I am asked the question all the time, what is the best piece of equipment for weight loss? There is no simple answer to this. To say that this piece is better than another wouldn’t be fair. If you hate getting on a treadmill but will get on a bike, the bike is the best for you. The idea behind any piece of cardiovascular equipment is to get the heart-rate up and burn calories. You can do that on anything! Where it gets confusing is how equipment companies program in how many calories are being burned. In my experience, people gravitate to an elliptical because it shows they burn more calories. The problem is it isn’t taking into account your heart-rate.
No matter if you get an elliptical or treadmill, my suggestion is to spend an extra $100 and purchase a good heart rate monitor that you wear. Don’t rely on the monitor that is on the equipment. Calculate your target range and you are on your way to hitting your goals!
The first thing you want to do is take your resting heart rate (RHR) for one minute. Let’s use simple numbers for the example and your RHR is 60. For a 50 year old, you would take 220-50=170. Then subtract your RHR, 170-60=110. Give yourself a generous range, 60-90%, 66-99, then add back in your RHR and 126-159 is your target heart rate range! There are many ways to calculate this, but the above gives you a simple place to start.
My suggestion when you start is see how you feel at 60% and go from there. For some that will feel easy, so kick it up to 65%. If you feel challenged at 60%, stay there until you get stronger. As you challenge yourself more and more, you will burn more calories and lose more weight. It doesn’t matter if you are on a bike or treadmill, your heart rate will determine your caloric burn! That is why it is so important to find the piece of equipment YOU WILL USE! If you won’t use a treadmill, don’t get a treadmill!
It’s all about getting you on the right track so you will see results!
Until next time…