Week 2: The Life of a Treadmill

I’d be lying if I said my body didn’t hurt. It seems like every day I wake up a new muscle in my body is sore. This week I focused my time on cardio and more particularly the treadmill. The reason I started with the treadmill is because it is my comfort zone. As I have mentioned previously, when I did find myself using the gym my go to was running on the treadmill because it seemed to be something I couldn’t “fail” at. To contradict what I just said, I am going to share a somewhat humorous, utterly embarrassing story of my first experience using the treadmill this week. I jumped on the treadmill, put my water bottle in the holder, found the spot to plug my earphones into and then attempted to turn the treadmill on. To give you some background information, this treadmill is completely new as the gym just opened a few months ago. It had a screen on the front that was black. I looked around the edges of the screen, tried attaching the safety clip to my waistband, got off the treadmill and walked to the front to see if there was a button I was missing. At this point I was already sweating from embarrassment. I could have gone home. Turns out, all I had to do was touch the black screen for the settings to be displayed. I won’t be making that mistake again.

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You might be thinking, “what is there to learn about the treadmill besides the obvious of turning it on?” Let me tell you, there is a lot to be learned. If you simply want to walk or run on the treadmill you can choose your speed and incline. For the first day I figured turning the treadmill on was an accomplishment in itself so I stuck to running for forty minutes, changing the incline every five minutes. Needless to say, I was tired at the end. However, the rest of my week I focused on learning the various programs that the treadmill offers.

I focused some of my time on the advanced settings trying the customizable program and the preset profiles. Pictured below is the screen on the treadmill. As you can see, you can choose between five different programs.

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Pictured here is the goal driven setting. I would say this is the simplest setting to choose from in regards to the set up. You have the choice between the amount of time you want to be on the treadmill, how many calories you wish to burn, or how far you want to run. I have read on many different blogs that the distance setting is recommended for marathon training.

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Below is pictures of the settings I chose when I tested the customizable profile.

Here is a summary of what I learned about the advanced programming:

  • I set my effort level to 8 thinking that it would be somewhat challenging. However; the program barely had me jogging so I found myself increasing the sped with each phase.
  • I found the programs to change the speed so often that it was difficult to get a steady momentum (although maybe that was the challenge of the program…).
  • I found the preset programs to be difficult to understand. For example, I did not know if the target of programs I was selecting were focused on endurance, speed, incline, sprints, etc.

Personally, after learning about the programmed exercises on the treadmill, I have learned that I prefer to control my own settings. I found that I was having manage the settings myself throughout the workouts anyways because they were either not challenging enough or they were too challenging that I would have flew right off the back of the treadmill.

After a few days of trying the programs on the treadmill, I found this website that explains various 30 minutes treadmill workouts.

I tried the interval workout and the endurance workout from this Men’s Fitness site and discovered that I preferred this as opposed to the preset programs because it still gave me the foundation of the workout, but allowed me to use my own settings. Who knew there was more to a treadmill than just turning it on? The trick is to experiment and find out what works for you. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

Next week I will be focusing my time on learning some new cardio exercises including spin (indoor cycling), and high intensity interval workouts.

 

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4 thoughts on “Week 2: The Life of a Treadmill

  1. Hey Ryan!
    My name is Matt McCreary, I enjoyed hearing your story on exploring the complexities of the treadmill. I havn’t taken the time myself to really see what all can be done for workout settings on the cardio equipment at the gym i workout in (university of regina). but just the other day I was finishing up a back workout and i thought hey why don’t I try the rowing machine out. it gave me options of different workouts like 500m interval or 1000m interval just row and fish game. so obviously I selected fish game. it was a riot basically your this medium sized fish on the screen and he/she moves up and down on the screen the faster and slower you row and you have to avoid the sharks and eat the other fish. i had a blast and didn’t realise how tired and beat I felt when the 4 min time interval was up and my score was calculated. i recommend this activity if you’re interested in something that’ll have you out of breath from a mix of working out a mix of laughing. Keep up the good work and have fun!

    • Thanks for the reply Matt. I am actually going to be learning about the rowing machine in the next few weeks so I appreciate the feedback and will definitely try the fish game out! Did you find that it was a lower body workout as well as a cardio workout?

      • Sorry this took so long to get back to you! hope the fitness is going well!
        I thought rowing would actually be more of a back workout then a lower body but I can sure see how it can work the legs well too.

  2. Pingback: A Week in the Life at the Gym | Ryan's Blog

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