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How-to Guides and Articles


Common Questions Men Ask About Exercise - Part Two

January 7, 2015 // In The Gym // By tjfit

Kindly enlighten me about taking showers after a game or a workout. You hear so many things like getting "pasma" or don't shower first until you are completely rested or just "bathe" with alcohol so you won't smell. Is there a general rule? I normally go the gym during my lunch break and I don't think it would be a good idea to go back to my office without showering first.
I've talked to several doctors about this topic of when to shower after exercise. Here are their conclusions: Whether you are going to shower immediately after exercise or not, you should always cool-down after working out. Your heart rate should return to near normal resting levels (100 beats per minute or less). This takes approximately five to ten minutes. Use lukewarm water instead of very hot or very cold water. Water that is very hot further dilates already dilated blood vessels near the skin. This may cause a person to get a little dizzy. Very cold water, on the other hand, constricts the blood vessels and may cause a temporary tremor or cramp, according to Dr. George Canlas, sports medicine specialist of St. Luke's Hospital and Sprain & Strain Clinic. Therefore, I think it is perfectly safe to take a shower right after exercising provided your heart rate has returned to normal and you use lukewarm water. It's probably more unsafe (in terms of your social life) to return to your office without taking a bath! Another thought on the matter is that if this "pasma" thing were true, swimming would be very dangerous. Imagine, exercising while being inside water!


Which do you think is better, lifting weights three times a week every other day for the whole body or splitting it up for five days -- three days for the upper body and two days for the lower part?
Three times a week for the whole body is fine if you don't want to exercise every day and you don't have that many exercises or sets to do. On the other hand, a "split routine" is better if you don't want to spend that much time in the gym but you don't mind going every day. This type of routine is also necessary if you are doing a large volume of weights - many exercises, sets, and repetitions. Otherwise, you could spend half your life in the gym.


Can you can give me some tips about exercising in an air-conditioned gym. Some of my co-office workers don't want to use the air conditioner and prefer the fan or nothing at all. I cannot explain to them clearly that exercising with an air conditioner is not bad for them.
Many people think that it is bad to workout in an air-conditioned room. This is usually due to ignorance. Some people think that because they don't sweat as much in the air-conditioned room, that they are not burning enough calories. Others think that because it is cold, they might get sick. The truth is that in a cool and dry environment, the body doesn't have to sweat so much because the cool air can easily deal with the internal body heat created by exercise. Exercising in a hot and humid environment may cause you to sweat more but it doesn't automatically mean you are burning more calories. In fact, most people will burn less calories because the heat makes them feel exhausted faster. The cooler you are, the more energy you have to work out. People who exercise in a cool environment usually find that the workout exhilarates them, instead of exhausting them. They can work out for longer periods before they get tired. Testofuel review. The result? More calories burned. To counteract the "chilling" effect you may feel after exercising in an air-conditioned gym, change your wet clothes for dry ones and put a jacket on.


Will weight lifting affect my performance in golf?
Yes, it will affect your performance - for the better. Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods all work out with weights. Not the way a body builder works out with weights but a program to build strength without bulk. According to Wayne Westcott, Research Fitness Director of the YMCA, an exercise routine that combines aerobic exercise, weights and stretching results in "longer drives, lower scores, less fatigue and no injuries during the following golf season". In the YMCA studies done on both amateur and professional golfers, strength training plus flexibility training improved club head speed by five miles per hour.


They always say that a good weight lifting workout should start from the bottom going up, meaning starting from the legs and ending in the arm area. How true is this?
What they mean about a weight training workout starting from "the bottom going up" is that it is better to start by using the large muscles of the body (legs, chest, back) before the smaller muscles (shoulders, arms, wrists). The small muscles assist the large ones (for example, the triceps assist the chest in a bench press), therefore, if you exercise the small ones first, they will already be fatigued by the time they have to do their job as assistants when you use the large muscles. Therefore, you may not be able to lift the weight properly in a bench press not because your chest muscles are tired but because your triceps cannot help the pectoral (chest) muscles anymore. The large muscles also require more energy compared to the smaller ones so it makes sense to exercise them early in the workout when you are still fresh and not so tired.


Is it really that important to warm-up, cool-down and stretch? I only have so much time to work out.
Warming up, cooling down and stretching after the workout are vital to avoid injuries. Many people skip these components of an exercise session because they want to save time and because they think it's not that important. The advice of fitness experts all over the world? Don't!

The low intensity movements of the warm up and cool down make sure that there will be a gradual increase and decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. It is dangerous to allow your heart rate and blood pressure to spike sky high when you start exercise and take a drastic nose dive after exercise. This is what can happen if you don't warm-up or cool-down.

Stretching, meanwhile, keeps your muscles and joints flexible preventing future injuries. If that doesn't convince you, think about this: New research indicates that stretching helps you become stronger. In one study, those who stretched after lifting weights became twenty percent stronger than those who lifted weights but didn't stretch.


My trainer is always telling me to lift my weights slowly. What can happen if I lift at a fast speed?
Exercise scientists have discovered an inverse relationship between the speed used in lifting a weight and the force generated by the muscle. The higher the speed, the less muscle force is needed. The lower the speed, the harder the muscle has to work. That's basically why your trainer is telling you to lift slowly.

Another important reason to lift slowly is that lifting weights with too much momentum places a lot of stress on the muscles and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments). You see, something has to act as a "brake" when you lower the weight towards the floor and the pull of gravity. Otherwise, the weight will just abruptly drop down on your toes. That "something" is your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Explosive, fast weight lifting can injure not just the specific joint being exercised but also other joints, which start to move to control the momentum. For example, in a standing bicep curl, it is only supposed to be the elbow that moves. With momentum, the shoulder and lower back also start to move.

Aside from all that, the amount of weight that is being carried is kind of fake because you would not be able to lift that same amount if you slowed down your movement and let the muscles and not momentum do the work. 

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