Blog > Move | February 21, 2023 COACH JULIE ANSWERS YOUR TRAINING QUESTIONS! Presented by : If you like coached group classes at Extra gyms, or if you check out our YouTube channel to make your gym workouts more diverse and fun, you probably already know Coach Julie! She graduated in kinesiology in 2008 and has been working at our gyms since 2001. Believe us, Coach Julie is THE best person to provide a simple and intelligent answer to any of your workout questions! Here are Coach Julie's answers to the most frequently asked questions we received on a recent short survey. Enjoy your read and don't forget to take notes so you can share the answers with your workout partner! 😉 ❓ HOW MANY CONSECUTIVE DAYS CAN YOU TRAIN WITHOUT RISKING INJURY? 👩 : That depends on your workout method and volume. Remember that ideally, you should not train a muscle group more than three times a week. You can separate your muscle groups into different workout days. That way, you can train up to six times a week without fear of overtraining. However, this frequency is not necessary for achieving a specific training goal. If you're a gym buff (like me!), it's normal to want to go as often as possible! Just make sure you give yourself the right to recover and the time your body needs. Recovery is a necessary part of the process to get the results we want! ❓ WHAT IS THE BEST WORKOUT FOR ABS? 👩 : The core is used in most trunk stabilization exercises. So, you have a lot of options to choose from! When selecting the best workout for your abdominal muscles, it's important to know your preferences. To figure out which workout best suits you, begin by exploring the GoFitness ABS workout which is available for free on our YouTube channel. It will work your abs in a variety of ways in just 15 minutes! ❓ WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAIN? 👩 : The best time to train is the time that best fits YOUR schedule. Are you a morning person? Get up early to start your day with a good workout! Have time during your lunch hour? Don't schedule any meetings and set aside that time for an effective lunchtime workout: join a group class with a coach or enjoy a workout on the 30-Minute Express Circuit! You might even have time for a nice massage in the Platinum Zone! Are you a night owl, like many of our Éconofitness members? That’s great, as most Éconofitness gyms are open 24/7! Being active is the most important thing, no matter what time it is! ❓ SHOULD I STRETCH BEFORE OR AFTER TRAINING? 👩 Before?: Unless you need to do the splits during your workout, you don't need to stretch beforehand. The important thing to do before a workout is warming up your muscles and preparing your joints. Perform movements that are similar to the ones you will be doing during your workout, but at a lower intensity. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes. 👩 After?: If you’re stretching to improve flexibility, it's a good idea to do it after your workout. Your body is properly warmed up and ready to be stretched. However, if you want to stretch after your workout to avoid soreness—stop! Stop right now! It's useless. For more information about stretching, read our “10 Myths and Facts About Fitness!“ article. ❓ HOW DO I GAIN MUSCLE MASS? 👩 : To gain muscle mass, you need to do a large number of reps with a heavy load. In more precise terms, you should do between 8 and 12 repetitions at about 75% of your maximum strength. By the time you do the last repetition, you should almost be at the point of exhaustion. This is easy to test: if you’re able to do one more repetition at the end of your set, it's a sign that the load you chose was not heavy enough. Afterwards, I recommend doing between 4 and 8 sets per muscle group. The exercises can vary, but you should work the same muscle for 4 to 8 sets: Example: 4 sets of 8 bench press reps at 78% of maximum strength. + 4 sets of 12 reps of flys at 70% of maximum strength. ❓ ARE SHORT TRAINING SESSIONS REALLY WORTH IT? 👩 : I often say, "It depends on your goal," but yes, they are! If you're training to run a marathon in 4 hours, only doing 15-minute runs obviously isn’t very effective. However, if you’re training to improve your overall health, fitness level, or to improve your muscular or cardiovascular endurance, short workouts are good for you! Also, if doing short workouts means you’re able to be consistent in the long run, I recommend going for this option! ❓ WHAT CAN I DO TO VARY MY STRENGTH TRAINING IF I’M LACKING MOTIVATION? 👩 : There are several options available to you if you're looking for a training plan that will rekindle or maintain your love of going to the gym. You can choose to work out your entire body, often called a "full-body workout." You can also decide to split your workout into three parts over the week and do what is called a "Push-Pull-Leg” plan: Day 1: "Push" exercises where we generally work the chest and triceps. Day 2: "Pull" exercises where we generally work the back and biceps. Day 3: "Leg day" where we work the legs. You can also separate your training into three parts, but this way: Day 1: Upper body exercises Day 2: Lower body exercises Day 3: Mid-body exercises (core) A change of program can really make a big difference in your motivation levels. You can try the following: Vary your workouts with the free training programs available on the website. Get a coach to guide you through our Coached Workouts. From time to time, call upon the services of a qualified Fittcoach private trainer. Whichever option you choose, make the change that will keep you taking care of yourself! And remember, if you see me at the gym, don’t be shy to ask me your training questions! NEED IDEAS FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUTS AT THE GYM? 🏋 💪 5 TRAINING TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2023 💪 10 MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT FITNESS! 💪 HOW TO FIND TIME TO WORK OUT!