Which Machine In the Gym Will Burn the Most Calories?

Posted on by steffani

Which exercise machine will give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to burning the most calories? If I had a nickel for every time I hear this question from a client or curious gym-goer, I’d have a pretty fat wallet! In today’s article, I’ll compare the calorie-burning effects of some popular cardio machines that you’ll find at the gym, and give you quick and dirty tips for each.

Let’s start with most popular machine–the one that shows up at the poshest exclusive health club and the hole-in-a-wall hotel.

How Many Calories Does Bicycling Burn?

Since the pedaling motion incorporates the big and powerful muscles of the leg, bicycling is a great choice for calorie burning. Depending on your intensity, bicycling can burn 500-1000 calories per hour, which ranks it among the highest calorie burners, so long as you use it correctly.

How to Burn the Most Calories on the Bike

Many people don’t choose a resistance that is high enough to really stimulate those calorie burning leg muscles, and instead let the natural movement of a bicycle’s pedals do the work for them. To avoid this problem and get maximum benefit from a bike, choose a resistance that makes you breathe hard in order to achieve 90 RPM, or revolutions per minute; most indoor stationary bicycles show this number on the computer display.

Upright Versus Recumbent Bicycles

What about upright vs. recumbent bicycles (the type that you sit in)? Though the back rest on a recumbent bicycle can relieve stress on the lower back, neck, elbow and wrist, this type of bicycle should be used only if you have pain in these joints when you’re seated on an upright bicycle. That is because you don’t make any of those calorie-burning core muscles work when you’re on a recumbent bike.

Quick and dirty tip for getting the most bang for your buck on the bike: Do a few 2-3 minute sets in which you pedal at 90 revolutions per minute at the highest resistance at which you can sustain that pedaling speed. Make sure to fully recover between each set.

How Many Calories Can You Burn on the Treadmill?

Running is a full body workout that burns 600-1200 calories per hour. As a matter of fact, running up an incline on the treadmill is the best way to boost your metabolism for hours after you’ve finished that workout.

Walking on the treadmill burns far less calories–about 300-400 per hour. The primary reason for that is that humans are very efficient at walking, as most of us have done so since an early age.

An exercise like walking, at which your body is very efficient, should be avoided as your primary cardio workout when you’re trying to burn calories. As a matter of fact, I have to frequently point this out to every desperate person who walks through the parking lot, walks up the stairs, walks into my personal training office and complains that they’re not losing any weight with their morning walk. They walk so much the rest of the time that their body just doesn’t get much a metabolic boost from walking for their cardio session.

Quick and dirty tip for the treadmill: If you’re using a treadmill, then either jog or use an incline, but avoid the common mistake of choosing a ridiculously high incline, then holding on to the handrails to keep up. You may look like a champion Everest ascender, but the fact is, the rails should only be used if you have extreme balance difficulties, or must stabilize yourself to change a setting. Remember to vigorously pump your arms too, as long as you can pull that off without smacking any nearby exercisers in the face.

How Many Calories Does the Elliptical Trainer Burn?

Unfortunately, the computers on most elliptical trainers overestimate the actual amount of calories burned, especially in individuals who lean against the railing for support. You can generally burn about 600 calories per hour on the ellipticals that don’t include arm movement, and slightly more on the ones that do. Using the elliptical burns fewer calories than running because once you get the parts on an elliptical moving, they’re pretty easy to keep moving, and so you expend less energy.

How to Burn the Most Calories on the Elliptical

When it comes to calorie burning, the two most common mistakes made on the elliptical trainer are:

  1. excessive leaning against the rails on the trainer (on those ellipticals that don’t have arm movement);

  2. inadequate resistance (similar to the same problem on the bike).

So to get the most benefit, try to use the rails as little as possible, and challenge yourself with the resistance settings. Shoot for a cadence or stride rate of 120-140.

Keep throwing those cardio curveballs at the body, and you’ll burn more calories and lose that weight.

Quick and dirty tip for the elliptical: Choose a resistance that is actually high enough so that the machine isn’t doing all the work for you. If you don’t feel your muscles contracting during the forward and back stroke of the elliptical, they probably aren’t!

How Many Calories Does the Rowing Machine Burn?

An incredible upper and lower body cardiovascular challenge, the rowing machine can burn over 1000 calories per hour. Just ask Ben Hur. But this quasi-torture device can also be nauseatingly boring when you try to go for long periods of time. To make time go by faster while still maintaining a high intensity, incorporate short periods or distances of very hard pulling combined with easy pulling. For instance, row for 250 meters as hard as possible, then 100 meters easy, and repeat 6-8 times. Be sure to use as many body parts as possible when rowing, including the torso and the legs–not just the arms.

Quick and dirty tip for the rowing machine: It’s actually pretty easy to throw out your low back if you don’t know what your doing, so look at the little diagram that appears on the instruction panel of most of the machines; see how it shows a little stick figure pulling with the whole body, including upper back and legs? Make sure you do that.

How Many Calories Does the Stairmaster Burn?

Sorry, Jane Fonda, but I just don’t have much praise for the good, ol’ stairmaster. It incorporates tiny-teeny calf muscles, and just a little bit of your backside and butt, but really won’t give you more than about 400-500 calories per hour. In addition, anybody who has low back pain will almost surely find it aggravated during the straight up and down motion of the Stairmaster.

Now, for those stair-lovers out there, I do have good news. You know the “stairway to nowhere”, or, as I had one client describe it, “the stairway to heaven because you feel as if you’re about to die”? Yes, I’m talking about the moving belt of stairs that actually make you climb a stationary staircase. That will give you just as much calorie-burning benefit as running up an incline on a treadmill, but this is not for the faint of heart.

Quick and dirty tip for climbing stairs: Use the trick of holding a small set of 1-3 lb dumbbells in either hand as you climb for maximum calorie burning.

How to Burn the Most Calories When Exercising

Of course, there are many additional forms of cardio; but for maximum calorie burning benefit no matter which form you choose, be sure to incorporate a form of cardio that is inefficient or unfamiliar to your body. So if you always walk, try switching to cycling or using the elliptical; or if you always run, try the rowing machine. Keep throwing those cardio curveballs at the body, and you’ll burn more calories and lose that weight. Of course, most importantly, have fun when you’re exercising. And clean the sweat off that machine when you’re done, for goodness sake.

Article courtesy of the Get Fit Guy

Coming Into the Gym for the First Time

Posted on by steffani

Boo!  No, we are not a scary place!  Congratulations on deciding to join a gym, or should I say, decide to come for a visit! :)  That’s the first step to achieving the healthy life you would like to lead….or lose weight….or gain weight….or perhaps repair an injury.  We can help you with anything.  No, you don’t need to lose weight in order to get to the gym!  We are here to help and WANT TO HELP.  We are positive you will feel better and look better by coming in for a visit………would it be better if we said it’s for free? :)  What do you have to lose?

Why Should You Hire A Personal Trainer? March 21, 2013

Posted on by steffani

There’s a reason movie stars and financial moguls use personal trainers: The benefits of working with a personal trainer is one of the fastest, easiest, most successful ways to improve your health and fitness. In fact, the benefits of personal training has proved so effective that it has spread well beyond the realm of the rich and famous. Today, personal trainers are used by people of all fitness, age and economic levels–and from all over the world–to help make lifestyle changes those people couldn’t achieve by themselves. How do you know if hiring a personal trainer is the right choice for you? Consider the following things a personal trainer can do:

1. Improve Your Overall Fitness. IDEA surveys show the primary reason people hire personal trainers is to get professional assistance to improve cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility, endurance, posture, balance and coordination. A personal trainer will monitor your progress and fine-tune your program as you go, helping you work your way off plateaus.

2. Reach or Maintain a Healthy Weight. Body fat reduction, weight reduction or management, body shaping and toning can all be achieved with the aid of a qualified personal trainer, who can help you set realistic goals and determine safe strategies, all while providing the encouragement you need.

3.Learn to Stick to It. Sticking with well-intentioned plans is one of the biggest challenges exercisers face. Qualified personal trainers can provide motivation for developing a lifestyle that places a high priority on health and activity. A personal trainer can help you brainstorm ways to overcome your biggest obstacles to exercise.

4. Focus on Your Unique Health Concerns. IDEA surveys show that 50 percent of personal trainers clients have special medical needs, such as arthritis, diabetes or obesity. A personal trainer can help you with these or other issues, including low-back pain, rehabilitation from injury and pre/postnatal training. Your personal trainer can work with your physician, physical therapist or other health care provider to plan a safe, efficient program that will speed your recovery or enable you to reach your health goals.

5. Find the Right Way to Work Out. You will learn the correct way to use equipment, and appropriate form and technique for cardiovascular work and free-weight training.

6. Stop Wasting Time. Get maximum results in minimum time with a program designed specifically for you. Workouts that use your strengths and improve on your weaknesses are efficient and effective.

7. Learn New Skills. Want to improve your tennis game, learn to ski, become an in-line skater, golf like a pro, better your weekend basketball game or get ready for a wilderness adventure vacation? An individualized program can improve your overall conditioning and develop the specific skills you need.

8. Enhance Your Mind, Body and Spirit. A personal trainer can act as a doorway to new personal growth experiences. Many personal trainers provide mind-body activities, such as yoga or tai chi sessions. Your personal trainer may help you uncover new insights about yourself or find potential you didn’t realize you had.

9. Benefit From the Buddy System. What could be better than making a commitment to regularly meet with someone who will provide you with individualized attention and support?

10. Take Charge of Your Program, and Do It Your Way. With the right personal trainer, you can find the exercise program that works best for you. Are you more comfortable with a demanding program or a gentler approach? Would you like to train at home or at work, at a fitness club or in a personal trainer’s facility? How many times per week or month do you want to meet your personal trainer, and for how long? Carefully choosing a personal trainer enables you to select the type of guidance that will benefit you. You can get fit and healthy your way and take ultimate responsibility for your own health.

We offer a special introductory rate of $125 for your first 3 sessions!  You have no excuse now! :)

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The Appetite Workout 3/17/2013

Posted on by steffani

Every January, many people start working out, hoping to lose weight. But as studies attest, exercise often produces little or no weight loss — and even weight gain — and resolutions are soon abandoned. But new science suggests that if you stick with the right kind of exercise, you may change how your body interacts with food. It’s more than a matter of burning calories; exercise also affects hormones.

A 2012 study from the University of Wyoming looked at a group of women who either ran or walked and, on alternate days, sat quietly for an hour. After the running, walking or sitting, researchers drew blood to test for the levels of certain hormones and then directed the women to a room with a buffet. Human appetite is complicated, driven by signals from the brain, gut, fat cells, glands, genes and psyche. But certain appetite-related hormones, in particular ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, are known to be instrumental in determining how much we consume.

Studies have shown that exercise typically increases the production of ghrelin. Workouts make you hungry. In the Wyoming study, when the women ran, their ghrelin levels spiked, which should have meant they would attack the buffet with gusto. But they didn’t. In fact, after running they consumed several hundred fewer calories than they burned.

Their restraint, the researchers said, was due to a concomitant increase in other hormones that initiate satiety. These hormones, only recently discovered and still not well understood, tell the body that it has taken in enough fuel; it can stop eating. The augmented levels of the satiety hormones, the authors write, “muted” the message from ghrelin. Sitting and, notably, walking did not change the blood levels of the women’s satiety hormones, and the walkers overate, consuming more calories at the buffet than they had burned.

related study published in December looked at the effects of moderate exercise, the equivalent of brisk jogging. It found that after 12 weeks, formerly sedentary, overweight men and women began recognizing, without consciously knowing it, that they should not overeat.

Researchers gave volunteers doctored milkshakes. Some contained maltodextrin, a flavorless sweetener that packed 600 calories into the drinks. The others, without maltodextrin, had 246 calories. Before beginning the exercise program, the volunteers ate more at a buffet lunch and throughout the rest of the day after drinking the high-calorie shake than when they were given the lower-calorie version. Their appetite regulation was out of whack.

But after three months of exercise, the volunteers consumed fewer calories throughout the day when they had the high-calorie shake than the lower-calorie one. Exercise “improves the body’s ability to judge the amount of calories consumed and to adjust for that afterward,” says Catia Martins, a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, who led the study.

But not all exercise. Running, it would seem, better hones the body’s satiety mechanisms than walking. And longevity counts. You need to stick with the program for several months, Martins says, to truly fine-tune appetite control.

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What is TRX?

Posted on by steffani

Some of you may be wondering what TRX is!  It’s the long yellow beam in our group exercise fitness studio you see……You hear about it, see the signs, and see it advertised!  So, what exactly is it?

What is TRX Suspension Training?

TRX Suspension Training is like no other piece of equipment you will find in your traditional gym. TRX Suspension Training is great for those who want to develop lean muscle, build muscle, and lose weight.  TRX may look easy, but it was developed within the U.S. Navy SEALS, and TRX will challenge your body in every way possible.

The TRX Suspension Training is a unique training tool that allows you to use your own body weight and gravity as resistance.  While simple in design, this tool allows you to combine and recreate entire body movements and motions that functionally engage your core and other major muscle groups involved in specific movements.

This flexibility allows users of any fitness level to make progress because the TRX Suspension Training puts you in control and allows you to safely increase and decrease the resistance.

Can you get a good workout from TRX Suspension Training?

You will be amazed how high your heart can get when using the TRX Suspension Training system, providing over 200 possible exercises.  No matter what exercise you are doing, you are engaging your core.  The TRX system trains other muscles to keep your body balanced and to move in different directions with or against resistance.  The full body workout works across body angles and easily adjusts to different skill levels, as well as providing a cardiovascular workout.  You can easily control and add more resistance or weight by increasing your body’s angle against gravity, providing for a great cardiovascular workout.  TRX trains all fitness levels from pro athletes to seniors.  TRX Suspension Training also provides specific sport exercises for golfers, tennis players, runners, swimmers and more.

How does TRX Suspension Training work?

TRX Suspension Training uses a specially designed set of straps and handles that allows for body-weight based training.  Suspension Training changes the way you train your body, giving you results you otherwise couldn’t acquire in a normal exercise routine.  In Suspension Training, you use your body as a lever and force to attain the desired intensity.  The TRX Suspension Training allows for hundreds of exercises so anyone can reach their fitness goals no matter what level or experience one may have.  A few of the exercises that can be done include chest press, bicep curls, tricep extensions, squats, lunges, suspended planks, crunches, pikes, and so many more.  Best of all, the TRX Suspension Training works your core the entire time you are working out!

Is Suspension Training appropriate for people who are out of shape or just beginning an exercise program?

Yes.  Because the user has control over the amount of bodyweight resistance, control of the body angle and control of their stability (wide stance, narrow stance, and single leg) suspension training can be adjusted for all fitness levels.

How is Suspension Training different from other types of resistance training?

Traditional weight training usually only works one muscle at a time which is contradictory to the normal coordinated muscle effort used to complete most activities.  Focusing on only one muscle at a time is more likely to lead to overuse injuries and muscular imbalances, as well as potentially limiting strength and movement gains.  Suspension Training allows for the use of multiple planes of motion and works multiple muscles and joints simultaneously.

WE OFFER TRX CLASSES ON WEDNESDAYS AND FRIDAYS FROM 10:30-11:30 WITH BRIAN……COME IN AND TRY A CLASS TODAY!

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March 9, 2013: A Few Helpful Weight Loss Tips!

Posted on by steffani

Weight Loss Tips:

Take in fewer calories than you expend. Few people understand this basic, simple concept.

• Eat smaller meals 3-5 times per day.

• Eat nutrient dense foods such as whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

• Eat slowly, and wait 10-15 minutes before taking second helpings.

• Don’t eliminate everything you like from your diet. Eat those things in small amounts (pizza, candy, cookies, etc.).

• Prepare healthy snacks that are easily available (cut carrots, apples, etc.).  If it’s easy to grab healthy snacks, you won’t opt for the easier unhealthy ones!

• Avoid buffets.

• Drink plenty of water, especially immediately before meals.

COME INTO THE GYM AND BURN SOME CALORIES! :)

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March 8, 2013 10 Workout Secrets from the Pros

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1. Be Consistent

Chase Squires is the first to admit that he’s no fitness expert. But he is a guy who used to weigh 205 pounds, more than was healthy for his 5’4″ frame. “In my vacation pictures in 2002, I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man at the beach,” says the 42-year-old Colorado resident. Squires decided enough was enough, cut out fatty food, and started walking on a treadmill. The pounds came off and soon he was running marathons — not fast, but in the race. He ran his first 50-mile race in October 2003 and completed his first 100-miler a year later. Since then, he’s completed several 100-mile, 50-mile, and 50k races.

His secret? “I’m not fast, but I’m consistent,” says Squires, who says consistency is his best tip for maintaining a successful fitness regimen.

“It all started with 20 minutes on a treadmill,” he says. “The difference between my success and others who have struggled is that I did it every single day. No exercise program in the world works if you don’t do it consistently.”

2. Follow an Effective Exercise Routine

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently surveyed 1,000 ACE-certified personal trainers about the best techniques to get fit. Their top three suggestions:

  • Strength training. Even 20 minutes a day twice a week will help tone the entire body.
  • Interval training. “In its most basic form, interval training might involve walking for two minutes, running for two, and alternating this pattern throughout the duration of a workout,” says Cedric Bryant, PhD, FACSM, chief science officer for ACE. “It is an extremely time-efficient and productive way to exercise.”
  • Increased cardio/aerobic exercise. Bryant suggests accumulating 60 minutes or more a day of low- to moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking, running, or dancing.

3. Set Realistic Goals

“Don’t strive for perfection or an improbable goal that can’t be met,” says Kara Thompson, spokesperson for the International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). “Focus instead on increasing healthy behaviors.”

In other words, don’t worry if you can’t run a 5K just yet. Make it a habit to walk 15 minutes a day, and add time, distance, and intensity from there.

4. Use the Buddy System

Find a friend or relative whom you like and trust who also wants to establish a healthier lifestyle, suggests Thompson. “Encourage one another. Exercise together. Use this as an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company and to strengthen the relationship.”

5. Make Your Plan Fit Your Life

Too busy to get to the gym? Tennis star Martina Navratilova, health and fitness ambassador for the AARP, knows a thing or two about being busy and staying fit.

Make your plan fit your life, she advises in an article on the AARP web site. “You don’t need fancy exercise gear and gyms to get fit.”

If you’ve got floor space, try simple floor exercises to target areas such as the hips and buttocks, legs and thighs, and chest and arms (like push-ups, squats, and lunges). Aim for 10-12 repetitions of each exercise, adding more reps and intensity as you build strength.

6. Be Happy

Be sure to pick an activity you actually enjoy doing, suggests Los Angeles celebrity trainer Sebastien Lagree.

“If you hate weights, don’t go to the gym. You can lose weight and get in shape with any type of training or activity,” he says.

And choose something that is convenient. Rock climbing may be a great workout, but if you live in a city, it’s not something you’ll be doing every day.

7. Watch the Clock

Your body clock, that is. Try to work out at the time you have the most energy, suggests Jason Theodosakis, MD, exercise physiologist at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. If you’re a morning person, schedule your fitness activities early in the day; if you perk up as the day goes along, plan your activities in the afternoon or evening.

“Working out while you have the most energy will yield the best results,” Theodosakis says.

8. Call In the Pros

Especially if you’re first getting started, Theodosakis suggests having a professional assessment to determine what types of exercise you need most.

“For some people, attention to flexibility or to balance and agility, may be more important than resistance training or aerobics,” he says. “By getting a professional assessment, you can determine your weakest links and focus on them. This will improve your overall fitness balance.”

9. Get Inspired

“Fitness is a state of mind,” says fitness professional and life coach Allan Fine of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. One of Fine’s tricks to get and stay motivated is to read blogs or web sites that show him how others have been successful. “Who inspires you?” he asks.

10. Be Patient

Finally, remember that even if you follow all these tips, there will be ups and downs, setbacks and victories, advises Navratilova. Just be patient, and don’t give up, she says on the AARP web site: “Hang in there, and you’ll see solid results.”

March 7, 2013

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 Exercisers can improve their performance by as much as 15 percent if they listen to music while working out.
In one study, treadmill walkers moving in time with music felt 15 percent more energetic—and less eager to get off the machine—than treadmill walkers who were not listening to music. According to the sports psychologists who produced this stat, “Music listening can be an effective dissociation strategy, reducing perceptions of effort and fatigue by up to 12 percent.” Dancing makes moving in time with music into more of a party and less of a chore. “In some ways, dancing is the best exercise—it’s really aerobic,” Ratey says.

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