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fitness 101 common fitness questions answered by personal trainers

Educating Fitness Everyday

If you’re like many people, then you probably want to know the answers to some common fitness questions as you begin a new exercise program. That’s understandable, because there are various fitness myths that persist even in the face of a multitude of contrary evidence. Whether you are a gym veteran or are just starting on your fitness journey, knowing the answers to these common fitness questions will help you get the most out of your exercise program.

How Often Should I Work Out?

How often you work out depends on what your fitness goals are. If you’re looking to maintain your current weight, then the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise each week. This could be broken up into half-hour sessions five days a week or you could decide to do longer sessions on fewer days. Moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise is an activity like brisk walking, swimming or ballroom dancing. To make certain that you’re hitting that “moderate-intensity” level, you should be a bit out of breath, but still able to talk.

The recommendations change if you want to lose weight. In this case, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 250 minutes of weekly activity. You could break up these minutes in a multitude of ways, enjoying longer sweat sessions on days when you have more time and doing shorter sessions when your schedule is packed.

Strength training also plays a vital role in any exercise routine. Guidelines suggest using some combination of free weights and strength-training machines to target all the major muscle groups two to three times each week. Stretching should follow a similar schedule so that your range of motion improves.

What’s the Difference Between Using Free Weights and Strength-Training Machines?

Both types of strength training are advantageous for your muscles. Machines tend to encourage proper form as you are only permitted to exercise isolated muscles in a set range of motion. However, free weights are more conducive to letting your muscles work in concert as they naturally do when you go about your daily activities. Both will help you develop lean muscle for extra fat-burning potential.

How Many Calories Do I Have to Burn to Lose One Pound of Fat?

Research suggests that it’s necessary to burn 3,500 calories to shed one pound of fat. This doesn’t have to occur solely through exercise. For instance, you could consume 500 fewer calories each day while also stepping up your cardio activities if you want to burn one pound of fat.

Should I Do Strength Training If I Don’t Want to Get Bulky Muscles?

Women are typically concerned that any strength training they do will make them look big and bulky. The reality is that females don’t have enough naturally occurring testosterone in their system. Without a sufficient amount of the male hormone, it’s just not possible to develop huge, bodybuilder-type muscles. Still, anyone can gain benefits from strength training. These include:

  • Improved bone density to ward off osteoporosis
  • Increased muscle mass means more efficient calorie burning
  • Decreased symptoms of arthritis and back pain
  • Enhanced balance and coordination
  • Increased ability to complete everyday tasks like climbing stairs and carrying groceries

How Long Will It Take Me to Lose Weight?

That depends upon numerous factors that include what you eat, how often you exercise and what your ultimate fitness goals are. “Losing weight” is rather a vague term because while you’re burning fat, you also may be adding lean muscle mass. This means that the scale won’t necessarily show that you’re shedding pounds. Still, if you’re using circumference measurements of certain body parts and are able to obtain regular body-fat analysis checks, then you’ll certainly be able to track your progress.

Diet is an incredibly important factor when it comes to losing weight. The more you consume fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates instead of empty calories, the more likely you are to see and feel and difference in your body. Persistence is required, but if you stick with it, you’re bound to see tangible results.


Contact My House Fitness near you to have more common fitness questions answered and to start on a path toward being fitter and healthier than you ever were before. Our personal trainers will educate you and customized a fitness regimen that match your fitness ability and accomplish your fitness goals.