Exercise! - Question about exercise machine programs

01-04-2007, 12:40 AM
Ok, I posted this in the general exercise forum and got no response, so I thought I would try here instead. Anyone have any thoughts?

Hi all - I've been enjoying a new career as a runner, but recently started to add in some cross-training at the health club, primarily on the stationary bikes. There are various options for setting intensity and level of effort, e.g., cardio, hill profiles, random, etc. I have been using the "hill" profile program since my goal is to get a cardio workout similar to running, but also to build a little on the muscles that don't get worked on when running. I'm assuming that the "flat" pattern of the cardio program would exercise your lungs, but would not do as much in terms of building muscles. But, I confess I am no fitness expert. I'm curious as to which "program" selections you all make, and what your rationale is for selecting them.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts/words of wisdom.

p.s. I do weight lifting a few times a week as a separate effort.

01-04-2007, 09:20 AM
When I started with my gym, a trainer walked me through the machines and he told me to use the manuel option on most of the machines. I have switched to a fat burner, but don't like having to keep grabbing the handles for my heart rate.

My husband has lost 75 pounds and is what I consider a "runner" now. He always runs on manuel 1% incline and varying from 6-9mph. His muscles look fantastic... IMHO

01-04-2007, 09:32 AM
I don't think that any of the cardio programs are going to do much for muscle building. What they're good for is interval training - changing up incline settings and resistances so your heart rate is challenged by periodic high intensity bursts mixed in with more moderate intensity exercise. Interval training is very effective for fa burning! You can also do it yourself with the manual mode on any of the machines - simply sprint or increase the resistance for a minute or two every five minutes. I'm a manual mode person myself. :)

In order to build muscle, you need to stress the muscle with weights (free weights, machines, resistance bands etc). The resistance on a cardio machine really isn't sufficient to allow you to build muscle, but higher resistances will give you a more challenging cardiovascular workout and allow you to burn more calories (= stored fat)!

01-04-2007, 06:16 PM
Thanks for the input ladies!