On the Treadmill

Frequently Asked Questions

Ask and You Shall Receive!

Frequently asked questions

Training

If I am still sore? Should I train or take another rest day?


Training sore is fine unless it puts you at an increased risk of injury. If you’re having a difficult time getting into position or completing a full ROM due to pain, do not train. Otherwise, still train but be sure to perform a slightly longer warm up for each exercise. Use your own discretion to avoid injury but training sore will not impair gains in and of itself.




What if I can’t repeat the same exercise due to equipment limitations?


Do your best to find a movement pattern that is very similar. If you cannot find
a movement pattern that is similar to the exercise you want to perform, use the
exercise library as a reference to choose another exercise that trains the same muscle
group with a similar training load.




Should I wear a belt or knee sleeves or whatever when squatting / deadlifting / doing anything?


Belts and knee sleeves are great. Definitely use them if you have them. But don’t
use them for absolutely every exercise. They’re a bonus because you can lift more
weight. But don’t think you can’t squat because you forgot your belt or knee
sleeves at home. You can still squat. Just remember to brace your core and keep it tight!




What gym equipment should I use?


Gym equipment is optional as there are no required pieces of equipment to gain
muscle and increase strength. With that being said, investing in an 10mm prong or
lever belt, knee sleeves, squat shoes, and straps can be beneficial in allowing you to
lift more weight for certain exercises.




The warm-up isn’t enough for me! Can I add to it?


You can add warm-up exercises to the protocol but your warm-up shouldn’t take
any longer than 10-20 minutes. It is important to stay injury-free, so don’t rush into
your workout.




I have a belt. When should I wear it?


Optionally use a lifting belt for working sets on exercises like squats, deadlifts and
overhead (military) presses. Strength is a specific skill, so practice every rep in exactly
the same way (meaning, if you’re going to use a belt at all, use it consistently and for
the same movements). I wouldn’t recommend wearing on a belt on light warm-up
sets.




Won’t I get weaker if I do a big compound movement like a deadlift after a more isolated exercise like a dumbbell row?


For the first few weeks, you may not be able to use
the same load on the explosive exercise. The prepump
exercise might fatigue you enough that you
won’t be able to do a major barbell exercise like a
deadlift, squat, or bench press with as much weight as
you could if you were completely fresh. However, your
body will adjust. You’ll be back up to your old poundages
shortly, and then you’ll surpass them. More importantly,
you’ll be able to handle those heavier weights
more safely because you’ll be much more thoroughly
warmed up when you get around to using them.




Will strength training, such as lifting weights, will result in a bulky appearance?


It is not true that lifting weights will result in a bulky appearance. According to Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, "This is a myth that deters a lot of women from strength training, when in fact, what determines the amount of muscle bulk a person has is largely dependent on genetic factors."




How and when do I need to use a foam roller?


Foam rolling acts as a deep tissue massage, which will help to improve mobility and flexibility. Rolling pre-workout will prepare your body for exercise and increase circulation to the muscles you are preparing to train. Post-workout, foam rolling is a great recovery tool, as it removes lactic acid (a waste product your body produces during exercise) from your muscles.




Are crunches and sit-ups are the best way to lose belly fat?


Forget doing hundreds of crunches and sit-ups in an effort to lose belly fat. The truth is that on their own, they are not likely to help the body lose that stubborn gut. Here is what works: a full-body exercise routine that builds lean muscle all over. The best plan for this is regular exercise, resistance training, and a healthy, calorie-controlled diet.





Diet

Should I eat in a caloric deficit, maintenance, or surplus while running this program?


Eating in a slight caloric surplus will yield the best results and best recovery,
however, if your main goal is fat loss, eating in a caloric deficit will be necessary.
As a beginner, you can continue to make strength and size progress while in a
moderate caloric deficit and achieve body recomposition (lose fat and build muscle
at the same time) if protein intake is sufficient (0.8-1g/lb bodyweight as a ballpark).
As an intermediate-advanced level trainee, the likelihood of achieving substantial
body recomposition is smaller, but still possible. So, in all, a caloric surplus is recommended for optimal progress, but some progress can still occur at caloricmaintenance and even in a caloric deficit.




Do I Need to Take Dietary Supplements?


People do not need dietary supplements unless they have a documented vitamin deficiency or they do not eat a balanced diet. Using supplements as an alternative to a sound diet can lead to serious deficits in the consumption of other nutrients. It is always healthier to acquire vitamins and minerals from food than to obtain them from a pill. However, serious vitamin deficiencies do occur in a small proportion of the population, and supplements are useful for making sudden improvements in vitamin status. Supplements for losing fat or building muscle are rapidly becoming popular. Claims that “fat-burning” supplements will decrease body fat by increasing either mobilization or oxidation of free fatty acids (FFAs) are faulty at best. Untrained individuals have a greater ability to mobilize FFAs than they do to oxidize them. Therefore, supplements that increase FFA mobilization are not of any value for untrained people. For supplements to directly enhance FFA oxidation, the insulin response to the carbohydrates in those supplements would need to be eliminated (since insulin inhibits fat oxidation), and this is unlikely to happen. Exercise alone increases the muscles’ capacity to oxidize FFAs. For those who eat a balanced diet, there is no evidence that muscle-building supplements, including protein powders and amino acids, build muscle mass. The few supplements whose muscle-building potential is supported by research (e.g., creatine) are effective mostly in elite athletes who have undergone many years of training.




Can caffeine be consumed safely?


It is safe for adults to consume caffeine, as long as it is consumed in moderation, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To keep caffeine at safe levels in the body, doctors recommend limiting intake to no more than 200 mg per day, according to the FDA. Two 5-ounce cups of coffee contains about 200 mg of caffeine, for example. Every person is different, however, so a lesser amount of caffeine might be a better fit for you. Also, people who are pregnant, breastfeeding and children should be even more cautious of the amount of caffeine they consume, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you are consuming too much caffeine, try to cut back slowly because caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms, including headache, tiredness and depression, according to the FDA. Talk to your doctor for more information about caffeine safety.




How can diet affect arthritis?


Fortunately for people facing arthritis, choosing to follow an arthritis-friendly diet can help, according to the Arthritis Foundation (AF). If you have arthritis, avoiding processed foods and saturated fats can help the pain, according to the AF. Instead choose fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains, and beans. Having these foods in your diet can help your arthritis, according to the AF, by: Beans – These are full of fiber and phytonutrients, which help lower C-reactive protein (CRP) – an indicator of inflammation found in the blood Fish – This is a good source of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids Fruits and vegetables – Both are loaded with antioxidants, which act as a natural defense system for the body Nuts – Nuts, along with seeds, have been shown to help improve inflammation Whole grains – These contain fiber, which can help maintain a healthy weight For more about how diet affects arthritis, talk with your doctor.





Like many addictions, food addiction has no permanent cure, and while it can be treated, treatment can be difficult, according to the Food Addiction Institute (FAI). The difficulty and steps to treat food addiction can be different from person to person, depending on how far the addiction has progressed before the patient seeks treatment, according to the FAI. As opposed to a different kind of addiction – such as smoking – a person can’t choose to quit the addiction altogether, according to the FAI. Because food is needed to live, it can’t be eliminated from a person’s daily routine. Instead, a person with a food addiction has to learn to control their eating behaviors, emotions and decision making about food. For more information about breaking a food addiction, talk with your doctor.




Is there a psychological or biological cause for food addiction?


Food addiction can have both biological and psychological causes, according to the Food Addiction Institute (FAI). People with food addictions develop a kind of chemical dependency on certain foods, most frequently foods that are high in sugar, excess fat and salt, according to the FAI. Genetics can play some role in food addiction, but psychological issues also can cause food addiction, according to the FAI. The addiction can come from not dealing well with emotional issues or using food as a coping mechanism. Talk to your physician for more information about the causes of food addiction.




What are the health benefits of eating fish?


Fish are an important part of a healthy diet. Along with other seafood, fish provide you with protein, vitamin D, and healthy omega-3 fats, according to the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Working fish into your diet at least twice a week is a good part of a healthy diet. Talk to your doctor for more information about the health benefits of eating fish.




What is added sugar, and why is it not healthy in food?


Added sugar is sugar added during the making of processed food and drinks, just like you might add sugar to foods you make at home, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). It is not healthy to consume too much added sugar in foods and drinks because it can cause serious health issues, including out–of-control diabetes, tooth decay, obesity, heart disease, high triglyceride levels and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels, according to the AAFP. For more about added sugar and its negative effects on the body, talk to your doctor.




Who is at risk for developing lactose intolerance?


Lactose intolerance is very common among adults, with about 30 million American adults being diagnosed with some level of lactose intolerance by age 20, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Someone’s ethnic or racial background can make them more or less likely to become lactose intolerant. The condition is most common among people of Asian, African, or Native American descent and among Hispanics and Latinos, according to the NIH. People of European descent are least likely to be lactose intolerant, according to the NIH. Babies born prematurely sometimes also can have lactose intolerance, according to the NIH. The condition is hereditary, so most people inherit it from their parents, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Talk to your doctor for more information about who is at risk of developing lactose intolerance.




What role does vitamin D play in my overall health?


Vitamin D is an important part of staying healthy. It helps your body absorb calcium, and it’s needed for bone growth, according to the National Institutes of Health. Vitamin D also helps: Muscles to move Nerves to carry messages from the brain throughout the body Support the immune system in fighting bacteria and viruses Talk to your doctor for more information about the role vitamin D plays in your body.





General Quesstions

Will working out at a gym will provide the best results?


Believe it or not, you can skip the gym. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home or outdoors using your own body weight and gravity. Examples of some easy at-home exercises are push-ups, planks, jumping jacks, squats, and lunges.




Does muscle weighs more than fat?


A pound is a pound regardless of whether the pound is fat or muscle. The truth about muscle is that it's denser than fat and takes up a smaller amount of space in the body. In fact, scientists estimate that 1 pound of muscle occupies about 22% less space than 1 pound of fat!




Does more sweating indicate, more fat the body is burning?


"This is false," says Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. "The amount you sweat is indicative of your body's ability to maintain its normal body temperature. You sweat when your body starts to store heat so you can experience cooling via evaporation of that sweat. So it doesn't correlate to how much energy, or calories, is being expended."




Should weight loss be the most important goal of fitness and exercise?


It's a fact that weight loss is the main reason people exercise at all, but losing weight is certainly not the only benefit of exercising and should therefore not be the main goal. If you're starting a fitness program, don't make weight loss your only goal! Strive to feel better or to have more energy. You'll get more out of your program if you notice the small payoffs that exercise provides in a very short amount of time.




What type of training do I need to get stronger?


Strength can mean different things to different people. For some it can mean being able to do one pull up, for others it might be reaching a deadlift PB, which is why it is important to train for your goals. In order to gain strength in a targeted area, you need to gradually increase your volume (times per week and reps) and the intensity of those sessions. Try setting yourself realistic targets each week so that you have something specific to aim for.




Do I need to work out every day?


A good workout week doesn’t necessarily mean training every day. Three to four gym or home workouts each week is enough if you work as hard as you can in each session. Try to balance the week with a mix of cardio, HIIT, strength and yoga or Pilates. However, when it comes to being active you should aim to move as much as you can every day – whether that’s with brisk walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or putting your all into the housework!




How long do I need to work out for?


This depends on your fitness levels, what type of training you’re doing and what intensity you’re training at. Just remember, something is always better than nothing. If you only have 30 minutes, try to fit in a quick HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout or go for a run. If you’re doing a strength workout, set aside more time for warming up and mobilising to help avoid injury and make sure you’re getting enough rest between sets. Either way, you definitely don’t need to be slogging it out for hours!




When should I stretch and how often?


Start with some dynamic stretching (active muscular stretching such as walking lunges or jogging with high knees) before a workout. Then, do static stretches such as a standing thigh stretch or side lunge for post-workout recovery, focusing on the muscles you’ve worked. This will decrease your risk of injury, improve blood flow and circulation, increase your range of motion and improve muscle function. You can never stretch too much!




What's the biggest mistake people make at the gym?


Most people who start a fitness routine don't know how to use the equipment at the gym. They do exercises that are inappropriate and can end up getting hurt. Our advice: don't be afraid to ask a pro for help! Trainers are available at the gym and can help you get your programme off on the right foot, no matter what your goal is. Also, don't forget to warm up before your workout and to take the time to stretch afterwards. Finally, stay hydrated during your workout - your body needs water!




Can you turn fat into muscle?


No! Muscles burn fat for energy. Building muscle boosts your metabolism. When you increase your metabolism, you burn more energy, calories and fat. That's why a cardio programme that incorporates weight training will help you slim down even faster.





Health

Does maintaining physical fitness requires major lifestyle changes?


Fitness can be achieved through small changes in what you eat and your level of activity. It's really that simple. Remember that you can start out slowly; work your way up to a higher level of activity, and implement more dietary changes over time. Patience is essential. Don't try to do too much too soon, and don't quit before you have a chance to experience the rewards of improved fitness and a healthy diet!




Will even moderate exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity?


Research shows that exercise is the silver bullet for a better quality of life. Not only does regular exercise aid in weight loss, it reduces your risk for several chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis.




Are older adults are least likely to benefit from physical activity?


The best thing about regular physical activity is that everyone can benefit from it. You are never too old to enjoy the benefits of regular physical activity! Being physically active can prevent and help treat many of the most common chronic medical conditions associated with aging. Physical activity is one of the most important steps older adults can take to maintain physical and mental health and quality of life.




How does exercise help mental health?


Research has shown that exercise can help to reduce stress, improve your self-confidence, alleviate anxiety and improve concentration. Plus, it releases endorphins, which encourage feelings of happiness. Be careful not to over train, as this can put your body and mind under stress, raising levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Therefore a balanced exercise plan is key.




I’m feeling sick today, should I still workout?


If you’re having flu like symptoms like a fever, chills, and body aches, the best thing you can do is rest. These are signs your body is trying to fight something off and it needs all the help it can get. It can also be a good indication that you really do have some sort of bug and could be contagious. Stay home! Drink lots of water and rest. If you’re symptoms are above the neck like sore throat, stuffy nose or stuff like that, just decrease the intensity of your workout. Pay attention to how you feel while you’re working out. If you have plenty of energy that’s great, but if you feel a sudden drop in your energy you should stop. Always listen to your body.




How do I not let stress and worries weigh me down?


It’s so easy to get bogged down with stress and worries. This is something we all deal with. I believe there are two components of dealing with this. One is emotional and one is practical. First of all, part of loving yourself through this process is giving yourself some wiggle room and understanding that you are not perfect and you are not magic, you won’t always get everything done and some things are out of your control.




How do you overcome self hate and start to love yourself again?


You are so far from alone in this. So many of us have struggled with feelings of inadequacy and believing we can’t and won’t ever be good enough. This is an identity issue. For those of you who don’t regularly follow my blog, I just want you to know that I believe our identity and worth are found in Jesus. When we don’t know who we are according to God, we don’t know how to be gentle and loving to ourselves. So the first thing you need to do is get yourself grounded in what God’s Word says about your identity. Another thing that I believe helps tremendously is for you to trust someone else to tell you the truth about your worth. Trust me when I tell you that you are loved so much more than you know. that you have access to so much strength in the Lord that makes you so much more capable than you believe. Trust me first…until you prove it to yourself (or really let God prove it to you, but you have to believe it). You’ll get there if you don’t give up This journey to a healthier you is about so much more than physical appearance. This journey is going to bring out someone in you who you might not believe is there. But she is. She’s there. She’s just been buried under hurt, mistakes, unrealistic expectations, failures, discouragement, and all the other crappy things we have to deal with in life. But as you start raising the standard for your life, as your start seeing change, as you start pushing through the hard stuff no matter how you feel, as you take the time to understand where your feelings and expectations come from and how to deal with them, you’ll start seeing that girl again. You’ll see it for yourself, just give it time. In the meantime, believe me, believe God — she’s there.




I feel like I fell off this week. How do I get motivated again?


Don’t beat yourself up. One of the worst habits I think we create is believing that messing up means that’s it, we failed and we might as well not even try. But we’re human and life happens and we’re going to face obstacles that we don’t always overcome -at that moment- but we can overcome them in the long run if we don’t take those little mistakes and turn them into big ones by giving up entirely. We have to keep our eyes on the big picture. Now, there’s a fine line here so don’t give yourself too much slack – you don’t want to just stop and start and stop and start whenever you feel like it – you’ll never make progress that way. But you do have to believe that one wrong decision, one bad day, even one week of getting completely off track does not have to derail your entire plan. Just start again. The minute you realize you’ve messed up, start again. Yesterday is the past, one minute ago is the past. This very minute you can do something completely different, as long as you don’t allow yourself to get bogged down by your mistakes. Keep on keepin’ on – that’s my motto! Well, one of them.




When I step on the scale after working my butt off, it feels like a slap in the face. What am I doing wrong?


I know that hurts, but please remember a couple of things. Number one, the scale is not the only measurement of progress and should really be the last measurement you pay attention to. Your weight can be affected by so many different variables that the number can lie to you about your progress. You could be losing inches but not pounds because of fat loss and muscle gain at the same time, for example. Number two, if you aren’t losing weight and you’re also not losing inches, the number is just stuck – you might need to tweak some things that you’re doing. Sometimes it’s your diet that needs to be tweaked, maybe your daily calorie intake number needs to be reevaluated because you’ve lost weight and haven’t adjusted that number in a while (it does change as you make progress). Have you taken new measurements to see if you’ve lost inches?




Can we eat donuts if we workout hard enough?


YES. I mean, a lot of people probably disagree with me here. But I say you can eat donuts and I don’t think you have to “workout hard enough” to be allowed. I think we can have treats in moderation for sure. Donuts especially! I believe the key to long term happiness in health and life in general is moderation in everything. So it’s not really about working out hard enough to eat donuts. It’s about understanding that it’s not a matter of “if I do this, then I can do this”. Food should never be a reward for hard work, that connects our food to an emotion – which is not beneficial to anyone. It’s more about understanding what good food can do for our minds, bodies, and our goals and knowing that a donut every once in a while is healthy too because we aren’t restricting ourselves to the point of misery.