Getting in shape means working out on a regular basis. It’s better to work out two to three times a week rather than just once in a while. Working out regularly is more fun and gives you results. If you only hit the gym once in a while, you’ll end up tired, sore and demotivated, which leads to quitting!
Frequently Asked Questions
Most people who start a fitness routine don’t know how to use the equipment at the gym. They do exercises that are inappropriate and can end up getting hurt. Our advice: don’t be afraid to ask a pro for help! Trainers are available at the gym and can help you get your programme off on the right foot, no matter what your goal is. Also, don’t forget to warm up before your workout and to take the time to stretch afterwards. Finally, stay hydrated during your workout – your body needs water!
Sport makes you tired, but “good tired” ! While it might be tough at first, the more you work out, the less tired you’ll be. Don’t give up after a few mornings of sore muscles – you just need to push through. Working out regularly will improve your fitness levels, energy, well-being, mental state and even your sleep.
The only way to reduce tummy flab is to work the entire body and also being very disciplined with good Daily Nutritional choices through out the day – Working your big muscle groups. Ab muscles are very small and working them alone won’t give you a flat stomach. They are, however, very important in helping keep back problems at bay and improving posture and balance.
No! Muscles burn fat for energy. Building muscle boosts your metabolism. When you increase your metabolism, you burn more energy, calories and fat. That’s why a cardio programme that incorporates weight training will help you slim down even faster.
You’ve gone down a trouser size because you’ve slimmed down. You’ve lost volume (from fat) but have gained weight (from muscle). Muscle weighs more than fat, which is why the scales haven’t changed. This reflects the difference between volume and weight. Remember that what’s important is how you feel and look – and not the number on the scales!
Tip: Rather than weighing yourself, use a tape measure to check your waist and hip circumference – or better yet, try on your summer trousers from time to time to keep you in check all winter long! NB: This tip is for those who have just a couple kilos to lose. For anyone who is very overweight, using scales to keep tabs on your weight is very important.
Diets are often very restrictive and will mainly cause you to lose muscle mass, without affecting your body’s fat stores (or very little). When you start eating normally again, you put back on the kilos because you never actually got rid of the fat! This is why you need to do sport and maintain a balanced, low-calorie diet to get the body of your dreams.
Muscle training will give you stronger muscles. But you can slim and lengthen them by stretching! Never use heavy weights during your fitness sessions. Instead, do more reps to draw from your energy stores followed by a stretching routine to lengthen and slim your muscles, Yoga/Flexibility classes will also help with this.
Yes, if you use a moderate resistance! If the pedalling resistance is too high or slows you down, your muscles will get bigger! Too high a resistance has a similar effect as using heavy weights during weight training, which increases muscle size.
You should remember that muscle training will help you slim down if you use a light load and do more reps.
You should never hold your breath when doing sport. Often, you breathe in during the prep phase, and breathe out during effort. For example, when doing squats, breathe in as you bend your knees and go down, and breathe out when you straighten your legs to come back up. There is one exception to this rule: for exercises that require effort as you expand your chest (such as horizontal pulls), you should breathe in during the effort.
These tips should give you a leg up in your fitness practice. Happy training!
More GYM FAQ's
Most experts seem to all agree that nuts are very healthy, but they seem to have a lot of fat in them. Won’t eating high fat foods like nuts make it more difficult to lose weight?
People seem to focus on and single out one food type and ask if it is good or bad.
My experience is that someone asking is usually asking about their favourite food, or one they just can’t give up; nuts being a very popular food in this case. Instead of looking at whether nuts are good or bad, we are best off looking at the bigger picture – are you eating a balanced diet with some protein and plenty of greens. If so, and in this context, nuts are good.
But if someone is eating a whole packet of nuts by themselves while they watch a movie after eating a pizza… then the answer is no.
But to answer the question directly, will eating unsaturated fats as part of a balanced diet make it more difficult to lose weight and the answer is no, simply because fat makes you satiated (full), and is essential as part of a clean diet.
How long should people rest in between workouts?
That depends on the type of workout and the intensity. Within 3 hours if they are training for endurance, 48 hours if training for hypertrophy (getting bigger) or upwards of two weeks if they are training for strength.
General rule of thumb is to leave 2 to 3 days between body parts for weights, and 24 hours for cardio.
Kids lift weight all the time, and more than most adults. Think about how often a kid climbs up a tree or jungle gym. They are lifting their entire body weight. When they piggy back one another, they carry a friends’ entire body weight on their back whilst running.
If your kid shows an interest in lifting weights, let him try lifting a light weight – he probably just wants to copy your movements.
If it’s too heavy, he just won’t lift it anyway – there is no way a kid will keep straining, they’re not motivated by ego like us oldies.
A broomstick is a great substitute for a curious kid.
Who should the average person talk to about which exercise program would be best for them?
Here at RP Performance we will help you find your goals, your time commitment, your limitations and put together a realistic exercise program that will facilitate and help you achieve your goals within a safe and effective time frame for you.
Should a personal trainer know all of the medications someone is on?
When training with a personal trainer, a person is being pushed beyond their perceived limits. Sometimes those limits are real ones, and the reason being chemical, not mental or physical.
If a client has fully disclosed their medications, a personal trainer can then know which exercises to avoid due to the limitations that drug imposes on their body.
How important is nutrition if someone works out consistently?
Very important!….You can’t out train a bad diet.
Is it a good idea to workout when feeling mentally stressed?
Exercise releases endorphins, which will calm you down. It is also best to channel that stress into something productive like exercise than to unleash it on your spouse, kids, dog or self.
Is it safe for obese people to lift weights?
Yes, natural, functional movements are safe and encouraged for obese people. The only thing to keep in mind for an obese person is that their organs are being crushed by their visceral fat, so have to work harder, therefore intensity must be managed to prevent organ trauma.
When they do lose their weight however, previously obese people can become phenomenal athletes because of how powerful their organs have had to become.
Should women lift weights if they don’t want to get bulky looking?
If yes, how can they lift weights and not get that bulky/masculine look?
Body type and levels of testosterone determine how a person will respond to weights. 99% of women will respond to weights in a feminine way. i.e. they will tone up and harden up, not bulk up. Unless they are taking steroids, a person will only reach their genetic potential, and for most women, that is an athletic looking body that will definitely turn heads for how sexy she is, not how manly she is.
To address to 1%, if do find you are looking manly from doing weights, try supplementing more cardio, and change your weight program to one that has higher number of movement repetition per set, with a lower weight.
Is it true that some people naturally lose weight faster than others?
Yes, there are many factors but the main two are predisposition to stress, and metabolism.
The first one is (in non-nerd speak) the way someone reacts to stress. People will either eat more (comfort eaters) or eat less. In this busy world, stress plays a major role in body composition, and whether a person is a comfort eater or food avoider when stressed will determine their predisposition.
Metabolism (in my opinion) is secondary.
If someone has a high metabolism (uses more energy to stay alive) then they will naturally lose weight faster than a person with a lower metabolism.
Age and gender are the major contributing factors to metabolism; a younger person has a faster metabolism than an older, and a man would have a faster metabolism than a woman.
In saying that, of every 100 people who lose weight quickly, 99 will put it back on. Consistency is far more important in a weight loss journey than speed.
What precautions should seniors take into consideration, when starting a new exercise program?
Be aware of and manage structural and mobility issues, such as injuries, weaknesses, tight spots.
Be aware of your limitations, for example, arthritic knees would be a limitation, so running ultra distances would not be as wise an exercise as say swimming, which has much less impact on the knees.
Another issue to be aware of is low blood pressure. If this is the case, avoid any overhead exercise.
What are some simple things that people can do, in their day to day routine, besides working out, to see results faster?
Get rid of all the junk out of your pantry and fridge. This includes sugar and any wheat related product.
Tell your friends you are lactose and gluten intolerant (allergic to milk and breads) so they won’t offer you any.
Buy your food on the internet and get it home delivered. If you must go to the store, make sure you don’t go hungry.
Always have enough of the right food in the house to ensure you don’t have to make a trip to the fast food store. Get rid of any alcohol and any other foods you know will hinder your weight loss goals!.
Is it true that it’s not a good idea to do the same exercises during each workout session?
This depends on how long between doing the same exercise and the intensity of that exercise. The goal is to work the muscle frequently enough that you get a good result, but also to give it enough time to repair.
Remember, exercise doesn’t make you stronger, fitter or faster. It is in the recovery period after exercise that your body repairs back stronger, fitter and faster.
How frequently should people change their workout routine?
When they become bored, or their results plateau.
After someone has reached their fitness goals, how should their workout and nutrition plan be altered if they no longer wish to lose weight or build additional muscle?
Great question, a lot of people diet and exercise until they reach their goal. Once they are there, they generally relax their eating and slow down on their exercise.
It is true, that there is a tipping point where you don’t have to exercise even half as much as before, but the problem is that people go overboard, feeling like they need to treat themselves, starting them back on the food addictions and sedentary lifestyle downward spiral.
To combat this, come up with another goal, an event that you would like to complete, such as a marathon or a triathlon, then change your training to suit that goal, and your eating to support that type of training.
You should always stay active, always eat healthy, still do your morning rituals like meditation and Yoga to stay disciplined and focus.
When you reach your goal and feel like it is time to relax, let your hair down and take a breather, the demons of slobbery creep unnoticed into your life. When you recognise them, attack with everything you’ve got.
For once they take hold, they slowly strangle you like a python – every breath out, and the python tightens its grip, making it harder to fight. little breath out; tighter grip, little breath out; tighter grip, until your organs are being crushed and you lose your mobility.
Attack that cowardly monster lurking in the dark.
Is it a good idea to work out with friends or family or does that create a distraction?
It is a fantastic idea to work out with a friend, as they challenge you when you need to be challenged and support you when you feel weak. Working out for the vast majority of the population is a chore that can so easily be avoided, so combining it with catch up time with your friends will make it more fun, and more likely that you will actually go.
Why do people have such a hard time losing belly fat?
Genetically, we are no different to the hunter gatherers wandering the plains of Africa thousands of years ago. At that time, there were no lunch tins.
You know how your mother insisted on you taking your lunch tin with you to school every day?
Well back then, mother nature insisted on you taking your lunch tin with you every day. Your belly fat is actually your lunch tin; just a couple of sandwiches in case you get hungry.
Mother nature is insistent that it stays full in case of an emergency. So the last bit of fat on your belly is actually an essential part of your anatomy, according to your genetic code. The problem is that mother nature likes to keep stuffing the lunch tin every chance she can get, resulting in some people’s whole buffet stashed in theirs.
Is it true that it’s good to have a “cheat day” where people can eat whatever they want once a week? Why is this a good or bad idea?
The goal of a rest day/cheat day/recovery day is to repair yourself and come back stronger for the next week. Unfortunately most people use this day to ‘treat themselves’ by pumping their system full of fat, refined sugar and additives, so that they are forced to use the day-after-the-rest-day as the recovery day, the “recover from poisoning myself” day.
What they don’t know is that this type of recovery can take anywhere from 3-10 days, stunting or even diminishing their intended results. Speeding up the recovery period is therefore key to rapid physiological change.
There are a few creative and very effective methods to recovering faster, but the most tried and tested method is to take a forced rest day at least once a week, and if it is not enough, take another.
To ensure that your rest day is in fact a recovery day, you need to think like a body engineer; i.e. think what does my body need to recover as fast as possible?
The answer: lots of water and antioxidants to get rid of the broken bits, as well as enough protein to rebuild the muscles. Booking your self in for a massage works wonders with recovery mentally and physically too!.
What are the best types of exercises for getting the fastest results in the shortest period of time?
Big, strong, full body movements by far outstrip any other kind of exercise. Combine it with high intensity interval training and you have a recipe for some devastatingly good body shape change. Along with discipline Mental toughness/focus to always get the job done day after day, with no excuses!!
Is it true that people with diabetes have a harder time losing weight?
Many type 1 and 2 diabetics who, through consistent monitoring and management of their insulin, have lost a lot of weight safely and kept it off. It is also true that you can reverse type 2 diabetes, so no – there are far better excuses than diabetes.
If someone needs to quickly lose a few pounds for a special occasion, what’s the best way they can do this?
Eating nothing but protein for three days will help drop a lot of water weight. It’s not healthy, nor is it sustainable, but it works very well. OD this at your own discretion and seek medical advice first form your GP or Nutritionist/Dietitian.
Many commercial diets recommend this as a first step so that they can show that they have produced results and their customers don’t ask for a refund.
Just remember that it is only temporary, you lose very little fat, and you will put the water weight back on once you start to eat normally again. Probably best to not get into a state where you need to lose weight quickly…