When most people step into the cardio section at their gym, they usually have one thing in mind, and that is to burn as many calories in as short a period as possible. But how effectively does the machine you usually use work? Before we get to that, we need to keep in mind that any machine is only as effective as the amount of effort you exert.  Here is a comparison of 4 common pieces of cardio equipment and how they rate against one another with regards to calorie burning.

STATIONARY BIKE – 500 TO 1000 CALORIES PER HOUR

Bicycling can generate a significant calorie burn but often, people let momentum do all the work while they pedal along at a leisurely pace. To get the fat burning going, aim to hit a minimum of 85 rpm (rotations per minute) and crank the resistance up until you are breathing hard. To really push yourself and to get a super effective workout, try choosing an interval setting on the bikes display or create your own.

INTERVAL TRAINING

To really push yourself and to get a super effective workout, try choosing an interval setting on bikes display or create your own workout. E.g.


  • 30 Seconds on lower level
  • 30 Seconds on medium level
  • 30 Seconds on a high level and repeat

TREADMILL – 600 TO 1200 CALORIES PER HOUR

Running uses your entire body to propel yourself along and because of this, it has a incredible potential to burn a lot of fat. For an effective treadmill workout, you can choose one of three options.

JOGGING:

Running at a steady pace will burn considerable calories if you stick to a pace that challenges you.

WALK UPHILL:

Trekking up a steep incline can be extremely taxing and is a good way to burn fat. However, the most common mistake when it comes to walking on an incline is that people hold onto the rails which takes weight off of your legs and nullifies the benefits of the incline.

SPRINT:

Sprinting is probably the best way to burn calories and to stimulate fat melting hormones. Obviously it is impossible to carry out a 20 minute cardio session of flat out sprinting  but alternating bursts of flat out energy with periods of recovery is the best way to burn calories and to stimulate fat melting hormones.


ELIPTICAL TRAINER – 500 TO 800 CALORIES PER HOUR

The main concern with regards to elliptical trainers is that they are inconstant which means that their calorie burn estimates are often rather unreliable. It is also very easy to cheat on this piece of equipment. This is because as the machine gets going, the inertia of the moving parts can make it easy to keep on going. This can however be eliminated by choosing a higher resistance. A higher resistance is also better than a fast pace when trying to burn fat on these machines.


ROWING MACHINE – 700 TO 1100 CALORIES PER HOUR

Apart from running, rowing is one of the best cardio machines as it offers a full body workout and has the potential to melt 1100 calories per hour. In order to achieve such a tremendous calorie burn, you will need to crank up the resistance and keep a fast pace.


THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • You shouldn’t always trust the “calories burned” numbers displayed on cardio machines.
  • Rather opt for full body exercises as they usually torch more calories than isolated activities like cycling.
  • Don’t always stick to the machine, in order to prevent your body adapting to a specific exercise, mix it up from time to time.
  • Interval training can all cardio equipment, so maximize your calorie burn by incorporating this technique 2-3 times a week.
  • Interval training can be done on all cardio equipment, so maximize your calorie burn by incorporating this technique 2-3 times a week.

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