling, Pushing, Jumping, Lunging, Squatting and Carrying.

My favourite pieces of equipment pre/post workout are foam rollers and tennis or lacrosse balls to help me prepare my body for the upcoming workout (working on mobility and improving range of movement).

The first piece of equipment that I bought for my training studio (back in 1997) and it’s still going strong is a Concept 2 rowing machine. Jump on an erg and try to row 500 meters in 90 seconds or less – it will tell you a lot about your current fitness level.

Personal Trainer Zone: Q&A with Michael Wood | PT | Linked Fitness

5) What do you recommend to eat before and after a gym session?

It depends on the individual person and how they handle specific food and drink.

For me, a combo of carbs/protein 60-90 minutes before a workout. Post workout a fast-releasing whey protein drink which for me involves Ascent Protein.

Before bed – on strength training days –  a slower releasing protein – casein protein. Also, a banana/peanut butter work well for me too.

6) What is your top piece of nutritional advice for weight loss?

Personal Trainer Zone: Q&A with Michael Wood | PT | Linked FitnessWatch the daily, added sugar. Men should aim for 150 calories a day or 38 grams/day and women, about 100 calories a day or 25 grams/day.

Couple this with hitting 10k steps a day and 30-minutes of high quality work in the gym.

In addition, make sure all meals are built around protein that offers a great thermic effect in terms of using calories (energy).

7) What is the most common injury you see with your clients and what advice can you offer for prevention?

People typically try to do too much too soon. Have a plan and work the plan.

Build a strong base and slowly progress in terms of adding training variables like volume and intensity.

Be able to execute a movement well (movement competency) before you start loading it.

Remember, stress (exercise) + rest = growth


Related: Expert Tips for Getting Fit Over 50


8) How do you develop individualised training plans for your clients?

Based on the needs and goals of my client. I take into account their training history, diet, mobility, recovery etc.

This is done by asking the right questions, not giving them a one size fits all plan.

9) You have used your TBC30 Plan to train hundreds of your clients and have had some great results. What does the plan involve and what are the main benefits?

Personal Trainer Zone: Q&A with Michael Wood | PT | Linked FitnessThe TBC30 Plan takes a different approach – looking to change mindset and eventually diet and exercise behavior.

The plan is a combination of specific movements on the exercise front and HIT training on the cardio side.

This is coupled with the TBC30 eight nutrition strategies and the use of technology that in turn create good habits that are hopefully “ingrained in the brain.”

10) What are the benefits of using a Personal Trainer and what are the main services that you offer to your clients?

Some of the main benefits of using a personal Trainer are accountability, getting results faster, safer and more effectively, and also much needed education and motivation.

Michael Wood Fitness offers individual and web-based coaching services and products like our TBC30 Plan: A 6-Step Diet & Exercise Strategy for Life (Amazon Digital Services, 2017), found on Amazon and our website.


Related: 5 Practical Ideas for Better Health and Fitness


About Michael Wood

Is 10-Minutes of Jump Rope Equivalent to 30-Minutes of Running? | Michael Wood | Linked Fitness Community

Michael Wood, CSCS, is one of the top strength & conditioning experts in the US. He is CEO of Michael Wood Fitness, and his clients include some of the biggest names in the athletic, academic, and entertainment industries.

His company has completed more than 30,000 training sessions to date under Michael’s guidance. He is also the Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, LLC, which develops interactive software and hardware for the fitness industry.

Michael has developed more than 150 strength training programs to date that are featured on the Koko Smartrainer®, a strength training product powered by patented technology. In addition, he has developed more than 500 audio-based Koko cardio treadmill and elliptical workouts.

To find out more about Michael Wood, visit his website Michael Wood Fitness, Facebook page, or send him an email.

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