Training Tips for the Bowflex TreadClimber

By Kathryn Vera

Bowflex TreadClimbers are a combination exercise machine, that feature both treadmill and stair-stepping capabilities. Following certain training tips can help you get the most "bang for your buck" when it comes to the use of this machine.

Start with a Check-Up

Before starting an exercise program, Bowflex encourages all individuals to talk with their healthcare provider, and ensure that they are healthy enough for physical activity. Be sure to tell your doctor exactly what type of exercise you are planning. Depending on your age and health history, the Bowflex TreadClimber may not be right for you -- in fact, those who are pregnant or have a heart condition may experience serious injury or even death as a result of using the machine. Individuals who have chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness or other concerning symptoms while using the Bowflex should stop exercising and seek medical attention immediately.

Bowflex TreadClimber Fitness Tests

Choosing the proper intensity range during exercise not only ensures that you are getting an effective workout, but can also be crucial when it comes to maintaining safety. To determine what intensity range is right for you, establishing your fitness level is a must. Fortunately, the Bowflex TreadClimber provides a number of built-in exercise tests that can help you determine if you have a beginning, intermediate, or advanced fitness level.

For the first test, set the Bowflex to the treadclimber setting at 0.7 mph, or 0.5 if you have the TC1000. Make sure that the machine is set to the easiest workout setting, based on your weight. Slowly increase the speed to 2.0 mph over a 30-second time period. Stay at this speed for 15 seconds, then exit the machine by stepping on the side foot support platforms.

In the second test, repeat the process described in the first test, but change the Bowflex to the treadmill setting. And for the third test change the Bowflex to the stair-stepper setting, and once again repeat the process described in the first test.

Interpreting Bowflex TreadClimber Test Results

After completing each test, exercisers should determine how hard the exercise was, using an intensity scale ranging from one to 10, with one being "sluggish, heart rate not raised," and 10 being "maximal effort, could collapse if pace continued." After averaging the results of the three tests together, individuals who rated the exercise between one and three are considered to have an advanced fitness level. Similarly, those who rated the exercise as between four and seven have an intermediate fitness level, and those who rated the exercise as between eight and 10 have a beginning fitness level.

Training Regimen for Beginning Exercisers

An introductory training program can be helpful for those who are new to the Bowflex TreadClimber. Beginning exercisers should start by using the treadmill workout at 2 mph for 30 minutes, three times a week, for one week. During week two, beginning exercisers should use the treadclimber setting for 30 minutes, three times. In week three, beginners should exercise for two days at a steady pace for 30 minutes, and one additional day in an interval training mode for 30 minutes. Finally, beginning exercisers should perform 30 minutes of interval training two times in the fourth week, and one day of steady pace exercise for 30 minutes. Exercisers may then progress as they deem appropriate, based on their specific fitness goals.

Training Regimen for Intermediate Exercisers

The recommendations for intermediate exercisers vary substantially from those starting at a beginning level. In fact, intermediate exercisers are encouraged to exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week on treadclimber mode, during the first week. During week two, move to a workout that features two days of steady pace for 30 minutes, and one day of interval training for 30 minutes. As with beginning exercisers, those who have an intermediate fitness level should now progress their exercise routine as they deem appropriate.

Training Regimen for Advanced Exercisers

Advanced exercisers may familiarize themselves with the Bowflex TreadClimber by performing two days of interval training for 30 minutes, and one day of steady pace exercise for 30 minutes, during the first week of use. Those who have an advanced fitness level can move on to a variety of exercise settings, based on their individuals goals.

Long-Term Goals

Be sure to set appropriate long-term goals when using the Bowflex TreadClimber. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise each week to improve health and prevent disease. Depending on your fitness level, you may not be able to start with 150 minutes of exercise each week, right off the bat. Consider starting with shorter time periods -- such as 90 minutes -- and gradually increasing as your fitness level improves.

References

About the Author

Kathryn Vera holds a master's degree in exercise physiology, as well as licensure as a Registered Dietitian. Currently, she works as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist in Cardiac Rehabilitation, where she provides care to patients living with chronic heart disease.

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