Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine Review

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine Review

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine Review
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine Review

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine Review

Rowing is a great full-body cardio-vascular exercise that is able to work the major muscle groups such as the legs, arms, abs and back. The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine is an affordable entry-level rowing machine that you may want to consider for your home or apartment.

The Trac Glider 1050 has a small size, which makes it perfect if you have limited space, and is very affordable. It is an entry-level machine and is very basic, but its low price can be especially appealing to someone on a limited budget or who has never used a rowing machine and wants to try one out before committing themselves to a higher priced rower.

Track Glider 1050 Features

The Track Glider 1050 features a steel frame and an aluminum center beam which makes it sturdy enough to support up to 250 pounds, yet it’s still lightweight. The resistance comes from a single gas shock and can be adjusted by a manual control knob. It is the gas shock – rather than air, water or magnetic resistance – that gives the Track Glider 1050 its low price.

Despite the features that keep its price low, the Track Glider 1050 actually performs rather well. The motion of rowing is mimicked rather well by the adjustable cylinder resistance arms and ball-bearing roller system. The arms move outwards and really give the sensation of rowing. It also has a comfortable molded and padded seat.

It has a rather basic multifunction fitness monitor that displays workout time, stroke count, calories burned and accumulated strokes over all your workouts. The monitor will also cycle through all the displays in six-second intervals.

The Track Glider 1050 can be assembled in less than half an hour, has measurements of 70” L x 42” W x when assembled and ready for use and folds for easy storage into a space of 46” L x 26” W x 19” H.

Track Glider 1050 Overview

The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine is very popular on Amazon and can be purchased for less than $150. Its price makes it very affordable and is much less expensive than most rowers. But despite its low price, it’s still a sturdy and reliable rower. It is very basic as it is an entry-level machine. It also has a small footprint and folds for easy storage.

It’s low price makes it great for someone who has never used a rowing machine and wants to test it out before investing a lot of money or someone who’s just on a budget but wants to get in shape.

If you want to do more advanced rowing, then it would be recommended that you invest in a slightly higher model, but overall the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine is a great entry-level rowing machine.

 

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

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The Three Energy Systems

The Three Energy Systems

The Three Energy Systems
The Three Energy Systems

The Three Energy Systems

The first way the body gets ATP is through the phosphagen system, also known as the ATP-CP system, which uses the ATP stored in the muscles to supply that energy. The body can store enough ATP at any one time to allow for around 3 seconds of full powered exertion (a little more or a little less depending on your physical fitness and various other factors), at which point it will need to look elsewhere.

Fortunately breaking the ATP molecules results in some useful bi products – ADP (andenosinediphosphate) and AMP (andenosine monophosphate) with two and one bonded phosphagen molecules respectively. So if you imagine you have three bonded molecules and they break you will understandably be left with a one and a two, or three single molecules. It’s basic maths… The good news is that using a substance called creatine phosphate (hence the CP!) can then recombine these molecules to make them back into ATP ready to be broken once more for extra energy. The body can store enough creatine for roughly 8-10 seconds of continued exertion, meaning that in total the body can use the phosphagen system for around 13 seconds maximum of continued exertion.That is enough to sprint just over 100 metres. It is thought however that through the use of creatine supplements that this maximum time can be increased marginally.

At this point if exertion continues the body needs to get its ATP from somewhere else and this is when it looks to its stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. This represents the shift to what is known as the ‘glycogen lactic acid system’.

This system is a slightly slower and less efficient means of supplying energy, which requires the body to split the glycogen first into glucose and then again into ATP. This unfortunately creates a number of unwanted by-products called metabolites including lactic acid (from which the substance takes its name).This metabolic build-up creates the uncomfortable, mildly painful ‘burning’ sensation we get in our muscles when we push ourselves in the gym. The body can sustain itself using the glycogen lactic acid system for a further one minute and thirty seconds until this build up becomes too much to tolerate. If we continue to try and push ourselves at MHR past this point, it can lead to nausea and even fainting.

It was long believed that lactic acid was actually responsible for this failure and for the burning sensation. However, more recent research has shown us that lactate is not harmful in itself but rather seems to correlate with other factors that fatigue the glycogen lactic acid system. Thus high level athletes can still monitor their build-up of lactate in the blood in order to calculate a ‘lactate inflection point’. With training, it is possible to improve tolerance to metabolites and thus sustain maximum exertion for longer.

Guess what you can use to improve this aspect of your fitness? HIIT!

Both these systems are anaerobic, meaning that for the first one minute and forty-three seconds the body won’t be using oxygen or burning fat.

In order to lose weight then the training must continue past this point and force the body to find its energy elsewhere. This is where the aerobic system comes in, relying on the oxidisation of foodstuffs in our mitochondria. In other words, the body looks to our supplies of glycogen (and so ATP) stored in our cells as fat and then uses the oxygen in our blood to break them down and carry them to our muscles. This is then what leads to fat being burned directly. This forces us to breathe more heavily in order to supply the necessary amount of oxygen and it increase our heartrate further to transport the oxygen to the fat stores and then to bring the energy to our muscles and brain.

The aerobic energy system can actually be used indefinitely and will continue until you completely exhaust all supplies of energy located around the body. During a typical prolonged endurance test, you will find you also breakdown protein for energy and even muscle. This in contrast to high intensity exercises that will use 100% carbohydrates for fuel, purely because they provide the quickest and most accessible source of ATP.

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Cardio Training, Then and Now

Cardio Training, Then and Now

Cardio Training
Cardio Training

Cardio Training

If you want to build muscle, then you need to cause muscle damage and metabolic stress. By lifting weights, you can cause a build-up of damage and this will provide precisely the stimulation you need to trigger muscle growth during rest.

To lose fat, improve your fitness and get better health though, you need to use cardiovascular training.

Cardiovascular training is any type of training that involves exerting yourself for an extended period of time. Very often this will mean running long distances, with jogging being perhaps the most popular form of cardio training. Not far behind though are swimming, cycling, skipping, rowing and others.

Traditionally, this kind of cardiovascular training has been ‘steady state’. That means that you put on your running shoes, you step out of the door and you run for about 40-60 minutes.  It’s steady state because you are maintaining a steady level of exertion throughout the course of the exercise. In this case you are jogging at a set pace and then maintaining that pace.

For a long time, this was thought to be the very best way to burn the maximum number of calories and to improve fitness – and there was good theory behind why this should be the case. Specifically, it was thought that there was an optimal ‘fat burning zone’ and that this could be found at roughly 70% of your maximum heartrate.

This makes sense in theory, seeing as faster than 70% of your MHR would put you past your ‘anaerobic threshold’. In other words, you would be running so fast, that you wouldn’t be able to rely on your aerobic energy system for fuel: you simply couldn’t burn fat quickly enough and so you would be forced to rely on energy stored in your muscles as ATP and glycogen.

It would appear to make sense then, that running at 70% of your MHR and maintaining the maximum pace at which the body burns fat, should result in the maximum weight loss.

But this isn’t what modern research has found.

HIIT stands for ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ and it completely turns this concept on its head. In HIIT you actually alternate between bursts of intense exertion (such as sprinting) and periods of relative low intensity exercise (like jogging or power walking). This way, you are switching from your anaerobic energy system to your aerobic system and back; switching between burning energy stored in your blood and muscles and energy stored as fat.

But what makes this so effective is what happens after the anaerobic training. When you exert yourself maximally by sprinting or exercising otherwise at 100%, you deplete any energy that might have been available from sources other than fat. This then means that following that, your body can only burn fat for energy – there is no other option remaining.

Thus, the you will then burn even more fat during the aerobic portions of the exercise. And when you finish and go home, you will continue to burn fat stores because you’ll still be low on stored glycogen. This is what some people refer to as the ‘after burn effect’ and it means that after an intensive session of HIIT, you can continue to burn more calories for the entire remainder of the day!

More Benefits of HIIT

HIIT is able to burn more calories than steady state cardio then and because you’re exerting yourself more at certain points throughout your training, this means you should also see be finished in a much shorter space of time.

Typically, a HIIT session can last between 10-20 minutes and be just as effective in terms of calories burned as a 40-minute run. For those who have a busy and hectic work schedule then, HIIT training is the ideal solution and allow them to squeeze in a few short minutes of highly effective training to get amazing results!

There are more reasons to get excited about HIIT too.

When looking at any type of training program, what’s always useful to keep in mind is the SAID principle. This means ‘Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands’ – it means that your body changes to adapt to the demands placed on it. If you train at altitude, you become better at training at altitude. If you jog, you become better at jogging.

Thus, HIIT makes you better at high intensity activities – which include sprinting, running, rowing, boxing, wrestling, play fighting, sports, moving furniture and more. These are things we are much more likely to utilize in our daily lives and that makes this a more adaptive and useful form of training. Whereas steady state cardio makes you more effective at ‘long slogs’, HIIT makes you explosive and athletic.

And this also creates a number of other great advantages too. For instance, HIIT has been shown to help improve the efficiency and number of mitochondria. Mitochondria are tiny ‘energy factories’ that live inside all of our cells and have the critical role of creating and utilizing ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This is the most fundamental form of energy in the human body and it’s what fuels all our movements as well as all our thoughts. More mitochondria means greater energy efficiency. That means yet more athletic performance and even more brain power. Your brain cells have mitochondria too!

Ever wondered why little kids seem to run in circles all day without getting tired while older generations get exhausted from getting up to turn the TV on? One of the big reasons for this discrepancy is the difference in the number and efficiency of mitochondria.

This also improves your ‘VO2 max’, which is the amount of oxygen you are capable of using. The greater your VO2 max, the more efficient you become at oxygenating your body. This is one of the biggest indicators of physical fitness and one of the things that athletes are encouraged to focus on in their training.

But perhaps best of all is that the kind of explosive movement used in HIIT will invariably engage your ‘fast twitch muscle fiber’. These are the muscle fibers that contain more mitochondria and that are responsible for delivering rapid power. They’re also the biggest type of muscle fibers and the ones that will make you look like a bodybuilder.

If you engage in steady state cardio, then you can risk converting your fast twitch muscle fiber into slow twitch fiber. Why? Because you are placing high energy demands on your body over a long duration – and thus your body will want to move the ratio toward the most efficient form of muscle fiber. What’s more, is that you create a highly catabolic environment that in short starves your body of fuel and forces it to break down both fat and muscle.

This is why most long-distance runners also happen to be stick thin.

But when you engage your fast twitch muscle fibers, you show your body that you need explosiveness and you shorten the length of the catabolic period. This in turn means that you don’t risk breaking down muscle tissue in the same way, allowing you to create a physique that is hard, ripped and powerful. Women can expect toned definition, while men can expect rippling vascularity and striations.

That’s why, as we stated earlier, this is the preferred weight loss strategy of cover models and celebrities.

So let’s recap: this is a form of training that is:

  • Quicker than conventional steady state cardio
  • Able to burn a much greater number of calories in a shorter time
  • Able to create an ‘afterburn effect’ for increased metabolism throughout the day
  • Effective in increasing energy levels by improving the number of mitochondria
  • Effective in protecting muscle against deterioration for a leaner, harder physique
  • Excellent for your all-round health

Oh and did we mention that it’s also highly versatile and practical and can be performed anywhere?

Yep, that’s pretty much why people love HIIT. Let’s introduce it into your routine, shall we?

Just before we do that though, let’s take a closer look at the science. Boring I know – but it will be crucial in helping you to really understand what you’re doing, rather than just following a routine blindly!

Read more about HIIT here: HIIT – high intensity interval training

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Why Does Exercise Feel Bad?

Why Does Exercise Feel Bad?

Exercise
Exercise

Why Does Exercise Feel Bad?

A lot of people will try and tell you that exercise will feel really good. Normally these are people with something to sell but they can also include friends and colleagues who seem to have an unhealthy love of exercise and want to recommend it to everyone that they meet.

The rest of us know different. When you first start trying to exercise on a regular basis it is far from fun. Sure, there might be some ‘runners’ high’ effect, but most of us have never lasted long enough to encounter it. Instead, we get the feeling of sickness, the ‘burn’, muscle cramp and more.

Why does this happen?

The Burn

Let’s look at the ‘burn’ sensation first. Often you will hear bodybuilders talking about this sensation as though it were magical and highly desirable. Some even go as far as to say it’s highly pleasurable (*cough* Arnie *cough*). Whether or not that is true is somewhat debatable but where exactly does it come from?

Specifically, the burn is caused by the build-up of metabolites in the muscles. This is partly the result of blood and oxygen being pumped into the muscles to provide fuel and nutrients. The more you use your muscle, the more this build-up occurs. Simultaneously, the contraction of the muscle also ‘traps’ the blood in that area, causing it to pool.

Meanwhile, by-products are created as a result of the glycogen lactic acid system. All this can eventually result in a painful sensation that some people believe is a key indicator that you have done enough to trigger growth.

Sickness

The other thing you’ll notice and particularly when taking part in cardio workouts (HIIT even moreso) is that you start to feel somewhat sick. This is again due to the build-up of metabolites and lactate, this time in the bloodstream.

It is thought that the body responds to this increased lactate by feeling sick and that this might even be a signal that the body uses to force you to reduce the intensity of your workouts. Lactate is only really created during very intensive training sessions and as such, it is most likely to occur when you push yourself. Eventually this leads to the ‘lactate inflection point’ which is the most lactate you can manage in your bloodstream. When that happens, you’re ready to slow down and return to an aerobic state.

DOMS

DOMS stands for ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ and is the pain you get the next day following intense training. Again, there is some debate over what precisely causes DOMS but it’s generally agreed that it has to do with ‘microtears in the muscle’. That is to say that making small tears in the muscle fiber not only trigger subsequent repair and thus growth but also cause discomfort as essentially these are very minor injuries!

Regular Old Pain…

And of course workouts can also just hurt. When you’re curling weights, you’ll find that you rub the skin on your hands painfully. When you’re jogging, you’ll jolt your joints and also your feet inside your shoes…

Training hurts… But the more you do it, the less it will start to hurt!

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Top Exercises to Use With HIIT

Top Exercises to Use With HIIT

Top Exercises
Top Exercises

Top Exercises

HIIT is high intensity interval training. By now, most of us will know what this term means and be familiar with how to go about using it. Simply put, it means that you are going to be alternating between periods of high intensity (normally at around 90-100% of your MHR) and periods of relatively low intensity and recovery (at around 70% of your MHR).

What this does, is to deplete your stores of glycogen and ATP, so that the only way your body can get the energy it needs to carry on with the low intensity training is to burn fat. You thus burn more fat both during the workouts and also continuously after the workout has finished!

But HIIT doesn’t just have to mean running. Actually, there are a number of different exercises you can use in order to burn more fat and build more muscle and these work perfectly when combined with a HIIT workout. Here are some great examples:

Kettlebell Swings

The kettlebell swing is an exercise that involves swinging a kettlebell up in the air and then letting it fall back down again. The momentum generated by this allows you to continuously exert yourself and ultimately, it’s a great way to provide a cardio challenge that burns fat while at the same time challenging and building up your muscles as well.

This is the perfect example of ‘concurrent training’ and will not only burn more fat but also tone and build muscle and generally help you to see amazing results.

Pull Ups

Pull ups are very well suited to HIIT, as long as you can perform enough of them with good technique. When you start to tire, you can always try to use a bit more momentum, at which point they become ‘kipping pull ups’ like those taught in CrossFit classes.

High Knees

If you can’t get outside to run, then another way to burn a lot of calories with a similar motion is to perform high knees. Stand on the spot, hold your hands up high and then run so that your knees hit your hands.

Tuck Jumps

Jump up in the air and then hug your knees in toward your chest each time you reach the apex of your jump.

Jack in the Box

Here, you squat down into a huddled position and then jump straight up in the air and kick your hands and arms out like a starfish. This not only challenges your legs to deliver a lot of explosive power but also involves your entire body in the movement!

Clapping Push Ups

HIIT works best when you involve your fast twitch muscle fiber. Fortunately, clapping push ups are a type of exercise that do exactly that thanks to their plyometric nature. These are much harder and more ballistic than regular press ups and can be used to burn through calories as a result.

Other CV

Of course running is just one example of a CV workout. Just as good is rowing, swimming, bike… Try them all and see what works best for you!

I also have an ebook on this topic here: HIIT – high intensity interval training

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