Q + A with fitness expert Kye Howell


Kye Howell, a 33 year old Brooklyn, N.Y., native, has been visiting the Vineyard his entire life. He currently lives and teaches seasonally on the Vineyard. In a conversation with The Times Mr. Howell said he has been devoted to fitness since his youth, and has been involved in the field professionally for the past nine years. He is certified by the National Council on Strength and Fitness and teaches at the Vineyard Tennis Center, Workout and Spa, where he specifies in core training and cardio kickboxing as well as corrective exercises and assessments (vineyardtenniscenter.com).

Earlier this month Times writer Sam McCoy sat down for a conversation about fitness with Mr. Howell.

Can you recommend a good way of getting into a fitness routine?

Once you have the basics down, you need to pay attention to how your body works. Getting into a routine takes a lot of motivation. If you can make it a habit, then it’s easier to stick to it. Everything should be in moderation, for instance begin two to three times a week. Once you get yourself into a good cardio and resistance training program, that is what will help you stay the most fit. Quality is more important than quantity.

How do you suggest people vary their fitness activities?

You should always keep your muscles confused. Anytime you put positive shock into your body is when you awake your body the most. For instance, if you normally do cardio on the treadmill, switch it up and use the elliptical. The same goes for free-weights versus machines. If you’re new to working out, think about your body as a car that has been sitting on a lot, not turned on. As a trainer, I try and figure out what needs to be fixed, what needs to be tuned up. After that, you get into building up strength and muscle.

How can people collaborate their fitness routines with nutrition?

Anytime you work out you need to eat an hour and a half to two hours before you work out. Carbohydrates and proteins are the food you need: you need carbohydrates in order for your body to be able to run. They are your fuel. Protein doesn’t act as an energy source in the same way. You also need to have equal amount of carbohydrates for the workout you’re planning on doing.

Afterwards, you need to replenish. Once your cell walls open up (after your workout), take in protein as well as more carbohydrates (especially if you want to build muscle). Usually, I tell people they need to eat small portions every two to three hours because your body needs to be continually fueled. Dinner is the best time to focus on proteins and complex carbohydrates. Also, most people don’t realize that 25 to 30 percent of caloric expenditure comes from physical activity, but the rest comes from resting. Therefore, it’s very important to get enough sleep in order to see the best results.

If someone can only spare 15 minutes a day, what should he or she do?

Never jump right on weights before warming up. Once you break a sweat, you know you’ve warmed up. If you only have 10 to 15 minutes, try working every single body part for one minute. For instance, start with your legs (squats or lounges), then work on the back (pull-ups), chest (push-ups), shoulders (laterals or over-press), biceps (curls), triceps (curls). That’s only six minutes. Then try and work your whole core in the final four minutes. During this time period, you’ve also gotten a cardio workout because you’re not resting. All you need is 10 to 15 minutes for a great workout. If someone gives me 10 to 15 minutes, I can guarantee the best workout he or she will have.