Q AND A

“Should I do cardio to lose fat?”

Cardio burns calories there and then and a few hours after your exercise, as your metabolic rate has risen temporarily. But with resistance training (by this I mean weights or bodyweight exercises) not only are you burning calories there and then and a few hours afterwards, but you are also inflicting damage to your muscles, forcing them to grow, (given that you’re consuming the right nutrition), thus permanently increasing your metabolic rate as you have gained more muscle. So you can do cardio for sure, but one of the most effective ways to lose fat from training alone is by gaining muscle. So, by all means, do cardio, but know why you are doing it.

“What’s a good exercise to get rid of my belly?”

No exercise in the world will get rid of your belly, but amending your diet on the other hand will. I understand that doing more core exercises may have a placebo effect and that after a core workout you may see some aesthetic improvement, but this is usually only temporary.

“Will the leg press help me lose weight on my legs?” 

Exercise isn’t all that good for losing fat. But it is good for making you healthier, stronger, making you feel good about yourself and having a positive influence on dietary choices. However – you will never out train a poor diet unless you have a super fast metabolism. Don’t despair, though – there are exercises that will cause more of a stir in your body for fat loss than others.

For example, a leg press will do more for you than a calf raise, as you are targeting a much bigger muscle. But I would always choose squats over leg presses for someone as there are even more muscles involved. Generally speaking, for most people squats are an infinitely better exercise. The leg press involves minimal core activation as you are sitting down and is also less functional for the average person. It puts your body in fairyland – as if this is how you need to use your legs. Squats are much more taxing on your whole body.

So to answer the question! Yes, but there are more effective exercises. I’m not a fan of this mentality where you go to the gym to burn X amount of calories. Just go and have a good workout and forget the calories you’ve burned.

“What’s the difference between a fat loss programme and a muscle building programme?”

None! Or at least there shouldn’t be…..Why? Because one of the most effective ways of losing fat via training is by gaining muscle. “But I don’t want to get too muscly…” This leads nicely on to the next question…

“How much weight should I lift?”

(My answer to this does not apply to everyone, such as people coming out of injury or those with certain health issues)

Lift as much as you possibly can to make the target rep range whilst adhering to proper form. “How do I do this?” Easy! Try one weight, then adjust as necessary.

It’s as simple as that! “Oh but I don’t want to gain much muscle?” As if to say that lifting light will just give you a little bit of muscle. Not true. That’s like a lady saying “Oh I only want to be a little bit pregnant so I don’t get too big”.

Muscles are stubborn, they will only change if you force them to, which means – lift a challenging weight! If you just want a little bit more muscle, then just eat a little bit more food, whilst lifting weights that challenge you.

“What is your opinion on protein drinks?”

Personally, they’re not for me. I used to drink them but while doing so I kind of felt that I shouldn’t be. Why? Because I can get better nutrition from real food. I get that if you are desperate to put on some muscle you might want to drink shakes, but you can do it without them also. They are extremely common now but I do believe that some things work there way into culture in a sneaky way without people really questioning why. I don’t really trust them, its a powder that has a huge shelf life and claims to give you xyz benefits but its nothing real food cant give you. Some might say it depends on the brand, but I beg to differ.

Anyways, until next time 🙂