Fitness Q&A: Making Fitness ‘Crystal Clear’ (Dec. – Mar. 2012)

Fitness Expert, Crystal Gaynor
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Written by Crystal Gaynor

A workout routine is something that should be a part of every woman’s daily schedule.  Whether you are lifting weights for an hour a day, or running for just ten minutes each morning, make sure you get the most out of your workout. Crystal Gaynor works with Identity to help readers make their fitness routine ‘Crystal Clear.’

crystal-gaynor Crystal Gaynor, Making Fitness Crystal Clear

Dear Crystal,  

Are there any new and fun abdominal exercises that I can do at home? – Patricia   J. /Montclair, NJ

Dear Patricia,

If you want to spice up your at home ab-workouts, check out my new favorite workout from, the TRX Suspension Trainer.   It’s a system that uses “gravity and movement to generate neuromuscular responses.”   If you have a door in you home, and I’m sure that you do, this training system will give you a variety of ways to challenge your core.     The trainer itself is made of   “industrial grade nylon webbing “ and can be attached to any door. Log on to their site and check them out.   I’m sure that you will become a fan as well.    

Dear Crystal,  

Is it safe to workout with ankle weights?     I heard that it could be damaging to your knees.   Is this true? -Michelle K. /Westfield, NJ

Dear Michelle,

You heard right.  Working out with ankle weights can be damaging depending on how the weights are used and the amount of weight that is used.   Ankle weights can be very effective when used in certain exercises since they offer added resistance and are affordable for any home gym.   Keep the weights at a controllable amount.   Two to five pounds is a good start depending on your fitness level.   Don’t swing the weights with force and always use control and caution.   Running with ankle weights is a no-no, and if you use them for walking try hand weights instead to add a little resistance to your workout.   Your knees should last a lifetime – help them out by treating them well.

Dear Crystal,  

Is it good to eat directly after a workout or is it better to wait awhile? -Kat K. / Hershey, PA  

Dear Kat,

A little before and a little after, goes a long way.   Eat at least 30 minutes before your workout to fuel the body with needed energy.   A piece of fruit or almonds are a great way to gear up.   After your workout, you’ll want to refuel with a protein for muscle repair.   Within 30 minutes of finishing your workout, have a shake, a boiled egg, yogurt or even beans.   And be sure to throw in a few veggies for good measure.   All are great ways to refuel after a hard workout.     Oh yeah, don’t forget to drink plenty of water!

Dear Crystal,  

I am so sick of my boob fat!   I’m not fat, but the boob flesh around my back is annoying.   How can I tighten that up? -Joanne T. /Trenton, SC  

Dear Joanne,

The ever annoying bra fat is every woman’s and believe it or not, even some men’s, worst nightmare.   First and foremost take a serious look at your diet.   Little things like that extra glass of wine, or that extra slice of cake may be adding insult to injury.   Secondly, make sure your workout includes exercises for the Latissimus Dorsi, muscles of the back.     Try a Bent-Over Row.   Place the left hand and knee on the bench. The right foot is on the floor and the right hand is holding the weight.   Extend the arm fully then pull the weight up toward the chest as the elbow reaches up toward the celling.   Use a weight that challenges you for 8-15 reps. Switch to the other side.   Poof, bra fat be gone!


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About the author

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Crystal Gaynor

Exercise and good nutrition were always a major part of my life growing up. My mother and my grandmother were both avid gardeners and grew everything from apples to zucchini. It was not usual to ask for a snack and receive a plate of collard greens. But that is where my love for all foods green and healthy began.

I studied dance as a child and majored in Dance at Eastern Michigan University. Being in shape has always been a natural state of being for me, so deciding to become a fitness professional was an easy one.

I received the following certifications from The American Council on Exercise:

Group Fitness (2004)
Personal Trainer (2009).

I also hold these certifications and licenses:

Weight Training

In addition, I am a certified Jillian Michael “Body Shred” trainer.

I have trained hundreds of people in the New Jersey area. My client list includes celebrities, professional athletes, and men, women and children from all ages and walks of life. Practicing what I preach, you can find me working out at a neighborhood gym or walking in my local park.

I have been a contributing writer at Identity Magazine since 2010.
I was a featured model in Bobbi Brown Cosmetics’ “Pretty Powerful” beauty campaign.

My goal is to help you achieve a Crystal Clear Life, through the use of exercise, nutrition and a positive attitude. Remember to keep life simple and Crystal Clear.