1. How often should I train in a week?

 

Easy – at least 4 times a week to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Your weekly exercise routine should be balanced. A well-rounded weekly routine would be two gym sessions (strength sessions) and two cardio sessions (run, cycle, walk, swim). Like most things in life too much of anything is bad for you…even running!!

  1. If I do a few gym sessions a week will I be ripped?

In short no. Unfortunately, due to social media we are getting a false image on what we should look like after we train in the gym. We should have massive arms, giant chest, a big bum and a mega six pack! To look like that it takes an incredible amount of weight training (probably 6-7 times a week minimum), measuring every gram of food and liquid they consume, huge amount of discipline and probably a lot of steroids (in my very cynical opinion!). If you have a job or a life this is just not a feasible way to live and it’s creating a very unrealistic impression of what we should want to look like.

However, if you do train in the gym once or twice a week you will see change. You will tone up. You will be leaner. You will be stronger. You will see progress. You won’t look like the people on Instagram but that’s okay.

 
3. Are ab exercises the best to tone up my stomach?

They are brilliant at targeting your core. They do make your core stronger! But why train just your core when you can do a well-balanced gym session and tone your whole body? Even when we feel like we carry weight around our stomach it makes sense to tone your whole body and your entire body benefits from training.

4. What type of training do I need to do to lose weight? 

Tricky question! People have different body types, lifestyles, and different ways they like to train. There’s no set formula for this one. In my experience as a trainer, if you train at a high intensity 4 times a week and consume a calorie deficit (eat less calories than you’re burning) you will lose weight. That high intensity could be strength and conditioning classes, spinning classes, running, walking, swimming, cycling etc. Other factors that affect weight loss that people don’t think of is – stress, lack of sleep and not enough recovery time. It is important to understand that even with the most rigid and hardcore exercise regime, if you are eating more than you’re burning then losing weight just won’t happen.

5. When and what should I eat before/after train?

I would say this depends on when you are training next, what your goals are and what sport you are training for. If your next session is in the next 12-16 hours I’d be recommending that you consume some protein and carbohydrate right after the session to make sure you recover adequately before you ask your body to train again. Outside of that I would always encourage people to look at their overall calorie/food consumption in a day. Making sure you’re getting the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat and water to train hard and recover properly.

If you train in the morning and you don’t like to eat before you train then make sure that your meal afterwards contains an adequate amount of carbs, protein and fat. i.e. a well-balanced meal

If you train in the evening and haven’t had your dinner yet make sure your dinner hits the right nutritional targets. Protein, carb, and fat sources.

If you’re just looking for a snack – Greek yogurt and fruit (protein + carb source), protein shake + banana (protein + carb source), scrambled eggs + slice of toast (protein + carb source)

Precision Nutrition do great infographics of what your everyday and post-training plates should look like.

There are many healthy diet books and eating for performance books out there. Get researching. Get experimenting. For majority of people making sure you get 3 balanced meals a day is what you should be most focused on.

6.What diet is best to follow?

Generally, none. Diets are temporary. Rarely does a person manage to stick with one long-term. This is especially true when the diets are very restrictive. I find this disheartens people and they go back to their old habits.

Unless you’re competing or trying to achieve a very specific weight goal creating a healthy well-balanced diet is best. Making sure your body is getting what nutrition it needs to fuel your day, your work-outs and your recovery. You can still create a calorie deficit and have a well-balanced diet that gives you enough energy to fuel your day. Exactly what that entails is a whole article in itself!

However, there are apps that track your food and break down the nutritional content of everything you eat. If you’re unsure this is a great place to start.

7. What is this fad of not eating past 8pm?

I get this question quite a lot. People saying to me that they’ve seen huge weight loss when they or people they know have stopped eating after 8pm at night. This concept has seen great results because it restricts those night time cravings where you go to the cupboard and grab some crackers and cheese, some biscuits, some nuts (definitely nothing healthy anyway!!).

This routine stops you consuming too many calories. By this time of the day most people have eaten their required calories for the day. It often pushes them over the edge even if it’s just by a hundred calories. Over time this leads to weight gain. Cutting this habit quickly leads to weight loss. I can very much can get on board of this fad!

8.What kind of exercises should I do in the gym?

Same as your diet your body needs balance. Too much push, too much pull, too much bench and too many squats will cause your body pain and tightness over time. There are many resources out there that will guide you on what kind of exercises you should be doing (the google machine, youtube and personal trainers).

If you want to do this step on your own, I wouldn’t overcomplicate things. I would begin with the squat, the deadlift, the push up, a cable row, and the plank before anything else. From there you can begin to develop your program and push yourself. Master the basics or book a session with us!!

Gym doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective. With the right load, sets and reps you will get stronger and leaner. Don’t overthink it!

9. How does foam rolling help my recovery?

Foam rolling is a self-torture tool that should be in everyone’s recovery kit! It’s a cost-effective alternative to a sports massage. If you don’t know what foam rolling is or you’ve never done foam rolling come back to this question when you have. It’ll make more sense.

Recovery is everything. It helps you perform better in your next run, your next game, your next gym session. Foam rolling helps rid the body of any adhesions in the muscles by increasing blood flow and circulation to that muscle. By removing waste products and increasing o2 to the area the body can move better, heal, and lay down new tissue i.e. build muscle. By foam rolling you’re encouraging this process along.

We always encourage all our clients to arrive 5-10mins before sessions to get their foam rolling in.

10.If I have a few drinks over the weekend does it affect all the hard work I’ve done in the gym through the week?

Let’s start at the top! If you’re an athlete aiming to perform at your best week in and out then the answer is yes. It does affect all the hard work you’ve done. If you were to have a few drinks after your gym session or training session your body prioritizes ridding itself of the poison you’ve consumed and your recovery from your training is delayed.

If you don’t fall in that category, life is about balance and enjoyment. So yes have a few drinks on the weekend and a pizza. Just be careful that this doesn’t become a 10 pints Friday, 10 pints Saturday and two takeaways. You’ve gone from being a monk during the week to consuming an extra 2000Kcals on Friday and Saturday. Be mindful that progress in the gym albeit weight loss or gaining muscle mass may not happen if you treat 2 days (Fri&Sat) out of a 7 days week like calories don’t count! That’s 104 cheat days out of a 365 calendar year!

Let me know if you have any more questions! Aoife