Treadmills and Elliptical Machines: Outdated Dinosaurs of the Gym!?!

Yes, I said that.  Have I lost my mind?  Am I throwing all the cardio equipment out the door?  Before you panic, let’s take a look at who uses these machines and why.  The number one goal of over 95% of the people  we work with is weight loss or management.  Members want to look better and feel better.  In the past they would come in, we would put de-conditioned people on the treadmill or some other piece of cardio to start burning calories, and it worked.  But,  let’s take  a closer look!

An average person will walk one mile in about 20 minutes, taking 2,000 steps.  If they jog, a little less time and 1,500 steps.  The impact on your body is about 2X bodyweight while walking, and 4X bodyweight while  jogging.  When  all is said and done you burned about 100 calories during your 20 minute walk and impacted your knees for 2,000 reps at 2X your bodyweight.  If our goal is to elevate heart rate and increase metabolism to burn calories and lose weight,  isn’t there a better way?

You bet there is!  Full body metabolic training, usually in the form of a timed circuit, is far superior in fat burning and for general health and fitness.   If you’re a member here, think “Afterburn” and “Foundations” group personal training.  Tests have proven this type of training burns double the calories with a fraction of the repetitions.  If fat loss is your goal? Why would you want to spend 30 minutes on a treadmill banging your knees for 3,000 reps when you could burn twice as many calories in a 30 minute “Afterburn” circuit , only subjecting your body to 300 reps with little or no impact? If I were a doctor in the 80’s and gave you a drug that worked, but with some bad side effects, then still gave you the same drug 30 years later when a new drug was available that worked twice as well, with a fraction of the side effects, I should be sued for malpractice.

My friend Rick has one of the most successful gyms in the country and has been in numerous national publications because of his success in getting people fit.  He has four pieces of cardio, two treadmills and two bikes, in a gym the size of ours.  Unless you’re specifically training for an event, you simply don’t need a treadmill.  If you’re training for a running event you need to get on a treadmill or go outside and run.  Lance Armstrong, one of the most cardiovascular fit athletes in the world placed  856th in the 2006 New York Marathon because he hadn’t done enough actual running.  But for optimal calorie burning and fat loss, full body metabolic circuit training is superior to other forms or cardio.

One of our role model members, Warren spent years on those cardio machines and never achieved the results he wanted.  Three months of metabolic circuit training and he’s nearly 10 pounds lighter and stronger than ever.  He didn’t know a better way until we educated him. He took our advice, jumped on board and is getting great results.  If you aren’t getting the results you want from cardio machines, have read this, and still refuse to get off the treadmill to try group training.  I can only quote Albert Einstein’s definition of “Insanity” for you.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.


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