How Fitness Savvy Are You?

by Andrea Metcalf

How Fitness Savvy Are You?

Think you’re “Miss Fit Know-it-all?” Find out exactly how much you know for sure.

1. How many sets and repetitions should you perform when you’re lifting weights?
A. One set of 12 reps
B. Two sets of 10 reps
C. Three sets of 8 reps

2. What equipment is best for strength-training?
A. Free weights
B. Resistance band
C. Kettlebells
D. Home gym machines

3. The resistance you feel when you exercise in water offers the same benefits as strength-training.
A. True
B. False

4. Which burns more calories: Running a mile or walking a mile?
A. Walking a mile
B. Running a mile
C. They burn the same number of calories

5. Men lose weight faster than women.
A. True
B. False

6. Should you eat before or after your workout in the morning?
A. Before the workout
B. After the workout
C. Both

7. For optimal weight-loss, should you do cardio before or after you strength-train?
A. Before
B. After
C. Between strength moves

Answer Key

  1. All of the above. The amount of overload it takes for your muscle to fatigue depends on your level of fitness and the amount of weight you use. There’s no set number of sets or reps that you should follow. In general, if you can’t do six reps, the weight may be too heavy. If you can perform more than 12 reps, it’s probably too light.
  2. All of the above. What’s most important isn’t the apparatus itself, but maintaining the proper form. Use the equipment that you’re most familiar with, unless you can ask a professional to show you proper technique. Another option: Follow the video demonstrations in our Exercises section.
  3. B. False. Working out in water makes your body more buoyant, so you’re not working against gravity. There are two phases of muscle contraction, concentric (the flex) and eccentric (the release). The eccentric contraction, where you make 30 percent of your strength gains, is lost in the water.
  4. C. They burn the same amount of calories! Believe it or not, the only difference is time &mdash it will take you longer to burn the same number of calories walking a mile than running a mile.
  5. A. True. Men tend to have lower body fat ratios than women and a higher metabolic rate, which means they burn calories quicker. In addition, they can achieve faster lean muscle mass due to their higher levels of testosterone. But do not fear ladies &mdash statistically, we live longer!
  6. C. Both. Typically your body needs fuel after a long night's rest, so exercising on an empty stomach may leave you feeling short of energy. Grab a quick, healthy carb, like a banana, within 60 minutes of rising. Afterward, refuel with a protein rich smoothie to replenish lost amino acids and help repair muscle tissue.
  7. C. Between strength moves. This is a form of interval-training that burns more calories than just strength training or cardio alone. How? For one, your heart rate moves from a fat-burning to a cardio training zone, which burns more calories during the entire workout. You’ll also build fat-blasting muscle and target many major muscle groups in a variety of ways. Bonus: Your workout time gets sliced in half. How smart is that?

Andrea Metcalf has been teaching fitness and nutrition and training clients since 1983. She is the author of the book Naked Fitness and has produced a number of fitness DVDs. You can follow her on Twitter at @Andreametcalf.