Every week, Genesis Gym Singapore’s personal trainers get hundreds of questions from clients in our Singapore personal training gyms (Katong/East Coast/Marine Parade, Alexandra, and Raffles Place), as well as from the online coaching platform we have in Singapore as well as in China.
Here are the answers to some common questions about what’s actually happening when you start to gain muscle or lose fat.
#1 Can I build muscle and lose fat at the same time
I am 100% confident this is possible…and you should be too. In fact, it has probably happened to you. It is called puberty. We all lose our baby fat and get stronger and bigger at the same time.
The question is – what was your body’s environment and condition when this amazing muscle gain and fat loss was happening at the same time?
You were young and had not accumulated as much overall stress in life. You were probably injury-free, you had more time outdoors, you had the hormone profile that allowed this to happen.
So for this to happen again, you can do it but its not just about diet and training. You need to optimize the environment and hormones as well. If you are able to do this, you can do both these goals at the same time.
But for most of our personal training clients, we recognize that they have a busy and often stressful life situation so we suggest they focus on one goal at a time. This way they make progress instead of feeling frustrated by trying to accomplish multiple goals and never succeeding in any single goal.
#2 How much muscle can a man gain naturally (steroid-free)
There are limits to muscle gain speed, especially for natural men. In my experience in a whole life you can probably gain about 15-20kg of muscle naturally above your adult, untrained, healthy BMI weight.
In the first year of proper, systematic training and nutrition you can get about half of this. about 7-10kg, 2nd year 50% of the remaining amount. Then each year 50% of the remaining amount. So as you can see, it gets harder as you get more experienced. And this speed is considered really great assuming you avoid regression, injury, and other responsibilities life throws at you (I have young children!!)…
For most people 2 years of solid training. Then a maintenance programme for excellent health is a great way to get most of the benefits of fitness, build healthy habits and keep them for life.
All this goes out the window once steroids are involved. If you see a person surpass these numbers that I have just explained, they either are on performance-enhancing drugs, or they have better genetics than Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can probably guess which of these possibilities is more likely:)
#3 Why can’t I reduce weight even after trying so many methods?
Ultimately weight loss is about burning more calories than you take in. That is pretty clear. It should just be maths. So simple! However…
This calculation is much more difficult to make in reality. Especially with regards to the number of calories burned. There are so many variables that nobody really knows for sure exactly how many calories you are burning.
Your metabolism, random fidgeting, body temperature, desire for exercise, all will change as you begin to lose weight.
Also as your body weight drops each step you take would take less and less energy due to the lower weight.
So as you can see calculating all this is impossible. What matters is that you keep as much as you can consistent. So your sleep time, your food schedule, the types and amount of food and the quality of your exercise. Then you can make smaller adjustments on a weekly or biweekly basis based on the results you see.
Most people who reach a weight loss plateau have too much inconsistency to know exactly what to adjust. This ability to make accurate adjustments is actually one of the main benefits of having an experienced coach or fitness trainer guide you along the way.
#4 Do I really need to train my legs?
You don’t have to train legs, after all, we live in a pretty free country! But what is the reason you don’t want to train them?
To be fair, the research on leg training helping upper body development is currently undecided. Some say it helps while others say it doesn’t.
But I would say that the mental fortitude benefit is real. Proper leg training is hard work. And if you can tolerate hard work needed to develop your legs, you can definitely tolerate hard work to develop your upper body. That is the key ingredient that makes leg training valuable.
This is why it is quite common to see people with big arms and small legs. But quite rare to see someone with well-developed legs and undeveloped upper body muscles.
#5 Can I get a great physique just using bodyweight exercises?
Yes, you can. There are high-level gymnasts who mostly do bodyweight training and have amazing physiques.
And I certainly do bodyweight exercises when I’m travelling and have limited gym access.
The problem for the average person who starts off unfit is that bodyweight exercises are hard to progress in small increments. Being able to make small progressive adjustments is an important part of training progress.
You can go from a 10kg dumbbell to an 11kg dumbbell. But it’s hard to make those small, progressive adjustments with a pushup.
And the next problem is that most of us don’t have the balance and coordination to do advanced bodyweight exercises. Once you get past the intermediate stage where you can do lots of pushup and chin-ups, the more advanced bodyweight exercises need alot of skill to do.
This can be learned but takes a lot of time. So during this time, you are learning a skill but not making much fitness progress.
In my opinion, bodyweight training has its place for convenience and some movements are fun to do. But if I had to choose between a proper gym and bodyweight training when results are on the line I would choose the gym every time.
Hope these answers were useful to you!
So (totally unbiased opinion! haha) if you are looking for the best personal trainers in Singapore who customize your nutrition and training plans according to your body’s current condition. Please schedule a consultation at any of our Singapore personal training gyms and we will be glad to meet up to see how we can best work together.