Ask a trainer


Emma Inge

Junior Jacob Campos received his CrossFit Level-1 training certificate last summer.

Maddie Loverich, Sports Editor

For years, junior Wildcat athlete Jacob Campos has aspired to a career as a personal trainer. Over the past summer, he took the first step toward his goals by obtaining his CrossFit Level-1 training certificate. 

This certification enables Campos to coach the fundamentals of programs from fitness giant CrossFit, which include teaching workouts and dietary knowledge. 

This week, Linfield Review followers on Instagram anonymously submitted questions to Campos through an Instagram poll that posed the question: Do you have any health and fitness questions?

What are your thoughts on a keto diet?

In my opinion, I think it’s a great way to lose weight, but it is definitely not sustainable. I know multiple people who have tried a keto diet and it worked, they lost a lot of weight. But the issue was one, how tired they were and two, the weight comes back as soon as you decide to take a break. 

A keto diet is when you send your body into ketosis, which means you’re consuming low amount of carbs. Ketosis is when your body doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy, so instead it burns fat, resulting in weight loss. 

But your body needs carbohydrates for energy, so I wouldn’t recommend this diet for someone that is highly active or for college athletes because of the low-energy levels you’ll have. You can still eat carbs and lose weight at the same time, so this diet isn’t the be-all-end-all. 

As soon as you reintroduce carbs when you’re done, you’re sending your body into a shock because it isn’t used to processing that type of food. For example, someone on the keto diet and has been for a long time, as soon as they have a cheat day, the next day or directly after that meal, they’ll feel absolutely terrible because their body isn’t used to the carb intake. 

It’s a high-fat based diet, with healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and fatty meats. It’s also a moderate protein diet. It’s incredibly low carbohydrate, so you try to stay away from anything with carbs in it. Some even stay away from fruit, even through those are healthy carbs. You can have low carb vegetables, but stay away from high-carb vegetables such as peas, corn or onions. 

Do you think diet culture in men’s gyms ignore men’s mental health? With practices such as cutting, bulking and fasting? 

If you get caught up with social media and having an ideal body and you’re finding the reason you’re doing a cutting, bulking or fasting is to achieve that look, it’s pointless. You don’t have the motivation to continue. You need to find your reasoning and not fall into society’s trap of the ideal body. Being healthy is also being happy. 

The biggest key is finding your reason to why you’re doing a cut or bulking, because if you don’t have a reason behind what you’re doing, you aren’t going to see the results you want. 

You have to accept the process when you do a cut or bulking. I’m personally not a huge fan of fasting, because you need to fuel your body for the day and you should eat when you’re hungry. 

When you’re cutting or bulking, you have to be okay with the bad that comes with the process, like the hunger pains or not being able to go our to dinner with friends. With bulking, you have to be okay with putting on a little weight because it’s scientifically proven that you can’t just gain straight muscle, you’ll also gain some fat. But if you do it correctly, you’ll be gaining more muscle than fat. 

As an athlete who enjoys alcoholic beverages from time to time, do you have any “healthy” recommendations?

There is a time and place for drinking, even as an athlete, but it has to be in moderation and you have to be cautious of what you’re drinking. 

I would recommend if you’re going out later at night, but you have class and practice that day, you need to fuel your body during class and before practice with the correct foods. After practice, have a high protein meal with low carbohydrates. 

You can drink whatever you want, but that’s based off your goals. If you’re trying to lose weight, I would stay away from anything heavy like beer. I would stick to mixed drinks, but avoid something with a lot of juices and sugar. Dieters will typically have some type of hard alcohol with a low-calorie mixer, such as La Criox or Diet Coke. 

On the other hand, if you’re bulking or maintaining your weight, allow yourself to have any drink you want, but make sure it’s in moderation and be sure never to go overboard. 

The biggest key to drinking while losing weight is to have self control and being able to say when. 

I want to start going to the gym, but I have no clue how to start.

The toughest part about going to the gym is actually getting there. You’ll always find an excuse to not go to the gym because you don’t know what you’re doing, but today’s fitness world is fantastic for newcomers. It’s simple to go online and look up a good workout to do on your own. 

When you get to the gym, don’t compare yourself to others, what they look like or what they’re lifting. You have to focus on yourself and what you want to do.

Just get in there. Just get going. Follow someone you like on Instagram that posts their workouts. Some of them are simple, some of them are complex, so stick to the ones that are in your wheelhouse.

I’ve heard that tracking calories is basically the only way to lose weight. Is that true?

No, to an extent. Losing weight is 80% nutrition, 20% working out. Do you need to be aware of what you’re eating? Yes. But you don’t need to count every calorie of the day. If you’re doing it and that works for you, great. There’s plenty of diets out there that don’t include calorie counting that work great and you can find the one that works for you.

Personally, I track macronutrients, which consists of measuring my proteins, fats and carbs. But when I was new to counting those “macros”, I would always have a scale by me to measure that I got the correct amount. But now, after doing it for almost a year, I just know which portions I should have without using a scale anymore. You’ll start to figure out what six ounces of chicken looks like. Being on a diet is knowing what you should have. 

You’re fueling your body for what it needs. If you’re someone who is active and you find yourself exhausted throughout the day, don’t starve yourself because it doesn’t fit in your calorie count. Have a snack to give you energy, but be always be cautious of what you’re eating.