There was once a day in my life when I was not happy and did not have bountiful amounts of energy. This has only happened one time. Normally I not only have enough energy for myself, I have enough to power a medium sized blow dryer for up to 7 hours. On this particular day though, I was sitting at Big Box Gym Inc. ™, minding my own business, wallowing in despair, much like a middle aged housewife who has just learned that Oprah’s book club was now reading the ”Left Behind” series.
Yea, it was a rough day.
When out of the corner of my eye, I saw something that caught my attention and piqued my interest. I turned around, and too my great delight I was greeted with a sight that caused me to break first into a chuckle, and then into a full on belly laugh causing people to stare, glass to break, and children to cry first, then rapidly mature into responsible young adults.
What I saw was a a person that I had previously offered assistance in helping to lose weight that had turned me down and insisted that they would be able to do it on their own. But that’s not why I was laughing. This person was standing on the elliptical machine, where they had spent their last 45 minutes, talking on the phone at a normal rate of speech, and not sweating.
THIS was how they planned to get their summer beach body? THIS was going to get them off their high cholesterol medication? THIS was going to keep them from being obese?
I laughed and laughed, and when I was through, I went to the bathroom and threw up.
Unfortunately most people look at cardio this way. They go to the gym, find the first piece of open equipment, and spend 30 minutes there. No plan, no goal, just 30 minutes of moving their legs.
That being said, there are ways of utilizing machines effectively, but why bother? There are roughly 1 billion other things you could be doing to burn calories and get the body you want, that are simpler and way more productive.
You’ll never going to get toned abs, back hips, or thighs walking on a treadmill. The calories burned walking at 3.0 miles per hour for an hour, are so minimal, that you could burn approximately the same amount by quilting for roughly an hour and 15 minutes. Is that appealing to you? Going to the gym so that you can burn as much fat as your grandmother does when she goes to play bingo and mahjong with the girls?
If you’re not making an attempt to create new muscle mass to replace your fat, you’re not being effective with your time. Get off the recumbent bike and do some push ups and squats. I’ll even include a small cardio circuit at the end of this article for you to follow. You’re welcome. Bottom line, get off the machine, and do some actual work. If you’re not working to the point where you’re sweating, you’re not working hard enough. “But Nate!” you say, “I am sweating on the elliptical machine!” Fine. Do what you enjoy, but at least make your time more valuable by doing intervals and hills.
A1) body weight squats
B1) Squat Jumps
B2) Side Lunges
B3) Hands to elbows
B4) Back bridge on hands
Do each for 30 seconds, do both A and B 2 times each, Rest 2 minutes between each set. Should take exactly 14 minutes to finish all of it. If you can do the whole thing, email me, I’ll give you a prize.