1. Will weight training get me big? “I don’t want to get big” is the most common excuse used mostly by woman for why they won’t pick up a set of dumbbells. Let’s set the record straight, this simply can not happen. It is pretty difficult for a woman to develop big bulky muscles from weight training. The women we see on TV who are body builders, have devoted hours a day for many years to working out and in many cases have enhanced their results by using hormones, purposefully trying to gain muscle and become bulkier. The bottom line is, adding light weights to your sculpting routines will increase your strength, increase your flexibility, increase your metabolic rate and help you sculpt a longer leaner body. 2. Should I lose weight first, before I start working out? Unless you are extremely over weight and under a Doctor’s supervision, you should start your ‘weight loss strategy” all at once and that means a good healthy diet and a balanced exercise program. Working out and especially strength training will actually help you lose weight for the simple reason that adding lean muscle mass to your body composition will increase your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories even while your body is at rest. 3. If I stop working out will my muscles turn into fat? This is a misconception. Fat can not turn into muscle just as muscle can not turn into fat. You can burn off excess body fat by doing aerobic activity and you can increase your lean body mass by strength training. If you stop working out you will over time become weaker and your muscles will lose their tone and shrink in size. This will cause the metabolic rate to lower which in turn will cause you to accumulate more fat on your body. 4. If I exercise regularly, can I eat whatever I want? Everyone knows that exercising regularly will help you get fitter, but it’s only one of the components in achieving a healthy lifestyle. The other very important component is your nutritional program. To me both are crucial to becoming fitter and achieving better overall health. Remember, while exercising regularly can help you burn off extra calories, it can’t help you burn off bad eating habits… 5. Will sit ups help me get rid of the fat around my waistline? How can I lose fat from my thighs? These questions relate to “spot reducing”. It seems that the areas we want to lose fat from the most are always the most stubborn and last to go. People hold on to fat in different parts of the body, men generally store it around the waist while women generally store it around the hips. It is not possible to “spot reduce” for the very simple reason that fat does not belong to specific parts of our bodies, it belongs to the whole body. The best “spot reducing” technique I know is to regularly alternate between aerobic exercise and body sculpting exercises that work all the different muscle groups. If you stay consistent the fat should all come off so your abs will show and your hips will trim down. 6. What should I know before beginning my fitness program? First, change doesn’t happen overnight. So, don’t try to achieve all at once and don’t make contracts in your mind that your body can’t keep. Build success into your program by taking small steps and be consistent. Second, if you want to become fitter and healthier you need to realize that it is a lifestyle change that you are after. Third, don’t compare yourself to anyone. There is only one of you in this world and your goal should be to become the best that you can be. Fourth, the power to achieve your goals is in your hands, so just go for it! 7. How do you get over a “plateau? A “plateau” is when you seem to get stuck and unable to improve your results. It could mean that you are not able to lose “those last 10 stubborn pounds” or not able to increase to a heavier set of weights in your workout. Plateau happens when the body gets used to the specific activity, or perhaps it is fatigued or over trained and therefore not able to improve. The reasons can vary. The best remedies can be the following; 1. Take a week off, giving your body a chance to recover. 2. Change your exercise routine. 3. Work on your “weak link” (the area you feel is your weakest). It’s possible that this weakness is limiting the improvement of the rest of the body. 4. Improve your diet. 8. How should I breathe while exercising? To get the best and safest results while doing strength training, you should always exhale on the exertion phase of the exercise. When you exert the blood pressure is on the rise and the exhalation helps lower the stress on the body. It is also important to get into a good breathing rhythm while doing aerobic exercise in order to have a steady supply of oxygen to the blood. A good breathing technique will help you from getting winded. 9. What is the best time to exercise? There is no right or wrong time to exercise, the best time to exercise is that time of day you know you can realistically commit to. The key here is to follow your own body rhythm and schedule. Some people are more awake and “ready to go” early in the morning, while others get their wind later in the day or at night. Work schedules, home schedules and other commitments also play a major role here. So, for long term success, always schedule your workouts at the time of day you are comfortable with and know you can actually get it done. 10. If I am doing aerobics and strength training on the same day, which should I do first? There are arguments to both sides of the coin. Personally I think it really doesn’t matter. The best is to follow your own personal preference and instinct. My recommendation would be to start of with the activity you find harder first and get it out of the way while your energy level is at its highest. Ultimately it would probably be best to alternate between the activities, starting once with the aerobic workout and the next time starting with the strength training.
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