What’s The “Right” Cardio?

Have you ever looked at all of the cardio equipment and just jumped  on a machine?  Then, after a while you notice someone else using a different machine and sweating profusely, so you decide to give that one a try. You jump on and after a while realize your knees hurt and you are not sweating at all. Or have you been doing cardiovascular work and  not seen any results from your efforts? It’s possible that you aren’t doing the correct cardiovascular work for your needs.toon441

There are many different options in the gym for you to “get your cardio on”, but it’s all a matter of knowing how hard and which machine to use.

BIKES

– the bikes in the gym are great pieces of equipment to move your legs and to get your cardio work started. For the most part they are easy on the joints, and provide a great workout for anyone looking for rehab work or joint injuries. However, if you are looking to lose weight using the bikes, you need to be going at a decent speed and intensity to see weight loss benefits from them. You will see weight loss or cardio improvements, it just may take you a little longer than you expect.Try taking a spin class, or getting your Iron Fit Personal Trainer to set you up on an interval program to get the most out of your bike program.

ELLIPTICAL/CROSSTRAINERS & THE STAIRMASTER

– both of these machines are great for faster weight loss over the bikes, but they do require more of a challenge and dedication to see your success. Many people avoid the Stairmaster because they feel it is too hard, or it looks like a leg torture machine. Yet it’s a great workout for the legs and the lungs, and requires a ton of your force to move it up and down. The more force you are putting forth, the harder your body is working. The harder your body is working, the more calories you will burn. The elliptical is the machine that most  “newbies” in the gym start with. It’s taken over the fitness industry, and has proven to be easier on the joints that running on the treadmill. By involving your legs and arms at the same time, it is again require you to put more force into the workout. It’s a great way to get your whole body involved, but it is also one of the easier ones to “slack off” on. Make sure when you are using the elliptical machine, you are going as hard as you can.

fit64THE TREADMILL

– this is a machine that you have either come to love or hate. One of the things we see very often are the people that are using the treadmills for walking. If you are going to walk on a treadmill, go outside unless you are planning to do some serious incline work on it. You can get a much more effective workout by walking outside with the variance in incline on the pavement/grass, and also some of the potential wind resistance. If you are going to run on the treadmills, it is still proven as one of the best forms of cardiovascular work. You just need to make sure that you have the proper running style and technique. At Iron Fit, we monitor our clients running and change up their stride, foot posture, and gait if this is required.

Overall, cardio boils down to the tried and true methods of client specificity. There is no right or wrong form of cardio for 100% of the population. The Gazelle, Tae Bo, Insanity workouts, etc. have come and gone. Yet the bikes, treadmill, stairmaster and elliptical seem to be standing  the test of time. The right cardio is the one that has been specifically prescribed for you by your educated Iron Fit Personal Trainer.

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