Jul 03

BowFlex Tread Climber…?


BowFlex Tread Climber…?

                So I was sitting on the couch with my laptop the other day working frivolously on my Master’s Thesis crunching numbers for statistical analysis and reviewing literature. As I went over my notes and all the data that I had collected, my fiancé was next to me watching TV. I pretty much phased out any distractions except her voice… until I heard something that kind of pissed me off.

                My attention toward my Thesis work was averted toward a commercial on TV. I turned my attention toward a commercial in which a relatively fit and attractive looking lady said that she lost 30 lbs. in 6 months. Pretty good huh? I thought so as well. Then I saw an older gentleman say he lost 60lbs. in 6 months. Whoa! You can do that?

                After looking at their amazing progress by these 2 individuals’ weight loss goals, they finally revealed their secret: the BowFlex Tread Climber. They said their lives were forever changed by the Tread Climber, or whatever the hell it’s called. Then they stated that all they needed to do was spend 30 minutes on the Tread Climber. That’s all it took! So… the Kinesiologist in me kicked in and I thought about writing this article.

                Now, don’t get me wrong, 30 minutes of exercise a day will get you some good results. But there is no way in hell that the “Almighty Tread Climber” is the only activity they did to lose weight! For example, let’s run through why the Tread Climber is NOT the only way to lose weight:

1. In the ad for the almighty Tread Climber, they lacked a description of what type of intensity, mode and duration of exercise. You can’t just hop on this thing and expect to utilize specific energy systems and burn calories in an efficient manner without a plan. Example: 30 minutes of walking where your heart rate doesn’t surpass 50% of your maximum heart rate won’t get you much.

2. Losing weight doesn’t only mean exercise! In order to lose weight and obtain more lean body mass, you need to regulate your lifestyle and diet!  You cannot expect to gain lean body mass and burn fat if you don’t watch what you eat!

3. You have to lift some weights. Just doing cardiovascular exercise and solely cardio, can affect your fat burning metabolism, if your heart rate becomes too high, an increase in cortisol can occur, a stress hormone which triggers fat storage.

The above listed subjects make it seem like the Tread Climber can really suck. At the same time it doesn’t. It can be a great tool to lose weight. The commercial sucks! The message is that is being relayed to the public is misleading. The commercial was like 5 minutes long, saying the same misleading crap over and over again. This is where I want to help everyone out and let them know that there is more to burning fat then just 30 minutes on the Tread Climber.

Here are some great suggestions on healthy nutrition habits and exercise modalities that you can ADD to a 30 minute Tread Climber routine:

1. This is #1 for a reason: Get your healthy eating habits down. There is no way you are going to lose SIGNIFICANT body fat without healthy food intake. Educate yourself on the 3 important macronutrients: Fat, Carbs, and Protein. Make sure you consume an equal amount each meal correlating with how your body needs. Consume 5-7 meals a day of smaller calorie portions as opposed to 2-3 meals a day of larger portions.

2. Perform some movement preparation exercises before you devote some time to getting on the Tread Climber or any other cardio machine (i.e. treadmill, elliptical, rower). This will not only prepare your body for exercise and reduce injury, but performing movement prep. techniques will buffer your muscles, blood flow and heart rate to where you can burn more fat throughout your cardio routine.

3. Do resistance training. Lift some weights. Muscles are amazing things. They use fat as a fuel source to make themselves bigger. It’s a really cool thing the body does. When your skeletal muscles are exercising through moderate-to-heavy resistance, muscles are using fat not only to help the body move, but also as fuel source to repair muscle and make them structurally bigger and stronger during your recovery period after you work out. Building muscle= death of fat. Die fat, Die!

4. KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. Nothing personal, no one here is stupid. But really, one of the easiest ways to have success is to have a simple yet extremely effective game plan. Have a simple routine down that you repeat 2-3 times a week to start. Make sure your exercise routine is something you can handle! That way you won’t get bored or burnt out! Significant weight loss cannot happen unless you put the time in!

5. Get your sleep. Sleep is so important it’s not even funny. Your body goes through so much stress throughout the day. As we discussed earlier, stress leads to fat storage due to increases in stress hormones. Stress hormones can be great DURING exercise because they will make you work out harder and you will burn more calories (i.e. adrenaline and epinephrine). But when stress hormones are increased at a resting state, your body wants to store fat! What better way to get rid of stress then being in dream land? Make sure you get 8 hours of sleep a night. It works miracles in weight loss. I can go on and on about the benefits of sleep, but let’s just focus on the fact that it reduces stress, balance out hormones in the body and will give you a happier lifestyle.

So, to wrap this up… the Tread Climber is good. It’s probably an awesome piece of equipment that can be paired with the other 5 subjects I listed about that will get people to their weight loss goals. However, the main point of this article is that 30 minutes a day of sitting on a single piece of cardio equipment isn’t enough. The commercial is blowing smoke up people’s ass by saying that it is. There is more to losing weight than just 30 minutes on the Tread Climber. The spokes person on the commercial did not get to look the way they did by just 30 minutes on the Tread Climber, more than likely they focused on the 5 recommendations I listed above, which is what everyone can do that is reading this article.

There’s more than meets the eye on these fitness commercials. While there are great products that can help people, there are not any cookie cutter solutions. Make sure to hit your health and fitness goals from all angles when investing your time in working out. Keep it simple everyone, and keep it real.