Let’s be real. Working out in a gym can be intimidating and confusing AF.
Whether you’re just stepping foot in the gym or you’re ready to level up, it’s totally normal to wonder how to get the most out of your workout.
If you’ve ever wondered ‘how long should I rest between sets?’ or ‘what the hell is progressive overload?’ You’re not alone.
We asked Kic’s head trainer, Danny, to spill the tea on the most common questions he gets asked at the gym…
1. How often do I need to train my abs?
Although training abs directly is a great way to build on the muscle, keep in mind you are using your core in almost every movement in and out of the gym.
Think of your abs just like any other muscle group, target them 2-3 x per week and allow for recovery in between.
2. Should I do cardio before or after strength training?
3. How long should I rest between exercises or sets?
Rest periods are incredibly important when it comes to strength training and the ability to overload over time. As a general rule of thumb I’d recommend:
1-5 Reps = 2-3 minutes rest
6-10 Reps = 90-120 seconds rest
11-15 Reps = 60 seconds rest
15+ Reps = 30-60 seconds rest
4. What is progressive overload?
Progressive overload involves performing more sets, reps, weight or increasing difficulty on an exercise over time. If you’re looking to up the ante with your workouts, progressive overload is the only way to progress.
5. Should I stretch before working out or after?
Both! Before your workout you should focus on dynamic movements to help warm up your muscles. I’m talking exercises like arm circles, leg swings, walking lunges and high knees to help improve flexibility and loosen up those muscles.
After your workout it’s time to slow your heart rate with static stretching – to help promote muscle recovery, reducing muscle soreness, and improving flexibility.
6. How quickly should I be doing each rep?
Unless there is a recommended tempo for the exercise, aim to control the eccentric phase of the rep (where you’re resisting against the weight) for 2 seconds, and on the concentric phase of the rep (when you’re moving the weight) as quickly as possible.
7. What is mind-muscle connection and how can I improve it?
Mind-muscle connection is a bit of a buzz word at the moment, and I am here for it. It’s when you are intentionally focusing on ‘feeling’ the working muscle and allowing your mind to connect with the muscle you’re trying to work on.
If you’re struggling to ‘feel’ the weight, reduce the weight and put a big focus on the cues for the exercise and what movement you are trying to create along with the target muscle you’re using.
Kinaesthetic awareness (touching the working muscle) when appropriate can be a great way to create the awareness also.
8. Can I train the same muscle multiple days in a row?
Ideally we want to have at least one day in between targeting the same muscle group.
9. Will weights make me big and bulky?
Argh. This is hands down the most common question, NO. Absolutely NOT.
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