Kinesiology & Pilates FAQs
What’s the difference between a Kinesiologist and a personal trainer?
The main differentiating factor between Kinesiologists and personal trainers is education – Personal trainers typically hold a certification related to fitness instruction, qualifying them to work primarily with clients who have no existing medical conditions or injuries.
In contrast, a qualified Kinesiologist in Canada holds a minimum of a 4-year Bachelor degree in Kinesiology, Human Kinetics or Exercise Science. Additionally, Kinesiologists frequently boast a number of other fitness and health-related certifications.
Kinesiologists are much more than simply certified personal trainers – although many have this qualification too. Registered Kinesiologists are highly trained experts in human physiology and the relationship between physical exercise and human mobility.
As a Kinesiologist, Rachel assesses which factors may be limiting or enhancing your body’s unique movements and determines how best to improve your performance, reduce risk of injury and help you better recovery from your injury. As both a practicing Kinesiologist and a certified personal trainer, she can help you achieve the best of both worlds.
I’m recovering from an accident or injury. How can your services help?
If you’re injured, chances are you’re already working with a team of qualified healthcare professionals. A Kinesiologist can act as an integral part of that lineup.
A licensed Kinesiologist can help you accelerate your recovery, improve your progress and help you reduce the risk of future injuries. The right Kinesiologist acts as the ‘go-between’ person. The overarching benefit of involving a Kinesiologist in your recovery is that your transition – between the physiotherapist and occupational therapy or the gym – is safer, smoother and less intimidating.
Rachel uses the combination of her education, experience and industry-leading tools to assess your individual functionality, motor skills and overall physical performance after sustaining an injury. She’ll work alongside your current medical team to develop an informed, holistic understanding of your individual circumstances and provide you with the best treatment plan for your needs.
Is it okay for me to exercise during injury recovery?
YES! And you should!
Regular physical activity is indisputably among the most effective methods of rehabilitating an injury, recovering from an illness and both improving and managing your health.
It doesn’t matter the site, severity or extent of your injury – a Kinesiologist can help you design a workout plan to work around it.
An accredited Kinesiologist teaches you precisely how to move – in a manner unique to your individual physiology and performance requirements. Their role is to help you optimize your safety, comfort and performance at work, at play and in every aspect of your daily life. Not only will working with a Kinesiologist help make speed up the process of your recovery, but it will also help you prevent further injuries in the future.
What is an acceptable amount of soreness to experience after a workout?
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) typically presents 12-48 hrs post-exercise and is an inflammatory response to muscle strain, presenting with tenderness and stiffness during movement (Bompa 2013).
DOMS is associated with pain stimuli such as muscle spasm, connective tissue damage, lactic acid, muscle damage, inflammation, and enzyme efflux (Cheung, Hume, and Maxwell, 2003). A certain amount of soreness is a natural by-product of training, but this can be diminished by increasing the frequency of your workouts. The primary factors determining whether or not DOMS will occur are:
- Time since your last session (Powers and Howley, 2009)
- Load intensity of your session (Bompa, 2013)
- Time spent under eccentric (muscle contraction in stretch phase) tension during your session (Cheung, Hume, and Maxwell, 2003)
In other words: if you haven’t had a good workout out in a while, or if you haven’t targeted that specific muscle group in some time, you can expect some soreness. This is normal.
If you are lifting 85-100% intensity for a given exercise and you only ever lift 55-65% intensity, it’s safe to say you can also expect some soreness. If you did more eccentric work during this workout (the phase of muscular contraction in which your muscle lengthens), make sure you have a good friend lined up to help you brush your teeth the next day!
Soreness is quite subjective, so we will use two criteria to better define what constitutes “acceptable soreness”:
“Amplitude” describes the degree of soreness you experience
- As long as it is not severely debilitating, acceptable severity of DOMS is whatever you can handle
“Duration” refers to the length of time it takes for the soreness to resolve
- 3-5 days is the average time for discomfort to subside (intensity of soreness will diminish over time)
How long should I wait before I train the same muscle group again?
This is a complex question, for which the answer depends on a number of variables. Simply put, it mostly depends on what your individual goals are.
Are you training primarily for performance, or do you train for hypertrophy (muscle growth)? If you train to improve athletic performance and need to be at your best for each workout, recovery becomes a very important component of your training. Again, to simplify this question let’s examine two training criteria:
- Periodization:the balance between training load and recovery.
- Load:muscle performance adaptations (i.e. strength / hypertrophy) are limited by training volume (sets x reps x load), not muscle damage (Zourdos, 2014). So, if your goal is to gain lean tissue as well as improve physical performance, you should train as often as you can – without impairing your recovery.
- Physical recovery:prolonged endurance exercise (60-180min) will typically require 10-48hrs (respectively) to replenish muscle glycogen (stored energy), depending on training volume and secondary factors. A single bout (1 hour) of strength training typically only demands a 24-hr rest period (Bompa, 2013).
- Mental recovery:high-intensity workouts induce a combination of physiological strain, mental and psychological stress. For this reason, low-intensity training days not only aid in recovery and super compensation, but also help prevent overtraining (Bompa, 2013).
- Secondary Factors affecting recovery:age, experience, gender, environment, sleep, nutrition, psychological factors, manual therapy.
If you train intensely day in and day out, your body never has time to replenish its energy stores and comes closer to exhaustion with every consecutive workout. After about three or four days, all of your workouts will begin in a state of residual fatigue.
At this stage, both your training capacity and your growth potential are inhibited. Therefore a period of recovery between the end of one session and the beginning of the next is essential for improving muscle size, tone, and definition (Bompa 2013).
According to T. Bompa, the time required for compensation before training adaptations may occur vary according to training style:
|Type of training||Energy system||Time needed for recovery (hours)|
|Aerobic (cardiorespiratory)||Glycogen, fats||6-8|
|Hypertrophy, muscle definition||Glycogen||36|
It’s still possible to recover after two to three days of constant overloading. Therefore, training intensely for two days, followed by one day of active rest, is likely optimal for most people.
Secondary factors such as experience and years of progressive adaptation may permit training more often (for example: six days on, one day off) without negative effects, as is evidenced by the training styles of many seasoned strength athletes. However, there is evidence to suggest that three to four weeks of constant overload training may benefit from one week of “de-loading” (training below 70% intensity).
Does caffeine affect my workouts?
Caffeine usage – as a stimulant and performance booster – dates back to the Paleolithic times, when the coffee plant (Coffea Arabica) was used to brew a drink with stimulant properties.
Caffeine remains the most widely consumed drug in both Europe and the Americas (Curatolo and Robertson, 1983), and is used by athletes with the belief that it improves performance. As a matter of fact, prior to January 1, 2004 caffeine was included on the list of banned substances by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to its ability to influence exercise performance.
Caffeine is readily absorbed after ingestion, with peak plasma levels occurring after approximately 60 minutes. Its half-life in the blood is ranges from 2–10 hrs, and is primarily degraded in the liver. Neither habitual usage nor withdrawal seems to influence caffeine’s performance effects (Van Soeren and Graham, 1998).
Although not all studies show effects of caffeine on endurance performance at intensities around 85% VO2 max, improvements in endurance capacity of 10% to 20% prior to exhaustion have been shown. Achieving measureable changes in either performance or capacity are subject to factors such as caffeine dosage, your current fitness level, your habitual caffeine consumption, and the type and duration of exercise.
Some, but not all, studies indicate improved performance and/or capacity during exercise around 100% VO2 max and lasting around five minutes, at dosages of around 6 mg caffeine per kg of body weight (Jackman et al., 1996). The mechanism is unknown, but it’s theorized to result as an effect of caffeine’s ability to facilitate recruitment of muscle fibers, muscle ion handling, enhanced anaerobic energy production, or an inhibition on sensory perception of effort (Spriet 1995b). However, caffeine seems to have no effect on overall physical power output or sprint performance (Williams et al., 1988; Collomp et al., 1991; Greer et al., 1998).
In conclusion, caffeine may not be helpful in increasing the amplitude of your performance, but it may prolong its duration. In addition, caffeine (2-3 mg/kg b.w.) has been shown to definitively improve upon all measures of cognitive functioning (attention, psychomotor skills, concentration and memory); which, depending on your sport or focus, may lend to improved performance (Hogervorst et al., 1999).