the fitness journal
Questions and Answer Session - Common Fitness Questions
I get hundreds of questions a week from people struggling to achieve their fitness goals. I thought as well as answering all of these questions with the individuals I would also post answer on my blog. There are a lot of common questions and issues I see and I will cover as much as I can on each question with the information I am provided.
If you have any questions for me then feel free to reach out and get in touch!
Should I train different muscles every time to shock them?
The idea of shocking the body might at first glance might seem like a good plan. The idea being you challenge your muscles each session with random and varied exercises to shock your muscles and create adaptation.
The key problem with this way of training is you will not do anything with the consistency you need to get maximum benefit. If you don’t have a level of structure to your training then measuring and applying progression will be impossible.
For muscle adaptation you need progressive overload and overcompensation. Frequent training variety will cause muscle damage but the benefits for strength, hypertrophy or endurance will be short lived.
To maximise your training be consistent with your lifts, rep ranges, sets, rest periods and training split and apply progressive overload.
Use variety in exercise selection when training improvements/lifts plateau.
I burn 900 calories during my session of weight lifting mixed with treadmill interval sprints and rowing machine but I’m not losing weight.
You probably don’t burn 900 calories in your session. I say probably as there is a chance you do, but there is also a big possibility that the method you are using for tracking energy expenditure is miles out.
If you are not losing weight then you are not consistently achieving a calorie deficit
This is likely because you are overestimating your calorie expenditure and underestimating your calorie intake.
Use an online calculator to give you a better idea of overall energy expenditure, aim for 10-20% calorie deficit and stick with it.
Can I jog/run 5k a day and still weight lift daily working out different muscles
You can, but it is likely far more exercise than you need.
With that level of exercise, I presume your goal is fat loss. To achieve fat loss, you simply need to create a calorie deficit.
More exercise does not equal more fat loss. A more consistent calorie deficit does mean more fat loss.
If you want to reduce your exercise levels then you can and you can still achieve fat loss.
If you like training twice a day then of course you still can, but I would include 1-2 full rest days a week to allow for recovery.
I generally recommend 3-6 sessions a week for fat loss rather than 10-14.
I want to lose weight and am currently training 2 hours a day is that a good idea?
A good weight loss plan is one that can be managed consistently and fits into your lifestyle.
If you rely on 2 hours of exercise a day to lose weight I can ensure you will struggle to maintain that weight once you lose it, as 2 hours of exercise a day for most people is struggle.
I suggest reducing exercise, stop relying on training to burn excess calories you are eating. Balance a manageable amount of exercise with a reduction in calories.
In terms of calorie deficit for fat loss, is 300-500 about right?
The optimum number of calories each of us need to achieve fat loss will vary even beyond this range.
I recommend a 10-20% reduction on maintenance calories, for a lot of people this will be 300-500 calories but for others it will not be.
If maintenance calories are 1200 then a 10-20% deficit is 120-240 calories a day
If maintenance calories are 3600 then a 10-20% deficit is 360-720 calories a day
Whilst a 1200 or 3600 maintenance calorie level are not the most common they exist and I work with people at every level.
If calorie reduction is too high it will be very difficult and highly unlikely that anyone will stick with it consistently enough to achieve fat loss.
If a calorie reduction is too low then there will be minimal weight loss and motivation will likely suffer.
I have been training 16 months with a PT 4-5 times a week and I haven’t got near the results I want, what am I doing wrong?
Almost certainly your nutrition…
If your training is decent, which it should be if you are training with a PT then your nutrition is likely holding you back.
I don’t know what your specific goals so who are some generalisation
Weight loss – You need a calorie deficit. To achieve this, you need to consume fewer calories than you are burning. Also aim for a high level of protein within your calorie budget. For your training I suggest a mixture of resistance training some HIIT and some LISS with the focus on the resistance element, if you are looking to improve your body composition.
Muscle gain – You need a calorie surplus to achieve long term muscle gain, you may be able to achieve some early gains in a deficit but these will be limited. Your training should be resistance focused with an emphasis on progressive overload.
Athletic performance – although this isn’t the most common goal for my clients it may be your goal. If it is then the details of the training can get quite specific depending on the sport or activity. I would need more info to make any sort of useful suggestion.
If you have any questions you would like answering please do get in touch and I will get them answered for you.