Ask the Trainer: Chad The Trainer's 10/18/12 Live-Chat: Weight Training (Part 1)


Thanks for your participation in this live-chat on our Facebook Page this month everyone! Because there were so many questions, we're going to post in 2 parts. This month's chat theme was "weight training." These chats are conducted monthly on the Snap Fitness Facebook Page at!


MissMerricka Seabrooks What’s the best way to get in cardio on a busy schedule?? Best exercises?

Chad TheTrainer MissMerricka- I personally find it best to get up first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and get it out of the way. You will make too many excuses later in the day. If you’re not a morning person try sneaking it in over the lunch hour. 30 minutes of cardio. Best exercises on a busy schedule would be circuit training. Try doing M/W/F full body workouts. Try doing one set of 15 repetitions per body part and finish with 30 minutes of cardio. Make sure you are resting on T/TH though.

Shaye Marie Lusk How can I lose weight with two kids, a job and a house to keep up with – how can I fit in exercise?

Chad TheTrainer Shaye- That's a tough one but I have many friends who do it every day with similar schedules. With the club being open 24 hours you need to find 1 hour or 4% of your time to commit three days a week. If you are still having problems take a look at your nutrition. Log into my nutrition- register and get a custom nutrition program for free.

Chelle Renee Should I do cardio only to drop weight first, then work in weight training or is it fine to begin them both at the same time?

Chad TheTrainer Chelle- Adding muscle while you are doing cardio is the best way to go. You may not see the scale go as fast but the more muscle you add the higher your metabolism will be in the long run. It's more about losing inches than it is weight.

Amanda Meyer-Ostler What is the best way to start after having kids and not being very active?

Chad TheTrainer Amanda- I would try to commit yourself to three days a week for one hour. Get in the gym and do a 5 minute warm-up, do a full body circuit on the selectorized machines, and finish with some light cardio. Log into> my workouts> register for a free workout routine online. Keep it simple to start and work your way up. Best of luck!

Carli Ann What is the most effective exercise to tone arms and legs?

Chad TheTrainer Carli- Stick to the basic bicep curls and tricep extensions for the arms. For legs I prefer squats, lunges, leg extensions and leg curls. Keep in mind that proper nutrition is key and you have to do cardiovascular exercise to burn the stored fat off as well. Good luck!

Melissa Fitzwilliams What are best exercises for women on the machines, best results. looking to firm up everywhere.

Chad TheTrainer Melissa- If you are looking to firm up everywhere you will need to work your entire body. Make sure you are getting every body part done. You could use the whole Matrix or Cybex circuit to hit your whole body. Try upper body on Monday and Thursday and Lower body on Tuesday and Friday. Remember that toning has a lot to do with nutrition and cardiovascular exercise as well.

Kathy Robinson More weight, less reps or less weight and more reps? Sore shoulders and joints. What do you recommend?

Chad TheTrainer Kathy- if you have sore joints you need to lighten the load. I would go with a lighter weight and stay in the 15 to 20 rep range for toning. Make sure you are doing a 5 minute warm-up before you start and I would recommend taking some fish oil to help with your joints.

Melissa Fitzwilliams What’s the best cardio to do and to what intensity? I personally like the elliptical machines you have at Snap. I usually do that at a 5 incline and 20 resistance.

Chad TheTrainer Melissa- It’s more about your heart rate than intensity. I would try to keep your heart rate at a consistently elevated level. Take 220 - your age (70%) for fat burning. Try staying in this zone for 20 - 30 minutes.

Carin Chuvala Any ideas for some strength training with the IT band? My knee doesn't hurt too bad when running but afterward, whoa pretty sore. I've been doing stretches and icing.

Chad TheTrainer Carin- I'm not sure if your Snap has this but they make a "foam roller" that you lay on with your body weight. It will allow you to deep tissue massage your IT band. If your club doesn't have one, check them out online. I have used these a lot for IT issues.

Melissa Breen I'm looking to lose weight, about 20 pounds. I've changed my diet and I'm down 6 pounds; now I need to work the gym back into my life. What is the best schedule for losing weight/inches? Cardio vs weights etc. I have no problem with heading into Snap 5-6 days a week! Ideally I'd like it to happen in 8 weeks, but I know that's pushing it.

Chad TheTrainer Melissa- I like your determination. Just make sure you take at least one day off for repair :) I would try doing a 5 minute warm-up followed by an alternating upper/lower body split. This will allow for your body to rest in-between days. 5 minute warm-up, 30 minutes of weight training first and then finish with 30 minutes of cardio. Best of luck!

Emily Hansen What's the best way to lose tummy fat? That's my weakness!

Chad TheTrainer Emily- Losing tummy fat comes down to good ole nutrition and exercise. It is possible to lose weight but not tummy fat because you are losing muscle. A great way to burn stored fat is by increasing your cardiovascular routine. Try increasing your cardio by 10 - 15 minutes. Go from 20 - 30 minutes per day. Also remember that weight training will increase your metabolism and help you burn fat much faster. Hope this helps.

Katie Case Mihalak Any tips on training for a half marathon - what should I be doing on my off days?

Chad TheTrainer Katie-  I would be resting for the most part.  You need to let your body repair itself for continued training.  I have some personal friends that do 3 hours of yoga a week and they say it really helps with flexibility and recovery.  Another bit of advice would be to look up another marathoner in the area you can train and learn with.  You will have more fun if you get more and more people involved.

Jake Lee Smith Can one night of drinking really destroy a whole month’s worth of weights?

Chad TheTrainer Jake- one night of drinking won’t ruin an entire month of training. It does have toxic effects on the liver so you are not able to process protein as efficiently. It also makes you crave too much food and probably too many calories. You are probably fine picking one cheat day a week for your alcoholic consumption and high calorie meals. Your body just can’t store it all at once. Cheers!

Nickolas Glowaczewski I’m not seeing the results I would like from trying to bulk. I have been training very hard in the gym and have had maybe 1 day off a week. I’m eating 4-5 meals a day but not gaining any size...any advice?

Chad TheTrainer Nickolas-  Couple of different things to consider.  One is that you may simply not be taking in enough calories.  I would need to know what you are eating in these 5 meals a day.  Are you eating three small meals and two shakes or just snacking all day?  Without knowing this I would recommend two protein shakes a day at 30 grams of protein.  This will help with recovery and extra calories.  My final thought is that you aren’t resting enough.  I would train Monday and Tuesday.  Take Wednesday off of weight training but do some light cardio.  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday heavy training.  Sunday is just rest and eat day.

Ron Mohan For trying to add mass, is higher reps at lower weight better? OR higher weight with less reps better in your opinion?

Chad TheTrainer Ron- I believe that strength and mass come more with training in the 8 - 12 repetition range. Lower reps with heavy weight will help increase strength but I like to train in the 12 rep range to ensure total muscle failure. The most important thing is getting in enough calories to add mass. Make sure you are getting in protein within 30 minutes of your workout. You need to make sure you are getting all the benefits of muscle recovery. Good luck!

Michelle Murphy Any recommendations on training for barefoot running for an event next summer? I just got my Vibram five fingers but haven't run yet

Chad TheTrainer Michelle-  My initial response to anyone who is trying a new weight training or running program is to start slow.  If you overdo it in the beginning you may get injured and frustrated. Start with the basics and work your way into a slow progression.  Follow these tips by
   •    Run no more than 10% of your typical running distance for the first 2–3 weeks
   •    After 2–3 weeks, gradually increase mileage by 10%–20% every couple of weeks
   •    If you ever start to feel pain during a run, stop! You can always try again in a couple of days
   •    Never run 2 days in a row for the first month
   •    Stretch before and after each run, focusing on calves and feet, because Vibram FiveFingers running will stimulate these muscles

Sarah Werdier I'm doing a “biggest loser” competition. What's the best/quickest way to lose the most weight?

Chad TheTrainer Sarah- The simple answer is: eat less and work out more, but be careful with the health risks. If you are losing more than 2 lbs a week after the initial week you are losing muscle and not fat. Week one you may lose up to 5 pounds of excess water from high sodium foods. I would make sure you are eating 3 - 5 small meals a day and eating 1000 less than you are burning. Log into your account and click my nutrition> register and you can get a custom nutrition program for free based on your goal.

Mila-Rae Sprintz Hi Chad! I am on two soccer teams. I play an average of 2 games a week. How many times a week should I hit the gym to build muscle and lose fat? Should I concentrate more on weight training since I am getting my cardio in at soccer? Also, my quads are hurting a lot. Any recommendations to strengthen them and what can I do to make them feel better when they are sore?

Chad TheTrainer Mila- Since you are doing soccer two times a week with high cardio I would just get in the gym 2 - 3 more days and add weight training and light cardio. I would do squats, lunges and leg extensions twice a week to strengthen your quadriceps. Make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet to fully recover from your workouts. Drink a protein shake immediately after your training.

Cindy Hill Springs I've been on Weight Watchers since March and have lost 82 lbs. I've been walking the entire time and added Zumba to my routine in July. This past September my company added a Snap Membership to their benefits package and now I'm able to add weights to my routine. For losing weight, should I be adding reps or weight to my workouts?

Chad TheTrainer Cindy- for toning I would try to keep your repetitions in the 15 - 20 range. Adding weight will make you stronger but your goal is to tone. Keep increasing your weight so that you stay in this rep range. You don't want to be doing 25 reps for example. Keep up the good work and congrats on your results so far!!!

Steven Heller What can I do to increase the number of wide grip pull-ups I can do? My max is 6, and can't seem to get any more.


Chad TheTrainer Steven- a few things you can do. 1. Your biceps have a lot to do with this so focus on increasing your strength there. 2. If they have an assisted machine you can add a counter balance that will push you in to higher reps like a spotter would. 3. Have someone hold your feet when you are hanging there. You can push off their hands for extra reps – this will help you push through the barrier.

Donna Reed What do you recomend for the belly? Need to lose it

Chad TheTrainer Hi Donna – I get this question a lot. Losing tummy fat comes down to good ole nutrition and exercise. It is possible to lose weight, but not tummy fat because you are losing muscle. A great way to burn stored fat is by increasing your cardiovascular routine. Try increasing your cardio by 10 - 15 minutes. Go from 20 - 30 minutes per day. Also remember that weight training will increase your metabolism and help you burn fat much faster.

Chera-Mae Rossignol Hey Chad I work at the snap fitness in Vernon, BC and I'm curious what type of exercises you'd recommend to help tone and gain definition in the legs, as well as a good way to get rid of body fat.

Chad TheTrainer Chera- The first thing with legs is that you have to prepare to push yourself a little bit harder. These are huge muscles and pushing the envelope can be a little bit more challenging. Try smith machine squats followed by leg extensions. I like to tax my quads with these two first and finish with lunges for definition. For hamstrings you can just do standard leg curls.

Charlene MacPherson What guidelines do you suggest for diet to help build muscle yet lose weight?

Chad TheTrainer Charlene- Log into the web site.  Once logged in click on my nutrition.  You will be able to go in and register for a free nutrition program from Truestar Health.  You will enter in all of your statistics and select a weight loss goal.  Put what your goal is and it will customize a menu plan for you to lose weight and maintain your muscle with exercise.  This is crucial because of the amount of specific calories you should be consuming.  One thing I recommend for sure is taking a protein shake immediately after your weight training workout so you can repair muscle.  This will allow you to grow muscle and still lose weight.  You will probably gain muscle and lose body fat in the process.  Best of luck

Angela Fortheloveof Gault Chad, I have a membership and need to know what weight training could help strengthen my lower back? I have sciatica every now and then and want it to stop! I know exercise will help. What can I do?

Chad TheTrainer Angela-  Most of strengthening your lower back has to do with your abdominal area.  If you strengthen your abs you will alleviate some of the pressure on your back and become more functional.  If you do decide to do light back exercises I would recommend getting with a Personal Trainer to customize the plan for you.  You have to be pretty careful with the way you work your back during weight lifting.  For cardio I would steer clear of the treadmill as it will put the most impact on your lower back.  Try doing a seated bike or elliptical to limit impact on the joints.

Snap Fitness-Buena Vista, VA Hey Chad! I would love to know some new exercises for biceps. Currently, I am doing curls. How often should you work your biceps?

Chad TheTrainer I like to stick to the basics for biceps.  I prefer one motion where my palms are facing forward with a straight bar.  This is called a straight bar bicep curl.  This exercise is responsible for most of the strength in your biceps and it targets the upper part (peak) of your biceps.  The second motion is holding dumbbells with my palms towards my body.  This motion hits the lower part of the bicep and the forearms.  See examples below:   I would do them twice a week with two days’ rest in between.


Jessica Harkness Chad – my daughter turns 12 in two weeks and will be allowed to go to Snap with me. I would never have her doing anything but cardio at this age so do you think 30 minutes of walking or biking would be a good for her age? I feel like more would be too much.

Chad TheTrainer Jessica- I think 30 minutes is fine. It's all about being more active and creating a lifestyle. You would be fine with basics like sit-ups and push-ups. Give it another year or so before adding in weight training :)

Armindie Hoffacker What would cause a 5 pound weight gain the days after a 5k?

Chad TheTrainer Armindie- Hydration. You were probably completely dehydrated from the event and your body is just putting its needed fluids back.

Frankie Garripoli Holliday When needing to lose a lot of weight would it be best to do cardio until you get to a lower weight and then focus on toning arms? Or just combine?

Chad TheTrainer Frankie- It is better to combine them. It’s all about calories in versus calories out. The more you exercise the more calories you will burn. The cleaner you eat the less calories you will take in. Best of luck!


Bruce Hollis Chad: I would like to start to build up my shoulders, arms, biceps, triceps – are the free weights the best way to go? Or can you recommend any of the weight machines u have? I have not lifted weights for several years I just run! And now I've met my weight goal! Thanks to Snap Fitness! I weigh 129lbs where is a good starting point on weight limits for lifting either free weights or the machines

Chad TheTrainer: Bruce-  Since you are just getting back into it I would recommend that you start with the machines.  I would do shoulders and biceps together one day and back and triceps the following day.  Do Monday, Tuesday, rest on Wednesday and complete again Thursday and Friday.  I would start light working maybe three sets of ten on the machines for about 30 days and then start incorporating some of the free weights.  This will allow your joints and tendons to stabilize prior to lifting heavier down the road.  Congratulations on the success so far!

Mandy Dail How many calories do you burn doing sit-ups?

Chad TheTrainer: Mandy-  If you do one set of 20 sit-ups you will only burn about 5-10 calories.  If you could do sit-ups continuously for 30 minutes you may burn about 300 calories.  People do sit-ups to work their core and strengthen their abdominals and lower back.  If you’re trying to burn a lot of calories I would focus on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical for 20 – 30 minutes.

Sonya Maddox Meranto I had surgery 4 yrs ago but now have to take pain meds for bulging disks. So what would be a good way to begin to shed my weight?

Chad TheTrainer Sonya-  First thing I would do is check with your doctor and make sure you don’t have any restrictions.  Once you are clear you need to stick to the basics which is eat less and exercise more.  I would first log into your site and click on my nutrition.  You can register with Truestar and it will walk you through a custom nutrition plan and will recommend very good supplements.  This will take care of the nutrition piece which can be up to 70% of the battle.  Then I would recommend you begin a 3 day a week full body circuit program with 4 days of cardiovascular exercise on your favorite type of cardio.  If you burn a lot of calories and have good nutrition you will begin to see results immediately.

Home Coffee Solutions Barrie Hi Chad, I am 34, eat healthy again and now after doing 45 minutes of cardio, plus core body movements, along with yoga for the last 6 weeks (3-5X Day), I want to keep the slim 30 waist and build the upper mass. Is there a way I can do it while still keeping to the cardio while still gaining 15 lbs in 3 months?

Chad TheTrainer You can gain probably 10 – 12 pounds in that time frame of lean body mass.  The trick thing is you are going to have to take in just enough more calories than you are burning to do this.  If you are burning 3000 calories a day you will need to consume just over 3000 calories so you can gain lean muscle mass but no so much as to gain extra body fat.  I would switch your core movements to heavier upper body lifts rotating your back, chest, shoulders, and arms.  You may just want to increase your calories by about 300/day to gain lean mass.  You might try a protein shake for this immediately after your heavy workout. Another thing to watch for is taking in 1.5 grams of protein for every pound of body weight.  Log into your account,  click on my nutrition and register for Truestar.  This will help you design a custom menu plan for gaining weight.  Best of luck!

Kristi Dupont Hi Chad. I just have a few questions for you. I did a fitness model competition back in April. My trainer the time had me carb-cut for the last 2 weeks, and now I feel like my body is messed up. I haven't been training as hard but anything I eat seems to go straight to my butt and legs. Any ideas how to get my body back to normal?

Chad TheTrainer Kristi-  I would just focus on getting back on your old consistent workout routine.   A lot of the weight you gain back after a competition is water and even more so with your cutting carbohydrates.  One thing you might try is to cut out some of the heavier starchy carbs like pasta, white rice, and bread.  Try to keep your carbohydrates to vegetables, eat a lot of salads, and if you do eat rice make it brown rice.  If you did a competition I know you have discipline so just get back on your routine with a lighter diet.   Cheers!

Renee Peluso Marsh I went from doing an elliptical and weight- training routine (free & machine - different muscle groups) 4-5 days a week to an aerobic group style (muscle pump, R.i.p.p.e.d., core, Tabata, etc.) and still elliptical work. Is one better than the other for weight control and being toned? I don't feel like my workouts are as rigorous/ hardcore but also didn't change my workout much! Oh, I changed all this because of a move! Thanks!

Chad TheTrainer Renee-  What really matters how many calories you are burning in a session.  If you are burning the same amount of calories in each workout then they are equal.  Your group style classes are generally made for toning.  You are not going to gain strength from the high repetition classes that you have been doing.  If I were you I would still do a combination of the two to keep your body in shock and to avoid any plateaus. 


Look for part 2 of the chat coming soon - and be sure to look for the announcement of our November live-chat on Facebook!

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