Q&A Friday (15.01.2016)

I had great feedback from last week’s blog and some really brilliant questions this week, so here we go with another Q&A:

Why not to workout on a hangover?

Although it sounds like a perfect thing to so, sweating out all the alcohol after a heavy night, there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t hit it too hard. The main reason is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means the body loses more water than it takes on (which is why you get a headache with a hangover) so “sweating it out” can actually make the problem worse in the long run. Your coordination can go right out the window after a heavy night, so you find that you’re a bit more clumsy which isn’t a great combination when you add in heavy weights!

Instead of trying to get a wasted workout in, go for a long walk, drink plenty of water and have a good balanced meal to get you back on track. If you know you have a big night out coming up, you can factor that into your schedule so you don’t feel like you have to go, when you least feel like it.

Should I avoid the scales if I do more weights?

In short, yes.

Whilst 1lb of muscles will weight the same as 1lb of fat, muscle is much more dense and takes up less room. By stepping on the scales, you are answering one question and judging by one number – do I weigh less?

Once you get into an exercise routine, you need to look at other measurements such as body fat %, hip to waist ratio or physical measurements of certain areas of your body, as they will give a truer indication of changes that are taking place.

If you aren’t losing weight, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do I feel healthier?
  • Are my clothes feeling looser?
  • Is my shape changing?

We easily get fixated on physical weight, when there are a number of different ways we can measure progress.

If I stop training will my muscles turn to fat?

Muscle and fat are made up of different types of cells, so they wouldn’t simply turn into fat. What would happen is the muscle mass would shrink and be replaced by fat cells, mainly because the person doesn’t adapt their calorie intake to account for the reduction in exercise.

When you get into a routine, you adjust your calorie (or macro-nutrient) intake to make sure you have enough energy to perform – a peanut butter sandwich before a run, a protein bar before a heavy lifting session – and these would all be unnecessary once you’ve stopped.

If you have an injury or something else that prevents you from training, take a look at what you’re eating to make sure you cut out anything that isn’t needed as ‘extras’.

Which diet is the best to follow?

Put simply, there isn’t one. By the meaning of the word, diet always has temporary connotations which aren’t necessarily sustainable. Getting into the habit of balance, healthy eating and a good amount of exercise is the key. If you’ve put weight on, but can’t see how, keep a food diary for 7 days and it should give you an idea of what you need to cut back on and things that you need to increase – write down EVERYTHING (no cheating!). A magic shake, pill or gel drink won’t be successful over a long period of time, which is what you should be looking for.

How long should I rest between workouts?

It depends on the intensity you work at and what you can fit into your lifestyle. If you only train Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, you can change your workouts so you’re not working the same muscles on 3 consecutive days, or switch the type of workout you do to give those muscles a rest.

Muscles need between 24 and 48 hours recovery between sessions, so you could look at a split programme to make sure they’re adequately recovered before the next session. If you’re a beginner, you might find that it takes a little bit longer for the soreness and stiffness to disappear.

The main thing to remember is that you must listen to your body – if you need more recovery, take it. If you need advice about implementing a split programme, please get in touch or ask at your Gym.

If you have a question you’d like an answer to or any feedback, please feel free to get in touch via email or Facebook.

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