2020: Ask the Personal Trainers
Each week Ezfit Singapore gets countless queries from online users regarding the various exercising techniques and how to develop muscles. It even keeps our trainers hooked up in identifying some of the unique and best questions, which you can see below. Of course, our trainers do answer all the queries related to exercising and diet as and when they come.
So, let’s check some of the unique and best queries that online users as well as our current gym membership have asked or had doubts about.
1) How Can I Increase My Muscles?
There are various methods you can use for growing your muscles; however, you do have to realize that they involve constant progress from time to time. Therefore, you must increase something each time.
As per our trainers, it can be the heaviest weight you have lifted, reps per set, longer time spent on doing set (here it means slower movements of weight), the total amount of weight lifted (i.e. weight X reps), etc.
It is important that you keep track of the workouts and even increase somewhere around 3 to 5% or somewhat 10% of the volume, or either one rep each week. But when you are no longer able to make any progress with the current method, then the time has come to change your workouts.
2) What is the Favourite Exercises Your Trainers Like Or Enjoy Doing?
According to our trainers, there are various great exercises one can do. But if you want to know which exercise is great for each body part, then the following are –
For chest, incline dumbbell bench press can be great as you end up getting a slight upward angle. This can often train the weak upper fibres present in your chest. Also, when you are using dumbbells you can get better squeeze right at the top of the exercise. Hence, this upward angle will be very much useful for people in sports.
Regarding back, our trainers feel that one-arm rows are great. This allows a larger range of motion, which will help in the complete development of your muscles. Plus, it is very much healthier for the long-term shoulder mobility.
For legs, the high bar back squat (which is called a split squat if you can’t have the flexibility to squat well). Also, deep squats with the knee fully closed can help in training your muscles of your quadriceps which leads to a long-term good knee health.
Our trainers feel one-arm dumbbell press can great for shoulders. This allows more amount of movement for your shoulder blade, thereby allowing a whole movement and better development of the muscles. It even means for people lacking shoulder flexibility won’t have to compensate for this movement as much as they need to do with their lower back, especially if they are doing two-arm exercise with one-arm exercise. Frankly, this will make the movement safer.
◾Glutes or Hips
For this Romanian deadlift is great. In this exercise, you won’t have to pick the bar right from the floor, and this is considered the most dangerous aspect of the movement. Thereby, we end up removing the movement which can be dangerous for trainees.
For arms, the close grip neutral chin dips and up is a great exercise. Frankly, these two exercises will easily build the triceps and muscles faster compared to the isolation exercises like pushdowns and curls. Also, they can be considered as the topmost priority for training the clients in arms in limited time.
3) Is It Important to Have Stability and Mobility While Working Out?
Flexibility, mobility, and stability of the joint can be considered as the important factors in your workout routine. Not many people know that mobility can be defined as your joint’s ability to move freely in each range of motion (ROM) and that too without any restrictions from the tissue surrounding it.
Regarding flexibility, it is the ability of the soft tissues of your body (this even includes the tendons, muscles, and ligaments) to get lengthen in a correct manner. Hence, this will allow your joints to move in the optimal ROM. Like flexibility, stability is the ability of the surrounding soft tissues to support using the ROM.
Now it is important you do exercises that incorporate such exercises that will challenge each of the three major training factors. These can be added to your weekly routine individually or in a combined manner. If you are limited in a single or more of such kind of movement, then your body will end up compensating elsewhere. This will seriously increase the risk getting injured.
Frankly, when it is related to patterns involving body movements, it is important that your joints have a good amount of varying needs in terms of stability, mobility, and flexibility. For example, if you check out your thoracic spine (which is present in the upper back), it must be mobile. Why? It is because this is an area that is home to various attachments like scapulae, ribs, muscles, and clavicle.
Regarding the scapulothoracic joint, this is the place where the shoulder blade will meet the thoracic spine. This needs to be stable for preventing shoulder injury. Your spine must be mobile, so that it can move freely, thereby allowing your shoulders to be properly used and correctly.
In addition, there are two factors contributing to flexibility, mobility, and stability. This can be done through the proprioceptive response and neuromuscular control. Muscle memory or neuromuscular control brings a positive effect on the movements which is starting from an exercise program. Hence, it means that the more often the movement pattern or exercise is practiced, that too in an efficient and safe way, it will be easier to do. Also, a proprioceptive response is mainly about the immediate contraction of the muscles, which the joint experiences the external force.
4) What Are the Ideal Reps and Weights You Can Do for Muscle Creation?
As per our trainers, there isn’t any kind of an ideal number of repetitions or weight that is needed for muscle building. It is important that you vary it so that various kinds of muscle fibres are trained. Frankly, there are hundreds of workout programs. Our trainers recommend going with the 3-5 weeks on the lower rep followed by three to five weeks on higher reps. This works great for almost 80% of the people until they become experienced.
Regarding very experienced trainees, they can do better by using various reps each day of the week. However, if you check out this ‘very experienced group’ constitutes a small percentage of the clients (somewhat 5% or so).
5) How Long Must Each of The Workout Be?
Our trainers like or you can say believe in keeping the workouts under 60 minutes of training. This is commonly followed after the warmup is completed. Sometimes, our trainers feel that they can get good results within the 45 minutes of workout. So, after this time –
◾Most individual’s stress hormones will go up, thereby affecting their recovery.
◾People won’t have the required glycogen to perform in a better way.
◾ The mental focus of such people will drop, thereby increasing the chances of getting injured.
For natural and steroid-free trainees, it is important to have quality compared to quantity. This is the major reason why you should not be following exercising regimes and workouts of the newest Instagram influencers as you never know the kind of nutrients they are supporting. Here each rep has a major purpose as it would be using the recovered energy and ability, and this is seriously limited. If you keep the workout challenging but short, then you will easily get better results as you end up recovering better.
6) What Time of The Day Is Best to Train At?
Most of our trainers feel that it is better if one trains in the morning. Why? Well, there will be lesser distractions like family emergencies and work meetings. Furthermore, muscle-building hormones will be high just after four hours of waking up. So, your exercising performance will be great at this time.
However, this might not be possible for various individuals due to school or work. Here, the important thing is to develop the habit of exercising, and if you can find the time that suits you, continue doing it. This will be the ideal time for your training. If you are training heavily late at night, then you must consume a heavy protein meal after you finish the training so that you can reduce the stress hormones. This won’t disrupt your sleep.
7) How Fast Can One Create Muscles in A Natural Manner Especially Without Using Steroids?
As per the experience of our trainers, an average male can easily develop about 18-21kg of muscles in a natural way, especially above their mature and untrained state. For example, if you are a 25-year-old and weighing 60kg, just before training, you can be at the same body fat and still be at 75 to 85kg in few years.
Of course, right at the beginning, it will work fast, however, as soon as you gain more experience and remain drug-free, it slows down. Somewhat you can say that in the first year you might be able to do about 45-55% of the whole total. So, this will be somewhere around 6-9kgs in a natural way.
Then each year right after that, you can put on somewhere around 40-50% of the remaining potential. Therefore, it means that in two years, it will be somewhere around 4-6kg. And in the 3 years, it will be 2-3kg. In the 4th year onwards, it will be 1-2kg each year which is surely great progress. All you must do is be patient.
8) How Many Times in A Week Must One Train Each Of The Muscles?
Here this simply depends on how hard each of the sessions is. Generally, if it is for steroid-free and natural people, our trainers feel that they must train on each of the muscles for about two to three weeks. Various research shows that muscles can easily grow in the best way within 48-72 hours of a stipulation.
Hence, when it concerns big muscles like legs, you must do 2x a week. For small muscles like arms, it can be 3x a week. Therefore, when it concerns the biceps, you can start with one biceps a day and another day you do the rows and then another day the chin-ups which are 3x a week, thereby your biceps will get used to this, leading to greater growth. About quads, you can start with one day a squat and another day it will be jumps which are 2x a week.
9) What Should One Do If They Can’t Feel Their Muscles Contracting?
Here, if you are training for power and strength, and that too using heavyweight or high speed, your nervous system will not recover. Now you must rest up to 5-10 minutes among the sets you are doing.
Make sure to try again, if you are still feeling that you are not able to move the weight or explode into movements or when you have to drop the weight more somewhere around 7-8%, then go ahead and stop for the day. It means you have reached the limit for that exercise.
Now, this is a common issue with people who are highly motivated. Many of them assume that the huffing or puffing and short rest is the best way to feel while training. However, with strength building, you really want to take a long rest and there must be total recovery among exercises.
If you are trying to higher reps due to training for fat loss or muscles, then you must take shorter rest, then drop the weight amount that is used and make sure to continue to push through the burn.
These are some of the few common questions we get. Feel free to drop us an email or post up a question in social media for us to answer!