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Got Questions?

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.

Beginner

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Walking High intensity session Active Recovery Yoga High intensity session Walking Active Recovery

Intermediate

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Cardio moderate intensity High intensity session Active Recovery Cardio moderate intensity High intensity session Yoga Active Recovery

Advanced

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
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.

Want to get answers? Then post your questions on the comments below!

Fat Loss Habit #1 Exercise Regularly

I believe that you are familiar with the concept of energy balance. In theory, weight-loss happen when you burn more calories than you consume. That generates a negative energy balance forcing the body to used stored energy (mostly fat) to keep you going.

But do you know how many calories you need to burn in order to get rid of a single kilogram of fat? A whopping 9000kcal. That’s the equivalent of 30 hours on a treadmill. That’s assuming that you are not consuming more calories than your body need.

Before you walk away from, listen me out. Don’t get discouraged by the numbers. The good news is that any physical activity can contribute to your daily calorie count. And by physical activity I mean anything that get you moving, not only structured exercise.

Here are my strategies to turn your body into a furnace.

Plyo HIIT Workout

Want to burn some serious calories? Then, you must give this one a try.

This circuit is composed of four body weight plyometric (aka, explosive movement) exercises performed in a interval format.

The goal is to perform as many repetitions as possible within the time limit. You also want to move as fast as you can to maintain the intensity high and maximise the calorie burn.

At Home Fat-Burning Circuit

Looking for some serious calorie burn? Then, this workout is for you.

It is a whole body circuit you can perform virtually anywhere. No equipment needed. Here is the exercise list:

Don’t Let Your Metabolism Slow You Down

You probably have heard a lot about it but do you really know what is metabolism?

In simple words, metabolism is the process in which the body converts food into energy. And why does it matter? Well, for starters, your metabolism determines how fast you burn up the calories you consume. The higher your metabolic rate, easier it is to burn calories.

The amount of energy your body needs to survive, aka basal metabolic rate, is determined by your age, gender, body size (height and weight) and body composition. Let’s face it, most of which we can’t change.

But do not despair! With a little help, we can fine-tune your metabolism and transform your body in a calorie-burning machine.

Changing Your Exercise Perspective

Don’t you love a New Year? Our hearts fill up with hope and we start envisioning how the year is going to look like. We get in touch with our dreams again and say: “It’s time to give it one more try”.

Does that sound like something you would say? I have certainly experienced that several times. There is nothing wrong with that. However, to get something you never had, you must do something you never done. Doing exactly the same thing you did last time is not going to cut it. You need a fresh start.

If you are not an active person and seem to have trouble sticking to any exercise regimen, try changing the way you perceive exercise. You see, exercise should not be seen as a chore but an activity you spontaneously do FOR yourself (not to yourself). The goal is to find enjoyment rather then focusing solely on a desired outcome.

Keep in mind that results (no matter what your goals are) come from small efforts consistently repeated over time. The keyword here is CONSISTENTLY. That means that if you really want to get where you want to be you must be able to stick to a plan. Truth be told, you will be more likely to be consistent if the activity you choose to practice brings you joy, excitement, and a sense of accomplishment.

Weight Loss Plan

Losing weight is not an easy task. Just ask any person who has ever tried maintain a lean body and they will tell you that it is hard work. You may think that all you need is strong willpower but I’ll tell you right now: willpower is not enough. You need a good plan. Without a proper plan your efforts won’t last a week.

Did you know that to lose 1 kg of fat you need to burn whopping 9000 calories? Just to put into perspective, a light jog burns about 200 calories per hour (depending on your body weight) which means that you will need 45 hours of running to burn a single kilo of fat. Discouraging? You bet.

Working the Back – Horizontal Pull

The basic horizontal pull exercise is a row. It targets mainly the horizontal fibres of our back muscles. When you develop a strong back, those muscles pull the shoulders back (flattening the shoulder blades against the rib cage), giving you a nice open-chest posture like ballerinas and military people have.

Rows are similar to pull-downs/pull-ups. They both engage the same muscle groups and involve shoulder and elbow joints. The difference between the two exercises lies in body positioning. In a pull-down, weight is moved from above the head to the chest (vertical pull). In a row, load is moved horizontally (seated cable row) or in an angle (bent-over row), depending on how you position your body. Rows could be considered the opposite movement of chest presses.

Developing the Chest

In weight lifting, a press is an exercise movement in which resistance is pushed away from the body. This resistance can be represented by barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, elastic bands, machines, even your own body weight.

There are many exercises that fit this description, such as chest presses, shoulder presses, leg presses, push-ups, and dips, among others. These exercises are performed from different starting positions, but all of them are composed of two phases: a lifting phase in which resistance is pushed (or pressed) away from the body, and a lowering phase when the exerciser brings the weight back close to the body.

In this article I will describe two exercises that targets the chest muscles.

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