In Part Three we have some FAQs and a last little tip to finish off this three part article! Enjoy!
Which should I do first, Weights or Cardio?
Always perform weights before cardio where possible. If you perform cardio exercise before weights training you will fatigue your muscles which will lead to a less effective resistance training session. On top of this, if your muscles are fatigued before starting, you are opening yourself up to potential injuries.
How long should I perform resistance training for?
Everyone has that friend who comes back from the gym and boasts "I just spent 2.5 hours in the gym doing bench press and squats (as well as a whole bunch of useless exercises)". I do not want you to be that person. Spending too much time in the gym performing resistance training can actually have a catabolic (negative) effect on muscle growth. By performing resistance training for too long, your body will start releasing increased levels of the stress hormone Cortisol, which will actually inhibit muscle growth. Only perform resistance training for 30-60 minutes to get the best results from your program depending on your goal.
Ever wonder why when you take an extended lay off from resistance training and then restart a resistance training program you seem to get your strength and size back much quicker than when you first started? When you perform resistance training, your muscle fibres are torn and cells called satellite cells are proliferated to fix these micro tears in the muscle. These satellite cells then become new nuclei (muscle command centres) in a process called hyperplasia (increase in number of muscle cells). When you stop training, you notice a decrease in muscle size, however, the new muscle cells created when you perform resistance training do not diminish, they remain in the muscle! This is why you get your strength and size back quickly. There you have it, there is actually such thing as "Muscle Memory".
I hope that this three part series has helped you understand your own strength program. Remember these tips when you come in and always remember that one of the trainers will be happy to help you further.
Keep working hard and chasing your goals,
Sean Raso.*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.