Get the answers to these FAQ's
Not a day goes by without the Personal Trainers here at Hurl's being asked at least a couple of these questions; of course we're always more than happy to try and answer any health and fitness related question you want to fire at us! But to make life easier for everyone, we have complied this page as an easy reference - for you to use as a sort of 'Fitness Index' as often as you would like.
Questions about working your core:
Questions about diet, nutrition and losing weight/fat burning :
Questions regarding resistance training:
Questions about training in general:
QUESTIONS ABOUT WORKING YOUR CORE
The most obvious answer in this circumstance usually relates to your core. It may be that your abdominals, core stabilisers, or back is simply not strong enough. But before you think you've found your answer, sometimes you need to dig a little deeper. You’ll probably find that it’s actually the way you are doing the exercise: ie your technique or form. Having one of our trainers assess you can help diagnose the problem and come up with a solution or alternative exercise. We can even find out if it is something more sinister at play (which in many cases it can be).
Solution: Try making the exercise easier. This should always be the first step! However this does not always mean you look for more support - and by this we mean that machines are not always the answer; Machines can often provide too much support and not necessarily be the first step in the regression of an exercise. Always ensure you are doing an exercise correctly even it is an easier way to do it.Then, once you build your strength and stability you can increase the difficulty level or resistance. Ultimately our trainers can show you the correct way to work your abdominals.
Solution: The desire to shift weight from a particular body part is fairly common; particularly when it comes to the abdominal region. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes! The answer is usually a specialised combination of diet and exercise that will help you lose fat and tone muscle. In some special cases there may be extenuating circumstances that influence your weight including: illness, disease, a high rate of retention or an intolerance to a type of food or liquid, or possibly your actual ability with exercise. One of our trainers can help to determine the best path for you.
QUESTIONS ABOUT DIET AND NUTRITION, WEIGHT LOSS/FAT BURNING
There are many diets and fad dieting out there. The trick is to find a personalised eating plan tailored to your own needs and goals. You can play around with these diets for years and receive all kinds of inconsistant results. Alternatively, you can sit down and assess your health and fitness goals. Your own health and fitness goals will help guide you towards making the right eating choices.
Solution: If you're struggling with diet on your own, ask one of our trainers for more information or read our nutrition pages on this website. In the meantime, look at diets that you think are more sustainable in the long term. We always encourage our clients to choose a diet and exercise plan that suits their lifestyle - plans they have a better chance of maintaining. The exception to this is with our athletes and for those who are training for a specific purpose or time period.
Although the mirror can be a great exercise motivator, the sad reality is that a lot of the time you can't really trust what you think you look like. This is because we are rarely happy with what we see in the mirror. If we are, then more often than not the battle is over. This of course does not mean that you run yourself into the ground and never be happy. We want to ensure that you congratulate yourself with even the smallest of changes and use them as motivation to keep going. One of the things we really believe at Hurl's is that positive incentives always go further than negative ones.
Solution: If your weight loss really is at a plateau, there's going to be a reason for that. See one of our trainers for further assessment or try mixing things up. Increase the intensity of your training and ensure that the difficulty of your exercise regime progresses. Just remember to ALWAYS progress safely. Ensure your diet compliments your body type as well as the type of training you are undergoing, Remember exercise works in unison with your diet.
I know you don't want to hear this, but this is a problem that does not have one simple solution! You might be retaining weight around your stomach for a number of reasons which need to be addressed before taking the appropriate measures or attempt any form of trial and error process.
Solution: Ask one of our trainers to further assess you, with continual assessments to allow for definitive results. Remember any fitness goal always begins with your diet, so start there. But also remember that without exercise to burn the required amount of what you are putting into your body, the process might take longer. To get more information about nutritional guidelines for you, talk to one of our trainers. Or if deeper analysis is required you may need to speak to your GP or possibly see a nutritionist.
*Note; Unfortunately you cannot target where you wish to specifically lose weight. However, there are ways to help. You can't replace muscle for fat and vice versa, but the more muscle you have the more fat you can burn. So building more muscle in and around, say your abdominals, (in theory) should help but won't guarantee results. Remember that other factors such as diet, are an essential requirement.
Your exercises should always be challenging. Not even 1,000 crunches a day could guarantee a flat stomach. It might help but you'll need to address more issues such as; more cardio, the type of exercises you're doing, the way you're doing them or the type of workout you're undertaking. Another tip is to try and always engage your core with every exercise, even in your day to day life.
This is a calculation which requires further analysis, so if you wish to know how many calories to eat per day as per your body type, consult one of our trainers. You will see that by simply minimising the amount of calories you eat a day alone could decrease your size naturally (but don't neglect your exercise).
This is as common a question as there is. It also comes back to as simple a metaphor as comparing apples and oranges. If you go to buy a car you don’t just pick the one that looks the best. You need to dig deeper. In this scenario weight is your overall size. Fat is more complex, it's something you require, can put on and burn just as easily. It is also what we usually have too much of and therefore need to lose the most. Smooth toned bodies usually have an unhealthy level of fat (not weight). So if you do an assessment; ensure you don’t neglect doing"skin folds" for more accurate readings of how much fat you have as well as where abouts on your body is storing the most most amount of fat (not just weight). Tape measurements are another way to get more accurate readings than simply jumping on the scales.
Do supplements work?
(Refer to our "News" page for more information on supplements).
QUESTIONS REGARDING RESISTANCE TRAINING
One of the most commonly asked questions by any female is being concerned about gaining too much muscle/size due to weight training. It is a myth that you will automatically look like a “Spartan” by simply using some weights. It’s a lot harder for women to gain high amounts of muscle mass due to their low level of Testosterone (a hormone more commonly found in larger amounts in males). Of course there are ways around this if it is what you're after, but overall you can put your mind to rest.
Solution: REMEMBER muscle is essential not only for development and movement, but for burning fat. The more muscle = the more fat you can burn; so don’t neglect resistance and/or impact and toning exercises (i.e. boxing etc.). Also remember that you always have control over your results as well. If you find you are not quite getting what you want or getting more than you want, you have the ability to change the outcome at any time. If you feel you have achieved your result simply maintain the resistance and intensity as there is now less need for progression. Just remember to still change your workouts to keep you motivated.
Squats can be a little more complex than they look, particularly if you; have never done them before, have ever incurred any lower body injury, never been shown the correct technique or your muscles (particularly your prime movers) are simply too tight. All of these problems can affect your technique and overall result.
Solution: ALWAYS be shown the correct technique by a properly accredited trainer. Don’t always look to using a swiss ball or machines to help correct your technique either, because the most this will do is increase strength only and strength only to the major muscles involved. But what about your stablisers and supporting muscles that ensure you remain upright and/or don’t fall over? Let me ask you; do you have a ball to rest on when you go to pick up the grocery bags or your child? Or do you often find yourself sitting down and pushing an object with your legs (leg press). Always try and think of function and how you can relate the exercise to your needs or day-to-day life. This will help get what you are really after. After all; exercise is meant to make life, your life, sport and/or everyday choirs easier. For further information about the correct squatting technique, click here to visit our Trainer Tips page.
This is a common problem particularly in men and body builders, as this is primarily due to overloading of the weight as well as poor technique.
Solution: Have one of our Personal Trainers assess your technique. Always start with low weights and move slowly to ensure you engage the right muscles throughout the entire exercise. Too much weight can cause you to arch your back and push the bar or dumbells backwards which results in overloading the weight on your shoulders. This can also place more pressure on the rotator cuff and put the muscle in an awkward position. Isolated exercises for the shoulders prior to commencing with the exercise can also help.
Chances are you are not doing anything wrong, you are exercising and with exercise you gain muscle. Scales can be deceiving and make you think you’ve gained weight when in fact it is muscle you have gained. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, but they're could be other things to consider.
Solution: Don’t let this discourage you. However if you are concerned, consult with one of our trainers for further assessment. But remember, never confuse weight, fat and muscle; they each have separate meanings.
QUESTIONS ABOUT TRAINING IN GENERAL
It is always your choice; however it might not be what you require. Gyms can be expensive if you don’t use them or know exactly what to do in them as per your goal, which can ultimately not give you your desired result as well.
Solution: Starting your training with one of our Personal Trainers will at the very least give you a better understanding of what to do as per your goal. They can teach you how to use the equipment and how to do your exercises with correct technique.
One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to make assumptions. Whenever we assume we know how to do something or assume that the biggest person in the gym knows what they are doing, a mistake is always inevitable.
Solution: Always have any exercise shown to you by an appropriately accredited trainer, even machines. Shortcuts can be the quickest way to disaster even if it is the simplest of exercises. If you’re worried about saving time or money think about how much more time and money it will cost if you wind up in hospital or rehabilitation. Time invested into yourself is never time wasted.
There is no one way.
Solution: Aerobic exercises are more common. But it does come down to how hard you push yourself. Never aim for a quick method to achieve this goal, you must gradually build and maintain your heart rate when exercising to achieve your “Target Heart Rate Zone.” Your Heart rate will most likely continue to go up due to the intensity as well so ensure you don't go too hard too fast or you will find you'll have a short or interrupted work out.
There is no quickest way, but several methods. Many questions we get asked often have an infinite and debatable answer, this being one of them.
Solution: Never look at only one way. Both cardiovascular and resistance exercises will help achieve this goal. Never confuse weight and fat also. Your diet will be the biggest contributor to the reduction of fat, as your diet will determine how much you will need to burn through exercise. Your diet will increase or decrease your overall size among other things, so never forget or underestimate the importance of your diet and the foods you consume. Regarding exercise; They're thousands of exercises that help achieve this, from isolated exercises to those that offer more compound results.
A good question, but don’t stress there is always a reason.
Solution: There is most likely a simple solution to this, but to confirm what it is exactly you should consult one of our highly qualified trainers.
Ensure that you both have 100% correct technique, including intensity, weights, consistency (including in your own time as well as work) etc. You may still progress at different rates, however the more differences you eliminate the easier it will be to find the difference between you. Remember that you may still need further analysis of yourself though to be safe.
We believe there is no such thing. Because if there was, there would be nothing unique about each person or what they’re after.
Solution: You need to determine what your goals are first (whatever they might be), then what might prevent you from achieving them medically or physically. Once you do this then you can start to organise what exercises would be appropriate. Almost every workout will require a balance of cardiovascular and resistance exercises, however the ratio will differ as per your goals.
If nothing’s changed it most likely means you have reached what we call a plateau in your workout.
Solution: If this happens you need to break your cycle, mix it up try new things, increase the intensity. Remember variety not only keeps it exciting it keeps your body agile and equipped to more than one thing. But of course they’re can be something else involved in which case seek one of our qualified trainers.
The illusive pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, don’t be fooled, it is great having a goal! Achieveing it is even better, but do we ever really achieve true perfection or is the grass truly always greener on the other side?
Solution:Don’t stress, see one of our trainers as we will most likely be able to help get you further. However remember, that once you achieve this goal, what will that mean for you after that? If this goal is what keeps you training, then maybe its better you never truly achieve it (metaphorically speaking).
Breathing is essential. Forgetting to breathe when exercising, or concentrating on technique or the exercise too much as well is very common and must be avoided. You may also be training too hard, pushing too heavy weight and so on. Great for most exercises, however dizziness is a warning sign and should not be ignored.
Solution: You must breathe fluently throughout any exercise. Ask one of our trainers for the most appropriate way to breathe for any exercise you require as the exercise may throw you. You may also be suffering from high or low blood pressure if you are constantly getting dizzy when exercising, after exercising or simply getting up. You should be checked out by a General Practitioner. Of course the simplest reason can be that your fitness is low. If training too hard, just try and take it a bit easier and take breaks when required.
Machines are fine, they’ll help build strength while providing as much support with the exercise as possible. They can be great for people needing rehabilitation, the elderly and/or those who are new to the gym and don’t have time or funds for Personal Training. It is a safer choice of resistance training, as attempting free wights and so on should only be attempted if shown the correct technique. This can at the same time be a problem however, as too much support in an exercise can delay a result and take the functionality out of an exercise. Remember; the harder the exercise and the way you work, the better the result. As you will engage more muscles, you'll make the workout more efficient and the exercise will become more functional to your everyday lifestyle.
Solution: We can assist you if need be even without Personal Training sessions as we can set you up on a program. Programs are not always recommended however due to repetition, less variety, less motivation and commitment so they could never replace the benefits of Personal Training. But they will still help you to progress and learn how to use the equipment, just at a slower rate.