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The IMPACT Question Corner

I recently asked my followers on Facebook & Twitter for their most pressing questions as it relates to health & fitness. I received some great questions and going to answer a few of them now.

Q: As a trainer, is it important to makes sure your clients wear a heart rate monitor?
A: I highly recommend that all clients wear a HR monitor. It shows me several things that are very interesting: how hard one can work (intensity), recovery between sets (conditioning level) and it tells me how many calories they burned in a workout. This guides nutritional intake and recovery strategies. I personally use the Polar F6 and recommend all the Polar products.

Q: What is the optimal post workout meal? Are protein shakes good for you?
A: Great question. The important thing with post-workout meal is timing and carbs/protein ratio. I like to make sure my clients take in a shake or food within 30 minutes after a workout. The ratio after a workout should be approximately 2-3 grams of carbs for every gram of protein after a workout. A protein shake (without carbs) after a workout will not replenish diminished glycogen stores to supply ample recovery. And if you choose food over a shake, focus on choices like salad with chicken, sandwich with whole-grain bread, or sweet-potato and a lean source of protein (steak, chicken, or fish). And of course, make sure you are hydrating with water (1/2 bodyweight in fluid ounces).

Q: I am a trainer and I have 2 clients that are teachers and sit most of the day. They both complain of back pain. After my assessment, there is tightness in the hip flexors and psoas muscles. What would you recommend?

A: Bingo. A lot of back pain originates in our often tight hip flexor (psoas muscles) and hip rotator region. It is essential for all of us to focus on opening up the front side of the body. Ways to accomplish this include yoga style stretches (which typically include an emphasis on these areas), receiving massage/bodywork/soft-tissue therapy from a skilled practitioner that is trained in releasing the psoas, and regular emphasis on stretches such as the kneeling hip flexor stretch and pigeon pose. For more information, refer to my book, The IMPACT! Body Plan and it has my entire stretching routine to stave off back pain and keep you feeling great.

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide. He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele. Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes. He is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council, serves on the Gatorade G-Fit Team, and is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit. He is a two-time Trainer of the Year (IDEA & ACE). Additionally, Todd provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide.

Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US. Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post. Todd has authored 35 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.

His new book, The IMPACT! Body Plan, debuted in September 2010 and is a 10 Week program designed to create world-class fitness and life performance. You can sign up for Todd’s FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the TD TIMES, at or

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