Q & A

Q & A.

On my q & a page, I will answer the most frequently asked questions that are asked on my site. I hope my answers will provide you with useful insight and tips for your workouts. 

1. How often should I exercise?

This depends on your fitness level. To explain, if you have a low fitness level you will notice progress with only one workout per week. However, if your fitness level is high, then you need more training to take it to the next level. It is all about increasing the body’s workload to the next level. So that the body must adapt itself to the new level. We call this: Progressive overload. [1]

However, it is also important to make sure that you get enough rest between each workout. Consequently, your body needs time to adapt to the new training stimuli. In this case, your recovery time will depend on the activity, your genetics, and workout intensity. J. Olbrecht shows a good overview of the length of this recovery period according to workout intensity[2]. We call this: Supercompensation. You should take this into account when planning your training week.


  • Create a workout schedual that gives room for a grdually increase. (Progressive overload.) [1]

  • Add enough recovery time between each workout to give your body time to adjust its workout load. (Super compensation) [2]

The number of workouts per week.

  • Beginners: 1-2 workouts of 45-60 min
  • Well trained: 2-4 workouts per week of 45-90 min

  • Very well trained: 3-5 workouts per week of 45-120 min

Elite athletes.

Swimmers often train between 23 and 36 hours a week. For exmple, I trained for 32 hours a week. Alltough, it is important to point out that my training was varied and periodized. Consequently, I could keep a good balance between the workout load and recovery time. During the week I trained for 20 hours swimming, 3 hours strength, 3 hours basic training, 2 hours jogging or running, 2 hours boxing, and 2 hours gymnastics. Hard workouts were spread throughout the week with enough recovery sessions in between for my body to be able to adapt to the workout.

2. How many repetitions should I have in the program?

It is not uncommon to hear claims that 3-5 reps are for maximum strength. While 12-15 reps are for endurance strength, and etc. This is a simplification. It depends on how you carry out these repetitions.

12-15 reps trigger endurance strength because the duration of these repetitions is long enough for this. However, what if you complete 15 reps in 10-15 seconds. In that case, we stimulate power endurance more than endurance strength. On the other hand, if you spend 2 minutes to complete 4 reps. That will stimulate endurance strength and not maximum strength. Regardless of the fact that 4-6 reps are recommended for maximum strength training.

Therefore you need to evaluate the workout in its entirety to decide how many sets or rep you need. Try to balance the number of sets, ropes, rest, series, and lifting speed against each other. I have illustrated guidelines for this here.

3. What abdominal exercises do we give me a flatter stomach?

You have as much control over which fat you burn, as you have over where the fat is stored when you eat. So no! The body burns the fat store that is best available. Regardless of which body part you train.
Abdominal exercises will give you a stronger stomach. This is important as it can give us a better posture, better ability to lift heavy without overloading the back, etc. However, it is not possible to aim fat burning at specific areas in this way.
Fat reduction around the abdomen will occur evenly along with the total fat reduction associated with exercise or diets.
Ultimately, fat and weight reduction will be one result of the energy intake being lower than the energy intake. That is, you use more energy than you get through your food.


There are several harmful side effects of having one energy intake that is far too low below your energy intake. [1] You should not go more than 500 kcal in minus per day. And no matter how many kcal you want to be minus, it should not be at the expense of vitamins, minerals, and other essential dietary needs. You should also not go with negative energy intake for too long.
Dan Benardot points out the consequences of risks with diets where athletes go through long periods of lower energy intake.
“At the very least, poorly achieved weight loss nearly always reduces muscle mass and increases fat mass, making it more difficult for athletes to achieve top performance.” [2, p. 231]


  • The body needs a certain amount of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. Any reduction in kcal mustn’t come at the expense of this.
  • If the energy intake is too low according to the energy intake, it can have a negative effect in addition to physical and mental ailments [1].
  • With exercise and diet, the same rules apply as with everything else in life. You need to find the right balance.
  • Reference:

    [2] Benardot, D., 2011 “Advanced Sports Nutrition” Human Kinetics.

    4. How can I increase my muscle size?

    Muscle size increases as a product of more muscle fibers and an increase in cross-sectional area. Seeing that you have probably heard about different approaches to this goa already. And since I have previously written about exactly this earlier. I will recommend you read that post.

    5. What intensity zone should I train in to get better endurance?

    Firstly, I want to point out that there are several ways to divide intensity zones. The purpose of the intensity zones is to clarify the intensities targets for the workout. Coaches and athletes often emphasize to divide the zones according to which energy system dominates the energy supply. The lowest zones mainly stimulate the aerobic energy system. While the upper energy systems mainly stimulate the anaerobic energy system.

    Intensity zones

    On this page I have chosen to divide the intensity zones as follows:

    Intensity zone.


    Heart rate (% max).

    Bianary model.

    I-zone 5



    High-intensity training.

    I-zone 4



    High-intensity training

    I-zone 3



    High-intensity training

    I-zone 2



    Low-intensity training.

    I-zone 1



    Low-intensity training

    The division is based on Espen Tønnessen, Head of Training at the Olympic Summit,’s division of intensity zones. [1]

    What intensity zones should you choose?

    Recommendations regarding which intensity zones you should train the most vary a great deal. Magazines and various blogs often recommend Interval training with high intensity. The reason for this is simple. Interval training with high intensity gives fast improvements to your endurance level.
    However, Espen Tønnessen, Head of Training at the Olympic Summit, points out the following:
    “The reason for the claim that interval training with high intensity is that simple trials of 6-12 weeks have shown that intensive training gives greater progress in the short term than training with low intensity.”

    Furthermore, he questions whether this is the most effective method. Short-time efficiency is not necessarily the same as long-term efficiency. 

    Best practice.

    A study of the training of the best Norwegian athletes in endurance sports such as cross-country skiing, cycling, and orienteering, shows the following.
    Table 1: Training time and percentage distribution on I-zones in an annual cycle for three female athletes at a high international level in cross-country skiing, cycling, and orienteering (aerobic endurance training only).


    Langrenn (n=1)

    Sykling (n=1)


    I-sone 5 (95-100% av HF maks)

    5 timer (1%)

    5 timer (1 %)


    I-sone 4 (90-95% av HF maks)

    47 timer (6%)

    43 timer (6%)

    64 timer (11%)

    I-sone 3 (85-90% av HF maks)

    25 timer (3%)

    57 timer (8%)

    10 timer (2%)

    I-sone 2 (75-85% av HF maks)

    45 timer (6%)

    36 timer (5%)

    55 timer (10%)

    I-sone 1 (55-75% av HF maks)

    625 timer (84%)

    589 timer (81%)

    443 timer (77%)

    Total treningstid

    747 timer

    730 timer

    572 timer

    This survey shows that the best athletes spend up to 80% of their training time in the lower intensity zones. In addition to this, the athletes applied workouts at all intensity levels. This shows that the best athletes do not necessarily lock themselves into an intensity zone. But that they include all the intensity zones in their training plan.

    Find the balance between intensity and duration.

    «How intensively is interval training and fast long-distance running carried out? In most athletes, it depends on the training period, but mainly most of the training is carried out slightly above (I-zone 4) and slightly below (I-zone 3) anaerobic threshold (approx. 90% of maximum heart rate). Only 1-3% of the training is performed with an intensity where the heart rate is over 95% of HFmax. This indicates that it is not about training as intensively as possible, but about finding an optimal relationship between intensity and duration. When training at over 95% of maximum heart rate, one will not be able to work more than a few minutes. By reducing the intensity to 85-90% of maximum heart rate (approx. 20-30 beats below maximum heart rate) you will be able to hold on for a much longer time, which experience has shown to give a far better effect on performance development than one-sided training on I-zone 5. »[1]


    Here are some simple training tips for choosing the right intensity zone to increase endurance:
  • Use the low-intensity zones to build your training base. As a result, this will prepare your body to tolerate more workouts.
  • Add a gradual increase in the intensities and lengths of the sessions.
  • Find the balance between how high intensity you can hold and how long you can hold it.
  • Use all the intensity zones, but put a little extra emphasis on the zones that are approaching the competitive speed. At least when you have entered the competition phase (read more about the competition phase here).
  • Reference: