How Much Cardio Should I Do?

How Much Cardio Should I Do?


Exercise is essential for your well-being and overall health, and cardio is among the most effective and popular exercises. It has numerous benefits for your cardiovascular health and cognitive function. However,if weight loss is your main goal, nutrition is more important. For people who are just beginning their fitness journey, I always recommend they take care of their nutrition first before they start worrying about tons of cardio. 

Weight loss

In order to lose weight, you need a calorie deficit. This means that you should reduce your daily calorie intake, i.e., the number of calories you eat should be less than the amount of calories you burn. The amount of calories you burn is determined by many things, including exercise. Cardio is a great way to burn more calories, but even in the most intense cardio portions of your fitness training, you will only burn a few hundred calories in 30 minutes. It is extremely easy to EAT a few hundred calories in 1 minute.

Through my experience as a fitness trainer, I have learned that some people need more calories than others and that there are different body types. However, weight loss requires a reduction in your calorie intake in all instances. Although it might be a little challenging, you can use a calorie tracking app to calculate your calorie and macronutrient intake.

Weight maintenance

If you are happy with your weight and you just want to remain physically fit, personal training is still important. You may feel like there’s no need to hit the gym if you have already achieved your body goals, but exercise is important for weight maintenance too. You will want to focus more on strength training (resistance training) and high intensity workouts instead of long bouts of cardio. These exercises will help to build muscles and still improve your cardiovascular health and cognitive function. 

My Opinion

Every good personal trainer will tell you cardio is a great weight loss tool, but it’s easier to just do it moderately with activities like walking the dog, swimming, or household chores. This is because steady-state cardio on a treadmill in the gym can get very boring. If you can find a way to work it into your daily life, consistency will be much easier.

It’s important to know your body. Be aware of your daily calorie quota so that you can make the right choices when it comes to overall fitness, nutrition, and types of exercise. 


If you are unaware of what is best for you and your body, consulting with a fitness professional may be a great option. You can reach us at OTG by heading over to the “Contact Us” Page. If you are in the South Houston area, you may want to schedule a time to come by our gym. If not, we can still take care of you completely online!


3 Mistakes To Avoid When Getting Started

3 Mistakes To Avoid

Every fitness enthusiast was a beginner once, even though they might look like they have everything
figured out at the gym. When you begin your fitness journey, some of these mistakes can sabotage your
progress and lead to frustration, exhaustion, and confusion. A bad start to your fitness journey can
prevent you from sticking to it. Here are some mistakes you should avoid before you ditch the training

1. Getting on a “diet”

Although numerous diets promise unmatched physical fitness, it is important to note that there is no
umbrella diet that suits everyone. People are different, with different caloric needs, and getting a meal
plan that’s supposedly going to miraculously give you your desired results can be a huge mistake.
Restrictive diets that prohibit you from eating some of your favorite foods for long periods are very
unsustainable. Eventually, you might be tempted to indulge in a bar of chocolate, and the guilt that
follows could cause emotional turmoil. Consult your personal trainer before getting on any diet to avoid

2. Over committing to a workout schedule

So you’ve just started your workout routine, and you are excited! It’s normal for people to be excited
about their fitness journey, but the #nodaysoff mentality can be disadvantageous for you. Personal
training is important, you should continue to work out, but as you’ve probably heard from your fitness
trainer before, rest days are part of your workout routine too. It’s important to take a day or two off
because your muscles need to rest and recover in order to grow.

Overtraining can cause injuries, exhaustion, sleeping problems, and a bigger appetite. Fitness training
requires discipline, and sometimes, this means taking a day off when you need it.

3. Trying to do it alone

Regardless of how long you’ve been working out, there are some days you don’t want to get out of bed.
On days like these, you will need an extra dose of motivation. Surrounding yourself with people who
have the same goal as you is important, even in fitness.

A personal trainer, a reliable workout partner, a family member, or a friend can make you hit your daily targets. In addition, you get someone to hold you accountable, have fun with, and support you throughout your fitness journey.

The beginning of your fitness journey can be a little intimidating. As time goes by, however, you learn
what works for you. A great experience at the beginning of your journey usually motivates you to keep
pushing. As such, it’s crucial to avoid these rookie mistakes. Most importantly, have fun! Remember to
remain consistent because good things take time.

If you think OTG Fitness may good a good resource to help you get started, apply for our Intro 8 Week Program here


You can also text us directly at (281) 688-1191

work out food

What To Eat Before A Workout

What To Eat Before A Workout?

As a personal trainer, I get this question too often. Some people prefer to work out before breaking
their fast, while others find more energy and focus by eating before their workout. If you need a little
energy boost, keep in mind that food is fuel for your body. It gives you the energy you need to crush a
workout session and recover from it.

When picking what you should eat before your workout, there are two things you should keep in mind,
i.e., the type of food you eat, and the right time to eat. It might seem hard to keep track of the food you
eat before a workout for a week, but you can keep a journal to track how you feel and why you got
certain results.

1. Type of food

Although proteins are essential for every fitness journey, they are not a source of energy. I always
recommend carbs or fats before workouts. In all honesty, there isn’t one specific type of food that you
should eat before a workout. However, high-carb and high-fat foods provide energy to fuel your body.
You should, therefore, start by experimenting with either carbs or fats to see which one works best for

For instance, if you ate carbs (oatmeal or banana slices), note it down on your journal. Make sure you
highlight what you felt during the workout. Did you have enough energy? Did you find it easier to focus,
or were you constantly distracted? How soon did you get tired? Taking note of how your workout
session was makes personal training a lot easier. It enables you to pick the foods that work for you and
makes your workout routine sustainable.

2. Food Timing

A general rule of thumb to start with, is having a meal about 1 hour before your workout. This gives your
body enough time to digest the meal while still providing the energy you’re looking for.
This, however, does not apply to everyone. You might need to take note of the time you eat your pre-
workout meal to ensure that you have an accurate estimation of the best time for you to eat before a
workout. Some people eat on their way to the gym and crush their sets, but you might need to wait a
few hours after eating for optimal energy levels.

In general, it’s crucial to figure out what works for you. Keep a journal, be honest with yourself, hold
yourself accountable, and if you have any questions or concerns; don’t hesitate to ask your fitness
trainer for help. You can contact us via Facebook messenger (button in the corner) or going to the Contact Us page on this site. We are always available to address any questions or concerns with answers that are tailored specifically for you.


How Long Should Your Workout Take??

How Long Does It Take To Get An Effective Workout?

It might be a little intimidating when you see people spending hours in the gym, and you can barely walk after 15 minutes. As a trainer, I have been asked how long a good workout lasts too many times. What I have always told everyone who has ever asked me this question is that consistency is more important than the length of the workout. Every fitness enthusiast has heard the slogan “no pain, no gain,” or #nodaysoff, but this can be misleading, especially for beginners.

Contrary to the popular opinion

that a good workout is a long workout, a short workout with enough focus, drive, and intensity is better. The time you spend working out is not the only determinant for successfully achieving your end goals.

I always recommend a 30 to 40 minutes workout, which is inclusive of warm-up and exercises. Although there is no blanket answer for how long your workouts should last due to the fact that not everybody has the same goals. For instance, a marathon runner will train for hours as they prepare for a race, a weight lifter will train for hours to build their endurance and improve on their performance, but if you’re only trying to stay fit, spending two hours on a weight lifting bench might be a little excessive.

It is always best for you to identify your goals.

Are your goals performance-related, fitness-related, health-related, or weight-related? This will help you get into a routine that best suits you without compromising your goals.

It is also essential to consider how much time you have to spend working out at home or the gym. If you have time constraints, you probably shouldn’t take 10-minute breaks between your sets. Your personal trainer will give you the exercises you need to complete, but It’s important to make every set count in order to get the results you desire. 

If you are at the gym for five days a week, working out for 30 to 40 minutes a day, for a period of seven years, you will reap more benefits compared to someone who works out for 90 minutes every day, three days a week, for a year and then quits. Focusing on putting in the work with compound exercises regularly and consistently gives you better results. The time spent working out doesn’t directly reflect on the quality of your workout.

It’s also important to note that rest is important.

Spending time to relax and connect with your loved ones is crucial for your wellness. It is also necessary for your body to recover and regain the energy required to function optimally. With working out, just like with most things in life, more is not always better.

personal trainers

Are You Too Busy Or Is Health Not A Priority?

Are You Actually Too Busy?


Allow me to ask you a question: Do you have time for your health? Are you too busy or is health and fitness simply not on your priority list? How many times have you said that you do not have enough time to do something? Granted, we live in a society that is severely poor in terms of time. However, if we re-examine the things that take up our time, we’ll quickly realize that we make time for what is important to us. If we want to lose weight and get fit bad enough, we will make time for it whether it’s at home or at the gym. If we want to eat better and lead a healthier lifestyle, we’ll make time for it as well. 


The time we have in a day should be prioritized accordingly, listing the most important tasks of the day. Never look at taking care of your health as a chore or a task you need to cross off. Instead, think of it this way: without proper health, you will be unproductive and experience constant fatigue. If you want to be successful, you have to include taking care of your health in your list of priorities.


 Right now, you may still be on the fence about it. You’re probably thinking that claiming we all have the time to take care of our health needs is a bit of a stretch. However, according to Laurie A. Watkins, it’s not. Laurie A. Watkins is the author of the book, Go From Stressed to Strong. In her book, she shares how she went from only getting a few hours of sleep every night to achieving all her fitness goals. With a demanding job and schedule, health was the last thing she ever thought about, until she decided to change things around. Below, are a couple of ways to work around a busy schedule and still take care of your health.


 Change your mindset:

 Saying that you don’t have time for anything is another way of saying that you don’t consider it a priority. We always make time for what we care about or consider worth our time and effort. Therefore, changing your mindset about health and fitness is the first step to any real change. Start by accepting the fact that if you fail to take care of your health, you fail to take care of your own ability to be productive. Neglecting your health will cause your physical, mental and emotional well- being to suffer. 


Do it early in the morning: 

Admittedly, once the sun comes up and its time to get to work, it gets really hectic. Hence, try and wake up at least an hour earlier and get some exercise in. Gyms and personal training studios often open early for those that prefer to exercise early. If you live in Houston, Texas, OTG Fitness is one of the top gym studios that offers an accommodating schedule for everyone. You can also use this time to prepare healthy meals to carry to work and for when you come home. 


Set boundaries:

 Always avoid taking up too many tasks than you can handle. If you know you have too much on your plate, then do not be afraid to say no. Set clear boundaries and be consistent. This will ensure that you do not end up overworked and also have time to visit the gym.


Commit Fully:

If you truly want results, you have to commit. Unfortunately, the only way to do is is to do it.

If you need that something to commit to, you may consider at 8 week program with OTG Fitness. You may or may not be a good fit, but you can find out by clicking HERE to fill out a quick application that will help us figure that out.

What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

What Fasting Does To The Body:

Fasting is a centuries old practice that is present in many religious and cultures.

Today, fasting is also a popular dieting trend.

So…what is fasting?

Google defines fasting as: ‘to abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink.’

That seems to be a lot of grey area.

One popular means of fasting is to do what is called intermittent fasting, which is where one cycles between periods of eating and fasting.

And according to science, fasting has many health benefits, from physical to neurological.

Here are 6 science based benefits of fasting:


What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

1) It Boosts Metabolism While Lowering Calories.

Many people look to drop a few pounds by fasting.

Research has shown that short-term fasting increases levels of norepinephrine, which can enhance weight loss.

One example showed that whole-day fasting could reduce body weight by up to 9%.

Further, another review suggests fasting was found to be better at losing fat (while keeping muscle) than lowering one’s calorie intake.


What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

2) It Improves Cholesterol Levels and Blood Pressure.

Making a change to your diet is an effective way to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Some research has discovered that intermittent fasting may be helpful with your heart health.

One study revealed that eight weeks of alternate-day fasting reduced levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol by 25%. Additionally, blood triglycerides saw a drop of 32%.

Another study in obese adults found that three weeks of intermittent fasting (under medical supervision) significantly decreased blood pressure, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Yet another study suggested fasting would lower the risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes.


What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

3) It Reduces Insulin Resistance Controlling Blood Sugar.

Several studies show that fasting can lower blood sugar control, reducing the risk of diabetes.

In fact, intermittent fasting heavily decreased blood sugar levels in participants of one study.

Plus, another review found that both alternate-day and intermittent fasting were just as effective at reducing insulin resistance as limiting one’s calorie intake.

Lowering insulin resistance can improve your body’s vulnerability to insulin, helping your body to deliver glucose to your tissue cells more effectively.

Combined with the lowered blood sugar from fasting, this could help keep your blood sugar steady, preventing harmful fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.


What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

4) It Helps Your Look Younger and Live Longer.

Several animal studies have seen exciting results on the life extending results of fasting.

In one study, rats that fasted every other day lived 85% longer and showed a slower aging rate than rats that did not fast.

Other animal studies have shown similar outcomes, suggesting that fasting could be a cause of increased survival rates and longevity.

Results for studies involving humans is not yet available.


What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

5) It Can Help Improve Brain Function.

Though research has been limited with humans, several studies have shown that fasting can have a huge effects on the health of your brain.

One study in mice showed that intermittent fasting improved both brain function and structure over an 11 month period.

Other animal studies found that fasting could increase the re-generation of nerve cells which help enhance cognitive function.

Studies in animals suggest that fasting may reduce the damage to the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.


What Fasting Does To The Body - OTG Fitness

6) It Fights Inflamation.

Though acute inflammation can be helpful to the body, research has shown that chronic inflammation can have serious effects on your health, such as heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

Some studies have shown that fasting can help reduce inflammation and promote better health.

One study found that intermittent fasting for a single month sharply decreased levels of inflammatory markers.

Another study discovered a similar result when people fasted for 12 hours a day for 30 days. (6Trusted Source).


Ready to talk to us about YOUR Fitness goals?

Apply for our 8 week program by clicking HERE


[Source: Healthline.com]

7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

7 Reasons Why You Aren't Losing Weight:

When you workout, you’re fighting your body’s ‘current state’.

As you lose weight, your body tends to ‘fight back’.

There are a handful of reasons you might be experiencing a weight loss plateau, and we’ll cover the BIG 7 here.

But before we jump into the 7 reasons why you aren’t losing weight…let’s make sure you’re not being too quick to criticize yourself.

You might be losing weight, even if you don’t notice it.

Don’t be too quick to judge yourself if the scale isn’t moving.

It is VERY common for the scale to not move for days, or even weeks at a time. This does not mean that you aren’t making progress.

Body weight tends to fluctuate by a few pounds. This depends on a variety of factors including:

  • Foods you are eating
  • Amount of water to are drinking
  • Any medication you may be taking
  • Hormones (especially in women)

It is also possible to gain muscle at the same time as you lose fat, especially if you hit the weights while you diet.

Use something other than the scale to track your progress, such as measuring your waist. Plus, check yourself out in the mirror. It’s common to see yourself looking thinner and your clothes feeling looser while the scale doesn’t move.

Aside from this, here are 7 possible reasons why you aren’t losing weight:

7 Reasons Your Aren't Losing Weight

1) You’re not logging your food intake.

Awareness of what you are eating is so important if you are trying to lose weight. Most people have no clue how much food they really eat.

Studies show that keeping track of your diet helps with losing weight. People who use food diaries and take pictures of their food tend to lose weight more than people who do not.


7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

2) You’re eating too many calories.

Many times, people who are struggling with weight loss are just eating too many calories.

And largely…people are unaware that they’re doing it.

Studies consistently show that people commonly underestimate how many calories they eat… by a lot!

If your weight loss has stopped, try weighing your foods and tracking your calories for a month or two.

You can also try a Calorie calculator to figure out how many calories to eat.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to track and weigh all of your food for the rest of your life. Doing this for a month or two will usually be enough to help new eating habits set in.


7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

3) You’re drinking sugar filled drinks.

Sugary drinks are the most fattening things you can eat. Your brain doesn’t account for the calories you drink by making you eat less.

And we don’t mean just sodas. This applies to sports drinks like Vitaminwater and fruit juices, which are loaded with sugar.


7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

4) You’re not drinking enough water.

Water aids weight loss, plain and simple.

In one 12-week study, people who drank 17 ounces of water 30 minutes before eating lost more weight (44%) than those who did not.

Drinking water has also been found to help people burn 24–30% more caleries.


7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

5) You’re not doing cardio.

Cardio or aerobic exercise is defined as an exercise that increases your heart rate.

Cardio is one of THE MOST effective ways to improve your health. It is also very helpful in eliminating disease causing “visceral” fat that builds up around your organs.


7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

6) You’ve been starving yourself.

Dieting for too long can be bad for you.

If you’ve been losing weight for a few months, then suddenly reach a plateau, then perhaps take a break.

Raise your calories, sleep more, and lift some weights. The goal will be to get stronger and build muscle.

Keep your body body fat levels in line for 2 months before you start trying to lose weight again.


7 Reasons You Aren't Losing Weight

7) You’re not sleeping well.

Quality sleep is critical to your physical and mental health…as well as your weight.

Studies show that bad sleep is a large risk factor for being overweight. Adults with poor sleep have a 55% greater risk of becoming obese. Children who sleep poorly have an 89% greater risk of becoming obese.


Ready to talk to us about YOUR weight loss goals?

Apply for our 8 week program by clicking HERE


[Source: Healthline.com]

6 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat

6 Science Based Ways To Lose Belly Fat That Are SIMPLE (but not easy)

It’s true…belly fat looks bad.

But having too much of it also leads to medical issues like heart disease and diabetes.

Thus, it’s easy to see that losing belly fat will help you become healthy and live longer! (with my Mother dying a very preventable death in my teens, this is a BIG DEAL for me).

You can measure your own belly fat at home with a measuring tape.

If a person has:

  • Over 40 inches (102 cm) for men
  • Over 35 inches (88 cm) for women

…then they are considered to have abdominal obesity.

If this is you (or you’re getting too close for comfort), I’m here to help.

There are proven strategies that specifically target belly fat, more so than other areas of the body.

Here are 6 ways to dump belly fat based on science:

6 Easy Ways To Lose Belly Fat

1) Stay Away From Sugary Drinks

You never want to drink your calories.

And you REALLY never want to drink your calories from sugar!

Added sugar is very unhealthy.

Studies have shown it’s hurtful effect on your health.

Sugar is part glucose and part fructose, and your liver cannot break down fructose in small amounts.

When you eat a lot of added sugar, your liver get overwhelmed with fructose, and has no choice but to turn it into fat. (4).

Many studies have proven that excess fructose leads to an increase in belly and liver fat.

When this happens, insulin resistance begins, along with other metabolic issues.

Liquid sugar is the worst. Because your brain doesn’t ‘register’ the calories you drink the way it does the calories you eat, sugary beverages, causes you to eat more total calories.

Let’s decide together to minimize sugar in your diet, and consider eliminating sugary drinks altogether. This includes sodas, fruit juices, high-sugar sports drinks, and heavily sweetened iced tea.

6 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat

2) Eat More Protein

When it comes to losing belly fat, protein is king.

Protein reduces cravings by 60%, boosts metabolism by 80–100 calories per day and helps you eat fewer calories per day (up to 400+).

If losing weight is your goal, protein is your biggest weapon in the fight.

It helps you lose weight, but also help prevent gaining weight back.

One study showed that people who ate protein of higher amounts and quality had much less belly fat.

The goal for protein consumption is 25 – 30% of calories eaten.

So make an effort to eat more high-protein foods such as eggs, fish, seafood, nuts, meat and dairy products.

If you have a hard time getting enough protein, a protein supplement like whey protein is a healthy way to give your protein a boost.

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, this article can help you get more protein.

6 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat

3) Cut The Carbs

Carb cutting is a very effective way to lose fat.

Numerous studies have shown when people cut carbs, their appetite decreases and they lose weight.

Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight, which shows results quickly (1 to 2 days).

Studies also compare low-carb and low-fat diets, showing that low-carb diets target belly fat.

Avoid refined carbs (sugar, candy, white bread, etc).

6 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat

4) Eat More Fiber

Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible, and there are different types of fiber to consider.

It seems that viscous fibers that have an effect on your weight.

These are fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that “sits” in the gut.

This gel can slow the movement of food through your digestive system, result in prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.

One 4 month study study found that adding 14 grams of fiber per day was linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and weight loss of more than 4 pounds.

This suggests that soluble fiber may be particularly effective at dropping belly fat.

More daily fiber can be found in plant foods like vegetables and fruit, as well as some cereals (read those labels).

Try taking a fiber supplement like glucomannan. This viscous dietary fiber has been shown to cause weight loss in several studies.

5) Exercise

You knew this one was coming…

Exercise is among the best things you can do if you want to live a long, healthy life.

Understand this:  I’m not talking about abdominal exercises here. Losing fat in one spot of the body due to exercise is impossible, and doing crunches ’til you drop will not make you lose belly fat.

In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had basically no effect on waist circumference.

Other types of exercise, however, can be very effective.

Aerobic exercise (like walking, running, swimming, etc) have resulted in good belly fat loss in numerous studies.

Exercise is also important after you lose the weight, and has shown to aid in keeping belly fat off during weight maintenance.

Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation and lower blood sugar levels too.

6 Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat

6) Track What You Eat

We all know that what you eat is important.

Yet most people have no clue what they are really eating.

For someone who wants to better their diet, tracking food intake is essential.

Keeping a food diary can help you realize where you could make changes.

Outlining your current eating habits can help you apply the tips discussed above.

Check out this calorie calculator and a list of free online tools and apps to track what you are eating.

Once you start doing this, you’ll know exactly where to make adjustments in order to get closer to your goals.


Ready to talk to us about YOUR belly fat goals?

Apply for our 8 week program by clicking HERE


[Source: Healthline.com]

fitness trainer

[Step 7] of 7 Steps to Greatness

“I had almost an entire half gallon of ice cream…” ~Fillipe

Alright guys…

The day you’ve been waiting for!

Day #7 of the 7 Steps to Greatness!

This is Fillipe here at OTG Fitness in Webster, Texas!

The last step is SO SIMPLE! Everyone knows it!

You know it!

I know it!

Chris knows it!

Everybody knows that this really is the secret, BUT it’s not all that easy to implement.

And it is as easy as…

Watch the full video above!


Ready to talk to Fillipe about YOUR fitness goals?

Get your voucher for a FREE Transformation session!

Let's Do It

fitness trainer

[Step 6] of 7 Steps to Greatness

“There is NO secret to weight loss…” ~Fillipe

Hey guys…

Fillipe BACK for Day #6 (of the 7 Steps to Greatness) here at OTG Fitness in Webster, Texas!

TODAY we’re getting into the REAL juicy stuff!

I know you’ve been watching this for 5 days, you’re like “Hey! When are we gonna talk about actually working out??”


So, yesterday we talked about just moving more in general (which is hugely important).

Once you’re doing that and you have the foundation of how you’re going to do that…now we talk about actually working out!

Watch the full video above!


Ready to talk to Fillipe about YOUR fitness goals?

Get your voucher for a FREE Transformation session!

Let's Do It