_mg_1027.jpg With one look at fitness expert and celebrity trainer, Dawn Strozier, it’s easy to see that she possesses the secret to extreme body fitness. Her balanced approach through mind, body and soul allows her clients to reach their maximum potential with long lasting results. Clutch was able to catch up with the fitness queen to get some tips on how to eat, live and exercise right.

Q: You approach fitness through mind, body and soul. What is the importance behind this?
“This approach allows you to make a connection with the total you. You can’t change your body without first changing your mine. This will ultimately change your soul in becoming the best you can be.”

Q. What are some of the products and services you offer to help people with their journey to weight loss?
“I offer an overall Fitness Success System that consist of nutrition counseling, which can include cooking and preparing meals, and a customized fitness regimen to get the results desired.”

Q: What are some of the biggest myths out there in regards to losing weight?
Myth: “If women lift weights they’ll get bulky.
Fact: Resistance exercise helps women create lean, toned bodies.”

Myth: “Weight training in only for young athletes.
Fact: People of all ages should be weight training.”

Myth: “You have to count every calorie you eat.
Fact: You should count portions not calories.”

Q: How much exercise do women need for weight control?
“An exercise regimen of three days a week of both cardiovascular exercise and resistance training combined with the proper nutritional plan will get a woman in great shape.”

Q: What is the single best exercise we can do to quickly lose those extra pounds?
“I don’t believe there is one exercise that is best or one exercise alone that will do the trick. However, the most efficient way would be 60 minutes of a variety of cardiovascular exercise three times a week.”

Q: The abdominal muscles are often times the most difficult muscle to get back into shape, how can we regain our flat stomachs?
“A consistent diet, cardiovascular training and performing the proper abdominal exercises will tone and build the abs you desire. I have created a abdominal video that consist of some great exercises that will define and shape your abs. The Ultimate ab solution is here! It can be purchased on line at my site, www.thefitnessqueen.com.”

Q: I noticed sometimes that when I do crunches, my lower back starts to hurt. Is this due to incorrect technique or weak back muscles?
“It could be a combination of both, however most of the time it is due incorrect technique. In my video I share the proper form that will keep you from having to do 100 crunches before you see results. Form is everything.”

Q: What exercise helps with toning the thighs?
“Walking lunges, reverse lunges squats, the leg press machine, the leg extension machine– these are all great exercise for toning your thighs.”

Q: How many squats qualify for a thorough workout of your legs and glutes?
“Three sets of 15 to 20 lunges across the floor and back would be a great place to start.”

Q: What is strength training, and how important is it for women to strength train?
“Strength training is the use of free weights, weight machines and/or resistance bands to build muscle. When you add resistance to the muscle you make it work extra hard which causes the muscle to grow and become stronger.

Strength training has other numerous benefits for woman such as reducing the signs and symptoms of diseases and chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis and depression.”

_mg_0902.jpgQ: For some women it’s easy to lose weight but we have difficulty with keeping it off. What are some suggestions to help maintain our weight loss?
“In order to maintain your weight loss you have to continue to move forward in your new way of thinking. Continuing to eat more meals throughout the day will allow your metabolism to keep moving and not slow down. Continuing to incorporate movement into your everyday routine at least three times a week will allow your body to burn fat more efficiently as you continue to build muscle.”

Q: Women are doing it all, we go to work, take care of the children and take care of the home, what is the best source of nutrients for the busy woman?
“The best nutrients for the busy woman is combining high quality supplements into her diet. Supplements will guaranteed she is getting the nutrients she need. Research shows we don’t always get the proper nutrients from diet alone.

Another suggestion would be to cook ahead of time. Cook on Sunday for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and cook again on Wednesday evening for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This will make sure you are not skipping meals due to a hectic schedule.”

Q: What are the best foods to consume when trying to lose weight?
“Good sources of protein would be turkey, chicken, fish and eggs. Good carbohydrates would be brown rice, yam, oatmeal and all bran cereal. Maintaining a high fiber diet is very important when trying to loss weight. Fiber helps to eliminate unwanted fat and calories out of the body.

Also making sure your body is getting a good mixture of fruits and vegetables daily is important.”

Q: Why is so much emphasis placed on drinking water?
“Water is important for several reasons it keeps your skin looking great, promotes a healthy heart by thinning out the blood making it easier to pump, and staying properly hydrated flushes out all toxins that build up in the body, helping you to function more effectively and feel better.”

Q: Women of color have beautiful bodies ranging in shape and size. And we’ve grown to love and embrace our curves. What are some exercises that will help us tone but not lose our curves? “If you want to tone your body you have to combine both cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, riding the bike and any form or Aerobic exercise. When toning through resistance training it is important for you to keep your weight low and the number or reps in which you perform the exercise high, around 25 reps or higher.

For toning I recommend a resistance training routine for everybody part.”

Q: For those of us who want muscle definition, what is the appropriate amount of reps and weights to achieve this look?
“When toning maintain high reps of 15 or higher. When developing muscle lower your reps to 10 or less.”

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