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Treadmill, elliptical, or stairclimber? What is the best machine to use at the gym? There are so many options for achieving aerobic fitness in gyms these days. Each option has their own positives and negatives, but the most important question is what machine will get you in the best shape?
There have been a number of studies on this very question. One of the most interesting studies is from 2005, which attempted to compare the fitness provided by these three machines.
In the study, twenty-four females were broken into three groups of eight. Each group worked out on a treadmill, elliptical, or stairclimber for three times a week for a period of 12 weeks.
The main finding of the study was that each machine provided almost identical physiological improvements. Each similarly increased VO2max (aerobic capacity), decreased body weight, and increased lung function.
It is important to note that the study was carefully designed to ensure that the participants’ heart rate was similar on each machine. In other words, if your heart rate is not as fast on the elliptical compared with the treadmill, these results might be different.
Therefore, do not be overly concerned with the machine that you choose at the gym, but make sure that give good effort to get your heart rate up.
Photos courtesy of Local Fitness