Fitness Facts AND FrequeNtly Asked Questions

Fitness is 80% mental and 20% physical. You have to be mentally prepared before you undergo any radical changes in lifestyle. Quality of training, nutrition and supplementation is better than quantity. Don’t spend needless hours in the gym with no appreciable results.

Muscles need time for recovery. Yes it is true that some muscles recover faster than others; be kind, give them all a least a day’s rest including abdominals. There is no such thing as spot reduction. Working your abs only won’t give you a six pack. Nutrition and anaerobic work will. No, not aerobic work, anaerobic work.
The fastest way to lose body fat is to weight train and work the anaerobic energy system coupled with sound nutritional advice. Train the aerobic energy system for long duration events and couple this with sport specific activities and exercise programme.

Muscles do not turn to fat when you stop training. Apples do not turn to oranges; they have different cell structures. Likewise, muscle cells cannot turn to fat cells or vice versa for that matter. If you stop training, your muscles will atrophy (or waste away). If you consume the same amount of food as when you were training and then suddenly stop training, the additional calories that are not burned as energy will be stored as body fat.

Also, your metabolism will slow down and become less efficient at burning body fat. Building muscles does not reduce flexibility. Failure to stretch will reduce flexibility. Active stretching before training or events, stretch for range of motion after you are done.

Stretching is a fast, cheap effective way to gain speed. If your body is fighting itself to gain a longer stride, or kick (in the case of martial arts) your performance will suffer.

Muscles need time for recovery

Julia Pomeroy

Questions and Answers

I understand sets and reps but on your programmes you have a column called tempo, what is that?

A. Tempo or time under tension is the speed at which you perform the exercise. An example of tempo on a bench press would be say 3-1-2. The first number is the eccentric movement of the exercise (generally when the weight goes down), you would lower the bar taking three seconds to do so, the next number would be a pause for one second at the chest and finally raise the bar taking two seconds. Total time under tension for that lift is 3+1+2=6 seconds.

Q. Why do I have to rest between exercises, can’t I just do my routine as quickly as possible and then go check out the babes in the cardio room?

A. Depending on what type of programme you are on, you will have a specific rest time between exercises in order to facilitate replenishment of ATP/CP and glycogen levels. This will enable you to complete the work using the required loads. All too often people skip through their workout not getting their reps or sets and not using the required loads because they haven’t taken the prescribed rest time. Other times trainees take too much rest time thereby diminishing the effectiveness of their workout. Rest times can vary from next to nothing to five minutes!

Q.. How much protein should I take?

A. Pages have been written on this answer. The short answer is that if you are weight training for strength or mass and are a healthy adult with no pre-existing kidney problems, a good starting point is 1 gram per pound of body weight, per day. Trainees have ingested much more protein without any associated health risks. The hype relating kidney failure to ingestion of protein was taken from a study that was done on patients with pre-existing kidney problems. Athletes and body builders have been taking much higher amounts of protein for years without any problems. If there were a problem it would have shown up a long time ago. We are not aware of any studies relating to kidney problems from protein ingestion in healthy adults. Ingestion of too much protein will not be converted to muscle. It will either be used as energy or stored as body fat. Calculate your needs accordingly.

Q. I am a woman and would like to start training but won’t I get bulky lifting weights?

A. No. Women do not naturally produce the amount of the male hormone testosterone to produce bulky muscles. As you start to firm up and tone you will experience a tightness in your muscles, which is sometimes mistaken for “bulking up”. You will also be giving more attention to you body. Under the watchful eye of your trainer you will be burning body fat replacing soft areas with firm muscle.

Q. Am I going to be tired all the time from doing all this lifting?

A. At the beginning of your new training regimen your body will be undergoing changes adapting to the new stresses that you are imposing, you may experience some soreness and tiredness but only temporarily. As your body adapts the soreness and tiredness is replaced with new energy levels. Soon you will find that you no longer have the after-work fatigue that stopped you from enjoying your evenings prior to embarking on your new way of life. If tiredness persists, you may require additional supplements. Check with your trainer for advice.

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Peter Ramsden can be contacted at 416 457-7319 or
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