No more aching feet or mindless exhaustion just so you can lose a few pounds…
Wouldn’t that be great?
The good news is you don’t have to spend long hours on cardio machines and suffer through intense workouts until you’re ready to collapse.
If you know what to do, you can use cardio machines to boost your metabolism and burn more fat at the same time.
In other words, you can supercharge your weight loss without much extra effort on your part!
Let’s take a look at which cardio machines burn the most calories and are worth your time.
The biggest reason to choose elliptical machines is this one: you’ve got a bum knee.
I have worked with clients with extreme osteoarthritis and we were able to use these machines for a decent workout without pain…
But honestly, the results didn’t compare to clients that used a stationary bike or treadmill for their interval training.
So in general, I’m not overly impressed by the elliptical machine for fat loss.
If you go into any gym, compare the bodies on the ellipticals to the ones on other machines…
Most of the time, the people on the elliptical make no progress from month to month.
And having given the elliptical a “go” once or twice on my own, it just didn’t challenge me as much as a treadmill does.
But if you have bad knees, or if you’re an exception to my experience, feel free to keep rocking the elliptical!
The bike can be easy on your knees as well, particularly if you are overweight and can’t support your bodyweight on the treadmill.
Personally, I like the stationary bikes a lot.
The set up allows you to do a large amount of mechanical work during your interval training and that is what puts turbulence on the muscle…
Allowing you to increase your post-exercise metabolism.
In fact, when I first started designing interval workouts back in 2001, I used stationary bikes exclusively. I also think that the bike allows you to work very hard with less risk of injury.
For example, if you don’t know your body, running sprints or hills probably isn’t the best place to start.
I’ve met too many people that have jumped right into hill training and been hurt within 1 week of sprints.
So I recommend starting with the bike unless you are an experienced runner who knows your body well.
Here are 3 more key points about the bike:
1. Stick to the upright version if possible. When using a recumbent bike for intervals, your hips tend to rock too much and your body tries to get into awkward positions in order to push hard against the resistance.
2. For intervals, increase the resistance against your pedaling and not the speed of your pedaling. I don’t like high RPM spinning as it’s hard on your knees. I think you’ll get more results and do more work when you keep the RPM between 80-100 and work against a harder resistance.
3. When on the upright bike, sit as upright as possible for the recovery intervals or even stand for some of the work intervals. Just avoid the “rounded over” posture as that can be hard on your lower back.
The treadmill can burn 16-20 calories per minute of exercise during your workout, which makes it the clear winner!
Of course only advanced fitness levels can achieve that so hopefully you fit that category now or you will someday with consistent training and nutrition.
Some tips: Don’t go crazy with the incline (as that can lead to tight calves), but if you’re able to run at more than 10 mph, use a 1% incline to help offset the need for speed…
The last thing you want to do is end up in a crazy video on YouTube flying off the end of a treadmill into an elliptical machine.
As with all types of sprinting, be careful.
Honorable mentions go to the Rowing Machine and Stairmaster. These can be used in place of other machines for variety and are still effective.
Better yet – if you’re able – use your body itself as the best fat burning machine. For this, I highly recommend bodyweight circuits for interval training.
These are fun, effective, and perhaps even better at sculpting your body.
I really like bodyweight interval circuits for advanced fat-burning, plateau-busting workouts. If you’re stuck, you’ll benefit from bodyweight circuits.
If you’d like to learn how to cut out those endless, exhausting hours at the gym…
Watch this eye-opening presentation and discover incredibly easy and effective fat loss secrets that will have you shedding excess pounds at an incredible quick rate with simple workouts you can do at home.
About the Author:
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for numerous health & fitness publications including Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines.
Craig’s trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes, three times per week.
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