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General Questions

  • With your beep test calculator, what does Relative VO2 Max and Absolute VO2 Max mean?

    Our beep test calculator provides two results - your absolute VO2Max and your relative VO2Max.

    The "relative" score takes into account your body mass.  The reason this is relative is because this score will vary depending upon the weight that you have to carry from one end of the 20m track to the other.  So, if two people both completed 10 levels, yet one weighed 60kg and the other weighed 100kg, the 100kg person would obtain a far better "relative" VO2Max because they are carrying an additional 40kg around with them.

    The relative reading tells you how many mililitres of oxygen each kilogram of bodyweight (on average) is consuming per minute.

    Meanwhile, the "absolute" score only takes into account the level and number of shuttles obtained.  Bodyweight is not a factor in this result.  Consequently, the two people above would produce exactly the same score.

    The absolute reading tells you how many litres of oxygen your body is consuming per minute.

  • Does all tribulus terrestris contain protodioscin?

    The Tribulus Terrestris that we have for sale does contain protodioscin, as all tribulus terrestris products will in varying degrees.  The density of this phytochemical will vary depending upon the location from which it is sourced.

    According to one particular study (below), the most abundant source of protodioscin is found from Bulgarian leaves.  This is where the Now Foods Tribulus that we sell sources their raw materials from, and manufactures the supplement in the USA.

    [Ganzera, M., et al., Determination of steroidal saponins in Tribulus terrestris by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and evaporative light scattering detection. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 90(11), 1752-1758 (2001)],

  • I want to tone up. What exercise and supplements would you recommend?

    In order to tone up, you need to perform a combination of fat loss and muscle gain.  Depending upon how much fat or muscle you currently carry, the gain/loss ratio for muscle/fat respectively may be leaning toward one side or another.  Note that we are not talking about muscle "bulking", but rather some muscle gain to provide shape and tone.

    In order to build some muscle, you do need to establish a sound resistance training regime.  A gym environment would be ideal, but if you don't have access to a gym (or can't afford one), you can certainly make do at home too.  I have a number of clients with very limited training resources, yet achieve some amazing results.

    You do need to develop an effective resistance training routine.  I wish I could give you a specific program to follow, but because everyone is different in their lifestyle, preferences, medical/injury history, goals etc, this is nearly impossible for me to do in such a generic context.

    Nutrition wise it is vital that you establish a sound nutritional intake with healthy eating choices BEFORE considering supplements.  This means that you consume foods from a variety of food groups, consistently throughout the day and as naturally (or unprocessed) as possible.  Once this has been done, you may consider some supplements such as a protein powder and a multivitamin.  Various other supplements can promote fat metabolism, but it is important that these are used in conjunction with a well established exercise and nutritional regime, rather than relying on a particular supplement to do the work for you.

    If you would like some specific advice, guidance, motivation and accountability with your training, please consider our highly intensive personal training services.

  • Can muscle turn into fat? Can fat turn into muscle?

    In short, no. Muscle tissue is completely different from fat tissue and therefore it is impossible to convert one into the other.

    It is a very common misconception within the fitness industry that muscle can be turned into fat, or conversely, fat can be turned into muscle. You may have heard someone say that they are toning up by "turning their fat into muscle". Alternatively, you may have heard comments that when an athlete ceases to train, their muscle turns into fat. Both of these scenario's are completely inaccurate.

    Let's take a brief look at fat and skeletal muscle tissues:

    Fat tissue, or adipose tissue, is primarily a storage tissue in adults. It's there as a survival mechanism for us just in case we are unable to eat. Glucose sugars are taken up from the blood stream and converted into triglycerides that are stored within the fat cell.

    Muscle tissue is primarily required to generate force in one way or another. This may be to generate a heart beat, breath out, or to lift something. Skeletal muscle tissue is comprised of a series of fibres that run from one point to another and is connected to bones via connective tissues.

    Of course, both forms of tissue have many other functions within the human body, but this is just a brief overview.

    As you can see, fat and muscle have completely different functions. Not surprisingly, they also have completely different structures under a microscope. In fact, they almost look as similar as a wooden chair and a porcupine!

    So with all this said and done, how on Earth could the misconception that "muscle turns into fat", or "fat turns into muscle" arise?

    Well, let's take the two scenario's above:

    Someone loses weight and tones up. Through exercise and nutrition, this person has managed to re-shape their body. But instead of turning their fat into muscle, what they managed to do is reduce the amount of fat they carry and increase the amount of muscle in their body. Thus, you can see how easy it is to misconceive this as "turning fat into muscle", when they have in fact lost fat and gained muscle.

    An ex-athlete who used to be muscular, but gains weight after they cease training. This is a very common situation and can often turn people off the thought of weight training altogether. What often happens here is that the athlete is used to exercising for a number of hours each day. As a result, they expend a lot of calories and thus have to eat a lot of calories in order to fuel their bodies. As soon as they stop training, the amount of activity that they perform each day drops significantly. Therefore, they expend far less calories. But, if they do not modify your diet to accommodate for the lesser caloric expenditure, they will gain a substantial amount of fat tissue. With the decreased training frequency, their muscles will deteriorate from lack of use. Ultimately, they lose muscle mass and gain fat mass because of the changes in their lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, muscle is not converted into fat.

    Hopefully this clears up this very common misconception. If you are interested in learning more about weight loss, weight gain, nutrition and exercise, I highly recommend that you read our course entitled "Introduction to Physical Freedom".

  • How do I lose my love handles? I have been doing fitness classes and cardio to improve my fitness level and lose weight, but I still feel really unfit!

    The classes are a really good way to raise your heart rate and undergo a solid cardiovascular workout.  Make sure that you continue to increase the intensity each session as you become fitter.

    Thing is, you need to continually push your body outside of it's comfort zone in order for it to respond.  I wrote an article entitled "The Art of Adaptation" which I would highly recommend you read if you are seeking to improve your fitness.  You may feel sluggish now, but if you remain consistent in "pushing" yourself, you will soon notice a significant improvement in your level of fitness.

    To improve your fitness and assist in your goal of weight loss, you do need to ensure that your nutrition is adequate to support recovery from workouts in addition to weight loss.

    Finally, to assist in reducing your "love handles", you need to focus on weight loss, which will be a function of calorie expenditure and nutritional intake.  There are no exercises that can specifically target this area on your body for fat loss.  Such a myth is termed "spot reduction".  I'd recommend you read a course I published on weight loss here.

    All the best!

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