We receive many questions every day. These are often questions about daily training, rest, proper nutrition and balance. Therefore the 5 most frequently asked questions in a row with answers from personal trainer Mart Jansen.

1. How often should I take a rest when I do strength training?

The answer to this question depends on how your training program (and its intensity) looks like. It is often said that muscles must have 48 hours of rest after you have trained them, but that claim is too short for the turn. If you have trained your legs for one and a half hours at high intensity, it may be that you need longer than these 48 hours to recover. If you train with a full body schedule, you can simply train again a day later.

2. I can do strength training daily and at the same time ensure that my muscles get the rest they need to recover.

Full body schedule

Yes, you can train well every day and burden the same muscle groups. It is important, however, that you adjust the volume (number of exercises, number of sets, number of repetitions) and intensity to your program. As mentioned above, with a full body schedule you can safely train two or even three days in a row, as long as you do not exaggerate in the work you provide.

Split schedule

Training with a split schedule – which is usually not my preference – is a different story. Because according to the traditional setup every muscle group is trained once a week, you can deliver much more volume and intensity per muscle group. After all, your muscles have a week to recover without being (directly) burdened.

3. Why is rest so important to be able to book progress?

When you train (intensively), it has an impact on your hormones, central nervous system, muscles, tendons, joints and the ligaments around the joint (ligaments). In order to be able to deliver good performance, all these systems need rest. After all, you can not always ask the maximum of your body and expect it to go on day after day, without taking the time to recover. Because your muscles are well perfused, they usually recover fairly quickly, but your tendons and ligaments need more time to recover properly and when this is not the case, it can lead to injuries.

Besides that, there are also the previously mentioned central nervous system and your hormones that need recovery and need to stay in balance. Unlike the recovery of muscles, tendons, and ligaments, this is not a local issue, but your whole system can become overworked. Fatigue, poor sleep, less appetite, lower sex drive, poor concentration and muscle breakdown can be the result.

Do not forget that your fit lifestyle should contribute to your happiness and health. If you train too much, it can actually be at the expense of your joy in life and that is of course not what your goal should be. 


4. How do I ensure that I do not exercise too much or are too obsessive about training?

This is a very difficult subject because you should first find out where your obsessive behavior comes from. Of course, it is valuable to go for something completely, but also realize that there is much more to life than training and the accompanying healthy lifestyle. Balance is important and that also means a balance between exercise and relaxation and healthy eating and just eating what you feel like. You still have to be able to enjoy.

Some questions you can ask yourself to find out why you may show obsessive behavior:

  • Why do I want to reach my goals?
  • What is the reason why I am doing all this?
  • What if I do not reach my goals. How do I feel then? And where does this come from?

5. What is the best time to take a carbohydrate-rich meal?

Let me first say that the total picture of what you get in during the whole day is the most important thing, so the total amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and thus also the number of calories is important. The timing of intake is less important, but it can certainly affect your performance. For example, it is valuable to eat some carbohydrates before you exercise to have enough fuel in your body.

There is some discussion about carbohydrates after your training. If you still do physical work later in the day (work or training), then I definitely recommend supplementing your glycogen supplies. If you do not do so much after your training, I do not see the need for it, but it can not hurt anyway. So just do it, just to be sure.

6. What is the relationship between diet and muscle pain?

I have back and muscle complaints that are comparable to rheumatic complaints. When I have exercised, the muscle pain is more severe than normal and during training, I sometimes get cramps in my legs. Can I change something in my diet so that the feeling of muscle pain and cramps decrease?

This seems to me a question that you should ask a doctor. Have you already investigated whether it can indeed be related to rheumatism?

What you can do anyway for faster recovery, is to be sure that you eat enough protein, about two grams per kilo of body weight. To prevent cramping, it is important that you drink enough water, at least two liters per day. In addition, magnesium is a valuable mineral to take as a supplement. Note that you do not take the oxide variant as it is poorly absorbed into the body. Magnesium citrate would be a good choice.

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