After Sports Magazines Give Cover-Story Attention To The Outstanding Performance 5 Reasons Why Elliptical Machines and Treadmills are Useless Exercises

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5 Reasons Why Elliptical Machines and Treadmills are Useless Exercises

I know all the elliptical and treadmill wannabes are probably mad at me right now after the title of this post, but the truth is, ellipticals and treadmills are one of the most ineffective workouts in existence. Through this article, I will show you how to get a more effective fat burning workout without wasting time mindlessly working out on a boring elliptical or treadmill.

Now first let me state that if you are truly enjoying your elliptical and treadmill workouts then I wish you the best of luck in continuing to do what you love. The reason is that while ellipticals and treadmills are relatively ineffective compared to other types of exercise, whatever you actually enjoy doing will benefit you the most in the long run because you are more likely to be more consistent persevere.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you, all these mindless mindless cardio machine workouts can be a waste of your time.

I’ve talked to my ezine subscribers about this before… I actually don’t believe cardio machines are a good form of exercise at all. This might come as a surprise to fitness nuts like me, but I think I’ve personally been using an exercise bike, treadmill, elliptical, or any other cardio machine for at least 8 years or more.

In fact, I don’t even use cardio machines for pre-workout warm-ups anymore. In fact, I find it more effective to do warm-ups like dumbbell and/or kettlebell swings, snatches, cleans, and presses, along with bodyweight exercises, as a full-body warm-up before a workout.

Why do I think cardio machines are so bad? Well, here are 5 reasons why:

1) Treadmills and ellipticals are just a very inefficient form of exercise compared to other options. Why do a treadmill or elliptical workout when you can get better results by doing a more fun form of training that actually stimulates the fat-burning hormonal response and stimulates your metabolism even more.

2) Ellipticals and treadmills are very expensive and a waste of money for people exercising at home… There are so many better things for home workouts that you could spend your money on instead of wasting money on ellipticals, running on board, or on the exercise bike.

If going to the gym isn’t your thing, you’ll find plenty of ideas for better home workouts below.

3) I’ve seen several studies showing that treadmill running may not be as effective as outdoor running for a number of reasons, such as abnormal stride length on the treadmill compared to natural running, slightly less calorie burn compared to outdoor running, etc.

(although I would never recommend just “jogging” anyway…variable intensity walks/runs or sprints are more effective, training your heart rate over a wider range than training in the same heart rate zone all the time ).

4) Steady state exercise (that doesn’t require you to focus on what you’re doing) while watching TV or reading a newspaper or magazine creates a mind-body disconnect that leads to extremely poor results compared to exercises that require concentration.

5) Elliptical and treadmill workouts are mind-numbingly boring!

So what are some good alternatives to elliptical and treadmill workouts? Some of my favorites are:

  • Outdoor Wind Sprint Training – This is the ultimate workout for a hard lean body…just look at the strong yet super lean bodies of world class sprinters and compare that to the withered, frail physique of a typical marathon runner… What look do you prefer?
  • Rope Jumping – Incredible mind-body connection and so much fun (you can try speed jumps, cross jumps and double jumps once you get good at it)
  • Kettlebell Workouts – There’s nothing like high rep kettlebell swings and/or snatches (or cleans and presses) to get your heart pumping and sweaty! These can also be done with dumbbells, but I prefer kettlebells as they have a better “feel” to them and the unbalanced nature of KBs will make you work harder)
  • Bodyweight exercises – mountain climbing, bodyweight squats, push-ups, aerobics, lunges, bear crawls, planks, etc.
  • Good old rowing machine – I don’t really class this as a “cardio” machine like the elliptical and treadmill…instead I think the rowing machine is actually a good full body workout, it actually used real resistance)
  • Hill Sprints – run uphill as hard as you can, then downhill and repeat as many reps as possible for a full workout (another classic workout for hard lean)
  • Tai Chi… a killer workout, but if you’re shy, it’s best done at home because you’ll see some crazy faces doing it at a typical gym!
  • Swimming Sprints – This is a more muscular workout than swimming for a steady distance…I really like the upper body pump I get from sprint swimming (as opposed to swimming slowly and steadily, in sprints In swimming, you swim as hard as you can for 1 lap as fast as you can. Then rest for 15-20 seconds before doing another swim sprint).
  • Heavy bag punching/kicking workouts, speed bags, bouncy bags…all of these are huge workouts and far more fun than boring cardio machines (requires a very strong mind-body connection to improve results).

I hope this article has given you plenty of ideas to get out there right now and bring more variety to your workouts, rather than relying on the same old monotonous elliptical and treadmill workout routines. have fun!

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