Exercise machines are perfect for getting your cardio in quickly and effectively. But it can be hard to choose which machine is actually the best. They're all going to give you a good workout, but if you really want to go all out and burn fat fast, take a look at our analysis.
Best: The Rowing Machine
At first, this a very confusing machine. You're awkward, uncomfortable and things just don't work right.
Once you do get it, though, it's the best one to use. You work your muscles as well as get great cardio, so it's the best machine for some serious fat torching. Try sets of medium resistance rowing with a bit of rest in between. You'll give the muscles a rest, but without letting your heart rate drop.
Ideal Workout: 10-minute sets of medium resistance rowing, combined with two to three minutes of rest between.
Great: The Elliptical
The elliptical machine is much easier on your joints than the treadmill, though there's always the temptation to take it too easy. Make sure to keep your heart rate up by walking faster, and really push with your hands as you use the Cross Trainer.
Ideal Workout: Increase the resistance and incline slightly. Do 90-second sets at full speed, followed by three minutes of a stately pace.
Great: The Stationary Bike
If there's one machine that could tempt you to be lazy, it's this one. It's hard to set it just right, and it's too easy to just pedal slowly and drag out that workout.
Instead, it's time to push your legs and lungs like there's a car chasing you! Push hard for a few minutes, and give yourself a break between each set. You'll feel like a champ and you'll blast that fat in no time. Pedal standing up to really burn fat, as it will engage your legs--the largest muscle group.
Ideal Workout: three minutes of fast-paced cycling, two minutes of a slow pace. Repeat for 30 minutes.
Good: The Treadmill
Everyone runs, jogs, or walks on the treadmill, but could they be doing it wrong?
Probably. The treadmill is the most versatile when it comes to speed, but there's always the temptation to walk instead of run. Instead of doing slow jogging, it's time to push yourself hard on the treadmill if you're serious about fat burning.
Ideal Workout: 20 minutes of combined four-minute slow paced walking/jogging with one minute of sprinting.
Who doesn't hate this machine? It's the Sisyphus of all exercise machines, but it can be a great workout as well.
Ideally, you should go slow, with an a increased the resistance--you'll spend more time in the fat-burning zone. If you can put up with the endless monotony of climbing stairs, it's great for torching fat thanks to the awesome leg workout it gives you.
Ideal Workout: Turn the resistance way up, and drop your climbing speed.
Want to Burn a Ton of Calories? Stand Up!
Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.