Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Thorotread: More Bang for Your Workout Buck

This is going to sort of be one big ad, but I feel compelled to share my experience on my newest, most favorite piece of cardio equipment.

I'm hardly a physical-fitness freak -- a freak perhaps, but physical fitness has little to do with it -- but not only have I been a member of a gym for more than 25 years, I've actually been pretty religious about going.

In the beginning, I was interested in losing weight and improving my cardio health. I eventually decided that if I was going to workout nearly every day, I should do some strength training, too.

But my focus has always been on cardio. I used to do about 60 minutes a day; but as the years have eased by, that timeframe has steadily shrunk to about 40 minutes.

Because I find that I'm growing lazier as I get older, I want to get the most out of the time I do spend in the gym. That's where the Thorotread comes in.

Until about eight weeks ago, the machine that I thought gave me my most bang for my workout buck was the Stepmill. It's that thing that operates like an escalator in reverse. The steps travel down as the poor fool -- in this case: me -- climbs up. I nearly ran into the parking lot and did the happy-boy dance when the Anytime Fitness I belong to brought one in about two years ago.

But my workout life changed dramatically two months ago when a Thorotread found its way into the lineup of cardio machines. There is nothing glamorous about it. In fact, I avoided it for about 10 days because it looked like nothing more than another treadmill. It wasn't until a Thorotread rep showed up one day and convinced me to give it a try. He walked me through a few moves on it; I was hooked.

It combines the properties of a typical treadmill with a sliding handlebar that features adjustable amounts of resistance. You can push or pull against the resistance.

Here's the thing: I burn about twice the calories on the Thorotread in the same amount of time on the Stepmill. A 40-minute session on the Stepmill at the level I work at burns roughly 350 to 400 calories. The same workout on the Thorotread burns 750 to 800 calories!

Let's see…carry the one …yep, that's about twice as many calories.

I'm still getting over a bout with bronchitis and have been limiting my workouts. Today was my first day doing something close to my usual routine. Even not working full out, I still managed to burn 750 calories in 40 minutes.

I love that machine. If they have one at your gym and you haven't given it a shot, dally no longer.

It may not be the greatest invention since the cotton gin, but it's damn close.

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