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5 Fitness FAQs Answered

Frequently answered questions…

We’ve pop quizzed our coaching team to find out the most common fitness related queries we get-here’s the top 5:

1. Should I do cardio or weight training first?

It depends on your goal. If you want to lose weight and improve endurance, go for cardio first. If your goal is to increase strength then go for weight training first. Basically do the target exercises first when you’re not fatigued. If you want to improve strength and endurance; alternate sessions prioritizing strength one sessions and endurance the next.

2. Will I bulk up if I do weight training?

This depends on 3 factors:genetics, gender and intensity. You may genetically benefit from having more fast–twitch fibres and therefore acquire bigger muscles more easily. Males acquire larger muscles than females. Generally lifting heavier weights (80% of your 1 rep max) with fewer repetitions will lead to larger muscles. If your goal is to tone up, your strategy should be to aim for lighter weights but with far more repetitions.

3. What’s the best route to a flat stomach?

First of all you need to become leaner-the abdomen tends to be the area where people most commonly accumulate fat. So the first goal must be to burn fat. You could have the most amazing 6-pack from your efforts working on your core…but (unfortunately) it is all too easily hidden under belly fat. Cardio sessions are ideal for this along with some diet control.

Secondly you need to concentrate on working your core…crunches are excellent for this.

4. What’s better, free weights or weight machines?

Both have advantages. Modern weights machines have special cams that change the torque required by muscles which can help target certain zones.  However free weights operate in a 3 dimensional plane which means that other muscles come into play.  Machines are great for those starting out, who can then focus on the main muscle groups. Later progressing to free weights which target specific muscles.

5. What’s the best way to burn fat?

Often it is assumed that the best way to burn fat is by doing a lot of low intensity aerobic activity.  However current thinking is that shorter high intensity bursts of activity burn more fat in a shorter space of time.  It is also possible to achieve an after burn effect whereby the metabolism is raised for a period of approximately  12 hours after an intensive session and more calories will be burned at rest.  Classes such as Metafit are a prime example of such a technique.