Here are some questions that I seem to get asked all the time. I hope the following will set the record straight for everyone.
Q1. Will doing lots of sit-ups get me a flat stomach?
- Yes and No. What sit-ups won’t do is lose body fat and body fat is why most people have large stomachs. If you don’t have any fat in your abdominal region then sit-ups/crunches will keep you abdominal muscles strong and support your lower back and assist with good posture, giving you an appearance of a flat stomach. The best way to lose your stomach (adipose tissue) fat is by aerobic exercise and a good well balanced calorie controlled diet.
Q2. Can I turn fat into muscle?
No this is physiologically impossible they are totally different cells.
Q3. What food is good to eat after a workout?
When you exercise your body consumes glycogen the best way to replace this is by having a small meal of carbohydrates and a small (SMALL) amount of protein to repair muscle tissue.
Q4. DO I need to rest my muscles after a workout and how long should I rest for?
It depends on what you are doing. If you are doing weight training you can have a split routine where-by you do the top half of your body one day and the bottom half the next, followed by a rest day. It is not a good idea to train aerobically every day either. Of course this will depend on each individual’s age, gender and current level of fitness and whether they are an elite athlete or not. However as a general rule it is good to have a few rest days each week. It is not so much that we want to rest our muscles it is more about resting and not over taxing our Central Nervous System. Small muscle tears occur when we train hard with weights and they too need to time to repair and recover.
Q5.Can I eat Carbs after 8pm?
YES YOU CAN!!! Some unqualified people will tell you that you can’t, however it is not true. Calories are calories and it doesn’t matter when we eat them. It is ideal to have a balanced diet with carbohydrate, fats, protein in your diet. It is a simple calculation. If you eat more calories than you burn then you will get fat.
Q6. Can I eat lots of protein and not get fat?
NO. If we consume too much protein, fat or carbs than our body requires then they will all add to a weight increase. Too much protein will simply become adipose tissue like fats or carbs.
Q7. What supplements can I take?
There is no need to take any supplements unless your doctor has advised you that you have a specific deficiency. This will only be known to you via a properly carried out medical examination. Most supplements are a waste of money and many can contain harmful chemicals that affect our bodies adversely. Too many extra water soluble vitamins make for very expensive urine and over dosing on fat soluble vitamins can make us sick. Stick to a well-balanced diet that includes lots of different foods, especially vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, fish, and lean meat both white and red in small amounts.
Q8. Is caffeine good to take before a workout?
NO. When we work hard in training our hearts beat faster, but adding too much caffeine just before a work out can in fact damage your heart muscle, especially for those with already high heart rates and who are unfit.
Q9. Are there special foods that burn fat?
NO. Sadly there is not. Many unscrupulous sales people will have you believe there is, however, there is no scientific data to support this crazy notion. The best way to speed up your metabolic rate is to exercise regularly and eat small healthy choice meals throughout the day.
Q10. Will those abdominal machines we see on TV make me burn fat and look like the people using them?
Sadly they will NOT!!…The models you see on those TV advertisements did not get their bodies from swinging back and forth on a machine. The best way to burn fat is high intensity aerobic activity and a calorie controlled balanced diet.
Q11. Is there a quick way to lose 10kgs?
No. Be wary of those who promise you they can. A safe fat loss is 0.5-1kg a week. Sadly many so called fitness trainers/gurus will promise you outrageous claims about weight loss to get you to train with them. While it will depend on your initial size to start with in regards to weight loss…IE you may lose more weight in the first 2 weeks due to better eating patterns and water loss if you are very over weight. A person who may be many Kilos over weight will have a greater loss up front. However, as this water loss settles a good “FAT” loss (not water loss) to aim for is as stated above between 0.5-1 kg a week
By: John Hart
Master’s In Education” (Disability/Rehab) Newcastle University Australia
“Grad Cert Education” Newcastle University Australia
“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”
“Cert 4 Personal Training”
“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”
Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)