Exercise! - need a little cardio advice

View Full Version : need a little cardio advice

01-26-2004, 11:29 AM
ok folks. it's COLD around here, and i can't always go hiking. so that means that i have to go to the gym. not a big deal, but there's a slight hitch.

the treadmill is fine, but i can't go faster than about 3 miles an hour because i have bad knees [torn cartilage in both, plus severe arthriritis in one, if you believe the MRI, but since it doesn't bother me except when i give it a pounding, i generally ignore it].

soooo. that means increasing the angle. i started doing the hill climbing program, and at level 7, i BARELY made it to my target HR and for only about a minute. the trainer suggested that i try the stair climber, which scares my knees [doc says that i can't use those stairmaster machines and i don't see how much different the stair climber would be].

any thoughts for getting a good cardio interval training going?

the bike is ok. but frankly, i find it VERY boring. time goes faster for me on the treadmill than on the bike. if i HAVE to, i'll do intervals on the bike... but i hoped all you wise folks would have some words of wisdom for me....

01-26-2004, 11:38 AM
Jiff, have you tried an arctrainer? I know that some of my friends that aren't able to run or jog because of their knees are able to use the arctrainer because it doesn't give you the pounding. It's a great workout too. I work harder on that than on any other machine in the gym.

01-26-2004, 12:12 PM
jif have you ever tried an eliptical trainer (i thing that is what they call it) i too suffer from bad knees and walking to fast for to long really lets me know it but those machines seem to be alot easier on my knees. i just have to be careful, because i am not really coordinated so i have to start off slow and work up.

01-26-2004, 12:32 PM
Hi Jif!
I've rejoined the gym. I can't really use the treadmill because I can't run on it and keep my balance. I can walk, but that is boring and like you said, doesn't give me much of a cardio work out. I can't do any of the stair thingys or bike because I can do only one or two steps or pedals and then my legs are done. Finis. Through. Kaput. But I CAN do 30 minutes on the Elliptical. I fondly refer to it as my Elliptical Torture Machine. :) I set it at a low skill level (I like to start slowly) and do the aeorbic x-train. That has me pushing and pulling with my arms, going very fast (for me) for one minute, using my legs only which is good for my balance because I can go slow and focus on not falling, and then reversing the direction for a bit. The ETM aerobic x-train changes the workout every two minutes, so that keeps me entertained. Maybe focused would be a better word.

I did try a new machine yesterday - can't remember what it is called - but it was a bike that I 'pedaled' with my arms with my legs stationery. That was an INTERESTING workout. I thought I would do 15 minutes and ended up doing only 10! Much more cardio that I expected!! There is another machine that I want to try. It is a sitting machine that you pedal with your legs AND use your arms to assist. I'll try that next workout.

Let me know what works for you - I'd love to try anything new!!

01-26-2004, 12:33 PM
wow!!!! believe it or not, i never considered them! is an arctrainer the same as the elliptical???

thanks ladies!!! if all goes according to plan [HA!!! why should it???] i'll be at the gym tonight supplementing my brief [only 45 minute] hike from this morning. i'll try it!

01-26-2004, 12:47 PM
Mothrgoos, what is the arctrainer? Is that the pedal with the arms machine?? I think I should get an orientation to my new gym! :dizzy:

Jif, the ETM is the machine that the feet 'glide' on and has arm-assisting.

01-26-2004, 01:07 PM
No, the arc trainer is different than the elliptical machine. For me, the arc trainer is harder to use. I do 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, but can only do between 10-20 minutes on the arc trainer. I found a description of it that says-

The Cybex Arc Trainer probably offers the broadest resistance range of any fitness equipment on the market. The 11 incline and 101 resistance levels provide virtually unlimited training variety. Going from 0 to 900 watts, the ArcTrainer accommodates all users, from those wanting an extremely low work rate to dedicated athletes that demand an extreme workout. Key features of this unique machine include the no-impact Reverse Arc Motion of the pedals that move your legs in a biomechanically correct and unique path of motion. As one foot drives down, the other foot is assisted forward, significantly reducing the shear component at the knee. Advanced Stride Technology offers a wide range of motion while keeping the hip and knees always correctly aligned. The ergonomic design of the handlebars allows you to change your body position as you change resistance and incline. Target fitness goals from aerobic to anaerobic, quadriceps to glutes, you set the pattern. Using only ball bearings, the ride on the ArcTrainer is always smooth and quiet.

01-26-2004, 03:10 PM
what great information!!! thank you ALL!!!! and kim... what an interesting machine!!! and i think my gym has one. if it's what i'm thinking of, it's one that i've never EVER seen anyone use!!! it's sitting underneath the TV in the women's area... i'll have to check it out.

it's right next to the 3 elliptical and one stair master machine!!!!

01-26-2004, 03:22 PM

If you are getting conflicting advice from a doctor and a trainer then you should try and track down a fully registered physical therapist. They are the only people in the US that are medically and adequately trained to give safe exercise advice in the presence of a medical condition such as dodgy knees.

Spend out a wodge of cash now and invest in your future fitness and health. It might also prevent your boredom! And that just has to be a good thing!

Your doc will err on the side of caution, possibly slowing or preventing any meangingful rehab. A non-specialist trainer may miss something important and overwork some aspect of the supporting physiology.

01-26-2004, 06:15 PM
Jiff, maybe you can start a new trend at your gym! If you try it tonight, I'm anxious to hear what you think. They used to only have 2 of these at the Y that I use, but they've become so popular that they ordered several more and now there about 6 or 7 of them. I really find it to be a great work out!

We also just got in a couple of rowing machines and that seems like a good work out to me too. I don't really feel like I'm working out that hard, but when I get done and check my pulse rate, it's usually in my target range.

Let us know how it goes!

01-26-2004, 06:45 PM
i'm outta here in a few minutes. and off to the gym. so i'll be sure to report in later.

and stef... thank you for your concern and comments!!! and yes. i have seen a physical therapist. in fact, i have a MAJOR BIG CRUSH on him [and he's about 15 years younger than i am and married so i behave!!!!]. but he agrees with the 'no stairs' idea. we've already talked.

and the even scarier thing is that a couple of physical therapists who are his close colleaques [and have treated me when saint angelo had a day off!!!] ARE AT MY GYM!!!! we see each other regularly and they always take a look [very very casually, but they DO look!!!!] at what i'm doing, especially with my knees.

it's rather sweet.

on other threads on 3fc, i've said that my weight loss has been a community effort, and here's a real example of it! i've had such wonderful support from so many unexpected sources. i've been truly blessed...

now if only i had new knees!!!!

01-27-2004, 12:35 AM
i managed exactly 3 minutes on the elliptical!!! and why on earth does it tell you to GO FASTER?????? what sadist devised that message???

and that thing i thought was an arc trainer? is some sort of stretching machine... for those who can't figure out how to bend over and then stand up tall....

other choices are a gazelle freestyle thingy. and a nordic track and some reverse stairmaster thing that is easier on the knees, but it's broken.

soooo ladies... what's next??

oh. and i made an appt with a trainer for next week. it'll be fun. i told him he had to work me hard. is that why he got that evil smile on his face????

01-27-2004, 06:59 AM
soooo, three minutes on the Elliptical Torture Machine? Did you say rude things to the ETM when it said "go faster"?

yep, I think both of us need an orientation to our gyms! ;) I go back on Wednesday for a work out and then again on Thursday for a meeting of the race club to be followed by a work out no doubt. I am going to see if I can spot an arctrainer.

01-27-2004, 09:34 AM

Just had to say I love your sig saying: "Start your day with a smile, and get it over with."

HA! :lol:

ObFitness: The ETM kicks my butt too. I have ramped up to an hour on it, slowly of course. I am not going at the max or anything! I put it on manual and just concentrate on keeping my feet going forward ;) I was once next to a girl (in a thong spandex workout outfit of course) who was RUNNING on it. I was scared heheh! I don't think I've ever gone that fast in my life, well, maybe running from a crazy dog!

Hmmm... anyone ever have the problem of not getting to the gym because your ex goes there too and you don't want to accidentally run into them? UGH! Guess I gotta suck it up for my body's sake.

01-27-2004, 01:50 PM
oh thank you ladies!!!! it's GREAT to see that normal folks like me, not necessarily those THONG ladies, have actually survived the elliptical..

maybe if i hadn't put it on automatic? there WAS a button for MANUAL.. maybe i'll push THAT one next time. i felt like i could go quite a while on it, but not at 125!!!!! something sedate and sane... like 60 per minute. whaddaya think?

01-27-2004, 11:49 PM
Jiff, LOL what next? GO FOR $ MIN!!!

I like the random setting, keeps it interesting, or I like the crosstrainer, it works up and down a Mt in about 20 min.

This is a good one, keep going on it. my friend started with 5 min and is up to 45-60....


01-28-2004, 09:13 AM
wow L... she's doing great. and so are you..

and sarah.. for the evil ex: go to the gym. ignore him. just make sure you look GOOD so that he'll eat his heart out.

and make sure you make a few appts with one of the male trainers... it'll put a smile on your face, if nothing else.

and today; there's enough snow for SNOWSHOEING!!!! to bad i gotta go to work after digging out...