Answers To Fitness Questions
#1 What weighs more, a pound of fat or a pound of muscle?
The two weight exactly the same. A pound is a pound is a pound! You probably remember your teacher in junior high school asking you what weight more, “A pound of feathers or a pound of rocks?”, they are the same! The only difference between a pound of muscle and a pound of fat is the fact that a pound of fat takes up more space than a pound of muscle, which can give it the illusion that is somehow weighs more.
#2 Will I get too big/bulky if I lift weights?
This question is often asked by a lot of women who are worried about becoming too big if they lift weights. At the end of the day the process of building muscle is VERY hard and pretty darn slow. Even the most dedicated lifters who follow very strict diet parameters gain an average of 5 pounds per muscle per year. You also have to be eating more calories than you burn each day and have the right amount of protein ingestion. So if you are worried about getting too big, don’t because it is very hard to do so. You will notice your body composition does change in a positive way as your body will become more defined.
#3 How often should I exercise?
This just depends on your goals and preferences. The National Academy of Sports Medicine suggests that you exercise at least 150 minutes a week at a moderate rate, more if you are looking to attain fitness goals like muscle gain or fat loss, etc which you would like to be hitting the gym 4-6 times a week. Also when it comes to this question, you also have to factor in soreness, which you don’t want to work the same muscle group when its very sore, work a different muscle group and give the soreness a couple days to go away.
#4 What is the best way to lose weight?
The best way to lose weight is VERY simple, and that is to just be in what is called a caloric deficit. This means that you want to eat less calories than you are burning on a daily basis, which is also known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). So say you burn 3000 calories a day and want to lose a pound a week, well considering 3500 calories equates to a pound, you can cut out around 500 calories per day out of your diet and lose a pound per week. If you want to find out what your personal BMR is, click here.
#5 Do I need to hire a personal trainer?
The answer to this question really depends on your goals and personality. If you need motivation and accountability, then a personal trainer can be excellent for you to have. But in todays day and age, with internet access at the click of a button, you can do anything from research popular workout plans to learn how to do each and every exercise with correct form.
#6 How much weight should you lift?
Start slow, and go from there. This is really great advice when starting out in the gym. Feel out the weights, don’t try to lift big out of the gate, that will come later if you want it to. Lifting lighter weights can still provide fitness benefits like improved cardiovascular health and build muscle as well. It can also help you prepare your muscles for heavier weights. Focus first on good form, then increase the weight as you go.
#7 Why are my muscles sore?
Whenever you place stress on your muscles via lifting weights, you create microscopic tears in the muscle fibers, which causes soreness in your muscles. Your body repairs these microscopic tears allowing for muscle growth or hypertrophy. This soreness can come the day of or show up a day or two later, which is referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOM’s).
#8 How long should I workout?
A workout that runs 60 to 90 minutes is great, any workout that lasts longer than 90 minutes will put you at risk of overtraining which can cause adverse physical and mental symptoms that can range from tendon and ligament injuries to anxiety and mood changes.
#9 Cardio 1st or Weight Training 1st?
Honestly you can try both and see what you prefer, but doing warmup first with some sort of cardio will get your more prepared to do your workout routine, providing a more smooth transition. A warmup of 5 to 10 minutes will suffice.
#10 Whats My Target Heart Rate?
The National Academy of Sports Medicine gives one a simple formula of finding out what your MAX heart rate is which is essential to create your target heart rate for the zone(s) you want to exercise in. That formula is 220 beats per minute (BPM) – AGE. So if your 40 years old then your Maximum Heart Rate is 180. If you want to exercise at 80 percent of your MAX, then 144 is your Target Heart Rate (THR), which this number was created by simple multiplying 180 by 0.80.
For an even more widespread example of different heart rate zones and MAX’s, check out this site – Your Target Heart Rate Zone
#11 Should I eat before I workout?
Some prefer to eat before a workout others don’t, but you should definitely have something to eat before going to the gym. Keep it light, and lean more towards carbohydrates as they will provide you with energy for the workout.If you are going to be doing your workout later at night, eat a large carboydrate meal a couple hours before the workout.
Also keep your carbohydrate intake regular throughout the day. Carbohyrdates and fats go hand in hand when it comes to burning fat as carbohyrdates or glycogen is used for energy during workouts. If you don’t have enough glycogen stores, then your body will utilize muscle as the preferred energy form leading to losing the gains you’ve worked so hard to get!
#12 Do Carbs Make You FAT?
No they don’t, eating to much food makes you fat. Like we talked about on #4, you burn a certain amount of calories just maintaining homestasis as well as whatever your daily activity level consists of. If you surpass the calorie amount of what you expend daily, your Basil Metabolic Rate + Activity Level you will gain weight.
This is the case with eating too much of anything, it isn’t the foods fault its the person being in a caloric surplus.