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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Me Vs. The Stepmill

I have a love/hate relationship with the stepmill.  I know it's great at targeting the glutes, burning calories, and pumping up your heart rate, but it's boring, makes me sweat like crazy, I can't read while I'm on it and it's in the back corner of the gym, away from the TV which leaves me to people watch, which can be quite entertaining at 7:00 am at the Y (hello retirees in your sweatbands doing crazy-fast crunches this morning...haha) but not exactly my cup of tea at the gym. 

This morning I decided to once again give the Stepmill a chance and had quite the successful 20 minute stint on it.  For once, it didn't feel like pure torture.  To keep things interesting, I changed the level every 30 seconds.  I started with an easy minute at level 6, just to get my body used to the motion and to mentally psyche myself up for it.  After that minute, I hit it hard increasing the level every 30 seconds until I reaced level 12. Then I reversed the pattern, going down a level every 30 seconds until I got back to level 8.  Next, I alternated easy and hard minutes by doing one minute at level 8 and one minute at level 11.  I repeated this pattern a couple of times before doing one really fast minute at level 15 before cooling down.  It kept my interest and gave me a GREAT workout.  I hope my glutes show the fruits of my labor if I can stick with doing it a couple of times a week for a while. 
I then headed over to the elliptical for the last 25 minutes of my cardio session.  I can read on the elliptical and still maintain a really good intensity so the method I use while on there is to up the intensity or the incline every time I get to a new page.  To keep things really moving, sometimes I'll change the intensity or incline every time I get to a new paragraph, which can keep things really interesting.  It's much easier to do with my kindle than it ever was with a paperback.  The time flies when I'm reading while working out.  I love it.  The elliptical machine is, in my opinion, the best cardio invention ever.  A close second is the spin bike, but the teacher can either make or break the experience there whereas, I am in control of my own workout on the elliptical, something this control-freak loves. 

What's your favorite cardio machine?  I'd love to hear your tricks for passing time on the monotonous cardio machines at the gym. 

Make sure to move intentionally today!  Make it a great day! 

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