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Q&A With Patrick Thompson

We have the world at our fingertips, but not everything on the internet can be trusted. This is why I sat down with Patrick Thompson, head trainer at Anytime Fitness in North Peoria, to get the inside scoop on a few of the most asked questions in the fitness world.

1. Is the saying, "No pain, no gain" really true?

I love this question. This is a saying that we all have heard before while working out. I believe that there needs to be some discomfort when it comes to exercise. Pushing our bodies limits will allow us to 'gain' what we are desiring. If you are seeking muscle building, you better be willing to push yourself the extra sets. Notice how I said extra SETS. Pushing an extra rep is great and all but getting out of your comfort zone requires extra sets. An extra set of repetitions is much more mentally challenging than doing one more rep. That extra set will require you to regain your mental toughness to push through the physical aspect of the final sets of training. If you really want to make solid gains in the gym, you need to make time for it. There are no shortcuts.

To summarize the question to a close, one needs to learn what the difference between pain and discomfort is. Discomfort is a state of being uneasy but it is tolerable. As for pain, you are actually suffering in that state, which is caused by an illness or injury. Working through pain that goes beyond discomfort can hurt your progress, and in that case you need to listen to your body. If pain is present it may be a good idea to give your body a little break. If you want to make real and SAFE gains, you need to live in that area of discomfort during your actual sets or state of training to push or breakthrough thresholds.

2. Do juice cleanses really work?

Honestly, I do not dive into this area of nutrition much at all. I do know that I use to drink a juice that is called "Green Lemonade". I did this while I was in college and it was pretty good, to be honest. I would juice celery, lemons, apples, and I think one other vegetables. This tart drink was supposed to give me some energy, increase immunity, and probably, wait for it... decrease inflammation. Just Google 'Green Lemonade' and I am sure many videos on YouTube will pop up. In another real life occurrence, I do have some clients who have gone to The Balanced Bee to purchase juice detox or cleanse drinks for their week. I cannot speak 100% confidently on it but I believe the Balanced Bee has a pretty solid program for juice cleanses. Also, I have had their drinks and they taste amazing. If you want to do a juice cleanse, give them a shot.

With that being said, to live a healthier lifestyle or lose weight you do not absolutely need to do a juice cleanse. Our bodies are very smart and as long as we give them nutritious foods to work with then they will be able to do their job. If you want to try a juice cleanse, go for it, but they are not 100% necessary in order to reach your goals.

3. Are machines or free weights better to use in your workouts?

BOTH -- I use to never use machines other than the lat pull-down and cables. Until I started working with the general public, I really started using the machine for many training sessions. Some people can get a great muscle stimulus for increasing strength and hypertrophy if they are using the machines the correct way. For years, many body builders would use machines for muscle development. Now, you will see bodybuilders, powerlifters, athletes, and yes, grandma and grandpa using the machines. Free weights are a better option for improving the balance for individuals but in the same sentence, machines can and have helped with many people that I have trained over the last five years. All in all, whether or not machines or free weights will be better for your training, that depends on your training goals and what your training progressions will be. No matter what your goals are both can be implemented in your training to continue challenging yourself in different ways. If you have further questions, please send me an email at and I will be happy to discuss with you further.

Have a question? Drop a message and we will happy to help. 

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