Del 1 - Fitness og træning!

Part 1 - Fitness and training!

The fitness culture has to that extent affected Denmark. Never has working out in a gym been so popular. Some train because they think it is fun and have it as a hobby, while others have some specific goals they would like to achieve with their training. This blog is part 1 of 2, where we will take a closer look at some of the most important elements within exercise and diet. In part 2, we will take a closer look at how to specifically prepare an exercise program as well as a diet plan that can help you either build muscle or lose fat on the body.

Bodybuilding or strength training?

When we talk training, there are generally 2 groups. There is bodybuilding and strength training. Bodybuilding is for most people synonymous with Arnold Schwarzenegger, ie big boys with upper arms the size of footballs. This form of exercise helps the individual to change the shape of the body, ie. either to build muscle mass or lose fat mass. For most people, however, it can be strange to have to say that their approach is bodybuilding when they in no way resemble a traditional bodybuilder. However, if your goal is to change your shape and thus build muscle or lose fat, your training program should be designed with a focus on high volume, this will be elaborated further down.

Strength training, on the other hand, as the name suggests, focuses on developing the individual's strength. Are you e.g. handball player it may be that you want to develop your jumping strength. This can i.a. achieved by incorporating exercises such as box squat. Strength training is therefore often used by athletes who have a desire to strengthen a given function from their sport. However, strength training can also be perfect for quite "ordinary" people who just have a desire to develop their strength.

Machines, free weights or body exercises?

When standing in a gym, it can be confusing for some what tools you should embark on. Should one choose machines, free weights or just stick to physical exercises? The best would definitely be a mix of all three parts, and here we explain why.

The advantage of freestyle is that you not only train the individual muscle, but you also train the surrounding muscles. Let us e.g. take bench press. When you lie on the bench and push the bar up, you not only train your chest muscles, you also train your triceps and shoulder muscles. Another significant advantage of using free weights is the so-called ROM (Range Of Motion). ROM is the path of movement that you achieve while performing the exercise. When you use the barbell to bench, you have the opportunity to lower the barbell all the way down to the chest, and thus get a really good stretch in the muscle. This helps the muscle to grow optimally. Therefore, any exercise program should include, enough of free weight exercises.

In addition to free weights, there are also machines. The advantage of using machines is that they are easy to use and can be a really good place to start if you are a beginner and have never set foot in a gym. If, on the other hand, you are a little more practiced, you will usually use the machines to isolate the muscle groups to push the last thing out of the muscle, however, we will elaborate on this in more detail later in the article. Therefore, machine exercises can be used to advantage to either warm up the muscle in question, or you can use machines to squeeze the last piece of energy out of them, as a conclusion to your workout.

In addition to machines and free weights, there are of course also physical exercises. Physical exercises can be an advantage for you who are often on the go or do not have time to stand in a gym.Physical exercises also have the advantage that they can be performed from virtually any location, and you are therefore not bound to train from one particular place. If you train primarily from a gym, however, you will still be able to benefit from a few solid physical exercises. You can appropriately use body exercises as a warm-up at the beginning of your workout, or you can choose to end your workout with them. On the days when you train legs, you could e.g. perform a few sets of walking lunges as a warm-up.

The eccentric and concentric phase

When we as humans move in our daily lives, and thus expose our muscles to a given load, basically 2 things happen. You make the muscle stretch and you make the muscle pull back. In connection with training, it is also called the eccentric and concentric phase.

The eccentric phase is where the muscle stretches and produces a force. To give an example, we take as our starting point the exercise bench press. When you lie on the bench and start to lower the barbell, you will experience that the chest muscles stretch, so here we are in the eccentric phase. When you then start pushing the bar up again, the muscles contract and are thus in the concentric phase. Now you may be thinking what it means to you. The problem is that many people almost "forget" to perform the eccentric phase. Ie. they almost throw the barbell down on their stomachs, and struggle to get it up again. It is therefore important that you slowly and controlledly perform the eccentric as well as the concentric phase, if you want to see results, of your hard work in the gym.

So many sets and repetitions you have to take!

As I said, every training program consists of different exercises. As a rule of thumb, however, it is said that bodybuilders should focus on high volume, while people who do strength training should focus on high intensity. Therefore, if your goal is to either build muscle mass or lose fat mass, then you need to have many sets and many repetitions. Mht. the intensity, ie how many kilos you have to lift, then it must be moderately heavy. A starting point could be 3-5 sets of 8-14 repetitions.

If, on the other hand, your goal is to become stronger, you should have a strong focus on the intensity of your training program. That means you have to lift heavy. Unlike bodybuilding, however, you only need to do it relatively few times per day. set. If we take an exercise like squat, then one approach could be 3-5 repetitions of 5-8 sets.

When you stand in the gym and hump loose, you will find that some exercises feel incredibly difficult to perform unlike others. Exercises such as bench press, squats and deadlifts may seem more difficult to perform compared to some of the exercises in the machines. This is because machines largely only go in and work with the muscle in isolation. This means that machine exercises do not help train your supporting muscles. Whereas an exercise like squat primarily trains your legs but also trains your lower back, buttocks and abdomen. You therefore do a greater job in an exercise like squat, which makes you get tired faster.

Diet and Nutrition

Without food the hero does not have an old saying called. Diet is without a doubt the most important element of your training, whether the goal is to build muscle mass, lose fat or get stronger. In the next section we will take a closer look at the 3 macronutrients namely fat, protein and carbohydrate.

Fat

Fat is a vital substance that any diet plan should contain adequate amounts of. However, many of us get scared when we hear the word fat.Many people walk around and think that they get fat from eating fat. But that in itself is irrelevant. You can easily eat minimal amounts of fat and still become overweight. You can also lose weight by eating McDonald's and sweets, although of course it is not recommended due to the harmful aspects of eating processed food. Fat plays an important role in our hormones and helps the body absorb the fatty vitamins. However, it does not really matter where you get your fats from. There are 3 different kinds; saturated fat, unsaturated fat and trans fatty acid. Saturated fat should be consumed as little as possible. Saturated fats are found, for example, in meat and dairy products. Unsaturated fats are found in nuts, oil and fatty fish, and just the type of fat that you should mainly get your fats from. Then there is trans fatty acid which one should completely avoid. This type of fat is found in processed foods.

Protein

Protein is the building block of muscle. It is therefore vital that people who exercise get enough protein in their diet. If the goal is to build muscle mass and you do not get enough protein, your muscles will not grow. If, on the other hand, the goal is to lose weight, it is also important here to get a lot of protein in your diet, as otherwise it can mean that during your weight loss you may risk losing too much muscle mass.

Protein is the building block of muscle. It is therefore vital that people who exercise get enough protein in their diet. If the goal is to build muscle mass and you do not get enough protein, your muscles will not grow. If, on the other hand, the goal is to lose weight, it is also important here to get a lot of protein in your diet, as otherwise it can mean that during your weight loss you may risk losing too much muscle mass.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the macronutrients that the body uses best as an energy source. Carbohydrates can be divided into 2 coarse categories, namely simple and complex carbohydrates. The simple carbohydrates are those that are quickly broken down and absorbed into the body. Simple carbohydrates can be found i.a. in fruits, rice, pasta, potatoes, sweets and sugar. The complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take longer to be broken down and absorbed by the body. These can be found in most whole grain products, brown rice as well as some vegetables. It is recommended that the majority of one's carbohydrates come from complex carbohydrates as it gives a longer feeling of satiety and a stable blood sugar. However, fast carbohydrates can be an advantage right after exercise, where the glycogen stores are depleted of carbohydrates, so a piece of fruit can be an advantage to consume at this time of day.

That was all we had in part 1 of 2. In part 2 we will take a closer look at how to put together a really good training program. We will also look at how to make a diet plan that can help one to either lose fat or build muscle mass. Stay tuned!

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