Mr. Universe gives tips on how to stay fit, shed pandemic pounds during the holidays


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Struggling to eat well and stay fit during the pandemic?

We’ve all experienced the ups and downs of the pandemic, including weight. But we have some simple tips from Mr. Universe himself on how to take control of your fitness goals. The good news is, you can start them today without feeling any guilt at those big holiday meals.

Gennaro Ferra just won Mr. Universe Masters over 50, all while training in a pandemic. As a personal trainer, he tells his clients that it doesn’t have to be complicated

“Push ups are very effective… squats,” said Ferra.

Consistency is key and so is when you exercise.

“I like to do fasted cardio so I like to go out on my walks before I have breakfast,” said Ferra. “If you do have some fat to shed, some pounds to shed, if you have excess body fat and you’re out in the morning, do you have a green tea or an espresso? You go out for a 35 to 40 minute power walk, or if it’s too cold out and you have stairs in your apartment building, you can do stairs for a good 25 minutes. So that helps you burn the existing body fat you already have on you.”

But how do you tackle those weight loss goals during the holiday season. Gennaro says to skip the leftovers.

“If you keep eating these foods, second day, third day, fourth day, your body is going to crave them. So the best thing is to enjoy that meal, that Thanksgiving meal, Christmas meal, dinner party meal, and then go back to clean eating,” said Ferra.

So enjoy the day! But get back to work in the morning.

“That next day, it’s important if you’re having a Thanksgiving dinner, the best thing do do is that fasted cardio. You have all this stored energy in your body, why have a big breakfast when you have so many calories and energy in your body that you can go for a nice long walk or go on the elliptical. Or burn that with a great work out, burn that food off,” said Ferra.

And start a routine with eating and consistent exercise.

“As nature intended, like sweet potato, rice, whole lean proteins like salmon, lean red meats. And just try to adhere to basic foods and basic exercises,” said Ferra.

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