This weekend I was lucky enough to meet with a personal trainer and pick his brain about general fitness goals (ones that I could share with you all), and about my personal fitness needs (because I’m always curious how to be healthier).
We started out with the basics, going over what a causes our metabolism to increase- which is having healthy muscle. So the simple principle is, if you increase the amount of muscle on your body, then you will also increase your metabolism. That is because your muscles need a lot more fuel (calories) in order to maintain themselves. So even if you are like me and have a desk job where you sit all day, by increasing your muscle mass you can literally be burning calories whilst sitting and doing nothing!
He then included some math to help illustrate his point for us (see the slideshow below). The main thing to remember is that one pound of muscle burns 50 calories a day. That doesn’t seem like very much until you think that 10 pounds of muscle burns a whooping 500 calories a day!
Now we’re talking!
Since we’re all fired up about gaining muscle mass, now let’s talk about how to do that. His first warnings were to NOT do “Spot Reducing” or “Circuit Training” exercises. Why? Because most workout plans that follow those two methods don’t allow enough time between workouts for the muscle to properly heal.
Muscle health and regeneration is a hot topic among fitness gurus, but all you need to remember is that each muscle group needs three (3) days to repair itself. So for example, if you work your chest, shoulders, and triceps on Monday- do NOT work those muscle groups again for three whole days.
This is where a workout journal comes in handy (see the slideshow below). This way you can track which muscle groups you worked on that day, what weight was used, how many reps and sets you did, and so on.
Next we switched gears and spoke about my personal fitness needs since I have a heart defect. We filled out a “Body Composition Worksheet” (see last slide in the series), and went over where I am verses where I want to be.
To keep things simple, and not bore you, I need to lose 18 pounds of fat. Whoa, let’s take a moment to let that sink in. Dang!
But I only need to gain 10 pounds of muscle. So that’s not so scary, right?
In order to do this I am going to do two things:
- Start keeping a workout journal to track my progress
- Start up a food diary again (to learn about why this is going to be a pain for me click here)
These two things will help me keep track of my progress and let me know what weak areas I’m experiencing.
That’s all for now. Please let me know if you’d like for me to write individual articles going into greater detail about each of the topics touched on in this article.
And as always, please like and follow this blog for fresh new content. Or find me on Instagram @feyfitness or on YouTube at Fey Fitness.