Thought I would explain and answer questions I get asked quite frequently as a Personal Trainer. I have tried to answer them as simply as possible.

Are carbohydrates bad for you?

NO! Carbohydrates contain as many kcals as Protein per gram. When people say they get fat from eating carbs like Pasta, Bread and Potatoes really what it is, is that they tend to eat too much of this food group.

How many times a week should I be training?

3 hours a week minimum. If you are the average person that wants to lose a bit of weight or gain a bit of muscle, 3 hours per week is what it’s gonna take minimum. This with a great nutrition intake.

Will I get Bulky from weight training?

I get this question mostly from women and in most cases I say no. To get big muscles as a girl/woman you are gonna have to work hard for it. It will take more than going to the gym 3-5 times a week of general exercise.

Will I lose muscles doing cardio?

Similar to the one above. I get this question mostly from guys and in most cases I say no as well. Guys have a higher metabolism than women so they will lose weight quicker. However if you do one to two 30 minute cardio sessions a week, most likely you won’t lose muscle. There is of course exceptions as always. Some guys really struggle to put on muscle weight. If that is the number one goal then cardio will not help.

Should I eat before i train?

It depends on a number of factors. Like personal preference, what type of training you are doing, what time of the day it is and when was your last meal. As an example if you are going to the gym in the morning and doing a high intensity session most people will find that a breakfast too close to the session will be hard to handle. In that case it’s absolutely fine to have your breakfast after, but DO NOT SKIP. Other Examples are, if you have a session after work around 6.00pm 6.30pm and your lunch was around 12.00 I would definitely make sure I get some energy in beforehand – ideally 30 mins to 1h. Again it depends a bit on preference and what type of workout you are planning on. It is different if you are hitting big weights, training for a marathon or like most people doing a bit of both. Each one would be slightly different.

Do protein shakes really work?

Depends what we mean by work. You wont get muscles just because you are drinking a protein shake. Protein helps to build up the muscles after they have been broken down by hard training. Taking a protein shake will help with recovery. The body can absorb the protein quicker compared to a chicken breast. That’s why its helps the body recover quicker but it wont build more or bigger muscles. The body also only absorbs a certain amount of protein, any excess won’t do you any good. Most people don’t need to use protein shakes because they are not training at a high enough intensity during a session. If we also consider sessions per week, people that train hard every day and sometimes twice a day could benefit from protein shakes.