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We are now in high summer, and everybody is hitting the gym to get beach body ready. However, many people can be unsure about what needs to be done to achieve good and sustainable results and how and which parts of the body should be the focus. Often people are embarrassed or afraid to ask the questions that could be essential for their fitness regime.

Fitness First’s Fitness Manager, Ana Carolina Corsi Pereira says, “When starting a new fitness routine or class, it is completely natural to have numerous questions. Whether it is on how to maintain posture during your first boxing class, the right weights to lift for strength training or how to lose weight for your specific body type – everything starts with at least one or two questions which can immensely help improve your overall fitness journey.

“Most people who join gyms or clubs can be unsure or even nervous about what they are getting themselves into; from determining the best exercises or style of workout, to establishing personal fitness goals or creating a workout programme that's perfect for them. Therefore, most queries asked are the same or very alike, and so I have collated some questions I often get asked as a fitness trainer.”

Here, Fitness First’s Fitness Manager, Ana Carolina Corsi Pereira answers these common, yet crucial questions asked by Fitness First members from across the brand’s various clubs.

Are morning workouts better to see faster results?

There is no scientific evidence that suggests working out in the morning can help achieve benefits or result in quicker results than when working out in the afternoons or evenings. It is advised to workout at a time that best suits the individual and their body. Bodily changes can be seen regardless of the time of day chosen to do the workout.

Why is it so difficult to lose belly fat?

Genetically, we are designed to carry a certain amount of fat in our belly, so that in case of emergency, we have necessary fat to sustain and survive. Therefore, some of our stubborn belly fat is, in fact, an essential part of our anatomy. Unfortunately, due to this programming of our bodies, it is easy for belly fat to increase and difficult to lose. However, with appropriate exercises and a good diet, changes can definitely be achieved.

Is it okay to have ‘cheat days’ where people eat whatever they want?

A ‘cheat day’ or else known as a ‘recovery day’ is a day set aside in the week where the individual is meant to focus on repairing themselves after intense workouts, so that they can come back stronger the day after.

Most people use this day as an excuse to indulge in junk food and sugary items that are forbidden during the period of their fitness programme. Unfortunately, what people fail to realise is that it takes up to 3-10 days for the body to fully recover from this short-lived gratification of consuming unhealthy food or straying away from the right diet.

To ensure the ‘cheat day’ is beneficial, do things that will help the body retain strength and repair muscles and bones. Best practice for a ‘cheat day’ is ensuring good intake of water and antioxidants, and protein to rebuild the muscles.

What are the best exercises for fast results?

Strong full body movements such as squat thrusts, deadlifts, planks, and pull-ups, combined with a high intensity interval training is the perfect formula for a great body. These exercises will help lose body weight and increase muscle strength.

Should women lift weights if they don’t want to look bulky?

How the body responds to lifting weights is determined by the levels of testosterone in the body and the body type.

Most women respond to weights in a more feminine way, meaning women have lower testosterone in their body compared to men, therefore, instead of bulking up like men do, their muscles get more toned. This makes women look more athletic than bulky.

The other smaller percentage of women who have a naturally higher level of testosterone can revise their weight programme by increasing the number of movement repetition per set with a lower weight.


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