Ask the Trainer: Chad The Trainer's 10/18/12 Live-Chat: Weight Training (Part 2)


Thanks again for your participation in our October live-chat on our Facebook Page! Here is Part 2 of this month's "weight training" live-chat. These chats are conducted monthly on the Snap Fitness Facebook Page at!


Chris Nauman I’m 6’2” with long arms. Should I be going to my chest or stopping when my arms are at a 90 degree angle when benching?

Chad TheTrainer Chris-  I would be stopping at the 90 degree angle when doing any chest press. Once you break 90 degrees the pressure moves from your pectorals to your rotator cuffs. This is one main reason for rotator cuff injuries in the gym. I would also make sure you keep your motion slow on the way down and on the way up. The great thing about stopping at 90 degrees is that is keeps you from bouncing the weight off your chest.  

Michael Morgan I use weight training for strength and weight gain. No, I’m not into body building. What would you recommend to strengthen the lower back and core? There isn’t a back machine at the Snap Fitness I work out at.

Chad TheTrainer Michael-  For your lower back I would focus more on your core and strengthening your abdominal area. Usually when you strengthen this area it alleviates all of the pain you may be having in your lower back. For strengthening your back you could do two different things: I would do pull-ups if you can, and for your mid-back/rhomboids I would do bend-over dumbbell rows. Put your left knee and left hand on the bench. Right foot is planted at 45 degrees. You begin with dumbbell on ground with right hand and pull it back by driving your right elbow to the ceiling. Bring the dumbbell up so that it is even with your body and then let it slowly down to the floor. Complete 10 – 15 repetitions and then work the other side of your body. Best of luck on your workouts!

Jennifer Martin I started running about 2 years ago – my question is: How do you build up your endurance to go faster and further? I seem to be stuck. I run 60-80 miles/month and usually 3-4 miles per run. I’m almost 40. Is it possible that some people’s bodies won’t go faster or a longer distance?

Chad TheTrainer Jennifer-  Everyone’s genetics are different but I truly believe that with the proper training you can break these barriers. I’m sure you could start working on interval training with short sprints followed by slow long distance running. My recommendation would be to find a personal trainer who has an extensive running background. There are also running clubs you can find on the internet where you can begin training with some more advanced runners who will push you.  Keep plugging away and you will break these barriers.

Elina J.Perkins What’s the best way to lose belly fat? When I go to the gym, I work on my arms and then go to the treadmill or the elliptical…is this a good routine?

Chad TheTrainer Elina-  Losing belly fat is no different than losing fat on any other part of your body.  The tough thing is that you tend to lose it from the outside-in. You will lose fat on your arms and legs before you will see much improvement in the mid-section. I can say that you will need to eat better so as to not gain any more body fat, lift weights to gain muscle and increase your metabolism, and do cardiovascular exercise to burn the stored body fat. In terms of your workout I think you are on the right track. You should be warming up on the treadmill for 5 minutes, working out on the weights, and finishing with cardiovascular exercise. I would just make sure you add a chest and back day and a lower body day. You have lots of muscle on your body you can be working on to increase your strength and metabolism.  The more muscle the faster your metabolism.

Kelly Demayo I work out with a trainer 3 times a week and I run on the elliptical 6 days. I take in 1,500 calories or less. I’ve been doing this for 4 weeks and haven’t lost any weight. Why?


Chad TheTrainer Kelly- There could be two things that are happening.  You are either burning the same amount of calories as you are taking in or you have gained a lot of muscle which weighs more than fat. I would bet that if you had your body fat tested and your waist and arms measured, you'll see that you are losing body fat % and inches. Don’t go by the scale. If that is not the case then make sure you are writing down everything you eat so you can be 100% sure of your caloric input. Best of luck!

Susan Moore I work out on the elliptical at Snap 3 times per week. I set the resistance to 0 otherwise I get knee pain. Am I building muscle in my legs with the resistance so low? Seems to be a good workout for me as I get my heart rate and sweating is way up.
Chad TheTrainer Susan-  I’m sure you are building up muscle but at a fairly slow pace. It appears that you are burning good calories with your elevated heart rate. I would continue with what you are doing and only increase the resistance once you have built up enough strength to do so without pain. I also would recommend working on your lower body a couple times a week. Start with light leg presses and leg extensions to build strength in your quadriceps. Once you build up everything around your knee you should start  having less pain. Best of luck!

Sarah Ryan I work on my abs about twice a week but still am not seeing the results I want to see. I go to yoga about once a week and core training at the gym. I also cut out grains and starches from my diet. What am I doing wrong?

Chad TheTrainer Sarah-  As I mentioned to Elina above, The tough thing about belly fat is that you tend to lose it from the outside-in. You will lose fat on your arms and legs before you will see much improvement in the mid-section. Eating better will help you to not gain any more body fat, and lifting weights will help gain muscle and increase your metabolism. Doing cardiovascular exercise will burn the stored body fat. Your workout is on the right track, but adding more cardio and full-body weight exercising should help as well. You have lots of muscle on your body you can be working on to increase your strength and metabolism.  The more muscle the faster your metabolism.

Anju Merlin Mathew I have an elliptical at home. How much time should I spend on it daily to lose weight?

Chad TheTrainer Anju-  It really depends on how many calories you are consuming.  If you are eating 2000 calories a day and burning 2000 calories a day through activity you wouldn’t lose or gain any weight.  If you have been at the same weight for a long time then you should start losing weight with cardio alone. I would do at least 30 minutes per day on your elliptical.  You will probably burn between 300 and 400 calories. If you do this 5 days a week at 300 calories you will  burn 3000 calories over a two-week period. Since 3500 calories = 1 pound, you would lose about 1 pound every two weeks. If you want to speed up the process you will want to add in some weight training and take a hard look at your diet.  If you cut back your calories, have a good weight training program and do your cardio correctly, you can lose up to 2 pounds in a week. Best of luck!

Arbaz Rasheed Khan If we do exercise and we are sweating, what are we losing?

Chad TheTrainer Arbaz-  You are just losing body water. Losing or gaining weight has more to do with how many total calories you burn a day versus how many you consume.  Any weight you see come off fast, like in one day, is just your body getting rid of excess water.

Tammy Reeder What can you have to eat before/after a workout?

Chad TheTrainer Tammy-  I like to eat something light about 30 minutes prior to my workout. You could do a small protein shake or eat a piece of fruit. It is important to have something in your system so you have the energy to lift weight. I prefer about 2 cups of juice before I go to the gym. This gets my blood sugar up but doesn’t make me too full where I get sick during my workout. After I work out I like to get a protein shake in (30 grams). You would want to drink this protein shake within 30 minutes to have the greatest benefit on muscle recovery. The post workout drink is probably the most important for recovery.

Tess Boudreaux-Realtor Best Cardio – Elliptical or treadmill?

Chad TheTrainer Tess-  The best cardio is the one that you will do the most. Make it fun. It’s all about burning calories over a 24 hour period. If you get bored of one you may alternate from one to the other each day.  I would steer away from the treadmill if you have any back or hip injuries. I prefer the Octane elliptical machines.  

Brandon Eldridge Is protein most important before or after a workout? Or both?

Chad TheTrainer Brandon-  You would do both but it is most important after your workout as your body is trying to repair torn muscle tissue. Your body converts the protein into amino acids which go to repair whatever sore muscles you have. Make sure you are getting in at least 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of your workout.

Heather May Do you have any remedies for super sore muscles after lifting? I worked with a trainer 4 days ago (upper body/biceps) and I’m having a hard time fully extending my arms. That, and I’m wondering about supplementation: what’s good, when to take them, what’s a waste of time/money?

Chad TheTrainer Heather-  The soreness will get better over time as your body is just adjusting. The good news is that when you are sore your metabolism is increased as your body is trying to repair itself.  Lots of protein is important within 30 minutes of your workout for muscle recovery. I use the Truestar line of products. TrueSTRENGTH is an organic whey protein. You can log into your site, click on my nutrition, and register for a free meal and vitamin program. It will recommend foods for you and supplements based on your custom needs. You will create a profile and the system will recommend things based on your goals, health history, and likes. Best of luck and keep at it!

Be sure to join us for our November live-chat on Facebook on Tuesday, November 20th at 12:00 PM CST! The theme will be "Building Muscle."

GUEST BLOGGER | Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

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