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Ten Most Asked Questions In Fitness

Avtar Nordine Zouareg

1. How long should a weight training session be?

Unless you are training for competition or a Sylvester Stallone movie, a typical workout is 30 to 60 minutes. When done correctly, a 30-minute session can be very effective. If you are lifting incorrectly or standing around talking, you might as well go home.

2. How often should I do aerobic exercises?

This depends on one’s goal. If you want to lose fat, than you need more aerobics than someone who is looking to bulk up or just tone their muscles. Individuals who want to lose weight must be willing to perform 20-30 minutes of intense aerobic exercise four to six days a week. This is a must for fat burning.

3. I have been exercising for two weeks and only lost four pounds

If you are on a fat-loss regime, you should be congratulating yourself. The fact is, a person can only lose a maximum of two pounds of fat a week. You must remember that weight loss occurs from three sources: fat, water and muscle. Fat is what you want to drop. Water weight fluctuates, for some women as much as eight pounds a month. Learn not to panic about cyclic water weight gain or get excited about a drop in weight due to dehydration. You don’t want to lose lean muscle because you will be lowering your metabolism and burning less energy than before you lost the weight. Be assured that for weight to come off permanently, it must be taken off slowly.

4. I heard if I stop weight training my muscles will turn into fat

People still believe this myth. When you stop working out, your muscles start to atrophy or decrease in size. When muscles shrink, metabolism goes down and you are burning fewer calories in your resting state. If you’ve been used to eating 2.OOO calories a day while you lifted, continue the level without the calorie-burning of the muscles and you will need to do something with the excess calories. Bad news -the excess goes on the body as fat, which is placed around the atrophied muscle. The appearance is that your muscle has turned to flab. It is an illusion. Muscle can’t turn into fat or vice versa any more than an apple can turn into an orange.

5. I just want to tone my muscles and don’t want to turn into the Hulk

The word ‘tone’ is misleading. Pure and simple, when you tone a muscle, you are building it up. The hormone testosterone is responsible for massive muscles. On the average, men have 10 times as much of the guy stuff as women. It is nearly impossible for women to achieve that bulked muscle look unless they are taking anabolic steroids.

6. Won’t weight training make me less flexible?

On the contrary, it will make you more flexible, if you are doing it correctly. If you are lifting incorrectly strains and pulls will negatively impact your joints. With some initial instruction and monitoring, weight training is not difficult to master. People in their 90s use resistance training as part of their fitness programs. As long as you perform the full range of motion in your weight lifting movements, you will add to flexibility. Include a regular stretching routine in your regime and you’ll double your flexibility.

7. Why do I repeatedly pull my muscles in the back of my thighs?

Hamstring injuries are common and are susceptible to re-injury. In most people, the quadriceps or muscle in front of the thigh is stronger than the hamstrings. The imbalances can cause-injury. Another reason this area can be a problem is that many people simply has tight hamstrings. My advice is that if they are a problem; pay special attention to working the hamstrings in your training program. Maybe set aside a special session just for them or at least train them first in your leg workout. My other suggestion is to incorporate stretching into your workout. Stretch after each set you do and again at the completion of your leg workout.

8. Should I eat before or after a workout?

Never sit down to a full meal immediately before or after a workout. It doesn’t mean that you should eat nothing but just make it light. You don’t want a lot of food in your stomach when you are trying to work out. Afterwards, you want to give your body ample time to recover before you consume a full meal. If you are trying to digest a big meal, both your stomach and muscles will be fighting for blood supply. The end result is that your heart will be working twice as hard to send nutrients to the muscles and the stomach. If you eat too heavily before, you experience the unpleasant sensation of indigestion or may end up sick. You are better off training on a somewhat empty stomach. Try a piece of fruit or half a bagel for energy. Remember, it isn’t what you ate an hour before that sustains your energy level. It’s what and how you have been eating or drinking the previous few days.

9. How much water should I drink?

You should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. There is a formula used out there especially in the hiking/biking or running world that says half of your weight in oz, so if you weight is 120 lbs, you would need 60 oz of water daily. If you are a coffee drinker then you should add an extra glass of water for each cup of coffee.

10. How much is the mind involved in working-out?

The mind is everything whether it is in fitness or anything else in life. If you know what you want, you will GET it. All you need is to set your mind to have it. Life is a mega store and it has everything you and I ever wanted; just make list…yes, even a perfect body, you can find it there in the mega store of your mind.

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