If you have just started a new exercise routine, it is normal to have a million questions. I have answered a few of the most common questions I often get. If you have any other question, please post it on the comments below and I will get it answered for you.
How much exercise do you need?
The general recommendation for weight-loss is at least 5 hours of exercise per week. These may include cardio, weight-training, sports, group classes, bootcamp, martial arts – basically any structured physical activity.
It is more effective to spread your workouts throughout the week (five one-hour sessions) rather than having a couple of very long exhausting sessions in a week (aka, weekend warriors). This is because the human body responds better to consistent efforts. Our body is constantly trying to figure out how to become more efficient in whatever we do. Therefore, having small bouts of exercise on regular basis is a great way to get the physiological adaptations we are looking for.
However, you need to be realistic. If you are new to exercise, you may want start with two or three exercise sessions per week and slowly increase the exercise volume as you get fitter.
How hard do I need to train?
My favourite saying is “challenge changes you”. That means that the intensity (how hard you are working) or your training will determine how fast you get results.
Intensity not only determines how many calories you will burn during exercise but also after. High intensity training can get you burning calories for up to 8 hours after your training.
However, you can’t have only high intensity sessions because you will burn out. My advice is to pick two or three hard core days and alternate with more mellow exercise modalities. Here are a few examples of how I would plan a week for different clients.
|Walking||High intensity session||Active Recovery||Yoga||High intensity session||Walking||Active Recovery|
|Cardio moderate intensity||High intensity session||Active Recovery||Cardio moderate intensity||High intensity session||Yoga||Active Recovery|
|High intensity session||Cardio moderate intensity||High intensity session||Cardio moderate intensity||High intensity session||Yoga||Active Recovery|
Do I work out if I am still sore from my last session?
One thing to have in mind is that the changes in our body don’t happen during the training session. Exercise is just the stimulus. All the physiological adaptations occur during our rest. That’s when the body rebuild the damaged muscle fibres. If you are still sore, it means that your body haven’t recovered completely and having another training session may be more than your body can handle. So if you are still sore, you are better off resting or performing a very light activity followed by foam rolling and stretching. Your body will thank you
How do I chose my load?
One thing to have in mind is that to get results, you have to somewhat challenge your body. I said CHALLENGE. Meaning that if the resistance you are using is too light, you are not giving enough stimuli for your muscles to grow. That said – it is imperative that you learn how to choose your optimum load.
The weight (or resistance, if you are working with bands) selected has to be somewhat hard to lift, but not so hard that you can’t complete a set. If you are selecting weights for the first time, I recommend that you start with the lowest weight available to learn the movement. Do a full set of 12 repetitions. How did that feel? Was it so easy that you think you could do more than 12 repetitions? If so, increase the load and try again. The goal is to find a load that challenges but does not overwhelm you, meaning you’ll be able to complete the prescribed number of repetitions, but not more than that.
As your body gets used to the load, you should progressively increase it, in order to keep getting results. However, when you achieve your fitness goals, you can migrate to a maintenance program with a fixed training volume and load. The only thing you shouldn’t do is to stop training, because results will be reversed in as few as two weeks of inactivity.
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