We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on FitSugar!
There are the run-of-the-mill, hop-on-the-elliptical-machine-for-20-minutes cardio workouts, then there are the kick-butt, leave-you-breathless cardio workouts that practically melt fat off the body. Which would you prefer to do?
Trainer Jeff Halevy, CEO of Halevy Life in New York City, is an expert at helping clients shed unwanted layers of fat fast. To make sure you're maximizing the fat-burning effect of your workout, it might be time to give your cardio routine a makeover. (Bonus: head over to Self.com to get more of Jeff's fat-loss tips — he dishes on the scientific cheats to a sexy, healthy body in record time. Grab your copy now!)
"The biggest takeaway about using any type of cardio machine is that it will be most beneficial to fat loss if high-intensity intervals are utilized, and if either weight lifting or lighter, steady-state cardio is done immediately after — yes, after. This is not a recipe for maximal muscle growth but is the recipe for maximal fat loss," Jeff says.
Check out these top three cardio machines that will give you the most fat-loss bang for your buck at the gym, and cheats on how to make sure you're using them properly, after the break.
Because the entire body is working at once, and the heart needs to get blood and oxygen to the two largest muscle groups (legs and back), energy expenditure is very high. Most people can't log 20 minutes on a rower at a sufficient intensity, so try using intervals to start. Make sure to use proper rowing form.
Use the StepMill (which looks like a big set of rotating stairs)! Climbing stairs puts all of your body weight on a single leg at a time in a lunge pattern, so if you're doing the StepMill at 60 steps per minute, it's almost like lunging 60 times for each minute that you're on. And again, as above, the large muscle groups of the legs are being worked, so energy expenditure is again very high. And no holding onto the arm supports — it'll greatly decrease the demand on the body.
Since we all use it, I'll keep this in the mix. My two rules for the treadmill: never run flat and always use intervals. Why? Running on a flat treadmill is supereasy. I could easily run a near five-minute mile on a treadmill, but would never reach this outside. An incline of two should become your new "flat." This will keep the difficulty level up to maximize your time, but not so much so that it will burn you out the way a steep hill would (though I would encourage you to mix steep inclines into your training as well). My other rule is use intervals. Treadmills were not intended for logging mileage, and again, the intervals will pay off for fat loss.
Need a HIIT (high intensity interval training) routine? Our Drop 10 Diet Workout has 15 workouts you can use on any machine!