Fitness Training Tips

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Presently I am working out in a gym to reduce body fat and get abs. Please tell me how to reduce extra body fat and get six pack abs.My weight is 72 Kgs. Height - 5'7" Age - 25 Years

Six-Pack Abs

Aerobic exercise burns off abdominal fat, but if you're not overly heavy you don't want to do too much because it will interfere with muscle development. The best approach is to do 30-45 minutes of cardio three times a week and do weight training two or three times a week. Work your entire body, and do abdominal exercises every other day. If you can do more than 20 reps with crunches, make them harder by holding a weight on your chest. Do three or four sets, and a few sets of another ab exercise.

   
What basic exercises should I do to build muscle?

Basic Exercises

Basic multi-joint exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, bench press, squat etc. are the foundation exercises for building muscle.

   
I consume around 1200 calories a day and would like to say I am fit. I go to the gym about 4 times a week and mostly do cardio, running/elliptical. I have gained muscle quickly and would like to know how to decrease the muscle in my legs.

Muscle from Cardio Training

Cardio exercise usually does not result in large leg muscles. There may be some muscle definition, but this would be partly due to low percent body fat. Some people have muscular legs because of genetic factors. If you want to reduce muscle definition, try changing or alternating exercises, choosing biking, stepping, or other cardio options.

   
In general, how long should I rest before training the same muscles?

Resting Your Muscles

As a general rule, 48 hours recovery time between training the same muscle group (this will vary depending on the intensity of your training, and your level of conditioning).

   
What can I eat in order to gain weight?

Eating to Gain

There are two requisites for gaining weight: eat more and work out. Eating several times a day works for many people, but not everybody. The important thing is to get a lot of calories without feeling stuffed. Try adding a little olive oil to salads and veggies, and drink fruit juice instead of water sometimes. Get a little calorie counter at the bookstore and go for the options that are more calorie dense. Make sure you work your whole body during the week, with several sets of 8-12 reps. It's important to eat within half an hour of working out. Try for at least 300 calories, with a three-to-one ratio carbs to protein.

   
Is sleep important in order to gain muscle?

Sleep Equals Growth

Getting adequate sleep is vital in building quality muscle, as this is the time when your body rebuilds and repairs itself. The amount of sleep each individual requires varies, however most adults need between 7-9 hours per night.

   
Why is exercise so important ?

Why exercise

Exercise has many health benefits, both physical and mental, including: Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke,more energy,delay aging process,reduce risk of injuries,relieve tension,stress,depression,better sleep pattern and better overall sense of well-being.

   
How many sets of each exercise should I perform?

Number of Sets

Performing 1-3 sets of each weight training exercise should stimulate your muscles enough to begin to build the size and strength you want.

   
When does muscle growth occur?

Muscle Growth

Muscle growth occurs when you are resting not when you are training.

   
Should I focus my program differently as an athlete vs a bodybuilder?

Focus on Goals

Focus your musclebuilding program around your individual goals. In other words do exercises and movements which will get you to your goals. For example, if you want to be a bodybuilder you would not want to focus your program on doing olympic style lifts such as power cleans, snatches etc. The same goes for athletes or any other group. Use a program which is specific to you and your goals.

   
I am a ballet dancer and my trapezius muscles are overdeveloped. What can I do to get rid of these?

Overdeveloped Traps

If your trapezius is overdeveloped, it may be partly genetic and hard to get rid of. The best thing you can do is to avoid shrugs and other exercises that work the traps. This may be hard to do if you do a lot of overhead reaching or lifting. Another approach is to work the shoulders with lateral raises to make them broader so the traps won't be so obvious. Upright rows just to shoulder level can also make your shoulders stronger so that the traps won't have to work so hard.

   
How should I breath when performing a weight training exercise?

Proper Breathing

When lifting weights, in general you should be exhaling the air on the exertion or positive part of the movement, and inhaling air on the stretch or negative part of the movement. For example, on a biceps curl you would exhale as you curl the weight up and contract the biceps, and you would inhale as you lower the weight down and stretch the biceps.

   
My leg was in a cast for 4 months. Now it is a lot smaller than my other one and a lot weaker. What can I do to help it get back to normal size and strength?

Muscle Atrophy

Your muscles will atrophy--get smaller and weaker--if you are in a cast or otherwise immobilized. If your leg was in a cast, there are a number of exercises you can do to build up again, including leg extensions, calf raises, and step-ups. Work both legs, but do more with the weak one. Even climbing stairs will help. Ask you doctor to refer you to a physical therapist who can show you the exercises that will be best and safest for you.

   
I work out twice a day and my legs are nicely muscular, but my butt doesn`t round out enough and then goes straight down into my thighs. I want to have a nice round butt, but I seem to only have half of one. How do I fix this?

Rounding the Butt

To shape the buttocks, the best exercises are squats and lunges. You should also do some posterior exercise like stiff-leg deadlifts or back extensions on the extension bench, sometimes called a Roman chair. Don't do these more than twice a week, as they are hard exercises and you need to recover.

   
How many times a week should I train with weights to start out with?

Frequency of Training

Training with weights three times per week is a good place to start building quality muscle.

   
How often should I train each muscle group as a beginner?

Training Muscle Groups

When starting out work each of the major muscle groups during each weight training session.

   
Why should I set goals for my training?

Goals

Setting specific manageable goals for what you want to accomplish in your quest to build muscle will help you design a workout program, see results in a faster manner, and stay more focused.

   
I read once of strength comparisions such as bicep to tricep strength, quads to hams, and chest to back strength, but that was a while ago, and I forget. Could you please clear this up for me?

Strength Ratios

There are some general rules about strength ratios between opposing muscle groups. Quads are supposed to be stronger than hamstrings in a ratio of 3:2, so that if you can do a leg extension of 60 lb, your best hamstring curl should be 40 lb. If your best extension is 120 lb, your curl should be 80 lb. Biceps and triceps are supposed to be 1:1, though this can be hard to test with common exercises. Trunk flexion (abs and hip flexors) and spinal erectors are also supposed to be even.

   
I play fullback, but I`m kind of average size wise. For me to stand out and be noticed I need more POWER and STRENGTH! What can I do to build up my POWER so that college scouts can notice me?

Exercise for Power

Power exercises for athletes center on variations of the Olympic lifts, such as hang cleans, snatches, or high pulls. Classic weight training lifts, like squats and bench presses, are done with heavy weights and low reps. Medicine ball drills can also help. See if your coach or a strength coach can teach you these exercises if it's power you are looking for. You may also find some help at the web site of the National Strength & Conditioning Association, www.nsca-lift.org.

   
If I just do more reps when I workout I should get toned, right?

Integrated Approach for Results

Just performing more reps alone will not make you appear more toned. There are many other factors which are just as important. They are, training consistently, eating smaller more frequent healthy meals, and getting enough rest. Building muscle, like anything else, is an integrated process, not an isolated one.

   
In general, how do you build muscle?

Building Muscle

Building muscle requires strength training of some type. This may include weight training with free weights or machines, or doing bodyweight exercises.

   
How can I train if I am traveling?

Musclebuilding While Traveling

When traveling, to maintain your program, choose a hotel with a fitness facility, or if you are more advanced look in the yellow pages or ask at the front desk about a gym or club nearby. Typically there will be one fairly close that you can use for a small daily fee, and you may even get a complimentary pass depending on the hotel you are staying at. The cost is usually between five and ten dollars per day.

   
Does strength training help bones?

Bone density

Bone responds to weight training the same way muscle does, by becoming stronger and more dense. Building strong bones can be the best defense against osteoporosis.

   
In general in what increments should I increase the weight used?

How Much to Increase the Weight

In general, with upper body exercises you would increase the weight in 5lb increments. With lower body exercise you would increase the weight in 10 lb increments. These numbers will vary depending on the specific exercise, with movements using larger muscles, like the squat, going up faster than a triceps exercise.

   
What is a set?

Set-definition

A set is any specific number of repetitions, (e.g. 6, 8, 12 etc.).

   
Should I train a muscle if it is sore?

Training and Soreness

When a muscle is sore you should not train it until the soreness goes away, in order to achieve maximal muscle repair and growth.

   
How can I bring out the look of my muscles?

Flex the muscle

To bring out the extra edge of sharpness and chiseled look, try flexing the bodypart you are working on immediately after the set. Hold the flex for 5 seconds, relax, and do another set. Try this on a couple sets at first; make sure to breathe while flexing.

   
Generally, how should I progress my training?

General Training Progression

Begin your musclebuilding program slowly, and gradually progress by adding more sets, reps, and exercises.

   
What is a way to add intensity as an advanced exerciser?

Super Slow Training

Another way to stimulate more muscle fibers is to perform the exercise really slowly, taking 4-5 seconds on the lifting phase, and 4-5 seconds on the lowering phase. This will really work your muscles and is an advanced technique that beginners should not use, as it requires extreme concentration and effort to do correctly.

   
I read once of strength comparisions such as bicep to tricep strength, quads to hams, and chest to back strength, but that was a while ago, and I forget. Could you please clear this up for me?

Strength Ratios

There are some general rules about strength ratios between opposing muscle groups. Quads are supposed to be stronger than hamstrings in a ratio of 3:2, so that if you can do a leg extension of 60 lb, your best hamstring curl should be 40 lb. If your best extension is 120 lb, your curl should be 80 lb. Biceps and triceps are supposed to be 1:1, though this can be hard to test with common exercises. Trunk flexion (abs and hip flexors) and spinal erectors are also supposed to be even.

   
Why is sleep important?

Why sleep?

Train hard, eat right, but still don't grow?
Sleep could be the missing link to your progress. The growth and repair of muscle happens while you sleep. It is important to maintain a regular sleep pattern to achieve maximum gains from all that hard work at the gym.

   
What exercise works the back of your side, under the armpit?

Exercise for the Side

Some people find a little flab on the side under the armpit. Extended push-ups, where you give a little extra push at the top and round your back, can get to that area. You should also do upper back exercises such as dumbbell or machine rows for this area.

   
Can the elderly benefit from strength training?

Should elderly weight train?

Most doctors recommend that the elderly do weight train to maintain muscle mass, bone density, balance, coordination and independence. Anyone considering an exercise program should consult a physician before beginning.

   
How much resistance should I use when training?

Amount of Weight to Use

When training, start each exercise with a weight which allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions.

   
What are the best exercises to do for reducing the fat on your stomach and gaining more muscle in the abs?

Reducing Stomach Fat

To reduce the fat on your stomach/abdominal area, do cardio exercise and adjust your diet so you eat less fat. A variety of crunches and other ab exercises will build up the muscle, which will be easier to see when you lose the fat.

   
What plans should I make before I go for my workout?

Plan Workout Details

Planning your workout, including when you will do it, the exercises, the amount of weight, the number of sets, and the number of repetitions, will help you to stay focused and efficient when you are in the gym.

   
How long should a weight training session last?

Weight Train No More than an Hour

For the majority of exercisers weight training sessions need not be more than 1 hour in length. If you are training much longer than this you are probably not training intensely enough. In other words, excessive socializing and daydreaming.

   
What is a repetition?

Repetition-Defined

A repetition consists of one complete movement of an exercise (e.g. doing a push-up, moving all the way down and back up).

   
What's best for me, machine weights or free weights?

Free Weights or Machines?

There is an ongoing controversy as to whether free weights or machines are better. I suggest using some of each. Machines are safer (though you can hurt yourself if you don't use them properly), easier to learn, and easier to use without a spotter. You can also change resistance quicker. Free weights are closer to everyday activities and help improve balance and coordination, as well as recruiting some small muscles the machines don't get to. Most athletes emphasize free weights.

   
What is one thing I could do in order to work the muscle more fully?

Getting More Muscle Activation

When performing a repetition, a slight pause at the top and bottom of the movement gives the extra contraction and stretch needed to work the muscle more fully and hence stimulate more development.

   
What is the best exercise for working on your lower abdominal muscles?

Working Lower Abs

A basic exercise for lower abs is the reverse crunch. Lie on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Lift your hips a couple of inches by contracting the lower abs.

   
What are isometric exercises?

What are isometrics?

Isometrics occur by contracting the muscle without movement.Isometrics only strengthen the muscle at the angle of resistance and not through the entire range of motion. Isometrics can be effective to increase strength through a sticking point by contracting the muscle against an immovable force at the precise angle of motion that is weak.

   
Which muscles should I focus on particularly when just beginning?

Abs and Low Back Vital

Building the muscles of the low back and abs allows you to perform other exercises correctly, because these muscles stabilize the spine and torso.

   
Do I need to spend a lot of money and join a gym immediately?

Training at Home

Beginning muscle building can be done inexpensively at home by doing push-ups, triceps dips, body weight squats, calf raises, etc. as long as you have been trained on how to properly do the exercises.

   
I`m a female, 31 years old and 140 lb. I have large calves that measure 15 inches. How do I reduce the size of my calves? Is there any particular machine I should or shouldn`t be using?

Reducing Calf Size

There isn't any exercise that will reduce the size of your calves, though cardio exercise may help if the problem is excess fat. Otherwise, just avoid doing exercises that develop them, like heel raises. I would suggest also avoiding step aerobics.

   
Should I continue to train my upper and lower body on the same days?

Training Lower Body

As you progress to the intermediate level, begin to train lower body on a separate day. Leg training takes a lot out of you so focus on legs and leave the upper body to another day.

   
What types of basic equipment could I purchase for home training?

Basic Equipment

To advance further while still spending relatively little money purchase a weight bench, adjustable dumbbells and a barbell set to use during your training. You should be sure to again receive proper instruction on how to perform exercises before beginning to use this equipment, whether it be from another person, a book, or video.

   
How often should I train my muscles as a beginner?

Beginner Workout Frequency

Working the whole body three times/week as a beginner is a good way to develop a strength base to work from.

   
When should I start doing more isolation exercises?

Build then Isolate

After you build the muscle mass that you want, you may want to focus more on isolation exercises to help increase muscle definition.

   
I want to lose weight in my thighs and butt. I plan to start a healthier eating style and do Tae-bo 5 times a week and speed training 3 times a week. Will I lose fat and slim down all over? How soon will that happen?

Losing Weight with Tae-bo

A healthy diet coupled with regular Tae-bo or similar aerobic/martial arts-based exercise should lead to weight loss, but it's hard to say how quickly that will happen for a given individual. Weight loss is usually overall, but you can build up some areas with weight training if you feel you've lost too much in a particular area. Be patient and you will reach your goals.

   
How can I change the intensity of my workouts?

Intensity is Key

Intensity is vital in order to achieve results in a reasonable time frame. Intensity can be changed by either changing the amount of weight used, adjusting the amount of time you do your workout in, or adding more sets or exercises to the routine.

   
I`m trying to develop a workout program for myself. What muscle groups should be worked out together and how often per week?

Split Routines

There are several approaches if you don't want to work your whole body in the same session. One is upper body one day, lower the next. Another is the push-pull system. This is pushing muscles (chest, triceps, shoulders) one day and pulling (back, biceps, legs) the next. You can also do chest, tris, shoulders one day, back, bis, and abs the next, then legs on a separate day. There is a trend now to work each muscle group once a week only, but I think this is not enough stimulation for growth for most people. I prefer twice a week.

   
How can I keep my workout efficient and intense?

Time Your Workouts

Use a stopwatch to time your rest and increase intensity, which will help you keep your workout more focused and efficient. This is especially helpful as a beginner when you are not used to training.

   
When I use machines should I let the plates touch between reps?

Don't Let Plates Touch

When using machines in your training do not let the plates touch the rest of the stack when you are performing a set. This will keep continuous tension on your muscles which will lead to better results.

   
What are reps?

Reps

A "rep" is short for repetition. If you do a given weight training exercise eight consecutive times, for instance, that would be eight reps.

   
How can I get all my reps in?

Counting reps

Instead of counting reps starting at one and counting up, start at your target number and count backward. When you get near the end of your set, you'll be thinking how few you have left instead of how many you've done.

   
My calves are really short and small. How can I get them to get longer and bigger? My ankles are tiny too so I look like I've got the legs of a 10 year old.

Calf Development

To fully develop your calves, you should do both standing and seated heel raises. Standing raises work the whole calf, but emphasize the gastrocnemius. The seated version targets the soleus, the underlying muscle. Machines are good for this, but you can also do the standing raise with body weight or holding a dumbbell and the seated raise with a weight on your lap. I have observed that step aerobics seem to develop the calves as well.

   
I`m a female, 31 years old and 140 lb. I have large calves that measure 15 inches. How do I reduce the size of my calves? Is there any particular machine I should or shouldn`t be using?

Reducing Calf Size

There isn't any exercise that will reduce the size of your calves, though cardio exercise may help if the problem is excess fat. Otherwise, just avoid doing exercises that develop them, like heel raises. I would suggest also avoiding step aerobics.

   
How should I perform the strength training exercises?

Controlled Movements

When performing a repetition of an exercise move in a controlled manner, focusing on the muscle you are working.

   
Why should I do basic exercises to develop a strength base?

Basic Exercises

The reason basic, multi-joint exercises, such as the bench press, leg press, squats, and military press, are good for building a strength base is that they involve several muscle groups and therefore require you to balance and coordinate a variety of muscles at the same time.

   
How often should I change my program?

When to Change the Program

Altering your workout program by changing exercises every four to six weeks will help you avoid plateaus in your muscle and strength gains.

   
I am 16 years old, and I play basketball. I am really skinny, and my teammates make fun of me. I`d like to know how can I get some muscles without becoming a bodybuilder?

Getting Muscles when You're Skinny

Teenagers sometimes have a hard time gaining weight and muscle because of hormonal factors. They will usually gain as they get older. You can still build up some by eating more and doing weight training. It's best to go to a gym, but you can get some dumbbells and work out at home. Do sets of 8 to 12 repetitions and you will develop some muscle without getting too big.

   
How do you make a certain area of your body, like hips, thighs, and butt, grow and get bigger?

Targeting Muscle Growth

You can develop lagging body parts, like thighs or chest, by targeting them with weight training. You should work your whole body, but you can do more for the parts you want to build up.

   
What can I eat in order to gain weight?

Eating to Gain

There are two requisites for gaining weight: eat more and work out. Eating several times a day works for many people, but not everybody. The important thing is to get a lot of calories without feeling stuffed. Try adding a little olive oil to salads and veggies, and drink fruit juice instead of water sometimes. Get a little calorie counter at the bookstore and go for the options that are more calorie dense. Make sure you work your whole body during the week, with several sets of 8-12 reps. It's important to eat within half an hour of working out. Try for at least 300 calories, with a three-to-one ratio carbs to protein.

   
How many exercises should I do for each muscle group?

Number of Exercises

Beginners should aim for 1-3 exercises per muscle group initially. This is especially important if you re doing a total body workout 3 times per week.

   
What are the best exercises to do for reducing the fat on your stomach and gaining more muscle in the abs?

Reducing Stomach Fat

To reduce the fat on your stomach/abdominal area, do cardio exercise and adjust your diet so you eat less fat. A variety of crunches and other ab exercises will build up the muscle, which will be easier to see when you lose the fat.

   
What can I do to most effectively increase my arm size?

Arm Size

To develop arm size focus more on triceps exercises, because the triceps makes up the majority of the mass of the upper arm.

   
Is there a specific program that will work best?

No One Way is Best

There is no one way that is best to build muscle for everyone. As an individual you have to try different techniques and programs until you find one that works for you. Then you will have to adjust that program over time as it will not work forever. Your body will get used to it and adapt.

   
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