Bowflex Max Alternatives

Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer

The Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer is an elliptical that combines a 10 inch vertical stride with a 5 inch horizontal stride for a vertical climbing motion – very similar to what you get with the Max Trainer.

It also gives you upper body arms for whole body training and takes up half the space as a regular elliptical. Plus it comes with a few things you don’t get with the Bowflex trainer – like the option for iFit LIVE (which adds more workouts to your trainer including several HIIT workouts and lets you track your workouts over time).

You also get a built-in console fan to keep you cool and 24 levels of resistance (which is slightly more than the Max Elliptical).

Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer Pro

This is a step up from the Cardio HIIT Trainer above, and my favorite option of all. It combines the same design of the Cardio HIIT Trainer – along with a full color console and built-in, touch screen web browser.

So you can surf the net as you workout, read the latest business news or watch YouTube videos for fun.

It gives you more levels of resistance than the HIIT trainer – so there’s more room to grow as well. There’s also a heavier flywheel for added stability.

Plus it’s actually a few hundred less than the premium Max Trainer model. So it’s a great value.

Sole SC200 Stepper

This is another combo stepper-elliptical traner with upper body arm bars for a whole body workout.

It’s a bit simpler than the HIIT Trainer or the Bowflex Max with a scaled down console and a few less resistance levels than the HIIT trainer.

But it does come with several built-in workouts and a hand grip heart rate monitor to stay in your target fat-burning zone. You also get wheels on the bottom of the stepper to move it to anywhere in your home easily.

Burning Chest Fat

The problem many guys who wish to lose their chest fat by exercising have is that weight training and regular aerobic routines are repeptetive and boring, and so are difficult to stick to for a long time. But there are more forms of exercising. You can also try incorporating sports games into your shcedule, provided they are the sort which work the upper body efficiently.

Which sports are best suited to burn off as much chest fat as possible?

  • Tennis – Tennis isn’t only a great cardio game which involves a lot of sprinting, it also works the upper body each time you swing your arms to hit the ball over the net. A good match of tennis will burn off a lot of energy and work the upper body, including your chest area.
  • Squash – Similarly to tennis, though the swing is usually shorter, squash also works your upper body as well as getting you into a huge sweat in a matter of minutes. Playing squash is far from boring and is an effective way to burn pectoral fat.
  • Racketball – Another great game which sends your heart beat racing and your upper body into motion.

Each of these games can be played easily and without any major training. Each of them provides a great way to kickstart your burning chest fat process.

Types of Back Exercises

There is lots of recommended work out routines on the internet and in fitness magazines, but somewhat few of them offer a safe workout. There are some problems linked with working the back specifically that it consists of many different muscle groups that are not intended to work individually. Because of this, heavy lifting can hurt your back if all your muscles are not working together as it should be. Nevertheless, a work out falls into two groups, a work out that help with agony, and a work out that strengthens and tones the larger muscles in your back.

To strengthen and tone your back muscles, there are several varieties of exercising that you can do. There are lots of lifts you can do for your back that do not need any weights, for example push-ups, pull-ups, and dips. These workout routines build up your back muscles since these lifts force your body to support itself, causing many different muscle groups to flex. On the other hand, push-ps, pull-ups, and dips focus mostly on working your arms and do not strengthen your back as fast. For purposely working your back muscles, lifts that involve you to pull something towards your body, either from in front of you or above, will give you the fastest results. The majority of workout routines that purposely target the back have the need of a work out machine.

If you want a more toned look, there are lots of things you can do. The work out that tone your back can be done in your house, such as push-ups, and even pull-ups and dips. Your back will become toned from these work out routines, for the reason that they compel your back muscles to work together to steady your weight through a variety of natural movements. Even though these work out routines do tone your back, you will see more direct results in your arms, because they have much more pressure on them. If you go to the gym, work out routines that make you pull towards your self generally work your back the most.

If you want to improve the overall look of your back with a more defined look, there is a range of work out routines you can do either at home, or at the gym. A work out routines you can do at home consist of push-ups, pull-ups and dips.

A lot of people have weak back muscles or have injured their back and question if a work out for their back can help them feel better. Fortunately, if done correctly, there are work out routines for the distress in your back. If you have lower back pain, an ab work out will aid provide your lower back muscles with the strength and tone to support your weight. Start by lying on your back and tightening your stomach, hold this position for a few seconds and repeat. If you have relentless problems, you may need to roll up a towel and put it under your back for extra support.

Vibration Training

Current Research

However, the data is very inconsistent largely due to the variety of vibration application methods such as vibrating platforms, vibrating dumbbells, and targeted vibration equipment. Additionally the protocols followed during vibration training such as resting vibration, static exercise with vibration and dynamic exercise with vibration also make conclusions difficult to draw. Researchers at London South Bank University have published a paper in a peer-reviewed journal demonstrating that during and subsequent to a single set of leg extension exercise with vibration (Vibrex, Exoscience Ltd.) at 35% of 1-repetition maximum (1-RM), subjects responded in a similar manner to the responses observed subsequent to the subject performing a single set of leg extension at 70% 1-RM without vibration (Mileva et al., 2006). The training studies are not finished yet but this result suggests that lowering the exercise intensity (weight lifted) and adding a vibration stimulus could lead to similar benefits as high intensity resistance training. It is still very early days for vibration research and application but the important principle appears to be reducing the stimulus quantity and increasing the stimulus quality. For these reasons we would always recommend that someone interested in using vibration for training, especially at the elite level, consults qualified practitioners as part of a training programme such as the Human Performance Centre at London South Bank University.

How it Works

So what is it about vibration training that could potentially lead to the benefits described above? Well probably the easiest way to think about vibration training is to remember when you have been to the doctors and the doctor has performed the knee tendon tap causing your lower leg to jump up. This response is called a stretch reflex. The stretching of the muscle or tendon is sensed by receptors and sends a very fast signal to the spinal cord which responds by causing a very strong muscular contraction, and if this tendon tap is superimposed on a maximal voluntary contraction, extra force can be produced. Now imagine doing this knee tap 20-30 times a second whilst performing exercise. This could lead to greater levels of muscular activation than voluntary contractions alone. Certainly we have seen shifts in muscle recruitment patterns towards greater activation of fast powerful muscle fibers than in normal non vibrated contractions, leading to the suggestion that combining training with vibration could lead to a greater training stimulus and therefore greater performance gains. In fact researchers have estimated the amount of work done from the g-forces involved and have estimated that a massive amount of work would need to be done to match the levels of g-forces involved (Bosco et al., 2000). The current methods of vibration delivery do have their limitations. The most common method of vibration training is that of vibrating platforms that the user performs exercises on. These devices have been used often in research but the results produced, although offering potential, are not consistent. Around 30% of people can’t use these devices as they can cause nausea, and if used incorrectly can cause the vibration to be sent straight up the spine to the base of the skull (as I found out one day when I was left dizzy and an aching head!).

Targeted Vibration Training

For these reasons we prefer the idea of targeted vibration directly to the exercising muscle ensuring a more specific training stimulus and eliminating any of the unpleasant side effects. Also targeted vibration training has been shown to lead to strength development 3x greater than conventional strength training (Issurin et al., 1994). In our lab the targeted vibration system we developed (Vibrex) was tested on small groups of people and 1 lady could lift 70Kg 1 time before training, and after training 3x per week for 5 weeks with Vibrex she lifted 125Kg 17 times which is a remarkable improvement. This study was presented at the Physiological Society meeting. We also believe that there was increased bone formation to match this strength improvement.

Breathing Vibration Training

We have recently released a targeted vibration device for the respiratory system called youbreathe (www.youbreathe.com) which causes the airflow into and out of the lungs to be pulsatile stimulating the stretch reflex of the respiratory muscles. Results look very exciting with 15% improvement in performance after just 10 breaths (Sumners et al., 2007). youbreathe is currently being used by elite cyclists, triathletes, footballers and rugby players who all report perceptible benefits for their sports performance. More trials are under way with plans to continue clinical trials with the aim of reducing symptoms of cardio-respiratory disease such as cystic fibrosis, coronary heart disease, asthma and COPD.

Group Exercise

The Pros

  • Group training can provide an awesome atmosphere. Training with other people, especially for multiple sessions, can provide a terrific sense of camaraderie and make a terrific support network. I can’t write enough about the importance of a support group in helping you achieve your fitness goals. I usually advocate setting up a group among your family and friends, but a group fitness class has one already built in! It’s usually non-competitive and you’re all pushing and groaning through the same things. Take a look at shows like The Biggest Loser and Celebrity Fit Club. Even when the competitors are in direct contention they still band together and cheer each other on.

Accountability and adherence are often a lot better in the group training atmosphere than in one-on-one training and especially over non-supported training. People make excuses to themselves or their trainer, but who wants to miss a session of hanging out with their friends?

  • It can be more cost-effective. There are a few levels of financial involvement in fitness, and as the costs go up, so does the support. The cheapest is just joining a gym, buying a book, or investing the time to poke around online. This is usually the method with the highest risk of failure.

Next on the list is the boot camps and group training. Usually this is less expensive than one-on-one training, although it opens you up to the cons below. You still get some attention, guidance, and observations, as well as the other pros I’m listing.

At the financial top (other than risky surgeries) is one-on-one training. You sacrifice the pros of group training to sidestep the cons.

  • You get more eyes on you. This can sometimes be good and bad, actually. Usually in a group there are a couple of veterans who are familiar with the techniques utilized by the trainer. These vets are often happy to share their experience and help out new members. The only issue can come when the veterans and the trainer aren’t on the same page!

The Cons

  • Well, it’s group fitness so there is going to be less one-on-one attention. If there’s only one trainer and fifteen students in the class then the trainer’s attention will obviously be limited. A good instructor should be able to run an efficient class with quite a few members, though. Martial arts classes have had this format, quite successfully, for a very long time. Fitness is no different in this regard.
  • It can be hard to separate fitness levels in a group fitness class. Many classes are set up for beginners or advanced athletes, but even among these groups there can be broad variations in fitness levels. Some degree of self-motivation is required for true success in a group fitness environment. If you’re the fastest person in your class, make sure you’re really moving at your best speed, not just slightly faster than number two. On the flip side, if you’re the one behind then keep on pushing, you’ll get there.
  • Scheduling isn’t just on you; it’s for the best overall fit. The class has to be scheduled so that the most people can attend, not just you. So if you have an unusual schedule it can be hard to consistently find a group. In this way one-on-one training definitely has the advantage as you just have to schedule directly with your trainer.

Group exercise is catching on and I’m a big fan. It’s going to bring more people into the guided exercise world, which will greatly enhance their chances of fitness success. If you’ve never tried a boot camp or group training session before, give them a shot. Find a club team sport or join a martial arts class. I think you’ll be surprised with the workout you get and how much fun you have. It’s a far cry from the old aerobics classes that you’re used to.

Benefits Of Arc Trainer

  • Less join stress – Using this equipment is an efficient way of getting your heart rate up in low-impact environment. It is designed to allow user to experience a complete range of motion for the hip and knee, without the need to place undue stress on the joints. As compared to other low-impact machines, the toe moves behind the knee, and this can increase the stress on the knee joint. Based on most manufacturers, the patented stride technology will move the legs in a biomechanically correct pathway.
  • Efficient calorie burning – Calorie expenditure has been proven to be higher on the arc trainer as opposed to motion trainer and elliptical in a 30-minute workout session. It was emphasized that exercising in this fitness equipment would result in the greatest reduction of body weight in just a short period of time.
  • Enhanced muscle engagement – This fitness equipment will come with a wide range of variable resistance and incline. Also, it has longer arm features as compared to other low-impact machines. Be aware that higher inclines will emulate a stepping motion as well as target the quadriceps muscles in your upper thighs. On the other hand, lower inclines with increased resistance are sure to target and tone the butt muscles. And the longer arm features will allow you to get a harder upper body workout whilst maintaining proper wrist alignment.
  • Program variety – It comes with 9 custom workouts and 8 present programs. One program stimulates a series of hills. Moreover, this exercise machine offers 3 different exercise zones. Apart from the variety of workout programs, this offers various grip options. Hence, you can keep your hands on 2 different grip features on the arms or perhaps in the side rails for more stability.

Most Effective Ab Exercises

The Bicycle Ab Exercise

Primarily targeting the six pack area, the rectus abdominis, and the waist, the obliques, the bicycle exercise is known to be the most effective of ab exercises. It is successfully accomplished by first, lying face up on the floor, with one’s hands behind his/her head, followed by bringing the knees towards one’s chest, lifting the shoulder blades off the ground. After that, straightening the left leg while twisting one’s upper body to let the left elbow to meet with the right knee follows. Doing this continuously, while switching sides from left to right, for twelve to sixteen repetitions, completes the bicycle exercise.

The Captain’s Chair Ab Exercise

Being the second most effective ab exercise, the Captain’s Chair basically still focuses on the rectus abdominis and the obliques area of a body. Equipment for the Captain’s Chair exercise is commonly found in most gyms and health clubs. To successfully do the exercise, one must first stand on a chair and hold handhold areas for stability. Pressing one’s back against a flat surface, the exerciser must then lift his/her legs, allowing the knees to reach the exerciser’s chest. Doing this without arching one’s back would complete the ab exercise.

Exercise Ball Ab Crunch

A multifunctional exercise equipment, the exercise ball is an excellent aid when it comes to ab exercises. Being the top third ab exercise, an exercise ball ab crunch focuses on the rectus abdominis. Lying face up with the ball supporting one’s lower back would be the first step in successfully accomplishing the exercise ball ab crunch. Crossing one’s arms over one’s chest, or placing them behind one’s head, follows. The third step would then involve the exerciser to lift his/her torso from the ball, keeping the ball stable, without rolling. With one’s lower back down, one’s abs would get a healthy stretch, completing the exercise.

Vertical Leg Abdominal Crunch

Somewhat similar to the bicycle ab exercises, the vertical leg abdominal crunch starts with the exerciser lying face up on the floor, extending his/her legs up, with his/her knees crossed. With the exerciser reaching his/her chest towards his/her feet, while keeping the legs in a fixed position, completes the ab exercise.