When I started out I had so many questions, I firstly asked my friends who already went to the gym and had some knowledge, I asked the owner of my local gym, but I found the internet useful too, and that is why I’m writing this article, to build on what I’ve already learned and experienced, to help you.
Many people who go to the gym will always be asking questions about how to improve and workout in the best way possible for their ability level and goals. This is great, but why not learn the information online and spend all the time in the gym getting the work done? Here’s my list of fitness tips relating to the common questions people ask in the gym.
How do I lose weight?
In reality, there are many ways to lose weight and no one correct way. You can do both lower and high intensity to burn fat and how you do it is totally up to you.
Interval training is used to lose fat. This method involves perhaps sprinting for 10-20 seconds, followed by 10-20 seconds of slow jogging or walking and repeating this over and over, usually around 6 times for optimum benefit.
What should I eat to gain muscle?
The myth behind this is “eat big, get big” which isn’t the case if you want solid lean muscle mass. Firstly, the amount you need to eat depends on your body weight. There are calculators online that do all the science for you if you type your basic details, including your height and activity level.
Here are some of the best muscle building foods
Beef, cottage cheese, eggs, milk, quinoa, spinach, chicken breast, wild salmon, turkey, fish oil, oats, whey protein, broccoli, brown rice, almonds etc.
How often do I need to train
Many people make the mistake of either under training or over training, and neither are going to get you the benefits you need and want after all the hours you put in. Training once or twice per week isn’t enough to create a high level of fitness and over training won’t give your muscles the time they need to recover and grow.
However, training 3 times a week will be enough for you to meet your goals, at a steady pace. If you have time, training 4 or 5 times a week is perfect to achieve your goals in a faster time, just don’t get carried away and think significant results are going to come after a couple of weeks because it’s simply not the case.
Should I do cardio or weight training first?
In any scenario where the weight lifted is very heavy, that should be done before any cardio except a warm up which is always needed, to prevent injury. Heavy exercises usually include deadlifts, squats and bench press, or any weight lifted where the user can’t do more than 6 reps in the first set. This is because to lift those heavy weights, you want all your energy because of the strenuous nature of the exercise.
Furthermore, it is safer to do workouts where the muscles are under considerable tension first because you’re less likely to overdo it and cause injury this way. If you’re already tired and then try to lift close to your 1 rep max then you’re entering dangerous territory and will likely set yourself back with an injury.
If you plan to use light weights throughout your workout, usually in plans where intensity is higher, then cardio beforehand isn’t a big deal. I’ve seen many people in the gym use cardio and weights throughout the workout, and these aren’t just gym newbies, they are experienced.
How long do I need to train for?
There’s no perfect time to train but a guideline is anywhere from 30-60 minutes is enough for a good workout. If your workout program is very intense then it may be shorter, if your workout is low intensity then maybe longer than 60 minutes is required for progression.
Additionally, if you train areas of the body separately e.g chest day and shoulder day, then these will be a lot shorter than a full upper body workout. I usually spend around 30 minutes on each body part but this is including short breaks, whereas if i was doing chest and back on the same day then I’d be over an hour sometimes. It all depends on if you want to work on strength and therefore have longer breaks between sets, or maybe burn fats which includes high intensity exercise with short breaks.
Overall I wouldn’t bother timing your workouts strictly unless you’re competing for something.
How should I diet for weight loss?
Cutting calories is the first step of your weight loss program. I’d recommend asking at your local gym about by how much you should actually cut the calories, because too much can be detrimental to your health, but too little and your results will be slower. My gym has technology which tells me how many calories I need to lose weight, maintain weight or gain mass and your gym may have this too. If it doesn’t then don’t worry, there are recommended calorie intake calculators across the internet, some give more information than others.
Studies recommend that you work out the right amount of calories to lose weight but also still have energy to carry out your day productively. This doesn’t follow the traditional 500 calorie deficit rule and this is because everyone’s body acts differently to exercise and diet, and you need to be careful not to put your health at risk whilst you work towards your goals. It’ll take time to work out how much your body needs but stick with it.
Hopefully some of your questions have been answered, and from a different perspective maybe, from someone who’s gone through it all before and who knows the struggle of starting out and failing time and time again. If you are just starting out with the world of health and fitness then check out the rest of the site and you’ll definitely learn something useful. Alternatively, if you are looking to build a home gym then there’s reviews and links to fitness products sold by amazon across this site, some of which can be found here and here.
If you have any questions that I haven’t answered above then comment below and it’ll be my pleasure to answer them. Also, follow my social accounts for regular updates and share anything you like! Thank you.
Hi, I’m Nick and the creator of thefitnessfeeling.com. I have a passion for health and fitness, and I want to share my knowledge and experience with you. I’m here to help you with any questions you have.