Apologies for the lack of Q&A last week, I was severely let down by technology (yes, I did try turning it off and then turning it back on again!). Please keep the questions coming, it’s great to get such a variety.
How do I get a flat stomach?
This is a question I get asked a lot! You need to ensure you’re adding exercises like the plank, crunches or fitball rollouts into your workout, but make sure you’re doing enough cardio and, when you do, keep your abs engaged as much as possible. Keeping correct posture can ensure that your abs are getting a good workout, even when you’re not working out.
You also need to make sure your diet is good because it’s no good having a strong core, if it’s hidden under a layer of fat! Watch your fat intake, and make sure you’re getting enough lean protein, fruit, vegetables and water.
When I work out should I do cardio first or weight training first?
It depends what your goal is. If you’re aiming to increase strength, you don’t want to tire yourself out doing cardio first, and have nothing left for the weights – and vice versa for cardio. Ensure that you do a thorough warm-up if you do weights first, with a pulse-raiser and plenty of dynamic stretching – shoulder shrugs, arm circles, high kicks etc. If you’re still not sure about dynamic stretches, feel free to get in touch and I can point you in the right direction.
If you’re not training for anything specific (in terms of cardio or strength), then it’s all down to personal preference.
How long should I be sore after a workout?
Soreness is normal, as it shows that your muscles have been worked to a sufficient level which allows for muscle growth. This soreness, better known as Delayed Onset of Muscles Soreness (DOMS), is usually normal for between 24-72 hours after a workout. If you find that it’s too painful or it lasts for longer than 4 days then you need to look at the intensity of your workout and the impact it can have on other things.
I’ll admit I’ve overdone it on the walking lunges before, and struggled to walk down stairs and even sit down for a few days afterwards. Simply cutting down the amount until my legs were stronger made a huge (positive) impact, and means I didn’t suffer too much in the days after, which had the potential to influence other workouts I had planned.
If you’re getting to the point where you’re not experiencing DOMS, you probably need to look at the intensity of your workouts, so that you’re achieving overload which is really important for progress.