Ask the Trainer: Chad The Trainer's 9/13/12 Live-Chat: Cardio/Heart Rate


Here are the questions and answers from this week's Facebook live-chat with Chad the Trainer! Our theme for the chat: Cardio/Target Heart Rate! These chats are conducted monthly on the Snap Fitness Facebook Page at


Jose Alas Jr Hi burn more fat and calories is it better to do weights and then cardio or the other way around?thanks
Chad TheTrainer Jose, I would warm up for 5 minutes and do your weights first. This way your heart rate is already elevated when you begin your cardiovascular exercise so you get more benefit from it. Weights first then cardio.

Jamie Lynn What is the best way to increase the calorie burn in a run?
Chad TheTrainer Jamie, if you are just running the only way to burn more calories is to run faster and keep your heart rate elevated. You need to make sure you are training at 60 - 75 % of your max heart rate. My best advice would be to add weight training to increase your metabolism and calorie burn.
Michelle Garrison How do I prep for 5 k zombie run
Chad TheTrainer Michelle, what all is entailed in the zombie run. All running or obstacle course? You may need a bat to fight off the Zombies too!

Ellen Ridings what are the ideal heart rates when doing cardiovascular exercises
Chad TheTrainer Ellen, look up the Karvonen formula online. You should be training at 60 - 75% for fat loss and 70 - 85% for cardiovascular endurance. A generic version is 220- age (70%).

Pat Sexton What is a good resting HR what should I be shooting for to lose and tone and where should I be after a 5 min cooldown
Chad TheTrainer Pat, a good resting heart rate would be around 60 beats per minute. Some well trained endurance athletes get theirs down as low as 45 bpm.

YouthFor Freedom If you get your heart rate up to quickly when doing cardio does it burn muscle?
Chad TheTrainer YouthFor Freedom, it doesn't really burn muscle. It is more about duration at that zone. I would get your heart rate up as quick as possible so you can maximize your time. If yo...See More

Brock Casey If I drink 3 pots of coffee in the morning, Does that count as cardio?
Chad TheTrainer Brock, it does in my book. It will definitely increase your heart rate and motivation. Probably not enough to burn fat but will curb your appetite.

Travis Sonsalla What weight training would be best for a runner?
Chad TheTrainer Travis, it would depend on how much running you are doing. I would try to fit in 2 - 3 days a week of full body circuit training. This way you can keep your muscle mass up while doing a lot of running. Try Mon, Wed, Fri- full body workout.

Michelle Garrison I think there's obstacles too it my first on and only have till Oct13 to prep
Chad TheTrainer Michelle, I would recommend getting in the gym doing upper body one day and lower the next. You will need some strength for the obstacle course. You will also need very good endurance. I would be running for distance now. Start with 20 minutes and work your way up to one hour.

Jennifer Tassler I've heard about interval training and high intensity you feel short bursts of intense activity are more effective than long periods of moderate activity? Like would going all out on cardio for 10 minutes be better than maintaining a constant level for 30 minutes?
Chad TheTrainer Jennifer, it's really about how many calories you burn. It will take more effort in the short bursts but you may burn the same amount in the long run. I would mix it up for variety. You might try doing 10 min bursts and lift weights for 5 minutes in between. You will burn more calories doing this.

Mila-Rae Sprintz @CTT: on the treadmill I start with a 5 minute walk at 3.5 then jog as i increase the speed by .5 of an increment every minute until it gets to 7 speed then I start a slow jog at 3 speed until my heart rate slows down and repeat. Is this an acceptable approach for fat loss if I am doing this for 20 minutes?
Chad TheTrainer Mila- I would try to extend your cardio to 30 minutes because you are not burning fat in the 5 minute warm-up. You are really getting about 15 minutes currently. You can extend your time or step up your intensity at the beginning.

Andrea Tremblay Is it all right to train the full lower half in one day and the upper half in another day as well? Or is it best to break it up?
Chad TheTrainer Andrea, upper-lower split is a great training technique. Make sure you are getting a days rest in between though. I like Monday and Tuesday to life, Wednesday off, Thursday and Friday to lift. Maybe an extra day of cardio on the weekend. Mix it up though if you aren't seeing any results.

Ava Anaïs McEachern Whats the best way to lose thigh/calf mass? I run a lot but im not seeing the results as i wouldve hoped for. Do you have any training tips to tone butt, hamstrings, quads, calves without gaining muscle mass?
Chad TheTrainer Ava, the only way you will gain muscle mass is if your diet is bad. I would do leg presses, squats, leg extensions, leg curls, calve raises, and luges. I would keep your repetitions higher link 3 sets of 15. Make sure you are getting in 20 - 30 minutes of cardio afterwards to burn the stored fat as well. Gaining muscle mass is much harder than people think.

Michelle Garrison What about my treadmill
Chad TheTrainer Michelle, if you are using a treadmill make sure you are running at an incline. I would recommend being outside since the event is outside.

Mandi Salinas Hi chad, what's the right amount of cardio i should b doing everyday in order to lose my mid section? I have 2 kids & cant seem to b successful in that area!
Chad TheTrainer Mandi, over the years I have increased my cardio from no cardio, to 20 minutes, to 30 minutes, and I am now up to 45 minutes. I think that 20 is a good starting point but 30 - 45 minutes is the best. If you are lifting weights right before your cardio you will burn significantly more calories as well.

Abby Becerra Is there a big difference between working out at 5am vrs 5 pm?? Im still trying to loose weight and wondering how long my workouts should be without over working out? 2 hours combination of weights and cardio?
Chad TheTrainer Abby, the best time to work out is the time that you will commit to going each day. Don't do mornings if you are not a morning person because you will not show up. The duration of your workouts depends on your goal. I believe that you should be able to get every thing done in 1 hour. 5 minute warm-up, 25 minutes of weight training, and finish with 30 minutes of cardio.

Michelle Garrison So hiking and jogging could help too right.been hiking trails.will that help me too
Chad TheTrainer Michelle, definitely will help. Make sure you keep increasing your intensity the closer you get to the event.

Nathan Inglis why does my heart rate get to 140 from just walking on da treddie for like 10min
Chad TheTrainer Nathan, this usually has to do with a medication. Are you taking certain meds? Have you spoken with your doctor?

Mila-Rae Sprintz I am currently in the gym doing Russian twists, weight decline sit ups, leg to chest pull ups, chest press anterior and interior, hip abduction/adduction, leg press, free weights: biceps and triceps
Lateral pull downs and weighted back dips (not sure of the correct name but I hold 10lbs to my chest and bend forward and up on the stationary board) 3 x 5-10 reps. This is in addition to my jogging style.
Am I forgetting anything? What gaps am I missing? And I do this 3 x a week every other day.
Chad TheTrainer Mila, this looks pretty good. Looks like you have everything covered except shoulder presses or lateral raises. I would keep doing this full-body workout with one days rest in between.

Tony Gozdowski If I do 30 minutes of weight lifting (Circuit Training) and 45 Minutes of Cardio 4-5 days a week. What is a good caloric intake to be around? I am 6'3" 370 lbs. Down from 398lbs. I just want to make sure I'm not starving my body, so it doesn't go into "Fat storing mode." Thanks!
Chad TheTrainer Tony, go to your site. Click on my nutrition. You can register for a free nutrition profile though truestar health. You can pick a weight loss goal and it will have you log in all of your statistics. It will give you a custom menu plan designed exactly for you based on your goal and time frame. If you need help e-mail me at

Nathan Inglis im on jack3d?
Chad TheTrainer Nathan, I have some of that every day at 5:00 a.m. before I hit the gym. Great pre-workout. I hear it may be going away though.

David Xu What protein stuff does your brother use?
Chad TheTrainer David, no brother here but if I did he would be taking Truestrength organic protein from truestar health. Soy free, gluten free and great tasting.

Mila-Rae Sprintz Thanks chad. One more question. Do you recommend taking a protein shake and consuming it during my workout? Mine are just water and 1 serving of brown rice protein (other formats make me sick). should I be consuming this prior/during/after and how long before or after a workout or is it okay to drink during. As well is once a day enough or should I be having more. I consume lean source of protein during all of my meals FYI
Chad TheTrainer Mila, after your workout you want to get your protein shake in withing 30 minutes to get the best benefit. Your body will use the protein to repair the torn muscle tissue from your workout. I am not a big fan of protein shakes before a workout because you need to increase your blood sugar for energy and a shake won't do it much. I would drink a cup of orange juice or eat a piece of fruit about 30 minutes before you exercise. Give that a try:)


Previously Asked Questions:

Freddie asked: “Is cardio the best way to tone your midsection?”
Chad TheTrainer Freddie, you are correct in that cardiovascular exercise burns stored fat. Just doing crunches builds the muscle under the fat layer. It's more about a combination of diet, weight training, and cardiovascular exercise.

Ash asked: “Is too much cardio dangerous?”  
Chad TheTrainer: Ash, it depends what you mean by too much.  If you talking about an hour a day or less there is no problem.  If you are doing 5 hours a day it will eventually take a toll on your joints and make it hard for your body to recover from each workout.  I feel that 20 – 45 minutes of cardio is ideal for someone based on their goal.  

Trishant asked: “Is there any specific diet one needs to follow during a day where you do cardio? I usually continue with my high-protein diet on these days.”  
Chad TheTrainer: Trishant, I would recommend staying on these high protein diet days especially on cardio day only.  You don’t need that additional calories because your body isn’t burning calories for an extended period like after weight training.

Ron and Deborah asked: “Should every daily workout have some time dedicated to cardio?”
Chad TheTrainer: Ron and Deborah,  There are different thoughts on this and it is really based on your specific goal.  I like doing  cardio after weight training because my heart rate is already elevated and I feel like I maximize my time better.  Some people like to do cardio on their off weight training days.  It really is  your preference.

Nick asked: “What’s the target heart rate for fat loss?”  
Chad TheTrainer: Nick, you would have to know your resting heart rate to figure it out.   A generic version would be 220 – age =  Y. Then take Y times 60% and 75%.   This will give you a fat burning range which is 60 – 75% of your max heart rate.

Susan asked: “I fractured my foot. What cardio exercise can I do in a wheel chair?”
Chad TheTrainer: Susan, They do make a few pieces of cardiovascular machines that just utilize your upper body.  I would also focus on lifting weights above your head and finding a cable system that you can use around your chair.  With this you could do back and chest exercises.  You should be able to work your back, chest, shoulders, and arms with no problem.  Get with one of the Snap Fitness trainers to help you customize a program.

Tami asked: “I signed up for a 10k next year. What’s the best way to start training for it? I did it this year as a power walk and finished in 1 hr 15 min but would like to run/jog it next year.”
Chad TheTrainer: Tami, I would start with light jogging and work your way up with intensity for short distances.  Figure out what an average time is for this type of race and make sure you are completing programs with this distance prior to the race.

Ricki asked: “What’s the safest way to exercise with a heart murmur?”  
Chad TheTrainer: This one is better left to the Doctor.  He or she may have you on medications and will probably have a restriction on how high your heart rate should go.  Once you know your restrictions you can plan accordingly.

Pat asked: “I have a slow heart rate. On a treadmill at 3.0 I can only get my heart rate up to 89-90. What can I do to increase it besides going much faster, as I’m just starting out?”  
Chad TheTrainer: Pat, the only way to get your heart rate up is to increase the speed of the treadmill or you can increase the resistance by adjusting the incline or resistance button.

Joseph asked: “Why is it that you burn more fat at a lower heart rate?”
Chad TheTrainer: Joseph, you would burn more fat by burning more calories and having your heart rate elevated.  You would burn more fat at a higher heart rate unless you are excessively over training and losing muscle mass.


Thanks everyone for your questions and participation! We'll be doing our next live-chat October 18th at 12 PM CST. The theme will be "Weight Training" so mark your calendar and get your questions ready!

GUEST BLOGGER | Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

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