An Open Letter to Exercise Machines

May 5, 2016

We’ve all noticed it. Eager individuals are hitting the gym and they’re looking to every method of training but you, exercise machines. They go for free weights, weighted ropes, barre bars, yoga mats, and kettlebells—but they can hardly stand to make eye contact with some of the tried and true machines that they used to spend hours on. Why is this? Is there something they know that you don’t? Or are they making a mistake by forsaking the technology that has always been there to support them and help them meet their goals? Why are droves ignoring exercise machines and turning to more basic forms of exercise?

Exercise machines, we see the problem and we know that it’s real. We know you feel neglected and overlooked when you used to be so heavily relied on. So in this post, we’re going to talk about how great you really are, and how you can be leveraged by fitness fanatics to get the most out of each of their gym visits.

cycle

Stationary bike

The number one mistake that people make with exercise bikes is that they don’t begin by adjusting the seat height to a comfortable position. Don’t use the bike to cruise and waste time, push yourself! Get music pumping through your headphones and get serious. Use a timer and do some 2 or 3 minute high powered intervals or pedaling with 3 minute recovery periods. Remember that standing while pedaling requires even more out of your muscles and adds another layer of intensity to your biking.

treadmill

Treadmill

Treadmills are great for interval training. Run short and hard on the treadmill mixing inclines and speed to keep your heart pumping. The inclines and varied speeds will help you burn fat and increase your overall cardiorespiratory endurance. The treadmill also makes for a great warmup and cool down upon arriving and before leaving after each of your gym visits.

elliptical

Elliptical

Set some resistance and keep your arms at your sides to get the most out of your elliptical training. Keeping your arms at your sides will activate your core muscles to help you stabilize yourself. The elliptical can also be used for interval training. Try to do a 60 second blast with increased resistance and then take double that time to recover. As you become more fit, you’ll notice that you’re able to power through longer intervals with shorter recovery periods.

rowing-machine

Rowing machine

Many mistakenly believe that rowing machines only engage the muscles in the arms and back, but this is simply not true. Rowing uses a full range of motion and involves the entire body. The calorie burn from rowing is high because it was designed for you to use both strength and cardio endurance at once. The pulling motion of your upper body along with the pushing motion of your lower body requires the strength of your legs and torso. The full movement of the rowing machine requires an increased cardio output from your lungs and heart.

stair-stepper

Stairmaster

What could be more effective for your legs and glutes than simulating walking up endless flights of stairs? The stairmaster is great for weight loss because of its potential for calorie burn. Basically a treadmill with stairs, the stairmaster forces you to continue moving forward while having to lift your legs and feet each time to continue your workout. Your buns and thighs will get the workout they need to stay firm and strong with this machines help.

So which machines have you not said your goodbyes to? Are there ones that will continue to remain in your workout routine because you’ve seen how effective they are in helping your earn MEPs and meeting your fitness goals? If you’re still a believer in machine-based exercise, share your thoughts and pictures with us using #myzone and #effortrewarded and show the MYZONE community that there is still much to be said for a machine-enhanced workout routine!

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