Step machines, or steppers, as the title suggests mimic the movement the body goes through when climbing stairs. They are a great way to build stronger legs and also provide a good cardiovascular workout. They are anything but an easy touch despite what some may say.
Steppers provide aerobic exercise. Working out on a stepper will develop your cardiovascular fitness, build your lower body muscles and burn calories of course! They are not an easy ride
As fitness studies continues to provide new information, exercise programs are developed as a result of this research. Aerobic exercise came about consequently due to the research which showed the benefits of increasing the heart rate to cardiovascular health overall.
This is also the case with the BodyPump resistance weight training group program. Designed specifically to increase muscle tone and strength, along with other added benefits, without adding the bulk that many people do not wish to gain.
A simple explanation of the BodyPump program is as follows:
It consists of 60-minute resistance exercise using a barbell, however rather than focusing on heavy weights, the emphasis is on low-weight barbells that are used in a more rapid exercise. This is because the idea behind the program is to “exhaust” your muscles so that they strength and tone but do not add bulk.
You will complete 5-6 specific exercises but with so many reps of each one, ending up having completed approximately 800 reps in one 60-minute session; as the weights used are minimal, these are not horrible to achieve, and thus the program can become addictive. The 6 exercises consist of; squat, chest press, deadrow, clean and press, lunge, and reverse curl.
All exercises are done to music in the BodyPump program and therefore plays a key factor because there must be a rhythm. The original program which was developed by Les Mills has specific music tracks for all levels or progress. As you improve and gain confidence, there are music tracks that require more rapid movement that you are able to move up to.
Whilst it is usually taught in a group class which has the benefit of
Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile mud and obstacle course designed to really test your physical strength, stamina and mental grit. An interesting point to make is that the obstacles are very team orientated so the organisers are very keen to point out that you will cross the finishing line with more friends that you started with.
This is not an event for personal glory, it is about working with others. On a lighter note Tough Mudder also boast that in addition to the 20+ world class obstacles that you will face you will also get 500,000 litres of mud and 40 tons of ice!
The stats are certainly very impressive with 2.5m participants in 200+ events since 2010, in 6 countries. Another important aspect to note is that many participants compete for charities and in total £5m has been raised for various charities.
So when Virgin Active won the contract to run Tough Mudder classes to help people prepare for the real thing they turned to Physical Company to help them create obstacles that would mirror the real things. But the challenge was also to ensure that wherever you were taking the course you would have the same spec and high standards of equipment. Physical Company were also chosen for their reputation for delivering on time and to budget.
“When the Tough Mudder project landed in our laps we knew it would be a great opportunity but also a great challenge,” says James Trevorrow, Virgin Active Product Innovation Manager. “We had a very tight deadline for the size of the project and knew it would need a fast thinking, problem solving team with a ‘can do’ approach.
Physical Company is a company we do work with on a wide range of existing products so we intuitively turned to them first to help source what we needed. They have an extensive catalogue and have been very reliable in the past.” In fact Physical Company had only 3 months to deliver and to 95 different Virgin Active sites.
The outcome was realistic kit that could really help prepare participants for the real challenge including cargo nets, floor ladders, hurdles, battle ropes, slam balls but also water canisters, electric shock balls and even a fog machine. In addition the Tough Mudder is about unpredictability and creating instability for your body. To achieve this Physical Company recommended the hydro inertia kit Kamagon Balls and Surge as the sudden shift of water takes
Life Fitness began 40 years ago when they produced the first electronic piece of fitness equipment, the LifeCycle exercise bike. Now they offer over 400 different products used around the world in both commercial and home gyms.
The Life Fitness portfolio includes Mariner outboard engines, Life Fitness Hammer Strength and Cybex fitness equipment, to name just a few. The exercise bike development has continued with the introduction of the Lifecycle GX, biomechanically designed to create an amazing cycling workout. This bike has been built to last and boasts a bold rear flywheel design.
Life Fitness has had a relationship with ICG for the past 5 years as both companies work in the area of indoor cycling and clearly there has been mutual respect. As the Life Fitness President Chris Clawson
If you love running but want to improve your performance don’t just focus on the running. It is crucial that you think about adding strength training into
Treadmills were among the first indoor cardio machines, and remain enduringly popular to this day. One reason treadmills have remained so popular is their versatility.
Rowing machines are excellent for toning muscles throughout your body as they work your legs, hip, back, arms, shoulders and abs. All this whilst providing a cardio workout that burns up to 800 calories per hour.
Always popular and always busy in the gym, the rower is one mean piece of equipment if you know how to use it. The combination of muscle toning and cardio workout is pretty much unique, and one of the reasons that rowing machines are so popular not just in gyms, but also at home. If you only have the space for one piece of equipment, it’s hard to think of anything that will provide more value for your pound, generally easy to store as most of them you can tip up and store against a wall.
If you want to buy your own rowing machine for great cardio workouts in the comfort of your own home, you need to know what to look for. When you start comparing different models, you’ll quickly find that the biggest difference is between those with magnetic resistance (at the lowest end of the price range) and the water or air resistance models, which are more expensive.
This is an area where you get what you pay for. Rowing machines with magnetic resistance are generally less smooth than water/ air resistance models, they are also far less reliable. For anyone who intends to use their rowing machine on a regular