Are you looking to put on 10-15 pounds of muscle in a year or two? Have a lower-body imbalance that needs addressing? Or perhaps you're a runner curious about optimizing your training? Tune into this comprehensive episode where Turo Virta covers it all.
What We Cover:
Listener Questions Answered:
Whether you're a fitness novice or a seasoned athlete, this episode is packed with actionable insights tailored to a range of exercise needs. From the importance of nutrition to the role of mental well-being, Turo Virta provides a holistic view of fitness that caters to everyone.
If you have any questions you want me to answer in my podcast, email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to start coaching with me? Click HERE for all coaching options and free sources to get started.
So in this episode, I'm going to answer all your questions about exercises and got so many questions about exercises, how to optimize muscle building, how to get your site to exercise? And all these questions I'm going to. So is the easiest way to get answers from exercise, what most common mistakes what I see. So the first question was that what would be a checklist to optimize muscle growth over one to two years to put 10 to 15 pounds of muscle. So here is a checklist what you have to if your goal is to put muscle so first of all is first step is obviously it's consistent strength training. So, so commit to a program that includes compound movements, if compound movements are the most important thing. And they are exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press, for example. And those you should have, basically, at least one of those exercises in every verb. Then second part, what is the most important thing is, is progressive overload. So it means that you are trying to always do something more. So it could be what are obviously to everybody to adding more weight, any more reps, or, but it could be also, for example, sorting having a solar restaurant, what they probably don't recommend, especially if you are lifting, lifting heavier, but it could be also improving your form or during same movement with bigger range of motion. So for example, for squats, you are going a little bit deeper. And this is something that you kind of do always something more then third part is optimal nutrition. So if your goal is to gain muscle mass, you must be at least in a maintenance and ideally in a surplus. So maintenance doesn't mean like so what is the difference, because what I work with so many people who are scared, gaining fat, if they have maybe you have UI in situation that you have made, you have lost significant amount of weight and fat, and now you know that you have also lost some muscle and now you are scared that you don't want to you don't want to gain all lost weight back. So you are scared of increasing your calories and going actually to surplus. And this is the biggest thing why you are not actually seeing results in your workout. So so but if you get over what is the difference, like think like what kind of signals you are telling to your body. So what is the difference if you eat in a surplus, or you are eating in a deficit. So if you think it like that, if you don't, what is the difference, when you are going to how your body does know that you are going to gain muscle mass or you are going to gain fat, it's that same thing. So when you are sending bright signals to your body, and then you know, if you want to build muscle, it's at issue like that. If if you want to get more some tissue, you have to eat more otherwise, there is no if there is no if there's less calories coming in, it's not you're not going to build some tissue, you're not going to gain fat, but you're not going to build some muscle either. So that's why it's it's so important to trust the process and allow yourself and go at some point with nutrition to surplus and at least on maintenance level or slightly above and you will see so much more results in your workouts. Part number four is recovery. So this is something what most people underestimate is sleep. It's not some like and what is then other good way to recover is staying active. So by staying active, I don't mean that you have to work out more but they inactive like things like walking, doing some bodyweight exercises. So you are keeping your muscles active and we for example, even if you are experienced weightlifter, you are lifting weights, but if you do just some couple bodyweight exercises, squats, which are really light, but they are sending the right signals to your body and you are able to recover actually faster. So this is the best way like my coach used to tell me like that when I was I was brutally sore after workout. And he used to say that I said What can I do is soreness. And at best advice was that it's coming it's going to be exactly the same way it came. So when you do some kind of exercise it like I said it don't have to be hard. But when you do something it's going to be it's going to help you to recover faster. Then point number five it's not the most simple But it's supplementation. So it's specific, there are basically two things what I recommend for her approach that would be the promoter of any supplements, but what I personally use is protein powder, and creatine. So those two things are going to make difference, especially if you are not taking creatine, that is the best and most researched supplement for miracles to perform in your performance, there is all the time new studies coming out, which are preventing it might be preventing Alzheimer, and that there are not only for workouts, but so many other like there, it could be that it's helping you to prevent getting cancer. So like so many possible benefits of the creatine. And it's like I said, it's the most researched supplement, it's very inexpensive, so it's not costing a lot, you don't need a lot, like most companies recommend five grams per day, I personally take at this point three grams per day, I just had my blood test done and my creatine levels were on higher rates, and I'm weighing 90 kilos, more or less at the moment. So it's, you don't need to take a lot, it's enough to be able to say two to five grams per day, and it's going to be enough and it makes it gives you basically boost of doing one more rep with the same rates, I I realized almost immediately that I was so much stronger, and what it's going to cause it's you're going to gain little bit weight, but various upgrade is going it's it's holding, the reason why you're gaining the repeat scale rate is that it's holding water in your muscles. So your muscles are kind of looking more rounded, you look, it's looks better your muscles when you decrease them. But if your goal is to lose weight or fat, it you might see especially in the beginning, that scaly rate is going a little bit up, and then other one is protein. So that is that obviously the most optimal ways always to take it from your normal nutrition. But if you don't want to eat all the time, SYSPRO then it's, it's a lot better to eat it from somewhere else like or taking some steaks, I personally take I love to do for my breakfast smoothie, I add some whey protein, just without any taste. So it's just a natural natural test to increase my protein intake and it's helping you obviously broken is what is beating muscle and helping you to beat that muscle. So those are those are supplements, what I recommend for your workouts, anything else you don't probably need and those are only once voiced. And then point number six is to stay hydrated. So water intake is when you are your muscles are working the best when you are well hydrated. So then, tip number seven is tracking your progress. So so that you know like this is what I love with my for example with my workout app, what I use, I track my every single workout. Alright, so simple to add just the weight, how much weight you have used. And then when I look now back two years ago, a year ago, when I have done last time that exercise, of course, I can't remember how much weight I used. But then when I look back now, I did my workout yesterday and I was looking Europe or when I did the same exercise last time. And now I was like I started with that weight where I what I finished my workout in a year ago and I was like okay, now this feels like almost warm up. So then But then or next if you can add more weight and it's it helps you to know what you are doing. And same thing is kind of with nutrition, if you want to optimize everything, you probably want to track your calories. So you know that you are actually in a surplus. As if you kind of where you where we want to be in naturally is that always good maintenance. So it's kind of if especially if you eat in a mostly healthy, it's very hard to be actually in a surplus and because our bodies they tend to tell that now when you are in maintenance, that's where you are, but when you are tracking you know how much calories are going in. So, that is the that is that you can be pretty accurate by tracking. So that is for sure something what I would always recommend, recommend and then then the last point is to check your progress, like having some check ins, taking pictures measurements, and see how things are going like not only only physical senses but how you are feeling goes usually parties are very good at telling you what is happening and Ave see that progress is good. It's realistic in from pictures, take measurements, scale rate, those are all ways how to measure your progress. So those those are the best ways how to gain and it's to gain to gain 10 to 15 pounds of muscle that's realistic. Very good. or, obviously, I'd recommend to do the next question what I had was that how can I train to specifically fix an imbalance in my imbalance in my lower body from a previous injury. So, this is something like, what I recommend what I have, if I have I have I had earlier like a lot weaker left hand left leg than my right side. And there are a couple couple of ways how to actually get back into that where you have been. So first of all, is always to have some kind of consultation. So it could be some experts on your physical therapist, if you go to see somebody that what is what is good way to approach it, then from exercise part, I always add that is actually to program what I do at the moment what I have also for available for all my members in my coaching, and in this challenge, or I when I create individual workout programs for everybody based on their goal goals. And this is some program what I actually follow currently myself and it's basically single exercise single joint exercises, so single arm single leg, and it's kind of same movements. But let's say that if you're you have a lick, it would be one leg squats, and making sure that you do same amount of repetitions for both sides. Ideally, you are starting always with your weaker side. And if you have like some previous injury, don't try to push you're probably able to do like more, using heavier weights on your stronger side. But start with your weaker side. And do you could be doing don't use do exactly same amount of reps what you're able to do with your weaker also with your stronger side. And in addition, you could be adding if it's if there's a big imbalance, you could be adding one more set for per workout for your weaker side. So it's getting a little bit more volume and overtime bill that's up then with with all with the strength then then what is actually what is really helping is 30 is to have that kind of mind muscle connection. So focusing focusing on that movement and feeling that vigor like how what is doing what it is doing. So if you are if you are trying to work, let's say your left glutes, so think about that muscle that how you are going to feel it how you are going to use it and how you are going to activate it. So this is this is a simple way how to actually visits there is so many studies, but this this mind muscle connection, it helps you massively then obviously, consistency is number four so it's it takes some times but you've got to be based and imbalances they can take some time to correct and then last one do just a fair warning do not push too hard like I was I know that you want to fix these imbalances fast. But if you are going overtraining if you're overtraining you are kind of having a risk to re injury then on a how to protect your knees when you are overweight and only started exercise after a long break. So for cles The best way is that that avoiding when you are doing for example squats if you are if you are overweight, so you are not going basically with your knees over your dose so this line that you keep it always straight and then other the other way is what I love always to use the before you start to working out, do some knee mobility exercises. So it would be simple as Nietzsche grows and just four or five branch its direction so circling like you could do them like single leg or both legs at the same time but just have some kind of motion therefore your knees and then then if you feel because it's it's totally safe obviously you have to be careful with the rates but be careful with with like the range of motion especially in the beginning and then if you don't feel any pain that is the everything is okay but as soon as you start to feel something like some pain like I had a yesterday in my group workout some one woman asked me because she's hearing some weird noises when she's doing squats. And obviously that is something scary like I experienced that too but when I spoke with the my physiotherapist, this NP you don't feel any pain. It's safe to do like it could be like it's kind of if you think like in a car. You are not obviously to another power, but there is something like it could be a little bit rusty or something and when you get the movement there and mobility exercises are the best way basically to actually do start warm up and then especially with the range of motion goes both knees, it's there are what is helping you if you are doing exercises like squats, your hip mobility and your ankle mobility those two things help you to go actually increasing that range of motion. So, this is this was a very, very good question. Next question, what I what I had that do you need, how to train or do you need to strength train and how to train if you are a runner. So that kind of strength training, it makes such a big difference, if you are not doing it, obviously, if you are a runner, you have to think always what is your goal, ultimate goal is to become runner, but you are using also your muscles when you are running, you don't need to probably your goal is not to beat too much muscle mass, but to have stronger, like if you think like there are two types of runners, if you think sprinters and marathon runners, they have bought totally different body and for sprinters, they need you need the explosive power, which is basically just strength. And runner, you need that endurance. But if you use still when you are running, even if it's longer distance, you still need your muscles, and you need to use them a lot. So what I what I always recommended don't have to be a lot, it could be one session per week, and doing that one session, draining your whole body. And it could be like a little bit higher reps that you are working on, you're more on your endurance and, and it helps also to prevent injuries. Support your joints. So you are not getting injured. When you are running those studies. Often what happens is you have problems with runners have problems with techniques with something especially those who don't strength train, then, obviously, obviously, for runner, having some kind of mobility and flexibility, I would say that mobility is even more important to add in a training program and for runners. What I what I recommend what most people like if you think how dope mannequin runners how they are practicing, they are doing, like, most optimal way is probably doing around 80 pros 80 to 85% of your total amount of workouts in Sochi. And that sounds you it's something like if you have some sport, watch. It's something what do you what do you what is relatively and you can do it a lot, obviously for marathon runners, that is they might be running so fast. And you think that while they are going fast, but it's don't do for them. And for example, for me, if I did my own John to practice, even I have, I would say I have pretty good endurance. But for me, John two is rapid walking, if I start to run, I'm already going to John John three, or if I run, it has to be like really slow. And you don't get that feeling what most runners that people especially what I see often that they start to they want to get fitter, and then they go for a run, they run one two times a week for an hour. And but it's almost always like too fast, that makes you that you don't want to do it more. But obviously you get after a run you get that feeling that while I did something and if you do some to it's like if you are like after that hour in Joensuu you are like that, that was was that it and you could be doing a lot more but that is the key how to actually train and then the thing to do 15 to 20 PROs should be some kind of interval training like a training and what I love him to be would be doing interval runs or you could be using that heat training principle in your workouts with your strength or strength workouts. So as all this is is those are just the principles how to actually improve your running performance. And this was now I had a I have a couple of runners at the moment in my one on one coaching and in I was talking with him with her the other day and she was just saying that when she first started now it's only after a month doing strength training injury including interval trainings and see felt so much better in her thinking run. And the way it is assessed that it is like you're almost doing a little bit less than you were doing earlier. And it doesn't feel that hard but your results are going to be a lot better. So this is this is the best way how to increase actually your performance if you are doing the right things and not trying to kind of do too As the lot because then obviously you get, you might get overtrained and, and when you rather you do need a bit less, you have time to do something else than trying to do everything and wait two months because obviously the recovery is it's important that you don't you need also to have some kind of restaurants, days. And then in those rest days, obviously you could be doing like what I talked earlier some kind of active recovery, like for example, mobility exercises, or foam rolling or massage or something like that, but it's helping you to recover faster, obviously, if you have possibility to do that. But for example, mobility exercises are great way to do the next question, what I got was excellent, very, very good, was, what I love to answer is that what are some ways to get your site to exercise, and this is something like, I don't have children. But what I believe that most of the parents like if i Someday I'm I happen or we are going to get a child in one day, it's something what you will do pass like that you are as a parent, you want to pass those ASIO from your own example. And to get your child also to do some kind of exercises or activities. And the best way is what I what I like to use it is to make it somehow fun. So it has to be always some fun. So it could be ours like, there are so many like what is what he says because all children are different for somebody, it could be dancing, somebody it could be boxing, or playing some games, you know, football or ice hockey or, or some other ball games. So it says that what you naturally enjoy, it's probably the one sport what you probably want to do need a bit more and then finding some fun ways to activate, to be active. And then what is really, really important is that you as a parent, are going to be a role model. So what was its if I didn't like, all my life, if you are an exercise for the player, and if I if you if your child is seeing that, okay, your dad or mum is going to they're going to exercise even they exercise at home, they see that while this is a this is actually a good thing, it's a normal thing. And they become more interested in what it is they might want to drive. So it's important to have the beat that kind of role model for your children sewing as an example to how to actually do it, then what are other ways to get exercise is to have some kind of limiting screen times. So I know that, like I said, I can't say I don't have own experience. But what I see that it's it's for many parents what I built and see, it's obviously it's a lot easier to tell your kids that here's your iPad, phone, just play something worth something, they will get famous fast, and you don't need to do a lot. But if you could, instead of limiting that screen time and get them somehow outside outdoors and play something what they naturally enjoy. So, there is not only you get press here, you have some activity, what keeps you out and and that is that is one, what is what I always try to encourage some love to see when kids are playing like obviously that was something what I did in my childhood. And we always played hockey outside like until it was dark or somebody came to tell you that now it's time to go to bed. Then either thing is what is important. Like if I think as a child, what was important for me was to have rehab a group of friends. So if you get involved with it somehow with your friends like that, if there is if you have a possibility to put your child in some kind of group activities or sports or invite them or go to the Taiko to play. If there is a possibility to play hockey or soccer or basketball or whatever sport it is bad says that if there's always some friends involved, it's more likely that your child is actually going to do and then lastly, for this, what comes quickly to my mind is to having some kind of routine that there is specific times for that activity. And maybe it's kind of part of your daily life that it's it could be meaning that Okay, after school, it's a homework. And then after that it's kind of it's either either it's organized some practice or something but it's kind of routine, what is part of the daily routine. Next question, what I had, that is the last question what I had was that how can I tell if my workout is working for So if my workout program is working, so this is a very, very good question and there is no right and wrong answer or tell that this is it. And if you don't see, it's obviously not working. But if you can tell at least some of these things that they are working, then it's there is good sense that they are there. Is it work it's working? So I think first is really obvious is that if you are getting stronger if you are improving your running time, so So are you able to lift heavier weights? Are you able to do something more with same amount of weight, like I talked earlier about progressive overload? Or are you able to run it longer or faster on that same round with the remaining so those are pretty, pretty easy to tell. And that obviously, if you can, if there is nothing happening, then it's either you are not pushing yourself hard enough, or you have a CD program, or there is something from mid nutrition part what is missing, then physical changes. So if there is if you see some noticeable muscle definition, or weight loss, so if you you see best ways to see that is what I say that it's pictures, and they've measurements. So those are those are something what is what is like obviously UV feel it on your blog, which is kind of saying that those date measurements, but date measurements are usually a little bit more accurate, or growth quotes are very good way to do it also. But what most people are missing is to take those pictures, because I don't think so big, to be honest, I don't think so taking pictures, but myself either, because it's just a way that maybe you don't like yourself, maybe you are a person who doesn't even like to be in a big service. But this is something like what most of my people who start working with me, they didn't ever take pictures in the beginning. And then you will notice maybe after six months, maybe after a year, you have lost significant amount of weight, or you have gained a lot of muscle and whatever your goal was, you have reached your goal, or you are getting closer to it. But you haven't you have never took that picture in the beginning, like because you were just kind of saying to take Big Sur, and then you're upgraded. And it's also helping you to kind of staying motivated because if there is something like what, what I see a lot is that especially women are too much focusing on the scale rate. And when you are focusing on the scale rate, and for some reason that scale is not moving. So what you are going to do, and you are getting frustrated because you think that it's not working. But if you have pictures, you have some other measurements, you are actually seeing that while these actually work, there is a tendency something is happening. So you keep going and you don't end up quitting things, but we're actually broke. So then third thing is that are no limits. So that is the most important or one of the biggest reasons what I see when people are doing strength training, adding protein eating in a proper way. Like just the simple simple things. If they are it's kind of circled what is going on it could be leading better sleep, better recovery, you have more energy outside of your workout so you are walking more and then it's kind of snowball effect and it's it's that is the often what happens is that then people are starting to see amazing results. And then when I asked them that what would you change what was the biggest point and then they're like, Actually, I didn't change it didn't I basically just the little things, but it didn't feel like so much. And now while this happened, I got to that amazing lost 10 kilos or something. But this is all these small basic things. If you do them on a regular basis and consistently, they are leading that you have that more energy they are leaving that you may you might move outside of your workouts more, you might be sleeping better, you have less cravings, you add protein, it's suppressing your hunger. So it's all kind of that circle what is affecting everything. And that is the one way to know that your energy levels are better. So your workouts are definitely working. Then number four, how to know it's it's that your mood is better. So you are improving your mood. And because that exercise it can boost those hormones like endorphins and it says that you are happier because it's exercise how it's working. Like you get that dopamine boost we need we needed some something what we all need to be happier. And exercise is one way to get it. It's obviously it needs some work. And for many people they use food because you get that same dopamine if that makes you feel happy. You're, as you get it also from food, and it's not, don't take me wrong, it's not you don't get dopamine spikes from eating salad, it's those high calorie watch what you probably know that you should not be eating so much. But when you do, you are getting that kind of you feel that immediate satisfaction, and you are feeling good about it. But then in the long term, you know that it's doing actually more harm than good. Even you get the short term success, and your mood is kind of better. But in the long term, you do more harm, then it's consistent progress is number five, so so you can and it's not it's not only those improvements, what is what is like physical, but mental improvements. So it's all when you when you are writing down how you are feeling how you are what kind of behaviors you had, what is your thinking process? So having some kind of diary how you are feeling, not only workouts obviously vehicles are helping, also if you track them, you see that if they have you have actually made progress? And then if not, what is what could be kind of going back and analyzing that. Why why is that? Have I been first question is always have I been consistent enough? Have I? How is my have I been pushing myself hard enough with my workouts? Have I? Am I following a proper program? How is my nutrition so if there's something what is or how this is recovering, you will always find that it's not those those could be the hardest part is to recognize it by yourself. It's kind of like, if I would have spinach between my teeth, like, I it's there, but I wouldn't see it, I would not see it, there are a couple of ways how I proceed. If I go to if my friend is telling me like if that a Do you have something there between your teeth, or if I would go to mirror and it's kind of same thing with that self sabotage or not knowing what is going on and what feels frustrating goes. Either you have somebody who knows what could be going what could be going on, like some kind of coach, or you have some tools to make you have a checklist what could be going on, because it's it's we are so used to have those old habits, what we have done always and when things are not going in a way like we want, it's easy to blame something else. And going like that, you know, this is it's because of hormones, it's because of whatever reason, those reasons you will always find. But this is when you have kind of tonal and having a dose, how to actually do it. And then what is what is the last thing, but probably the most important is to learning to listen your body. And this is like always that there's your body's trying to tell you and your body is very good at telling you what is going on. If you allow if your hip is allowing to listen to your body. So if you are consistently so if you are consistently fatty, or you are not seeing results, it might be time to access something. And it could be either reducing exercise, or adding exercise or changing your program. But obviously, it's also it works on up out of a light, if you are consistently hurt, your program is probably not the best one or you should be doing things a little bit differently. And this is I'm a big fan of like now when I was younger, I didn't even know what his mobility exercises are. Now, when I do them, basically daily, just couple of minutes per day or part of my warmup. Those have helped me to stay injury free. And it's the same thing what I do for all my clients that especially older ones, like starting from 3035, especially if you are over 40 And it's not you are not recovering as you were in your 20s and and that is that is the that is the biggest realization that you had over more have that kind of proven preventing those injuries and, and if you are all the time insert it probably in your program is missing something or you are kind of trying to push yourself too hard. And this is but this is what you should be listening. And also obviously if you never work out or you work out to less, then you start to get those pains and knees and back hurting lower back, just sitting all the time. And usually when you are just doing some form of strength training that is going to help you to prevent those injuries that so use the pain free. You're going to live life with the full energy and that is just the test advantages and how your body's trying to tell obviously our mind is trying to tell all always, almost always the opposite that, you know, no, I now I don't have time. Everything is going good. I have always done this in this way. And those are the hardest realizations to understand that now. It might be time to access something. So this was this was episode for today but like I said, I have a couple of more days studying your challenge and that if you have any questions email me to write with me to edit calm and if you know someone who have who this episode would help. I would appreciate sharing this with your friend. And thank you for listening. Talk to you soon.