Frequently asked fitness questions part 3

It’s time for another most frequently asked fitness questions blog. Here I answer the most searched fitness related questions the best I can. There is so much polarizing information out there to the point where you can’t separate the truth from false information. With the millions and millions of different google articles and so called ”professionals” or influencers sharing their opinion on fitness related topics, it’s hard to separate what is actually true. Within answering these questions, I always want to stay away from opinion as much as possible and focus on facts instead. However, I can’t help but share my own experiences along the way.

Today we will cover the topics of how long a warmup should take, how important your nutrition really is and whether or not lifting makes women look bulky.

Let’s dive into it.

How long should you warm up?

The short answer here is: anywhere between 5-20+ minutes. The more important question is: How should you warm up and how long does that process take you?

Warming up isn’t about time, it’s not even about injury prevention. It’s about priming the body for what it’s about to go through. For example, if you’re doing a sprint interval workout that involves doing 10 x 100-meter sprints with 2 minutes of rest between, you don’t just want warm the muscles up, that won’t be enough. You have to think about the energy systems and muscle fibers you’re about to use. So, for a sprint workout like this, you want to get the fast-acting muscle fibers working while also spiking the heart rate up. This physically primes the body for what it’s about to go through. A warm up here could look like this:

  • 0-4 minutes: running an easy 800 meters ( general body warm up)
  • 4-10 minutes: loosening up hamstrings, ankles, glutes, calf and shin muscles (specific warm up 1)
  • 10-14 minutes: dynamic movement warm up like: squat jumps, jumping lunges, med ball throws etc. (specific warm up 2)
  • 14-20 minutes: Sprint build up, sprint 20 meters, recovery walk back, sprint 40 meters, recovery walk back, sprint 60 meters, recovery walk back, sprint 80 meters recovery walk back.
  • Ready to go.

So, to get back to the question at hand. You want to identify what muscles and energy systems you need to prime for your activity, that should determine how long the warm up takes, not the other way around.

How important is nutrition

Let me put it to you this way, how much time do you spend working out and how much time do you spend outside of that? For most people it’s an hour to an hour and a half at best, which means you’re spending 23 hours (about 95% of the day) away from the gym or whatever activity you do. What do you think has the most amount of impact, the 5% in the gym or the 95% outside of it? You probably guessed right, the 95% outside of the gym does way more for your physique and performance than the 5%. Now don’t get me wrong, the right nutrition isn’t going to do all the work for you. If you want to have a sixpack or run a marathon, you will have to put in that work on top of the nutrition. But as long as your nutrition is not on point you will never be able to peak your performance and abilities.

Short answer: VERY IMPORTANT

Will lifting make women bulky?

Let me ask you a question, how many men do you know who regularly go the gym and actually look big or so called bulky? The answer is probably not that many, because it ain’t that easy. I know men who have been trying to get bigger for 5+ years but just can’t seem to do it.

Why make the comparison to men? Because it is way, WAY more likely for man to grow muscle mass by lifting weights than it is for woman. It’s all because of our hormone levels. Since this is the case, why do we expect women to grow muscle mass at a super-human speed all of a sudden?

At some point you will probably start to develop some more muscle mass but it’s not going to be that significant unless you want it to be. You actually need to have the right genes; you need to lift the appropriate number of weights and your nutrition has to be on point. So, you can control 2 out of the 3 factors (weights and nutrition), and I can promise you that 95% of you out there are not lifting heavy enough or eating enough to actually gain a good amount of muscle mass.

Short answer: there’s no short answer, just don’t expect it to be that easy, because it’s not.

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