I know all of you elliptical and treadmill worshipers are probably fuming at me now after the title of the article, but the fact is that ellipticals and treadmills are one of the less effective methods of working out than exist. With this article, I’ll show you how to get a much more effective fat burning workout without wasting time exercising without thinking about a boring elliptical machine or treadmill.
Now let me first say that if you really enjoy your elliptical workouts and treadmill workouts, then I give you my blessing to keep doing what you love. The reason is that even though ellipticals and treadmills are relatively ineffective compared to other types of exercises, what you really enjoy doing the most will benefit you the most in the long run because you are more likely to follow it more consistently. .
Don’t say I didn’t warn you, though, that you could be wasting your time with all these boring cardio machine workouts.
I’ve talked about this before with my ezine subscribers … In fact, I don’t think of cardio machines as a good way to exercise at all. This might surprise you coming from a fitness fanatic like myself, but I don’t think I’ve personally used a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, or any other cardio machine for at least 8 years or more.
In fact, I don’t even use cardio machines to warm up before my workouts anymore. In fact, I think it’s a much more effective warm-up for dumbbell and / or kettlebell swings, snatches, cleanings, and presses, etc., combined with bodyweight exercises as a great full-body warm-up before working out.
Why do I think cardio machines are so horrible? Well, here are 5 reasons:
1) Treadmills and ellipticals are a very ineffective way to exercise compared to other options. 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 boost your metabolism to a greater extent?
2) Elliptical machines and treadmills are incredibly expensive and a waste of money for people who work out at home … there are so many better things for workouts at home that you could have spent your money on instead of on an elliptical machine, treadmill, or stationary bike.
You will see many ideas below for better workouts at home if you don’t like hitting the gym to exercise.
3) I have seen several studies indicating results that treadmill running may be less effective than running outdoors for various reasons, such as abnormal gait on treadmills compared to natural running, burns slightly fewer calories compared to running outdoors, etc.
(Although I never recommend just “jogging” anyway … variable intensity walking / running or sprinting are much more effective, training your heart rate in a much wider range rather than the same heart rate range all the time).
4) Steady-state exercise (which does not require concentration on what you are doing) while watching television or reading a newspaper or magazine creates a disconnect between mind and body resulting in extremely poor results compared to exercise that requires focused attention.
5) Elliptical and treadmill workouts are extremely boring!
So what are some good alternatives to elliptical and treadmill workouts? Some of my favorites are:
- Outdoor Wind Speed Workouts – This is the ultimate rock-slim body workout … just look at the powerful yet super-lean and ripped bodies of world-class sprinters, and compare it to the wimpy physique of marathoners typical … how would you rather see yourself?
- Jumping rope – amazing mind / body connection and really fun (you can try sprinting jumps, cross jumps and double jumps once you get it right)
- Kettlebell Workouts – Nothing will get your heart pounding and sweating like high-rep kettlebell shifts and / or kicks (or cleaning and pressing)! These can also be done with dumbbells, but I prefer kettlebells as they have a better “feel” and the lopsided nature of the KB makes you work harder)
- Bodyweight exercises: mountain climbers, bodyweight squats, push-ups, jumping exercises, lunges, bear crawls, plank grips, etc.
- The good old fashioned rowing machine: I don’t really consider this to be a “cardio” machine per se, like elliptical machines and treadmills … Rather, I think the rowing machine is actually a great exercise full body that actually uses actual resistance)
- Sprinting uphill: running as hard uphill as possible, followed by walking downhill and repeating as many times as possible for a full workout (another classic exercise for a lean, rock-hard body)
- Shadow boxing … a spectacular workout, but if you’re shy it’s best to do it at home as you’ll get some crazy looks doing this in a typical gym!
- Swimming sprints – a muscle toning exercise compared to constant paced distance swimming … I actually love the upper body pump I get from sprinting swimming (as opposed to slow and steady swimming With sprint swimming, you swim as fast as you can by exercising as much force as you can for 1 lap. Then rest for 15 to 20 seconds before doing another swim sprint).
- Punch / kick workouts with heavy bag, speed bag, bounce bag … all are tremendous workouts and much more fun than boring cardio machines (requires a very intense mind / body connection that increases results).
I hope this article provides you with many ideas that you can use to get out there right away and bring more variety to your workouts instead of relying on the same boring old elliptical machine and treadmill workout routine. Have fun!