5 Reasons that I Think Treadmill and Elliptical Machine Workouts are a Waste of Time

5 Reasons that I Think Treadmill and Elliptical Machine Workouts are a Waste of Time

 

Plus 10 workout ideas

 that I believe are more effective and fun!

 

 Why Big Box Health Club Memberships don’t make you Healthy, Fit or Happy!

 

I was reading an article the other day and while I agreed with its sentiments, it made me realise that we join gyms to Loose Weight, Meet People and have some Fun.  But what actually happens is we join up and are immediately put on a treadmill – everyone can walk right! – and told to warm up before we do our  ‘personal’ program.

 

If you’re lucky a member of the gym team will chat to you while you complete your induction, but soon, very soon, when you arrive you, like all the other members, will get onto your cardio machines, attach your ear phones and watch TV or listen to your iPod and training solo

 

Now, is it just me, but there seems to be a major mismatch between the reasons members join Health Clubs and what is actually offered to them.

 

 

Goal 1 – Lose Weight.

Doing more and eating less = weight loss, yes I hear you say.

Ok, so lets say that’s true.  What happens if you keep that programme up? I’ve been training client for 30 years and no-one has faded away yet!

I’ve watched people jog, cycle and row for hours every week with ever decreasing rewards for their efforts as time goes on.  If you’re lucky a gym team member will advise you to increase intensity (work harder) or if you’re unlucky they’ll advise longer sessions.

Cardio training has its place – but science has proven that in good studies it’s a really poor way to lose fat!!  In fact there are 8 better ways to lose fat than long, slow duration cardio!!

 

Goal 2 – Make Friends.

I know lots of singles that hoped to meet a partner at the Gym.  Sadly you might spot someone, but it’s tricky to get to know them if they’re isolated in their own TV world.

Most gyms don’t have regular social events. And if you’ve ever attended group exercise classes – you’d get withering looks from the Instructors if you dare speak to anyone.

 

 

Goal 3 – Have Fun.

Knowing how many and how quickly members stop going to the gym I don’t think there’s a whole lot of fun!

 

You’ll quickly give up on the promises that ‘This gym is friendly and Fun’.  You’ll forget that everywhere else staff talk to their customers and that at your favourite coffee shop they chat, smile and even remember your order!!  Of course eventually you’ll remember and that’s when you decide to stop your Direct Debit.

 

So, here we go-

 

Treadmill and elliptical training machines a waste of your fat burning time

 

Now that I’ve upset all of the treadmill and elliptical machine worshipers… let me say that if you really enjoy mindlessly pumping away on a treadmill or elliptical (or exercise bike for that matter too), then by all means, keep doing what you enjoy, because enjoying your exercise is one of the most important aspects to sticking with any exercise program… and I think  enjoyment is THE most important factor!!

 

However, don’t say that I didn’t warn you that you were wasting your time with all that mindless cardio machine boredom.

 

If I haven’t said it before, I don’t believe in cardio machines, and to be quite honest, I don’t think I’ve personally used a treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike for at least 10 years. As a group exercise instructor I never had to use them for warm ups so don’t look to them for warming up now I’m a certified metabolic fitness coach.

 

Nowadays, I prefer to do mobility and ATR  mixed with bodyweight exercises as the perfect full body warmup at the beginning of my workouts.

 

So why do I have such hatred for cardio machines?

Well, here are 5 reasons:

 

1) Treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise bikes are mind-blowingly BOOOORING! Personally, I can think of a million things I’d rather be doing than pedaling my way to nowhere! There are so many more important things to do before any workout, like mental prep, working on postural imbalances, learning new exercises and improving muscle tissue quality.

 

 

2) Mindless steady state cardio exercise while watching TV or reading creates a mind / body disconnect resulting in poor results from your exercise routine. Instead of reading a gossip magazine or watching a cheesy reality TV show on the TV screen in front of the cardio machine, a REAL workout consists of actually having your mind engaged strongly in what your body is doing!

 

 

3) I’ve seen studies that indicated that treadmill running may be less effective than outdoor running for various reasons such as stride abnormalities on treadmills vs natural running, slightly less caloric burn compared to outdoor running, etc.

 

…although I never recommend just “jogging” anyway … Instead, variable intensity walks / runs or sprints are so much more effective, training your heart rate in a much wider range instead of just the same pace during the entire workout.

 

4) Treadmills and ellipticals are ridiculously expensive and a waste of money for people that workout at home… there’s so many better options for home workouts you could have spent your money on rather than wasting it on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical.

 

 

The perfect home gym setup is MUCH cheaper… there’s no reason you need anything other than a jump rope, bodyweight exercises, a few dumbbells, stability ball, maybe a few kettlebells (if you want to get fancy), and perhaps high tension bands for some more variety.

 

 

5) Treadmills and elliptical machines are just a very ineffective way to workout compared to other options. The metabolic response is much lower compared to the types of workouts ideas that I describe below. Why should you do treadmill or elliptical workouts when you can get better results by doing more interesting forms of training that actually stimulate a fat-burning hormonal response and stimulate your metabolism to a greater extent…

 

So what are the alternatives to treadmills, exercise bikes, and elliptical trainers? Here are TEN of my favourite types of alternative workouts:

 

Skipping rope – great mind-body connection – try speed jumping, crossovers, and double jumps once you get skilled at it. An amazing metabolic exercise with one of the cheapest pieces of equipment available. There’s a reason that every world class boxer uses this exercise!

 

Kettle bell training – nothing will get your heart pounding like high repetition KB swings and snatches or clean & presses (can be done with dumbbells too, but I prefer KBs). Personally, I think one of the most intense body changing exercises ever invented are double kettlebell snatches (snatching both kettlebells at the same time overhead from the floor).

 

Cardio sprinting (the ultimate exercise for a rock hard ripped body… just look at the chiseled powerful bodies of world class sprinters, and compare that to the weakling withered physique of a typical marathoner… enough said! We do sprint training 2-3 days a week. Short, all out intervals that raise your heart rate, make you breathe hard with very short rest intervals for over 20 minutes total time.

 

 

Metabolic Training – Total Body training of 20 – 60 seconds work with short rest intervals repeated for maybe 20-30 minutes.

One Amazing workout.

 

 

Rowing Machine – I don’t include this as a “cardio” machine like treadmills and ellipticals… I think the rowing machine is actually a great full body workout that actually uses resistance…

Just like the other classic…

Schwinn Air Dyne bikes – both use air resistance to give you a great intense workout.

The best results come from using variable speeds and really pulling hard to challenge your body.

 

 

Sprint style swimming workouts – a more muscular workout than steady state distance swimming… I actually love the upper body pump you get from sprint style swimming — this is the same concept as sprinting vs jogging but in a pool instead. It’s all about intensity!

 

 

Combat – heavy bag punching / kicking workout, speed bag, rebound bag – all are great forms of training and much more interesting than boring cardio machines. These exercises are also great examples of exercises that require an intense mind-body connection, which is missing in boring cardio equipment like treadmills and elliptical machines.

Shadow Boxing – This is an awesome workout, but if you’re shy, this is best saved for your home workouts since you’ll get some crazy stares doing this at a typical gym from people who think they’re “too cool” for stuff like this.

 

Dumbbell, Med ball, Kettle Bell Circuits — This super metabolic workout that involves alternating between various full-body multi-joint exercises to get a crazy fat-burning workout in minimal time. A good example would be alternating between dumbbell lunges, overhead presses, bent over rows, step ups, and squat presses all with minimal rest between. The sort we do 6 days a week to great effect.

 

Bodyweight Training – bodyweight squats, pushups, lunges, jumps, bear crawls, mountain climbers and jumpers, planks, and the list goes on and on. An example of great mind-body connection and much more metabolic than treadmills and ellipticals.

 

Well, I hope this article helps give you ideas on how you can get away from all of these mindless and ineffective treadmill and elliptical training machine (and exercise bike) workouts that are just wasting your time and energy that could be better spent on more effective workouts.

 

If you want maximum results, it’s all about your intensity levels and also your mind-body connection… and that all important mind-body connection is usually missing when it comes to elliptical and treadmill workouts, that most people do while watching TV or reading.

 

 

Get out there and actually ENJOY your workouts

Rember which would you rather be a sprinter or a marathoner?

 

Don’t be lazy, be lean.

 

Jax Allen

Certified Metabolic Trainer

Pilates and Yoga Instructor

 

Follow me

Twitter @jaxallenfitness

 

Daily fitness & nutrition tips via SMS/Text

Request yours at  07831 680086

Advertisements

73 thoughts on “5 Reasons that I Think Treadmill and Elliptical Machine Workouts are a Waste of Time

  1. Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i
    read this paragraph i thought i could also create comment due to this brilliant paragraph.

  2. My partner and I stumbled over here by a different web page
    and thought I may as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to finding out about your web page repeatedly.

  3. Hello there! This is my first comment here so I
    just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Appreciate it!

  4. Howdy exceptional blog! Does running a blog such as this take a great deal of work?
    I’ve virtually no knowledge of programming however I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways, should you have any ideas or tips
    for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic nevertheless I
    simply had to ask. Thanks a lot!

  5. Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks
    I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess
    I’ll just bookmark this web site.

  6. Someone necessarily help to make significantly posts I would state.
    This is the very first time I frequented your web page
    and to this point? I amazed with the analysis you made to make
    this particular publish extraordinary. Wonderful activity!

  7. A person essentially lend a hand to make critically
    articles I might state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far?
    I amazed with the research you made to create this actual post amazing.
    Excellent activity!

  8. Without a doubt, the-green coffees have been in its simplest state and subsequently will
    make individuals shed weight typically. A best purpose is always to defend your state of health.
    Will require more time to be spent on food preparation.

  9. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!

    Extremely helpful information specially the last part 🙂 I care
    for such info a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  10. You are so interesting! I don’t suppose I’ve
    read a single thing like that before. So great to find someone with a few original thoughts on this issue.

    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with
    a little originality!

  11. Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and say I really enjoy
    reading through your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same
    subjects? Appreciate it!

  12. Whats up very nice web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Superb ..
    I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally?
    I am glad to seek out numerous helpful information here in the put up, we need work out extra techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

  13. Greate post. Keep posting such kind of information on your
    site. Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hey there, You have done an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and for my part recommend to my friends.

    I am confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  14. I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering problems with your blog.
    It appears as if some of the text on your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This could be a issue with my browser because I’ve
    had this happen previously. Thanks

  15. Hello There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. That is a very neatly written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your
    useful info. Thank you for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  16. Normally I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very
    forced me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me.
    Thank you, very great post.

  17. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I can’t subscribe to
    it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS issues?

    Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond?
    Thanks!!

  18. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post
    I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking
    and checking back frequently!

  19. Thank you for your kind comments. However, please ask your course or college tutor to use a different blog for your written English practise.
    Thanks

  20. My brother suggested I would possibly like this web site.
    He was entirely right. This put up actually made my day.
    You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info!
    Thanks!

  21. Wow, marvelous weblog layout! How long have you ever been running a blog
    for? you make blogging look easy. The total glance
    of your website is wonderful, as neatly as the content material!

  22. What i don’t realize is actually how you’re
    now not actually much more smartly-liked than you might
    be now. You are very intelligent. You already know thus significantly in relation to this subject,
    made me in my view imagine it from so many varied angles.
    Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested unless it is something to do with Woman gaga!
    Your own stuffs nice. At all times care for it up!

  23. We absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for.
    Does one offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
    I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write concerning
    here. Again, awesome web site!

  24. Hey would you mind letting me know which web host you’re working with?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say
    this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at
    a fair price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  25. It’s really a nice and useful piece of info. I am satisfied
    that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this.
    Thank you for sharing.

  26. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.
    I will always bookmark your blog and definitely will come back at
    some point. I want to encourage one to continue your great job,
    have a nice day!

  27. Hi, I’m passionate and am a full time fitness professional so it doesn’t seem like work.
    I find something I’m interesting in or a client asks a question and I’m off writing and researching.

  28. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice even as you amend your
    website, how can i subscribe for a blog website?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I have been tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast
    provided bright transparent concept

  29. After looking into a few of the blog posts on your blog, I
    honestly like your technique of blogging. I added
    it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please check
    out my web site too and tell me what you think.

  30. Good day I am so happy I found your webpage, I really found
    you by mistake, while I was researching on Google for something else,
    Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a incredible post and a all round exciting blog (I also love
    the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all
    at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added
    your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more,
    Please do keep up the awesome jo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s