No matter how many long you’ve been working out for or how much you’ve read about exercising, there’s always room for more knowledge when it comes to fitness. Helpful answers to fitness queries, such as which workout works best for you, how to ease certain pain or how to get back on track, aren’t always found on Google. There are certain things you just need an expert for! To make things easier for you, we invited Mustafa Ali Jamshed, the uber cool fitness trainer and owner and head coach of Impulse Fitness, to Mashion HQ this week. If you missed the informative Q&A session, here’s what we learnt from him.
1. Weight Loss/Gain Isn’t Possible With One Exercise
Exercise is a great way to get on the fitness track, but exercising alone is not the solution for weight issues. Often people ditch their calorie tracking apps to focus solely on exercising in order to lose or gain weight, but that’s not the best strategy! Your calorie intake is what matters most when your goal is either weight loss or gain. According to Mustafa, there’s no one specific exercise that will get you to your goal.
“The best advice I could give for losing weight is to figure out what your goals are, get a coach, get a program and a calorie deficit. For weight gain, I would suggest you go for a structured program focusing on compound lifts and please get your calories in otherwise nothing would work,” he says.
2. The Right Way To Build Muscles
The number of reps per set and the amount of weight used are two of the most important factors in a workout. Whether you want to do more reps with less weight or fewer reps with more weight depends on your main goal. If your aim is to build and strengthen your muscles, the latter would work best for you. However, our expert believes that calorie intake plays a key role here as well.
“High volume training with few reps and more weight does help with building muscles, but nothing will happen unless you’re on a calorie surplus. You need to get your fuel in to gain muscles,” he advises.
3. Consult A Professional For Back Pain
Exercising can be a great way to relieve lower back pain. It can strengthen your back, stomach and leg muscles, as well as support your spine, eventually relieving the pain. But some exercises may not be ideal for you and could make matter worse. That’s why, according to Mustafa, the first thing that needs to be understood is the source of the pain by consulting a professional.
“You’d be surprised at what the source of the back pain is. It could be lack of mobility, weak glutes or weak hamstrings. Figure that out through a professional and they’ll tell you what kind of exercises would be right for you based on your condition.”
4. Exercising With Back Pain
If you’re a fitness junkie, back pain can really dampen your exercise routine. You may be scared to hit the gym, thinking it might aggravate your pain. But that isn’t always the case. In fact, staying active and moving your body actually helps manage the back pain. But it all depends on the type of exercise. If your body cannot endure an intense workout, it’s better for you to opt for something less intense. Sharing his personal experience, Mustafa advises to first get checked by a physiotherapist.
“Make sure they clear you up. Then progressively lower up the training and avoid doing anything too extreme or intense,” he says.
5. Don’t Choose Supplements Over A Well-Balanced Diet
Supplements have become quite popular as a source of providing the body with some vital ingredients. While they may make up for a deficiency, they cannot provide all the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. And they can never match the beneficial effects a healthy and balanced diet has on your health.
Our expert swears by the importance of consuming a well-balanced diet and says, “There’s nothing wrong with taking supplements, but something I find happening too frequently is that people depend on it way too much. Use it as a supplement, but it can never replace a well-balanced diet.”
6. The Biggest Workout Mistake
If you’re vigorously exercising but not getting the results you want – or ending up injured – it could mean you’re making some kind of workout mistake. Most people take these mistakes lightly and don’t realise how much it can affect your progress. Talking about workout mistakes, our expert says there’s a long list of blunders people often make while exercising, but not stretching your body before a workout is probably the biggest one.
“People don’t spend enough time stretching and doing mobility exercises before a workout. Doing this actually helps to perform better and keeps from any injury!”
7. The Secret To Staying Motivated
We wish working out was full of fun and games; maybe we’d be at the gym instead of being couch potatoes! But sadly, it isn’t so. Consistently working out requires a lot of motivation and dedication, which can be hard to muster up. But it’s the only way to reach your desired goals. On his secret of staying motivated to workout, Mustafa says, “The best thing one should do is find a plan that works for them specifically. Get a coach to understand your goals; just be consistent and look at the bigger picture.”