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What Is the Best Way to Lose Fat?

The simple (and complex) answer is that there is no “best way” to lose fat. Each client will respond differently to a training program. However, there are some principles fitness professionals can apply when designing their clients’ programs.

If I Lift Weights, Will I Get Bigger Muscles?

Whether or not your clients will get bigger muscles (hypertrophy) depends on three basic factors: genetics, gender and training intensity. Genetics is mostly manifested as muscle fiber type; people with predominantly fast-twitch fibers acquire larger muscles more easily than people with predominantly slow-twitch fibers.

How Do I Get a Flat Stomach?

Genetics also plays a role in whether or not your clients can obtain a flat stomach or a “six-pack” look to their abdominals. Having said that, two types of exercise can help: strength training and cardiovascular exercise. The abdominals are just like any other muscle group: For their definition to become visible, they must grow larger and the fat that lies over them must decrease.

Should I Do Cardio First or Weight Training First?

It depends on the client’s goals. Many personal trainers think that performing strength training before cardiovascular exercise will augment the amount of fat used during the cardio workout because the strength training will deplete the muscles’ store of carbohydrates (glycogen).

Do I Need to Take Dietary Supplements?

Your clients do not need dietary supplements unless they have a documented vitamin deficiency or they do not eat a balanced diet. Using supplements as an alternative to a sound diet can lead to serious deficits in the consumption of other nutrients (Benardot et al. 2001).

What Is My Target Heart Rate?

Target heart rate—the heart rate range used to determine the desired intensity of an activity—will differ depending on the goal of the workout. You can calculate target heart rate using a percentage of your client’s heart rate maximum (HRmax), which can be predicted by subtracting your client’s age from 220, or by measuring your client’s heart rate while he or she performs a maximum exercise test.

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