Anyone who’s ever wanted to start exercising and eating healthy has felt overwhelmed, confused, and probably downright frustrated at some point. Trying to navigate the vast sea of fitness and nutrition information out there — and attempting to pick out the nuggets of solid, research-backed advice — can be a huge challenge. But that’s why personal trainers and nutrition coaches exist — to share their hard-won expertise with those who are just getting started.


At Envision Fitness, we understand working toward a new fitness goal can feel daunting, especially when you’re not quite sure how to get there. Check out the FAQs below to learn valuable info that can help you make lasting progress!


My Goal Is Fat Loss — Why Are You Having Me Lift Weights?

Fat loss is a complex process that relies on several variables, including your metabolic rate, hormone health, sleep, and of course, exercise. And although exercise does burn calories, it’s not the primary driver of fat loss. Your dietary habits (calories in vs. calories out and having appropriate macronutrient ratios for your goals) play a much greater role in determining your rate of fat loss.


So why lift weights for fat loss then? Because research consistently proves it’s more effective than cardio training. Recent research has shown that mechanically overloading your muscles (aka resistance training) helps induce fat burning after a workout. It also builds lean tissue (muscle) that’s more metabolically active than fat, which means it’ll help you burn more calories throughout the day even when you’re not moving.


If your goal is body recomposition (losing body fat while toning up and getting stronger) regular weight lifting is the most efficient and effective way to achieve that. 


How Much Weight Should I Be Using?

No matter how long you’ve been lifting, you’ll always gauge the amount of weight you should use based on your rate of perceived exertion (RPE). What’s that? It’s a scale that measures the intensity and difficulty of a particular physical activity.


On a scale of one to 10, one denotes zero effort (sitting down doing nothing). On the other end of the spectrum, 10 denotes the absolute hardest effort you can possibly give (you can’t do another rep). When you’re lifting, choose a weight that puts you at a seven to a nine on the RPE scale. Your last set should feel considerably more difficult than your first and your last rep of every set should be a real challenge to complete. When a particular weight starts to feel easier, that means you’re getting stronger and should increase the weight to maintain your target RPE. 


How Many Days a Week Should I Exercise?

That’s different for everyone. However, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity a week or 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week for overall health. They also recommend strength training for all major muscle groups at least twice a week.


If you’re unsure how much exercise is appropriate for your goals and experience level, a personal trainer can help. Check out When Should You Hire a Personal Trainer? for more information on working with a lifting coach. 


Will I Lose All My Progress If I Get Sick or Go on Vacation and Can’t Hit the Gym?

No! The human body is a remarkable machine and if you can’t make it to the gym on your normal schedule for any reason, you won’t risk losing all your progress. You might lose a little strength depending on how long you take a break, but it’ll come back quickly. Muscle memory is really neat!


As for fat loss progress, as long as you stay on top of dietary adherence, you can actually continue losing fat even when you’re not hitting the gym daily. Plus, when you’re working with a personal trainer, you can get a personalized workout routine for when you’re on the go, as well as nutrition guidance that can help you stay on track!


How Long Should I Rest in Between Sets or Exercises?

That really depends on the exercise you’re performing, how much weight you’re using, your experience level, your training goal, and the type of training you’re doing. If you’re unsure how much rest to give your body between sets or exercises, ask a personal trainer.


Resting adequately will help you hit your next set as hard as possible while doing so with good form, so it’s imperative that you make sure you give yourself enough downtime.


What’s the Best Way to Stick With an Exercise Routine?

Find your why. You might be super motivated in the beginning when you’re just starting out and seeing rapid progress, but at some point, everyone’s motivation wanes. That’s when your why will keep you going. Dig deep and find the real reason why you want to get stronger/build muscle/lose fat/improve mobility or whatever else your goal may be.


It’s not the superficial, I-want-to-look-amazing-at-Karen’s-wedding goal you’re looking for here — it’s the emotional driver behind your deeper goal. Do you want to be healthier so you can feel more confident in your skin? Do you want to get stronger so you can play with your kids more? That’s what you need to identify to stick with an exercise routine long term.


Get Personal Training & Nutrition Coaching at Envision Fitness

Looking for a top-notch gym near Hopkins, MN? Look no further than Envision Fitness! We offer individualized personal training, nutrition coaching, high-intensity bootcamps, group fitness classes, weight loss classes, and athletic performance training. Whatever your fitness and health goals may be, it’s our goal to empower you to reach them! To learn more about us or try us on for size, feel free to give us a call today at 952-444-2791 to set up a free consultation, or go ahead and request a consult online, and we’ll get in touch!