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Your top fitness questions, answered by Tom Shaw

We answer the most common questions we hear at Fitness & Wellbeing Hub Gym, Didcot related to fitness.


WHY DOES EGYM SAY I'M NEGATIVE?

Short answer is that the programme has changed to make it more interesting challenging for you. EGYM has a training mode on the machines called negative, this is when the machines add resistance to the exercise in the part of the exercise when you should be relaxing. This intensifies the workout and helps build muscles you wouldn't normally build in that particular exercise.


WHY SHOULD I DO A STRENGTH TEST?

It's tempting to skip strength tests, especially when you see the weight is lower than the previous test, but don't skip! Always save the strength test, as it gives us accurate data as to what is happening to your body. Strength training doesn't happen in a straight line, there will bumps along the way so accept lower strength tests, but do let us know if the test goes down more than once and we'll look at your data more deeply. It's also worth noting that you should keep your weight up to date on the app, as your body weight changes this will also impact the bioage.


WHAT CAN A PERSONAL TRAINER DO FOR ME?

Although we do a lot to provide extra support to you guys, personal training will give you much more! Having a PT means you have someone on your team every week to support your goals. Our trainers have different styles of working but everyone will provide you with a bespoke workout just for you, but then also provide you with lots of out of session support with your diet and exercise routines.

Personal training session


WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I'M DEMOTIVATED?

This is a complex one to answer as everyone is so different in terms of motivation and resilience. One thing I've tried to tell myself over the years is that fitness is the way that I keep myself sane, and is the thing that will stop me from having lots of health problems later on in life. From me looking after my own health every week, OAP Tom and Tim (what I call my anxious self) are very grateful. If I have any other goals along the way, such as lifting certain weights or doing a charity run then these are just bonuses for my journey. Can you switch your mindset to a long term approach to fitness?


WHATS THE BEST CLASS TO START WITH AS A BEGINNER OR RESTARTER?

This one's easy! Try every class as you don't know what you are going to like until you try it AND utilise SMART START, when you do a class for the first time tell the instructor you will SMART START TODAY, this means you have a pass to leave after 4 tracks of the workout or 20 minutes (which ever comes first) This is so you don't kill yourself on the first class and then never want to come back, as instructors want to see you return to the class so we love people using SMART START.


HOW MANY SESSIONS SHOULD I DO A WEEK?

As with anything in life, the more you put into it the more you get out of it. For me, it's about doing 2 or more sessions a week and doing that religiously every week. The worst thing you can do is six gym sessions one week then no gym sessions the next, the human body loves routine and structure.

Tom doing a barbell squat

WHAT TYPE OF EXERCISE SHOULD I DO EACH WEEK?

A mixture of cardio, strength and resistance training. Resistance training helps you build the foundations of the body by increasing bone density and building ligaments and tendons. Cardio training burns lots of calories during the workout and strength training burns lots of calories post workout. If your goal is weight loss you need a mixture of the 3 of these, but if you're goal is different speak to us about how you should split your weekly training.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I'M RETURNING FROM A FITNESS BREAK?

Failure is good and is human nature, but the most important thing is jumping back on the horse ASAP. The more time you spend pondering whether to go to the gym are just days and weeks wasted that you could be working on your goals. If your hiatus from exercise has been because of injury, illness or motivation then you should come and speak to us and get some fresh ideas about the direction of your training. We literally pay trainers to do this so you don't have to you, so use them!

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