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  1. #1
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    Please recommend low cost treadmill for obese users

    Hello,

    The thread title pretty much says it all. I was working out quite a bit about two years ago, and became a member of this site for information and inspiration. Then, as usual, I went completely off track and gained everything back.

    Well, I have recently had a major life change and have decided that it's time to get back on track again. I am thinking that the best way to get started up again would be to get a treadmill. Start out with some cardio, just to get going, then add in weights as I gain a bit more endurance (and get the money to afford to buy some).

    I know there are going to be a lot of people who want to say "join a gym" but I did that before, and while I did good there, I have since moved away and I always wished that I had started building my own home gym.

    Anyway, I am not 100% sure of where my weight is at the moment, but I think I am somewhere between 325-340lbs. I am looking for recommendations for picking out a treadmill that would be good for a large user. Obviously, I am not going to be running marathons on the thing to begin with. I am talking more about speed walking/light jogging until I get my weight down, and improve my cardiovascular health some more.

    I have been looking around on some websites and cannot seem to find much information about what treadmills are the best.

    I did run across Pro-Form treadmills, and they seem to be a fairly good buy for the specs indicated.

    Here is the one I am considering
    http://www.proform.com/webapp/wcs/st...2_29509_168459

    It's rated to a 325 lb. weight capacity and has a 3.0 CHP motor. It's priced at $1000.00.

    At the moment, $1k is a lot of money for me to come up with, so I am thinking of selling off some of my HT gear and blu-rays to fund the purchase. I love my HT and movies, but I want a better quality of life, and that would be a way to get started.

    What do you think? Good buy or bad idea?

    Any thoughts, tips, recommendations, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Registered User KBKB's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about the treadmill that you linked.

    One consideration, however, is the beating that your joints will take when using a treadmill. Consider expanding your search to include rowing machines and elliptical machines too. Either type of machine will allow you to work out harder without as much impact.

    Consider barbell complexes and kettlebell workouts too.

    (I've been doing kettlebell swing workouts. They're easy on the joints, but aerobically demanding. And, compared to the cost of a treadmill, kettlebells are inexpensive and do not require a lot of space.)
    Last edited by KBKB; 02-23-2012 at 05:08 AM.
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    I agree with KBKB as far as considering ellipticals and rowing machines for the joints. As far as the equipment, taking your weight, goes whether it's a treadmill or elliptical, realize that the weight on those machines are truly maximum and you'll be stressing them out with your weight. If you buy one, make sure to get an extended full warranty. You'd be better off looking for used, reconditioned, health club models in that price range as they are much heavier duty. The other option, if you are stuck on a treadmill type of training is to go outside for your jog or walk (since Spring is coming) until you get your weight below 300 lbs., then I would still buy a model rated at 350. I have done what you are going to do, so this is from personal experience.

    Good luck in your endeavours.
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    At your weight, I wouldn't buy a treadmill. That one is rated at 325lbs. If you are over that you are going to break it. A cheaper treadmill will break sooner than that $1000 one. Walk in place at home, or walk outside, at a park, in a mall, etc. At your weight you just need to start doing some activity every day and watch what you eat.
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    Try the keyword "cheap treadmill" on google, or you can even buy good running shoe and start walking, and good luck for your fat loss program
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    You are probably going to start your program by just walking and it is going to take an long effort to slim down. So you will not be hammering long runs on an undersized treadmill. Best advice I can give is buy some running shoes and start a daily walking program, either at a local track, around your neighborhood or at a local 24hr fitness fitness joint. Dropping a lot of cash on a treadmill should wait until you are certain that you have established a long-term committment to the task ahead.

    Good luck. It is not hard once you get started.
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    I agree with the other posters who suggested walking outdoors to start. The other thing that I would also suggest would be to do some basic exercises with weights. If nothing else, it would be good to pick up a set of dumbbells at Walmart and start exercising with them. They usually have some kind of set available that has a pair of handles and enough weight to make two 20 lb DB's. You can start doing some basic movements with them. I lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago just doing some basic movements ("bench press" lying on the floor, overhead press, bicep curls, squats) with light weights. I worked out for about 45 minutes every other day with 20 lb DB's, and I usually did 3 sets of 15-20 reps for each exercise. I could barely squeeze out a set of 10 curls when I started this, but I worked up to 15-20 reps quickly. This will help to speed up your metabolism, build a little muscle, and would be a good addition to your basic plan of cardio (walking) and diet. I hope this helps!
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    Diet will take you a long way and there are a lot of different things you can do to lose weight, but you came here asking about a treadmill soooo....

    If I were you I would try to save up or scour Craigslist for a S77 Sole Treadmill. Non-folders are almost always going to be more robust (even though this is essentially the same thing as an F85, minus the additional cost for it to fold) and this model in particular has a 400lb weight capacity. It carries a great warranty (Residential Warranty: All service is performed In-Home,Parts / Electronics: 5 Years,Frame / Deck/ Motor: Lifetime,Labor: 2 Years) and if you wear it out it will only mean you are accomplishing your goal if getting healthier.

    Best of luck
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    I don't know anything about the treadmill that you linked.

    One consideration, however, is the beating that your joints will take when using a treadmill. Consider expanding your search to include rowing machines and elliptical machines too. Either type of machine will allow you to work out harder without as much impact.

    Consider barbell complexes and kettlebell workouts too.

    (I've been doing kettlebell swing workouts. They're easy on the joints, but aerobically demanding. And, compared to the cost of a treadmill, kettlebells are inexpensive and do not require a lot of space.)
    I agree.

    Honestly, I have a ProForm treadmill at the house and it's pretty solid. Now, you probably would be fine at 350lbs on it....but not sure about how long that would last.
    Honestly, like someone else said as well...hold off on the treadmill for now. Get out and just walk. Pick up a kettlebell that's moderate weight for you. Youtube some kettlebell workouts or Barbell Complexes like KBKB said...

    Really, at this point cutting back your calories (and eating quality food), and just moving more than you normally do will be great strides in the right direction.
    Check out Fitday.com. Great food journal and breaks out macros as well (how much protein, carbs, fats you're eating).

    Congrats for being dedicated enough to let all the HT and Blu-rays go and opting for a better life....seriously, that's big, man
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    That Sole treadmill looks nice indeed, but at almost double the cost of the Pro-Form...

    Right now, coming up with a grand is going to be chore, nearly $2k would be impossible.
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  11. #11
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    I'd stay away from walking outdoors on hard surfaces. To those of you <200 lbs telling him to start walking outdoors try strapping on a 150lb weighted vest and go for a walk every day on hard pavement and see how long your joints last. Pretty soon you're talking about bone grinding on bone. You really want something that has some give or shock absorbency to it while you're walking. Treadmills are good for this as are ellipticals. Walking in a pool also works wonders. I have a Vision treadmill and I believe that the deck is rated at either 350 or 400lbs. I've had the electronics board on it replaced while under warranty and have heard other people on here that are in fitness retail speak negatively on Vision so I may not recommend it. But don't go with cheap treadmills. I've heard good things from Sole. Another thing to consider would be a recumbent bike. These are easier on the tailbone/back and the seats are generally wider and more comfortable. It's also non impact.
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    Originally Posted by painted_klown View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    That Sole treadmill looks nice indeed, but at almost double the cost of the Pro-Form...

    Right now, coming up with a grand is going to be chore, nearly $2k would be impossible.
    I would hold off on the treadmill purchase if I were you.

    I was out of the groove for a while the past several months or so due to a back injury and changes in work and stress levels and as a result I packed on a few lbs. About a month and a half ago I decided that perhaps I should take a different approach to things and decided to detox a bit as my eating habits had gone to sh!t also. I have been amazed at the results of simply changing my diet and doing about 20 minutes of light cardio a day, usually in the form of a post dinner stroll with the wife. I've lost 20lbs of lard in about 6 weeks and my back is starting to feel a better. I had considered incorporating jogging/ running to aid in the weight loss, but found that at my weight, my knees and ankles were having trouble with the load. Instead I picked up a used Spin bike and went back to my tried and true Airdyne to add variety to things. I've recently gone back to lifting since my back is feeling better and my plan is to continue to lose more weight to the point where I can take advantage of the high school track that is 2 blocks away and start jogging/running pain free.

    I suggest also considering either an used Airdyne or Spin bike along with some changes to your diet before you drop $1k on a treadmill that may not workout for a guy your size.

    Also, don't wait on making a decision before you start implentating some lifestyle modifications. There is no time like the present. Good luck.
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  13. #13
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    With your situation and money being an issue, why can't/don't you walk outside? If you have a gf or wife they can go with you, or take your kid if you have one. Then you're doing something healthy while bonding with someone else.
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    Originally Posted by thedickus View Post
    I'd stay away from walking outdoors on hard surfaces. To those of you <200 lbs telling him to start walking outdoors try strapping on a 150lb weighted vest and go for a walk every day on hard pavement and see how long your joints last. Pretty soon you're talking about bone grinding on bone. You really want something that has some give or shock absorbency to it while you're walking.
    Unless he lives in the city, there should be an easement next to the street sidewalk so he can avoid impact.

    I understand what you're saying, and you give some nice alternatives (pool walking)...but like I said, unless he lives in an area that has zero easement, a grass walk way shouldn't be too far, I would think.
    Unless he really wants to spend the money on a treadmill or elliptical that meets his needs, he's going to have to be a little creative.
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    Originally Posted by painted_klown View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    That Sole treadmill looks nice indeed, but at almost double the cost of the Pro-Form...

    Right now, coming up with a grand is going to be chore, nearly $2k would be impossible.
    Too bad you do not live near Pittsburgh. This treadmill has a 600lb capacity!!!

    http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/spo/2826189805.html
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    Originally Posted by thedickus View Post
    I'd stay away from walking outdoors on hard surfaces. To those of you <200 lbs telling him to start walking outdoors try strapping on a 150lb weighted vest and go for a walk every day on hard pavement and see how long your joints last. Pretty soon you're talking about bone grinding on bone. You really want something that has some give or shock absorbency to it while you're walking. Treadmills are good for this as are ellipticals. Walking in a pool also works wonders. I have a Vision treadmill and I believe that the deck is rated at either 350 or 400lbs. I've had the electronics board on it replaced while under warranty and have heard other people on here that are in fitness retail speak negatively on Vision so I may not recommend it. But don't go with cheap treadmills. I've heard good things from Sole. Another thing to consider would be a recumbent bike. These are easier on the tailbone/back and the seats are generally wider and more comfortable. It's also non impact.
    I'm 250lb and walk all the time on pavement - one of my favorites is a 8.5 mile loop. Lately I have been wearing a 20lb weight vest on top of it. No problems thus far. When I ran I would get knee pain after a 7 mile run, but even that was alleviated with proper shoes.

    Besides he should be able to find a park or or track nearby with a softer surface if it is a problem.
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    Originally Posted by Cleveland33 View Post
    I'm 250lb and walk all the time on pavement - one of my favorites is a 8.5 mile loop. Lately I have been wearing a 20lb weight vest on top of it. No problems thus far. When I ran I would get knee pain after a 7 mile run, but even that was alleviated with proper shoes.

    Besides he should be able to find a park or or track nearby with a softer surface if it is a problem.
    He's 5'10 and you're 6'3". He's got about 5lbs per every inch. If you had 5lbs per every inch you'd need to weigh 365lbs to experience what he does, and not just for periods of time when you walk, but all the time, walking everywhere. So instead of a 20lb weighted vest you'll need a 115lb vest. Live with that everyday of your life for the next several years then tell me how your knees are doing. Training the morbidly obese is a different animal.

    My bad, you'd need to weight 375lbs so make that a 125lb weighted vest you'd need to live in.
    Last edited by thedickus; 02-23-2012 at 12:15 PM. Reason: correcting my math
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    Yes, but your previous post suggested guys <200lbs should strap on a 115lb vest to see what they're joints would feel like. It doesn't have to be a consistent ratio.

    On top of that, are joints are resilient if we take care of them, rest would be his best bet. He's not gonna start out with a 4 mile walk on day one, but build up resilience.

    Subway Jared lost all that weight partially because of the diet, but mostly because he walked twice a day to and from the Subway that was 2 miles from his house and his joints held up enough to get him through a marathon years later.
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    I went from 275 to 240 in 6 months just by doing a 3.5 mile trail at a local state park 4-5 days/week. Had to join a gym as the days got longer because the close half an hour after sunset and have dropped another 10lbs since. But I'm just waiting for the time I can go back to the park. Most of the people you meet along the way are friendly (except cyclists). Friend of mine went from 330 to 270 on the same trail before he got lazy and gained it all back.
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    Originally Posted by Cleveland33 View Post
    Yes, but your previous post suggested guys <200lbs should strap on a 115lb vest to see what they're joints would feel like. It doesn't have to be a consistent ratio.

    On top of that, are joints are resilient if we take care of them, rest would be his best bet. He's not gonna start out with a 4 mile walk on day one, but build up resilience.

    Subway Jared lost all that weight partially because of the diet, but mostly because he walked twice a day to and from the Subway that was 2 miles from his house and his joints held up enough to get him through a marathon years later.
    My point was to walk a mile in a morbidly obese person's shoes, one must be morbidly obese as a lifestyle, not just for the time it takes to take a walk around the park. So yes there does need to be some type of consistent ratio to put your body weight above a 40% BMI (this person's is above 50). Years of wear and tear on joints add up under obesity, not to mention a myriad of other health issues. The man needs to be under a doctors care and I'm sure most would have them do low impact type of aerobics coupled with the obvious necessary dietary changes. I'm not sure how many morbidly obese people you've trained before but it takes a different approach. Most don't get to go to the Biggest Loser ranch and receive constant medical care and workout under doctors supervision.

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    Originally Posted by Cleveland33 View Post
    Yes, but your previous post suggested guys <200lbs should strap on a 115lb vest to see what they're joints would feel like. It doesn't have to be a consistent ratio.

    On top of that, are joints are resilient if we take care of them, rest would be his best bet. He's not gonna start out with a 4 mile walk on day one, but build up resilience.

    Subway Jared lost all that weight partially because of the diet, but mostly because he walked twice a day to and from the Subway that was 2 miles from his house and his joints held up enough to get him through a marathon years later.
    I agree, walking is by far the best for him, I was in his exact situation, there are trails all over the place and money spent on good walking, not running, shoes would be a better investment than a treadmill at this time.
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    Again I understand what you're saying but I think four out of five doctors would agree that if his options are go walk outside or wait several months before he can afford a treadmill they'd say get up and walk. The damage done to joints from walking will be nothing compared to the damage the obesity is doing to all other body systems during that timeframe. If he eases into it and rests as needed he'll be fine. A much thinner runner could easily put more force/damage to joints because of the increased impact of running but those skinny bastards keep on going for years. Our bodies are designed for the movement and can adapt.
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    Originally Posted by Cleveland33 View Post
    Again I understand what you're saying but I think four out of five doctors would agree that if his options are go walk outside or wait several months before he can afford a treadmill they'd say get up and walk. The damage done to joints from walking will be nothing compared to the damage the obesity is doing to all other body systems during that timeframe. If he eases into it and rests as needed he'll be fine. A much thinner runner could easily put more force/damage to joints because of the increased impact of running but those skinny bastards keep on going for years. Our bodies are designed for the movement and can adapt.
    I agree he should be moving now. I recommended a treadmill, elliptical, recumbent bike, or even walking in a swimming pool. A recumbent bike could probably be purchased new for the least amount if Craigs List isn't great in his area.
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    Basically, to sum up the thread in a sentence and not beat around the bush:

    For someone so morbidly obese, $1000 is not enough to get anything suitable for long term use, sorry.

    Honestly I would be looking at a more expensive treadmill for almost anyone. Treadmills tend to be one of the priciest pieces of equipment out there.

    As for alternatives, they are many and you can choose what you want to do for exercise. Most anything you can do will help.

    The key though is a quality whole food diet. If I didn't have a lot of spare cash and was trying to think of the best place to put what I did have to help with your current situation I would put it into upgradig the quality of food I was eating.
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    Wow! A lot of responses in here.

    I appreciate the help and advice all, seriously, I really do.

    I have thought about the outdoor walking idea, but I live in Iowa, and right now we are in the middle of winter. To be 100% honest, it has been a rather mild winter, but as of right now, we have snow coming down like there's no tomorrow.

    During the summertime, finding a place to walk outside will not be difficult. I recently (a few weeks ago) moved to Des Moines (the states capitol) from a VERY small rural town in southern Iowa. Anyway, there is a lake about 3-5 miles from me that has walking/biking trails all around it. I am looking forward to that this summer, but for right now I want to get a "jump start" on my cardio.

    Thanks for the honest answers, but in light of the information provided me here, I see that a treadmill may not be the way to go with a limited budget, and my needs.

    Is there another route I could take to get started?

    I see ellipticals and recumbent bikes mentioned, but I find that a good elliptical is just about as expensive as a treadmill. What about a recumbent bike? Anything special I should look for? Are there low cost ones available?

    I know...Google is my friend...I will do some looking for info to see if I stumble across anything and post back here for advice, if any of you would so kind as to assist me further.

    Thanks again all.
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    Bro just start walking...I know its da winter where you be at, but can you walk around the Walmart or shopping mall? Some malls have walking clubs seriously, you can walk around when the stores are closed, like early in the morning.

    Dont spend all your money on a treadmill.

    Id get a used Air Dyne, its like bike where arms and legs both move. Used around 100 bucks or so.

    What you do ever, just start - even stand in one place and do leg raises, or press with light dbs, anything to get some motion.

    Also I am not a medical doctor, but I fool you not, try to drink lots of water with lemon in it (I use Realemon), like 1 gallon a day, and a large amount in the morning first thing....it really helps bro and super easy to do, best wishes bro.
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    Originally Posted by painted_klown View Post
    Wow! A lot of responses in here.

    I appreciate the help and advice all, seriously, I really do.

    I have thought about the outdoor walking idea, but I live in Iowa, and right now we are in the middle of winter. To be 100% honest, it has been a rather mild winter, but as of right now, we have snow coming down like there's no tomorrow.

    During the summertime, finding a place to walk outside will not be difficult. I recently (a few weeks ago) moved to Des Moines (the states capitol) from a VERY small rural town in southern Iowa. Anyway, there is a lake about 3-5 miles from me that has walking/biking trails all around it. I am looking forward to that this summer, but for right now I want to get a "jump start" on my cardio.

    Thanks for the honest answers, but in light of the information provided me here, I see that a treadmill may not be the way to go with a limited budget, and my needs.

    Is there another route I could take to get started?

    I see ellipticals and recumbent bikes mentioned, but I find that a good elliptical is just about as expensive as a treadmill. What about a recumbent bike? Anything special I should look for? Are there low cost ones available?

    I know...Google is my friend...I will do some looking for info to see if I stumble across anything and post back here for advice, if any of you would so kind as to assist me further.

    Thanks again all.
    My problem with bikes, ellipticals, and the such is that the machine doesn't set a pace you have to match. With a treadmill or stepper you have to "keep up" pushing you to greater gains.

    I would save your money and get a treadmill as soon as you can afford it. There is no greater investment you can make than that regarding your health. In the meantime if you can find a local pool that would be great. My wife has had a back surgery and she finds that getting her cardio in the pool is easier on her.

    As far as your diet you might want to try eating your largest meals earlier in the day and making them smaller as the day progresses. Also, make sure to get healthy snacks "think almonds" in between to keep your metabolism churning.
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    Originally Posted by painted_klown View Post
    Wow! A lot of responses in here.

    I appreciate the help and advice all, seriously, I really do.

    I have thought about the outdoor walking idea, but I live in Iowa, and right now we are in the middle of winter. To be 100% honest, it has been a rather mild winter, but as of right now, we have snow coming down like there's no tomorrow.

    During the summertime, finding a place to walk outside will not be difficult. I recently (a few weeks ago) moved to Des Moines (the states capitol) from a VERY small rural town in southern Iowa. Anyway, there is a lake about 3-5 miles from me that has walking/biking trails all around it. I am looking forward to that this summer, but for right now I want to get a "jump start" on my cardio.

    Thanks for the honest answers, but in light of the information provided me here, I see that a treadmill may not be the way to go with a limited budget, and my needs.

    Is there another route I could take to get started?

    I see ellipticals and recumbent bikes mentioned, but I find that a good elliptical is just about as expensive as a treadmill. What about a recumbent bike? Anything special I should look for? Are there low cost ones available?

    I know...Google is my friend...I will do some looking for info to see if I stumble across anything and post back here for advice, if any of you would so kind as to assist me further.

    Thanks again all.
    As far as recumbent bikes go I have owned a Vision Fitness recumbent bike and never had an issue with it. I ended up giving it to my mom when she was having foot issues and needed to do cardio but couldn't put much stress on her heel. I don't remember the model number but it looked like this model: http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CJUBEPMCMAQ
    It wasn't terribly expensive. I like the recumbent bikes because it takes pressure off the groin/tailbone area as opposed to an upright bike. Which is nice especially for longer duration cardio sessions. Plus it makes it easier to read which helps pass the time when doing cardio sessions. You can adjust tension on these as well. Of course you can't get out of the saddle to simulate going up hill but you can still get in a good cardio session.
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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by copiouskris View Post
    My problem with bikes, ellipticals, and the such is that the machine doesn't set a pace you have to match. With a treadmill or stepper you have to "keep up" pushing you to greater gains.
    This never bothered me. I used to run outside for many years and would pretty much set a pace based on how I felt. I'd almost always time myself, so I knew what my performance was at the end of the run.

    On the bikes and elliptical machines that I used to use, I'd set a program which I'd try to follow. Most machines will tell you your pedal rpm (or steps per minute). I'd set a goal for myself and try not to fall below that. (On a bike, I'd try to maintain a cadence of 80-100 rpm.) I remember too on some of the elliptical machines that I used to use, there was a call/min and total calories readout. While I doubt that it was accurate, it nevertheless provided a performance measurement. I'd try to hit a certain calories burned figure within for the hour that I'd spend on the machine.

    Anyway, my point is that you can monitor your performance on the machine and adjust your pace accordingly.
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  30. #30
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    You could try these ads in the area and see if you can possibly score a good deal. These should all be decent commercial units, the goal would be to talk the seller down to a price you are comfortable with:

    http://desmoines.craigslist.org/bar/2860999895.html

    http://desmoines.craigslist.org/spo/2825693946.html

    http://desmoines.craigslist.org/spo/2832588510.html

    http://desmoines.craigslist.org/spo/2867353942.html

    If you want to get started right away I think that bike could be a great solution, even though I think it is worth closer to $150.
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