Dear Kirk,

How can people get a complete workout in 30 minutes, like Curves suggest? - Stephanie in Phoenixville.

Dear Stephanie,

It is very possible to perform a complete workout in 30 minutes. In fact, we will start this type of program at the Phoenixville branch in the fall. This type of workout requires a great deal of focus and self-discipline. The idea is that you perform five to eight strength-training exercises that work all the major muscle groups in your body. They are done very quickly and with minimal rest between the exercises. You must perform your workouts at least two times per week. But just like any workout program it must be changed every six to eight weeks.

This is where we differ; we will constantly suggest new and invigorating exercises for you to perform.

Dear Kirk,

The back of my right hand gets very sore during and after I lift heavy weights. Is there a way to strengthen these muscles? - Brian in Spring City.

Dear Brian,

Many of the muscles that control your fingers lie in your forearms. The tendons channel through your wrists and often become sore when you do repetitive movements with your fingers or hands. To develop strength in these muscles you must perform exercises where flexion and extension in both your fingers and wrists are the primary movement. My biggest concern is that you may have developed carpal tunnel syndrome. You have the classic symptoms of pain, numbness or weakness in the wrist or hand. You must get this ruled out before you do any more heavy lifting.

Fit-Quest is designed to answer all your fitness questions. Whether you're a workout pro, or haven't even started, our fitness expert, Kirk Lombard, Physical Director at the Phoenixville Area YMCA can help. An exercise and sports science graduate of Penn State University, Kirk brings more than seven years of experience to Fit-Quest readers. If you have an exercise question you'd like addressed in Fit-Quest, email it to And remember: NEVER START ANY NEW EXERCISE PROGRAM WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING YOUR PHYSICIAN.

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