January 8th, 2015 - by

Help With Common Fitness Questions

Many people interested in fitness have tons of questions regarding weight loss, muscle development and nutrition. Answers to the most common questions we see are listed below. As always, please comment or contact us with any additional questions or help navigating these difficult topics!

  1. How Do I Lose Fat?

Unfortunately every person responds differently to exercise and nutritional changes. There is some helpful scientific information that can help guide you toward your fat loss goals.

First, knowing the way the body uses energy is helpful to determine what may be best for you. During endurance/aerobic activities (low intensity, high duration) the body uses fat stores as a primary source of energy. The oxygen demands are met during glycosis (breakdown of glucose to energy and other byproducts) so the process is much slower and relies primarily on fat and requires oxygen. During more intense, shorter (anaerobic) exercises the body relies less on fat and more on carbohydrates. Think of anaerobic exercises as doing something you can’t sustain longer than about two minutes.

Some people get confused when they hear the word “fat” and think submaximal effort will burn the greatest amount of fat. While this is a source of fat and calorie burn, the rate of calorie expenditure is greater during more intense exercises. This means you can burn a greater number of calories in a shorter period of time with moderate to intense exercises. Studies also show that in the hours following exercise the rate of fat oxidation is greater after more intense workouts than longer, less intense workouts.

Strength training produces less calorie expenditure during the actual workout period, but can increase the rate of calorie expenditure of the body while at rest. Combining strength and endurance exercises are important for fat loss and are helpful to create a lifestyle of healthy choices, an active lifestyle and therefore fat loss. Diet also plays a very important role in fat loss.

  1. Will Lifting Weights Will Give Me Big Muscles?

Muscle development (or hypertrophy) depends on genetics, gender and the style of training. Genetics play a role because those with predominately fast-twitch muscle fibers will naturally acquire larger muscles more easily and quickly than those with slow-twitch. Males develop larger muscles than females due to testosterone and increased protein metabolism.

Your training style will determine the amount of hypertrophy. Those looking achieve hypertrophy should lift at least 80% of their maximal one rep maximum (1RM). Those looking to tone, but not achieve great muscle growth can train at levels below this depending on what his or her goal is.

  1. Is it Better To Do Cardio or Weight Training First?

Simple answer is it’s best to do whatever your primary goal is first. If you’re looking to achieve hypertrophy then strength training first would be ideal being your energy is at it’s peak and can be used towards achieving the most gains from weight lifting. If your goal is endurance, or fat loss then cardio first would be most beneficial. For a more complex answer, based on your fitness needs and goals, ask us for additional help as each program design is unique and varied on client needs and goals.

  1. When Do I Get My Perfect Flat Stomach or Six-Pack?

Genetics plays a major role in obtaining a flat stomach. Some people are predispositioned to carry more fat around their waistline. That said, the key to working towards a slender midsection is to strength train in order to grow the abdominal muscles and cardio to reduce the fat layer covering the muscles.

Those looking to obtain a “six-pack” need to incorporate high amounts of cardio, strength training and diet to achieve a very low percentage of body fat.

  1. Do I Need Supplements?

Every person is different and recommendations for supplements are typically based upon client goals and current nutritional habits.

Protein is very important for muscle health and growth. Those who don’t receive enough protein from regular diet may benefit from a high quality protein powder.

  1. How Can I Lose Fat From ______ ?

Spot training doesn’t work for the average person looking to lose fat from spot like the belly or a part of their arm. We cannot tell our bodies where to oxidize fat. What you can do is gradually lose weight and tone your entire body via strength training and cardio.   Strength training will help to tone the area in need, but you cannot use cardio or strength training to make fat disappear from that one certain spot.

The list could continue on forever for questions people have! Please comment or contact us for additional help!

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