Monday motivation: How to get the most out of common gym machines

  • AFP
  • Updated: Aug 08, 2016 09:54 IST
Use these tips on how to maximize the effects of the most common types of gym machine workouts.

In his latest book, Ultimate Family Wellness, celebrity trainer David Kirsch shares his own story of balancing fatherhood with fitness, and gives his expert advice on how to work out and eat well with the whole family.

Read: Weighed down by common gymming myths? We bust some for you

He is well-known for his work with A-list models and actresses such as Heidi Klum, Kate Upton, Liv Tyler, and Anne Hathaway.

Here David shares his advice on how to maximize the effects of the most common types of gym machine workouts.


If you are unable (or unwilling) to run, try walking on the treadmill at an incline. Warm up at 3.0 mph and 2% incline and after a minute, up the speed (if you feel comfortable with it) to 3.5 mph and 5% incline. You will soon build up confidence, stamina, and energy to take it up to 10% and beyond (get ready for a major glutes burn) and vary the speed between 3.5 and 4.0 mph.

Read: 7 things you must stop wearing to the gym

Elliptical machine

Most elliptical machines allow you? to vary both stride length -- the larger the number, the closer you are to simulating running -- and incline to blast your quads, hip flexors, glutes, and hamstrings. Challenge yourself. I also recommend alternating going forward and reverse every few minutes.

Gauntlet (stair climber)

I don’t think any cardio machine elicits more cries of protestation than this one. Here, a little bit goes a long way to delivering an effective sweat and fat burn. Ten to fifteen minutes at level 10, doing a crossover step, facing right, then left on the machine is as challenging and effective as 30 minutes on the elliptical machine.

Read: Did gymming help Katrina Kaif mend broken heart?

Rowing machine

This is still my favorite go-to cardio machine for full-body conditioning. Start at 500-meter intervals, making sure your core is engaged, and press with your legs as you snap with your arms for maximum results. Once you have the form down, increase in 500-meter increments weekly or biweekly.

Versa climber

This machine is not for the faint of heart. For maximum effect and staying power, keep your core engaged and stick out your butt as you climb to exotic places like the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower.

And a five-minute cardio circuit...

This five-minute cardio workout is great for days when you really want to get your blood pumping and is great for those who have already completed a fitness plan and are looking to maintain their results.

1 Rowing machine

Do 250-meter sprints with 30 seconds rest in between each sprint. Work up to three sprints.

2 Treadmill

Do 30-second sprints that push you past your comfort zone. Repeat three times.

3 Jump rope

Perform one minute of high-intensity jumping, then do a 30-second plank. Repeat three times.

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