Frequently Asked Questions for Fitness Training


The information in the following Fitness FAQs are intended to be a general guideline. Individual people have different requirements and abilities. It is best to consult a doctor before beginning any lifestyle change involving exercise, particularly if you have been sedentary, are overweight, or you have any sort of medical condition which might be aggravated by exercise.

1: How often should I train? How hard? How long?

Most experts agree that 35 times per week is sufficient. Exercise for a duration of 20-60 minutes at 60-90%of age specific maximal heartrate or 50-85% of VO2max (heart rate reserve).


2: What other methods are used for judging workout intensity?

The talk test is another measure of intensity. You should be able to talk without gasping for air while working at optimal intensity. If you cannot, you should reduce your intensity.


3: How much should I weigh?

Since muscle weighs more per volume than fat, and you want to have firm muscles throughout your body, you may weigh more than you thought was average for your height and build. There is no ideal bodyweight. While some body fat is essential to sustain life, it is generally thought that a healthy body fat percentage for males is 820% and for females is 13-25%.


4: How do I determine my target heartrate?

The general formula for the average person is 220 Age times the percentage intensity level. For example, a 20year old would calculate their target zone using the above formula: 22020=200. 200 x .60 = 120 and 200 x .80 = 160. Therefore, this person would keep their heartrate between 120 (low end) and 160 (high end) beats per minute.


5: What is the best time of day to exercise?

The best time to work out is when you want to, so pick a time of day that feels comfortable. The morning (before you eat breakfast) is the best time for cardio work because your glycogen stores within the muscles and liver are at their lowest. This causes the body to look for other sources of energy, i.e., fat stores.


6: I heard I should eat several meals a day. What do you think?

Breakfast always. Wisely eat every three hours, each meal consisting of 30-40% protein, 30-40% carbohydrate, 10-20% fat. I put the accent on animal protein – 45-40-15. Eat 30 to 60 minutes prior to your workout or athletic activity and again 30-60 minutes after your training to serve energy and muscle demands.

7: Do I need to diet as well as exercise, or will exercise alone give me good results?

We try to discourage “diets”, as they are often only a temporary fix for a long-term problem. We do highly encourage healthy eating through permanent behavioral changes that you can live with.

A healthy diet, combined with adequate exercise, will help you achieve your desired goals much faster than either diet or exercise alone.

And, exercise and healthy eating together will ensure that you keep off any excess weight for the rest of your life!


8: Do I need to purchase expensive equipment or have an exercise room to train at home?

No, there is no need to purchase any equipment until you have had your initial appointment with your trainer. At that time, the trainer will advise you as to what types of equipment to buy. Often, the trainer will lend you equipment to try out for the first few weeks and then can tell you how to order the equipment. Examples of equipment the trainer may ask you to use are physio balls, medicine balls, free weights, elastic tubing and jump ropes. Very little space is actually needed to train at home. A 10 x 10 area free of furniture and other obstacles is all that is needed.


9: I’m a beginner. How many days a week should I workout and what balance between weights and cardio? How many sets of how many reps of how many body parts?

In the beginning, allow yourself 60-90 minutes, three or four days a week. This will allow you to do 15-20 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes to work your mid-section and 45-60 minutes for the weight training.Pick one exercise per muscle group (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, legs) and do 3/4 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each exercises. Do this for 6 weeks and plan then to alter your routine to suit your progress.


10: How do I get a flat stomach?

To tone the muscle and reduce the size of your mid-section, plan to do a basic 10 minute routine of stomach crunches and leg raises, 3 to 4 times a week. 15-20 minutes of intense cardio will help overall tone and introduce metabolic improvements to burn bodyfat, much of which is stored in the hips and mid-section. Plan on a sound high-protein, low-fat menu.

Note: overall weight training contributes to the tone of the stomach and the burning of bodyfat.


11: My shoulder hurts when I bench press. What should I do?

As shoulders endure overuse and misuse, injury and pain is not uncommon. Warm up shoulders with light weight and high reps. This will align mechanics, bring supportive blood to the muscles, arouse synovial fluid in the joint and provide warmth for movement ease. If pain persists in your bench as you add weight, try changing your grip (a hand in or a hand out), try the Smith Press, or go directly to dumbbells.

Dumbbells give you freedom to alter the position of the resisting weight with hand rotation and re-establishment of groove to avoid muscle aggravation.

Perhaps a change of angle will allow pain-free movement. You need to listen to the pain and work around it. I prefer this to laying off.


12: Are supplements good for me or a waste of money?

A good quality time-release vitamin-mineral is very important. These nutrients needed for muscle repair, resistance, internal health, skin, bone and energy are required regularly, in abundance and often cannot be stored or produced by the body. We rarely eat enough of the right foods to get that which we need for minimum health, no less high performance. We are composed largely of protein; protein is the major ingredient for muscle building, hormone structure, energy and much more. Again, as high performers, we want high quality protein in abundance throughout the day to build muscle and grow strong with great vitality. A quality protein supplement from whey and casein will assure us of this for those times when consumption of solid food is not convenient or desirable. These are the basics you really need. They are not a waste of money, instead, they are a good investment in long life and good health.


13: How much water should I drink a day?

Typically two litres a day is a healthy recommendation. Big people, more. Hot days, more. High activity days, more. We need lots – energy, well-being, to detoxify, fight dehydration. We are 75% water, after all.


14: How many calories are burned while walking or jogging one mile?

On average, the caloric expenditure per 100 pounds of body weight per mile is 62 calories. So if a person weighs 200 pounds, they would burn approximately 124 calories while walking or jogging