The 3 most common questions regarding strength training

Andreas Lanz 6. January 2022


Answers to the most common questions I’ve been asked over the past 12 months.

Is it possible to build muscle mass with bodyweight exercises?

If we look at the constitution of a gymnast, obviously yes. Because bodyweight exercises also ultimately move weight - your body weight. For example, if you constantly do push-ups, your body will adapt to this additional load and build muscle mass accordingly. If you can do 5 sets of 20 push-ups without any problems, the adaptations with regard to muscle development will significantly decline. It is then time to subject the muscle to a new stimulus through exercise progression (e.g., different arm position, change in tempo) to bring about a further adaptation.

Will a lot of sit-ups conjure up a six-pack?

Unfortunately, it's not that easy. Abdominal exercises such as sit-ups undoubtedly strengthen the abdominal muscles. However, this does not mean that excess fat on the abdominal wall disappears, and a six-pack appears at the same time.

Unfortunately, we are unable to make the body target fat loss only in the problem zones that we want. If we want to reduce our body fat, we need a well-functioning metabolism and a negative calorie balance. This is best achieved by combining endurance training with strength training and a balanced diet.

Is fat only burned at a low heart rate?

Many believe that the body only burns fat in the aerobic zone, i.e., during relaxed training at a heart rate of around 130 bpm. This is a mistake. If you want to lose weight while training, you need to make sure that the body's power plants, the muscles, burn as many calories as possible during a training unit. It is therefore clear that you will burn significantly more calories during a 60-minute intensive strength training unit than when comfortably pedalling on a bicycle ergometer for the same length of time.

By no means allow yourself to be dissuaded from your endeavour to «get fit and stay fit». Success comes from your personal best mix of strength and endurance training, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep.