Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Posts 111 - 120 of 128

Ask the Trainer: Goal Weight and Target Heart Rate

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: You’ve talked about heart rate training in the past for losing weight. What if I’ve reached my goal weight? Does it make any sense to try pushing myself into higher zones?

Answer: This really depends on if you have truly reached your goal or not. I would not push myself into higher zones unless you have hit a plateau and need the extra push. Once you have hit your goal you may be able to scale back your workouts a bit to hit a happy medium. For example, you could take your cardio workout from 30 minutes to 20 minutes. A good friend of mine once told me “20 minutes to maintain and 30 minutes to lose.” This isn’t an exact number but gives you an idea of what to do to make a small adjustment.

Another thing to consider if you have been losing weight and are at your goal now is what you did to get there. Make some minor adjustments to find what you need to do to maintain your current fitness level. If you go back to your old habits and how you have always done things, you are likely to go back to how you looked as well. Focus on maintaining the good habits you have created so you don’t become a “yo-yo dieter” who loses 30 pounds and gains 30 pounds year after year. Make it easier on yourself and commit to a better way of life!

Ask the Trainer: Workout Efficiency and Soreness

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: If I’ve been working out for a while - doing strength training, etc. should I still be getting sore after every workout? If I don’t get sore, does that mean I’m not working out hard enough?

Answer: The answer to this question really lies in the goals at hand. If you are happy with the way you look and you are just trying to maintain yourself and lose a little fat, you could probably get by with light weightlifting and cardiovascular exercise. However, if you are trying to add muscle and increase your long-term metabolism you may want to be a little bit sore for a day or two after exercise. When you get sore you are actually getting small “micro tears” in your muscles. You are sore because you are tearing your muscle down on a small scale. The muscles grow or increase in size as a defense mechanism by your body to avoid future damage.

 

When you do eat calories (specifically protein) your body will use them to repair your muscle. Proteins break down into amino acids to repair muscle. You don’t want to get sore to where you are in severe pain for a week, but it is okay to be a little sore for a day or two after training a body part. Also, make sure not to keep training a muscle after it is sore as it has had no time to repair itself for the next workout. This may seem a little technical but it really is a science.

Ask the Trainer: Preparing for Spin Class

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I'd like to try a spin class, but I'm afraid I won't be able to handle it. Any suggestions on how to prepare?

 

Answer: There are a couple of things to keep in mind before beginning a spin class. First, you can go at your own pace. Some people will have their resistance turned up all the way and pedal as fast as they can. Others will go at a slower pace to keep their heart rate slower and at a easier level. You control it.  

To prepare for a spinning class I would make sure that you are riding a bike for at least a week to get used to the movement. Spin classes are usually a full hour and you will get extremely sore if you do not prepare for this in advance. Start with 30 minutes and work your way up to an hour. Either way you can always stop the class early and get off the bike if you feel overwhelmed or overheated.

Ask the Trainer: Trimming Belly Fat

By: Jessica Vanderlinde, Personal Trainer at Snap Fitness Chanhassen

Today we have a guest personal trainer to answer your question - Jessica at our Snap Fitness Chanhassen location!

Question: I have some unwanted belly fat that I want to cut away but nothing seems to work. What can I do?

Answer: I wish I could tell you that there is a quick & easy way to do it, however we cannot spot-reduce fat. My suggestion is good old-fashioned nutrition, watching your caloric intake, doing cardio exercises to burn fat, and doing resistance training as muscle burns more than fat. Make sure to work opposing muscle groups so if one day you're working your abs and core make sure to work your lower, mid, and upper back as well.

Ask the Trainer: Strengthening Legs

By: Jessica Vanderlinde, Personal Trainer at Snap Fitness Chanhassen

Today we have a guest personal trainer to answer your question - Jessica at our Snap Fitness Chanhassen location!

 

Question: I need a good upper-leg exercise, and to strengthen my quads. Do you have any suggestions?


Answer: I would recommend leg presses, squats, leg extensions, and lunges - all of which are great for the quad muscles. Always make sure to work opposing muscle groups though, and work your glutes and hamstrings. Lunges, squats, and the hamstring curl machine are great for those areas.

Ask the Trainer: Training for Long-Distance Running

By: Jessica Vanderlinde, Personal Trainer at Snap Fitness Chanhassen

Today we have a guest personal trainer to answer your question - Jessica at our Snap Fitness Chanhassen location!

 

Question: How many miles should I be increasing weekly to train for a half-marathon?

 

Answer: It depends on your training schedule and how many weeks you have to train.  If you have adequate time to train you should ideally increase your long run day mileage by 1 mile each week until you reach 12-13 miles.  I typically start with 3 miles and add 1 mile each week until I reach 13 miles.

Ask the Trainer: Strength Training Routine

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: When I’m working on strength training, does it matter what order I do the exercises?  Should I do all upper body at once? Or alternate with lower body?

Answer: This really depends on what your goals are and how advanced you are at working out. I like to see beginners doing a full body workout three days a week. For example, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday completing one set for chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abdominals, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. This way you are only hitting each muscle very little and still have a day to rest in between. The next phase would be upper body on Tuesday and Friday and Lower body on Monday and Wednesday. You would increase your sets to 2 or 3 per exercise, knowing you will get a two day rest in-between body parts. A more advanced routine may be to do chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, biceps on Wednesday, triceps on Thursday, legs on Friday, and shoulders on Saturday.  Each day you would pick three exercises per body part and would complete two sets of 15 per exercise. This would hit the muscle for much more repetitions and allow for a whole week to recover.  his information is just an example of things you can do to break up body parts but I would recommend seeing a personal trainer for some personal advice and consulting. There are likely some great ones at your Snap gym!

Ask the Trainer: Cardio Workouts

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: Is one form of cardio better than another?  For example, is the elliptical better than the treadmill or bike, as far as burning fat and calories?

Answer: There is not really one form of cardio that is better for you than another. It really comes down to personal preference, boredom, and injuries. For example, I don’t personally do the treadmill that much because of a back injury and knee problems from college athletics. I prefer the elliptical because there is no impact on my joints. My body glides and no weight is put on the joints that are causing me problems and I am still able to get my heart rate up to the optimal level. I do believe that running on the treadmill will allow you to get your heart rate up to a higher level faster as you are putting more weight and pressure on your body. The bike seems like the hardest way to get your heart rate up as you are only using your legs and you have to push yourself to get your heart rate elevated. What it really comes down to is the amount of calories you burn in a day. You can burn anywhere from 200 – 400 calories in 30 minutes on any of these machines depending on how hard you push yourself and how intense you train. Also, your body may plateau after doing the same machine for a few weeks and I would recommend switching it up from time to time between the various types of exercise. Keep your body guessing, make it fun, and work out with a partner to ensure your long-term success in the gym.

Ask the Trainer: Toning Inner Thighs

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I am wondering if you could give me an idea on how to get my inner thighs more toned. This is a problem with all the gals in my family. We are all in fairly good shape, however, we all have extra fat between the legs. How can I tone the inner parts of my thighs?

Answer: I get this question a lot and it is very similar to someone who is trying to “spot reduce” an area of their body such as their stomach. The good news is that most people lose fat a little bit faster in their extremities and it works its way to the center of your body. In your case if you are eating a better diet and doing the correct amount of cardiovascular exercise, you will begin to lose inches and body fat in your arms and legs first. If you are really serious about this I would do cardiovascular exercise 4 – 5 times a week for 30 minutes. 

A generic heart rate zone would be 220 – your age (70%).  For example 220 – 30 = 190(70%) = 133 beats per minute. 

In this case I would do either a treadmill, cross-trainer, Stairmaster, etc. for 30 minutes 4 -5 times per week. By doing this you will start to mobilize fat as an energy source and the fat will start burning off. The other part of the equation is the nutritional piece. With all the hard work you do in the gym, your body may stay the same by eating too many calories. I would recommend on top of the exercise to cut about 300 calories out of your meal plan on a daily basis. It is as simple as burning more calories though exercise than you are taking in with food. Make some minor adjustments and you should start seeing results in a couple weeks!

Ask the Trainer: Muscle Soreness & Rest

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I started at Snap Fitness a few days ago and have been walking on the treadmill. I have been noticing pain in my thighs and lower legs & then also have been feeling pain on my right side. Should I stop for a while?

Answer: The pain you are probably feeling is because you are just starting exercise. This muscle soreness is expected whenever someone starts a workout program. If you are walking on the treadmill you are using your thighs and calves a lot and they will be sore at first. The pain in your side is probably a cramp that most people get when they first start working out as well. The cramp in your side will go away with time but you need to rest your muscles a day or two until the soreness goes away. If you take a couple days off and the pain increases or does not get better in your legs you should go see a doctor.  Congratulations on your fitness journey!

Posts 111 - 120 of 128