Tropical Storm Debbie (which has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression) has finally moved over the state, but we’re still getting plenty of rain and some pretty strong wind. It looks like today will be the final day my area will be affected by the storm. The weather report for tomorrow and Friday is not forecasting any rain! While we certainly needed the rain we’ve been getting over the past week or so, I’m looking forward to seeing the sun again.
As part of my post-vacation boot camp, I’ve been using my recumbent bike every day this week. While I’d certainly prefer to be out tearing up the trails somewhere, I’ve actually enjoyed the indoor workouts more than I thought I would. Doing indoor cardio has allowed me to catch up on some old MMA DVDs that have been languishing in my collection unwatched for many years.
A common question I get is, “What is the best cardio machine for fat loss?” The answer is simple: the one you’ll actually use. In other words, pick the cardio equipment that you’ll enjoy using the most. No matter what you may hear from the marketing spin doctors, at the end of the day cardio exercise is used for one thing: to raise your heart rate to the desired level. Treadmill, bike, stair climber, elliptical, jump rope… they all work fine. If you love running, you might want to invest in treadmill. If you have bad knees, a lower impact machine such as a recumbent bike would probably be a better choice.
Anyone who says, “Yeah but [x] cardio equipment gives you a full body workout!” has obviously never lifted weights. Cardio exercise is not strength training!. I often see ads for cardio equipment that make ridiculous claims such as, “The arm movement will really tone up those saggy triceps!” Give me a break. That’s nothing but marketing BS. Spot reduction (targeting particular areas of fat with exercise) is simply not possible. You know what “tones” saggy triceps? Weight training combined with lowering your body fat percentage.
If you are in the market for a good recumbent bike, I’m very happy with my Schwinn. I have Schwinn Model 231, which I purchased back in 2007. The bike is still going strong after hundreds of hours of heavy use (including countless brutal High Intensity Interval Training workouts), and it still performs as well today as the day I bought it. Model 231 is no longer available, but the replacement model is the Schwinn 240, and it offers several improvements over model 231. Since 2003 I’ve owned a lot of cardio equipment, but the Schwinn is the only piece of cardio equipment that’s held up over the years. The newest model (Schwinn 240) sells for less than $400 bucks (with free shipping), and that is an incredible bargain for such a well-built machine.
I’ve been doing my cardio in the morning all this week, and I’m glad that I have. Work has been insanely busy in the afternoons, and breaking away for a workout would have been very difficult. I’m going to go ahead and get another fasted LISS session in this morning before work. While I’d really like to do an afternoon HIIT workout today, I don’t want to chance not being able to get away from the desk.
By the way, even if it’s sunny tomorrow I’m not going to be able to do any mountain biking. My bike is out of commission while my rear wheel is being rebuilt. I’ve got to get going right now, but I’ll talk a little more about that in tomorrow’s blog.