weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
EVERYDAY people in my classes, on social media and on the gym floor ask me questions in relation to my fitness, nutrition and exercises. This week, I am going to address some common questions I get asked, maybe you have wondered about them yourself, and give you the answers that will hopefully help you move closer to your fitness goals
1 What is the best way to lose fat?
To maximise calorie burning, exercises that use many muscles groups and are weight bearing, as you can imagine, burn more. Also concentrate on a lot of activities, like different classes, Pilates, and swimming all help with keeping fitness levels up and weight down.
Regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet will help you lose weight and keep that weight down. Make sure to make exercise a part of your weekly routine.
2 If I lift weights, will I get bigger muscles?
This is the most common thought among women in the gym. But, in fact, whether or not you will get bigger muscles depends on three things: genetics, gender and training intensity.
Genetics determines our body shape e.g. height or build and training will only assist tone around your natural frame.
Increased muscle mass happens much easier for men as they have testosterone. Women can increase muscle tone, but it is very hard for them to increase muscle mass as they don’t produce testosterone.
The type of training you do will determine if you are in a muscle a building zone. Muscle building programs usually have a lot of sets with a rep (number of) range of 6-10, targeting specific major muscle groups i.e. chest or legs. For muscle toning reps are higher, 10-30 and fewer sets per body part are required.
3 How do I get a flat stomach?
Remember, you cannot spot reduce so 100 sit ups a day alone is not going to cut it. But when you exercise, body fat will reduce. Any area you carry body fat, will naturally reduce, with time, and a good consistent fitness plan. Two types of exercise can help: strength training for example machine or free weights and cardiovascular exercise such as running, walking, cycling.
The abdominals are just like any other muscle group: For their definition to become visible, they must grow larger and the fat that lies over them must decrease. What makes the definition of the abdominals so difficult to see is that they are situated in the area of the body that contains the most fat. However, the role of diet must not be underestimated.
4 Does spinning make your legs bigger?
There is a common idea that spin classes make your legs bigger, there is one simple answer and that is –no. Spinning, is great way of getting fit and sweating loads in a really enjoyable atmosphere, it is also a great way to tone the legs. It is my go-to class for circulation, elasticity, tackling cellulite, toning my bum, definition in the calves, and an all-round a great workout for the legs.
Also see Question 2.
5 Should I do cardio first or weight training first?
It depends on your goals.
If the primary goal is to increase fitness level or lose weight, you should perform cardiovascular exercise first. If the primary goal is to increase muscular strength, then you should perform strength training first.
Basically, in order to get the most out of your workout, you should perform the most important exercise when you are not tired. Many people want to lose weight and increase muscular strength and tone, alternating the order of your workout each day is one way to satisfy both goals.
Why not do both at the one time, I teach BodyPump and it achieves the same goals as above only together at the one time, weight baring, high reps, high heart rate, its got it all, and you definitely work up a sweat, you could also try a strength based HIIT class too.
Feel free to contact me on social media for more information on this week’s topic, Instagram Jacquipilatesfitness or to try out some classes at Kingfisher Club.