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Fitness Facts/Tips

Weight Training Facts

Keeping a training journal is ABSOLUTELY imperative! Gym-goers that keep a journal that records weights/reps/sets are able to make better use of their time by not wasting it guessing what they should be doing, and they show better improvement overall since they can effectively know when their routine should be changing, and when weights should be increasing. EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS... no matter what level you are at!

Anne Via Lifting Weights

If you're hitting the gym and not seeing results it is probably because you are not lifting heavy enough. An Ohio State University study showed that women often underestimate what they can lift by 50%. To raise metabolism, you should pick a weight that you can lift 8-12 times. If you can do more than 10-12, it's time to up the weight!

If you think that weight training will stunt your child's growth, that is a myth. Regular exercise improves physical fitness, strength and endurance, while reducing body fat. As long as you are careful, start with light weights, and use strict proper form, weight training can be very beneficial.

Contrary to popular belief, WOMEN CANNOT BULK UP FROM WEIGHT TRAINING!!! Due to the fact that women do not and cannot naturally produce as much testosterone (one of the main hormones responsible for increasing muscle size) as males do, it is impossible for a woman to gain huge amounts of muscle mass. Unfortunately, the image that may come to your mind is that of professional female bodybuilders. Most of these women, unfortunately, use anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) along with other drugs in order to achieve that high degree of muscularity. In addition, most also have good genetics coupled with an unbelievable work ethic that enable them to gain muscle quickly when they spend hours in the gym lifting very heavy weights. Believe me when I say that they do not look like that by accident. Women who conduct weight training without the use of steroids get the firm and fit cellulite-free looking body that you see in most fitness/figure shows these days.

Muscle cannot turn into fat and fat cannot turn into muscle. Muscle and fat are two totally different types of tissue. What happens many times is that when people decide to go off their weight training programs they start losing muscle due to inactivity (use it or lose it) and they also usually drop the diet as well. Therefore bad eating habits combined with the fact that their metabolism is lower due to inactivity, and lower degrees of muscle mass, give the impression that the subject’s muscle is being turned into fat while in reality what is happening is that muscle is being lost and fat is being accumulated.

Women will NOT get the body they want simply by doing cardio... You MUST lift weights, and train as heavy as you can for a good working set of 8-10 reps. Women who do ONLY cardio use muscle and fat to burn for fuel. One needs to do weights in order to get the muscles building and thus prevent any loss of muscle tissue. Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want. As far as the lifting of very light weights, this is just more nonsense. Muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light, then there will be no reason for the body to change.

Cardio Facts

To burn more fat, cardio is most effective when done either first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, known as "fasted" cardio, or done immediately AFTER weight training. Glycogen stores are tapped into instead, and more fat is burned for fuel.

You do NOT have to jog/run to burn calories effectively. Performing intervals on the treadmill where you change the incline up and down, as opposed to increasing speed, can burn just as many, if not more, calories than jogging/running alone. The intervals keep your body readjusting to the changes, burning more calories, and the incline is better on your knees and other joints than the constant pounding of jogging/running. For a change of pace, try walking backwards on the treadmill. Take the speed to 1.5 mph or under, and up the incline to 15%, then carefully begin walking backward. Walking backwards can burn more calories and improves coordination. It forces your leg muscles to work in a different way, and takes stress off the knee joints. Finally, it forces a "concentric" contraction of the quads, which is a very calorie expending activity!