Common questions regarding fitness

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Common Questions Regarding Fitness

There are many misconceptions and general questions regarding fitness training. Following are listed many of the more commonly asked questions and some general answers to those questions.

1. Why do my muscles get sore after exercise? The soreness is call Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and results when a greater than normal load is placed on a muscle. (It was thought that a build up of lactic acid caused the soreness, but it is now thought that the soreness is a result of micro tears in the muscle directly due to the mechanics and nature of the muscle response to the greater than normal loads as well as a release or leaking of enzymes from the muscle fibers.) Soreness usually diminishes as the muscles adapt to the loads and is a natural part of the muscle response.

2. Will I get bulky muscles if I workout? This is difficult to answer. Much depends on the nature of your workout and the parameters. Much will depend both on your genetics and gender and the amount of testosterone in your body. Generally, if you do not want bulky muscles, it is easy to participate in a muscle toning program rather than a muscle building program.

3. How often should I workout? Organizations like ACSM, AHA, ACE, and others have recommendations for workout frequency. Recommendations have changed over the years as new studies and research is provided, but the general consensus is 3-5 days per week for 20-60 minutes. Much depends on whether you wants to maintain a certain level of fitness or gain improvement. For more detail and the latest guidelines, check with your personal trainer.

4. Can I spot train certain areas? Spot training implies that a certain exercise will get rid of the fat over a certain muscle. It is not true and does not exist. To remove fatty areas one must do two things. First, reduce overall body fat percentage. Second, improve muscle tone or mass of that specific muscle by strength training or toning.

5. What is the best equipment to use? When it comes to equipment, there is no best or worst. Much depends on your goals and level of fitness. Generally machines are better for the beginner because they provide more stability than free weights. However, machines may be limited in the exercises and weight increments that you can perform. Free weights and cable pulley machines can be more versatile in that sense but require better skill on the part of the participant.

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