Fitness Q&A: Making Fitness Crystal Clear (March 2013)

Fitness Expert, Crystal Gaynor
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Written by Crystal Gaynor

I want to spend less time in the gym, so what should I do first, cardio or weights for the best fitness workout?

Fitness at your best! 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 10 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 - Fitness ExpertCrystal Gaynor, Making Fitness Crystal Clear

Dear Crystal,

QUESTION: I want to spend less time in the gym, so what should I do first, cardio or weights? – Laura T. 28/Woodstock, NY

Dear Laura,

The general rule is weight training before cardio so that you have the energy and concentration when lifting weights. You don’t want to compromise your form when weight training. Concentrate on upper body workouts one day and lower body the next. Lift for 20-30 minutes and finish off with 15-20 minutes of an interval cardio workout and you’ll be burning calories for hours. Plus you’ll get out of the gym and on with your life in under an hour.

Dear Crystal,

QUESTION: I am 45 years old and I would like to begin a weight-training program. Would you please explain the difference between a “Set” and a “Rep” ?   They seem the same to me, so what’s the big deal? – Karrie R. 45/Lansing, MI.

Dear Karrie,

Life around the weight room can be a little overwhelming. First, REP stands for REPETITION, the number of times that you perform an exercise. Here’s an example using the Bicep Curl. Hold your weights in both hands, arms hanging down and palms facing outward. Next bring the weight up toward your shoulders by bending the elbow, now lower the weight back to the starting position. That completes ONE REPETITION. A SET is completed when you do the same motion for 10-12 REPETITIONS before placing your weights down on the floor. This can be written as 1×12. If you do 2 sets of the exercise it’s written as 2×12.

Dear Crystal,

QUESTION: I just started exercising, and I’m really interested in Pilates. Can I get a good whole body workout from Pilates, or is it just working my core?
Emily J. 48/S. Orange, NJ

Dear Emily,

Pilates is a mind-body workout that delivers results. Pilates will streamline the body, while improving your posture, flexibility, strength and concentration. While the core is engaged, the rest of the body is always working. It also has cardiovascular benefits because the movements are done in a systematic sequence, creating flow and improving stamina. Make sure you seek out a certified instructor with experience and you soon will enjoy all the benefits of Pilates.

Dear Crystal,

I workout at a small gym, that has limited equipment. Is there an exercise that will work my inner thigh muscles without the aid of a machine?
Carrie B. 22/Scranton, PA

Dear Carrie,

There are lots of ways to target the inner thigh muscles without the use of a seated machine. Here’s a great inner thigh exercise, The Pile Squat.

Begin by standing tall with the feet slightly wider than the shoulders. Turn your feet slightly outward. While keeping the chest up, bend the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Now push through your heels to come back up to a standing position. You can hold a 10-15 pound weight in your hands in front of the body for added resistance. Work up to 15 reps for 2-3 sets. Slimmer thighs and glutes are in your future.



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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.

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