Exercise is basically judged on effectiveness. Just what makes any exercise of any benefit? The simple answer is it's intensity. All of this can be summed up in one question, are you working hard enough? I can, for instance, take a light stroll around the park and claim I am getting a good cardiovascular workout in. This may or may not be true depending on your current health status. However, if the intensity of this activity falls below the threshold that truly makes me break a sweat, I am not deriving maximal benefit from it. Suffice it to say that a self-pedaling piece of exercise equipment would rob the activity of its intensity. Having a self pedaling device of any type in a gym is analogous to having an entire pharmacy stocked with placebos. It may very well be that a self pedaling device may be of benefit, if you have an inordinate amount of faith.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Does it pedal for you?
There are a multitude of things that a formal college education does not prepare you for. For example, you are never taught how to field an absurd question. As an Exercise Physiologist and personal trainer, I find that I am forced to answer a myriad of fitness questions. Some of these questions, are in fact, well thought out. Others not so much. While working at the local gym, I was asked to orient a new member to the Elliptical machine. While explaining the various functions and benefits of this particular mode of exercise the individual looks at me and asks, "Does it pedal for you?" Simply stated, the answer is no. I politely explained that there was no self-pedaling option on this particular model but that some of the more advanced models do ;). This particular feature although, interesting from a conceptual stand point, nullifies one of the cornerstone fundamentals of exercise as we know it.