For the next week I am answering YOUR questions. Do you have a fitness or nutrition question? Do you want some professional advice? Ask me and I'll share my thoughts.
*Always keep in mind there are many different theories*
Today I am going to answer two questions:
1) Question: "Explain VO2 max to me? I'm trying to understand what it is and I'm not wrapping my head around it. Does it affect strength training or is it really just a cardio thing? Why should I care about this? If at all?"
V stands for volume and 02 stands for oxygen measured to the maximum. VO2 max is maximum amount of oxygen that you use during cardiovascular exercise. There are a few different ways to test your VO2 max. The easiest (and cheapest) way is through the treadmill. Since it measures your oxygen it is considered aerobic --- meaning that it applies to cardiovascular exercise. It is important (especially for athletes) to monitor your aerobic endurance and to work on increasing your cardiovascular fitness levels. For the average person it a great way to track your cardiovascular endurance but keep in mind there are many ways to do so.
2) Question: "How do you know when it's time to increase weight on a certain exercise and how much should you increase by?"
Answer: Being fit and healthy is all about being intuned with your body. You have to listen to your body and understand how it works. I am a BIG believer in pushing your body with heavy resistance (all with good form, of course). I mentioned in my last post that the more muscle you have the more fat you burn. If you do not push yourself your body will not change. You have to keep increasing muscular strength and intensity of workouts to see change in your composition.
There are different resistance "categories" that you can follow:
Unless you are an athlete, you probably won't be in section 1 or 2. Section 3 is for people who want to optimize muscular growth and section 4 is typically lighter weights for a longer duration leading to"longer and leaner lines."
Let's say that you choose section 4, muscular endurance training (15-25reps). If you do 25 bicep curls with 5lb dumbbells without a struggle, it is TOO easy. If you cannot complete 10 good reps with good form, the weight is probably too heavy. You want to find a weight that is challenging you till the end. I typically do 3 sets of every exercise I perform (this goes for my clients as well) and every set I increase my weight. Once you become intuned with your body you will be able to know if you can increase the weight by 5lb, 10lb or maybe even more. To be honest, it will be a lot of trial and error at first. You are going to have days where you feel like the hulk because you got a lot of sleep and have a lot of energy but then there will be days where you feel like you can't even pick up a 5lb dumbbell without strain. This is when listening to your body becomes crucial.
Always work on increasing your strength, whether it be through repetitions, weights, or intensity. Never settle because then your results will settle.
In good health,
Cristina Walterman, owner of CW Physique, let's you in on fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, exercises and much more. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she loves to inspire and motivate individuals. She always practices what she preaches and leads by example.