It’s easy to cheat on most cardio machines to make the motion more effortless, but you’re only kidding yourself by doing so as the calorie burn will be much lower. For those who put the work into their cardio protocol and want the most bang for their buck, here are some commonly used cardio machines and their efficiency at calorie burning.
Note…these calories can differ based on the weight of the individual.
Stationary Upright Bike
500–1000 calories per hour
Aim for a pace of at least 70-80 rpm at a resistance level that has you breathing hard.
600–1200 calories per hour
Jog: Running at a steady pace will burn significant calories if you choose a pace that is challenging for you.
Incline Walking: Don’t make the mistake of holding onto the railings as this takes weight off of your legs and negates the benefits of the incline. Also mix up your incline gradients through the workout instead of just walking on a flat the whole time.
(Uphill running can burn 800 to 1,400 calories an hour)
Bursts of max effort then periods of moderate recovery is the best way to burn calories and hugely stimulate your fat burning hormones. Incline sprinting burns an even greater amount of calories too.
600–800 calories per hour
The calorie-burn on these machines are very unreliable. It’s important on elliptical machines to choose a high resistance to stop using momentum only. Aim for higher resistance over fast pace on these.
800–1400 calories per hour
We don’t mean the stepper here, those things really don’t give you the same bang for your buck. Stair climbing is hard, taxing and a fantastic calorie burner. Like the treadmill, holding the railings and supporting your weight with your arms will destroy the calorie-burnin. Go hard for shorter periods of time on this for a crazy burn, or if you go for longer times, keep them hands off the railings!
Bonus Cardio Tips:
- Don’t do HiiT training every day, let your central nervous system recover from it. 2–4 times per week is best.
- Excessive weekly cardio can eat into lean muscle and slow metabolic rate, especially if you’re not consuming enough calories, so balance your cardio with weight training days for best results.
- DO COMBO-CARDIO. Start your workout with high intensity intervals (HiiT), take a break or go do your weight training, then finish with some low-intensity, steady state cardio. This method is amazing for fat loss.
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