Everyone who has started a new exercise routine, whether it’s for the first time, to start a weight loss journey, or just to get in a bike class, has done it with at least one question.
Here are the top 10 most frequently asked questions about fitness that I receive as a trainer.
1. “Do I need to work out every day ?”
You don’t need to exercise every day. In most cases, you should get at least one day of rest per week. You don’t have to be active on the rest days or recovery days. You can increase blood flow and decrease the tension by engaging in light, regular activity, such as walking your dog around the block or foam rolling. Regular rest days, as well as a well-balanced routine for recovery, can reduce injury risk and increase the longevity of your fitness program.
2. “How long should I work out?“
Your workouts don’t have to take too long to be effective. People who are just starting out in fitness envision slaving away on the treadmill for hours. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Your fitness level and the intensity of your training will determine how long your workout takes. The CDC recommends that you do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days a week. You also need to complete two full-body strength training sessions (1). It’s a great way of making sure you are meeting the minimum requirements for exercise. If you don’t meet the minimums, that’s fine. We all have to start somewhere.
You can choose the type of workout that you are doing – HIIT or circuit training sessions. Sprints will usually be faster than moderate-intensity cardio sessions because you are working out at a higher level. You might want to allow more time for warming up between sets of strength training.
3. “How can I increase my lean muscle mass ?”
You can increase lean body mass by adding strength training to your workouts. There are many other ways to build a strong, lean muscle tone. Your muscles will need to overcome resistance greater than they are used to in order for you to stimulate muscle growth. Training to build strength can also be done with resistance bands or your body weight. You can start with the weight you are most comfortable with, and build from there. If you feel that your exercises and weight are becoming too easy, consider increasing your weight or choosing more difficult exercises to keep your muscles challenged.
4. “How much weight should I use for strength training ?”
It is important to remember that your strength training session is your workout. Do not focus on how much weight others are using for their workouts. Instead, think about your perceived exertion rate on a scale from 1-10. You should experience a rate of perceived exertion between 7 and 9. Each rep should feel difficult with the last sets feeling more difficult. If you feel tired after completing a workout, it is time to increase your weight.
5. “What training should I be doing to lose weight ?”
I prefer to take a holistic approach to weight reduction. Cardio training is a great way to increase your daily calories. Strength training can help you build lean muscle and increase your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories at rest.
I recommend adding a few HIIT workouts per week. HIIT is designed for high-intensity training and rapid weight loss. A mix of cardio, strength training, and HIIT sessions per week can be created.
Don’t forget about eating a balanced, healthy diet that emphasizes whole foods. To lose weight, it is important to get the most out of the calories you eat to fuel your workouts.
6. “How Often should I rest ?”
Your workout routine will determine how much rest you need. As I mentioned, you should allow yourself at least two full days of rest depending on your workout schedule. This is not only good for your body to recover from your exercise, but it can also be a time for self-care to promote your mental health.
7. “When should I stretch & how often ?”
You should add a few types to your stretching routine. The first is a dynamic stretch. You can start your workout by doing dynamic stretching, which is designed to increase mobility and range of motion. Focus on the muscles that you will be using during your workout.
As a post-workout recovery, static stretching (such as standing forward fold or kneeling hamstring strain) is advisable. To give your muscles some love, do exercises that focus on the muscles you have just worked out.
8. “What can I do about muscle soreness ?”
To help you feel your best, there are a few things that can be done to reduce muscle soreness. It is crucial to dial in your nutrition. Eating foods that fuel your body and exercising regularly will help your muscles recover. Your recovery will be aided by rest and sleep. This is because your muscles need the time to heal.
9. “How long does it take to see results ?”
Your program may take 6-8 weeks to show results. This can be frustrating as many people expect instant results. Don’t get discouraged. Keep in mind that you are putting your best effort into this endeavor, even if you don’t see the results that you want on the scale immediately.
You can also track your progress by measuring the fit of your clothes, your ability to do more difficult or longer workouts, and taking progress photos to compare your progress. Keep celebrating the small victories and improvements you make along the journey.
10. “What’s the best diet for my fitness goals ?”
Your diet is a key factor in your success. No matter what your goals may be, it is important that your body has the energy and fuel it needs to perform well during your workouts. There are many diets available, but ultimately it is up to you. One thing I can offer is to eat more whole food. The nutrients in your diet are key to your ability to work out effectively and stay on track. You can make a big difference in the quality and quantity of your food, so make sure to eat fresh foods whenever possible.
This post was written by Darryl Johnson, Co-Owner of Apex performance. At Apex performance we are a community of highly trained experts looking to provide performance enhancement and a permanent lifestyle change for our clients in a fun and interactive environment. Members can take advantage of a personal trainer in Tampa, one-on-one training, small group classes, and specialized courses for a wide variety of athletics, sports training, and body goals!