Activ8 Frequently Asked Questions

What Etiquette Should I Follow when using a PCYC Queensland Gym?

To ensure every PCYC Queensland member has an enjoyable experience, we strongly encourage you embrace gym etiquette; such as bringing a towel with you to use on equipment, and returning equipment like dumbbells to the appropriate racks.

What is the Purpose of Strength Training?

Strength training is a good way to start looking and feeling great. Strength training forms a very important part of  overall fitness and has a range of benefits for people of all ages which include, improving muscle tone, making it easier to do the things we do on a day to day basis, improved balance and posture and loss of body fat.

Strength exercises will often involve either utilising your own bodyweight to build strength, plus either pin, free or plates weight equipment. You will be reminded to gradually increase your strength training weights as you progress through the Activ8 plan. We have developed a handy reference tool so you can identify what type of weights are used for each exercise in the Activ8 Strength program and which group of muscles the exercise is designed to target.

What is the Purpose of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

HIIT workouts provide a number of health benefits including burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time, helping you lose fat and gain muscle, improving oxygen consumption and may offer other unique health benefits such as reducing heart rate and blood pressure.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a broad term for workouts that involve short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods. Typically, a HIIT workout will range from 10 to 30 minutes in duration and the activities being performed will vary but can include sprinting, jumping or other body weight exercises. Sometimes HIIT workouts may involve weights, but the focus will be on working out at a higher intensity.

Some exercises require the use of either Dumbbells (DB) or Kettle Bells (KB) When using weights during HIIT workouts it is important to choose a weight that is appropriate for your ability. Due to the nature of HIIT training and it based on timed intervals rather than reps you may need to decrease your weights to be able to complete the intervals. Remember HIIT training is based on intensity rather than the amount of weight you are lifting so start light and increase this slowly each week as you feel you are capable.

 

What do these Workout Terms Mean?

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

A series of intense exercises, followed by even shorter periods of rest. You will repeat the whole series of these exercise intervals multiple times, to complete your daily workout.

Repetitions/reps:

The number of times you should repeat a movement without stopping.

Set

The number of rounds of reps to be performed during your workout.

Rest

Small breaks between sets to help your body recover before commencing the next set, or moving onto another exercise. Rests should last for approximately 45-75 seconds throughout your strength workout. Depending on your fitness levels, you may need to take shorter, or longer rests between sets.

Tempo

The tempo for each strength exercise is depicted as a series of four numbers; designed to help you pace the movement for safety when exercising, particularly when weight lifting.
Your stability and control of lifts will improve by simply following the suggested tempo for each Strength exercise in the Activ8 program. Furthermore, slowing down to match the counts specified will prevent bouncing motions, which can place stress on your tendons.
Each digit in the tempo represents a different phase of the exercise (when moving a weight); for example 1-1-4-1.
This starts with an eccentric contraction, which causes muscles to lengthen, by lowering a weight (in this example, for 1 second).
The next number denotes a pause at the midpoint (1 second).
This is followed by (4) counts taken to complete the concentric contraction, which causes muscles to shorten, by lifting a weight.
The final figure indicates the pause (1) at the end of the movement.
Not all exercises within your strength workout will have the same tempo so always refer to your Activ8 program before commencing each exercise.

Round

A series of exercises, followed by a long rest. The same series of exercises is usually performed multiple times. The number of rounds to be completed during Activ8 is specified within each HIIT workout.

Spotter

A spotter is someone you ask to supervise and support you when weight lifting, as a safety measure. A spotter should be physically capable of assisting you with the weight, in the event you overexert yourself. 

Warm Up

Preparing the body for exercise, by engaging in gradual movements to increase your core body temperature. This is achieved by elevating your heart rate, thereby increasing the blood flow; consequently enabling your muscles to consume more energy.

Dynamic Stretches

A series of movements designed to increase synovial fluid, lubricating the joints to minimise wear and tear. This will help to increase your range of movement and flexibility, preventing injury.

Cool Down

Reduce your core body temperature and heart rate; so your breathing slows as your body returns to a resting state.  This helps to disperse lactic acid which can otherwise make you feel tired, stiff and sore after exercising. It also aids in the elimination of venous pooling, which can cause dizziness.

Static Stretches

Designed to lengthen muscles by extending and holding a stretch for a period of 25-30 seconds.

What do these Nutrition Terms Mean?

Calories

Calories are a measurement of the amount of energy your body will experience by consuming particular food.

Macronutrients

Macronutrients are what make up your calorie intake and include proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Protein

This macronutrient is an amino acid and source of fuel that is vital for health, enzymes, A/B balance, transport and antibodies. It kicks in when your carbohydrates are depleted during exercise. The body is unable to oxidise protein as a nitrogen component macromolecule. Having a high protein, low carbohydrate diet may suppress the appetite due to the satiety and combining a high protein diet with resistance training may result in a loss of fat mass.

Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates take about four hours to be digested and used as an energy source. Not only are they an energy source though, they are brain fuel and stored as glycogen in skeletal muscle to be used first for high intensity, short burst exercise activities as they improve performance.

Fat

Whilst carbohydrates dominate in high intense, short bursts of exercise, fats dominate in long duration, low intensity exercise. They are also the predominant fuel source as they are lightweight and kick in when glycogen stores are depleted due to being an ideal cellular fuel. Not only all of these benefits, it produces the most energy when oxidised.