Exercise, is very much like “riding a bike” even if you don’t ride for a length of time our muscles retain the knowledge of how to go through the routine of peddling.

Free Weight versus Machine Resistance

Continuing with our bike analogy, and comparing it to our workouts regarding fitness. I will not try and delude you; for the average person, training in a gym will get them fitter, faster because the sole focus is on your cardio fitness.

Similarly, training on a stationary bike will get your heart rate up consistently with effort. However translating this fitness into everyday life will be a challenge. Let’s look at this in more detail.

Indoor cycling and machine resistance.

A study by the American Council On Exercise (ACE) observed that a typical cycling class could keep your heart rate at around 75 to 95 percent of your maximum, that is a band 8 to 9 on our scale.

The peer pressure of cycling classmates and the motivation of an instructor goes a long way to keeping you driven.

The muscle focus on a stationary bike is on the hamstring muscles, because of the “fly-wheel” effect the bike is helping you spin the wheels faster. This translates to fewer overall calories burned because less muscles are used – but it feels like you have worked like the devil’s own!

Using  gym machines the muscle groups are isolated and the stabilizer muscles are supported; therefore the intensity appears to be great because of the pinpoint focus.

Our workouts always engage the trunk stabilizers first. Therefore the intensity of your workout can only ever be as strong as your core muscles or your ability to hold the posture.

Our focus is finding your weakest link and focusing on building strength and stability where you need it, the result is an overall improvement in fitness and strength, but sometimes its not as obvious as the gym version of fitness.

Outdoor cycling and free weight workouts

In our class, there is the potential to easily get your heart rate as high and higher as those in a cycling or gym class. But it does require all the lifestyle factors to come together in perfect formation, for example, getting enough sleep, having the right breakfast, and dealing with general life stresses.

Comparing our program to outdoor cycling; initially we will have a hard time reaching indoor cycling fitness because pedaling fast enough while balancing the bike, navigating, and not having the motivation of a crowd and an instructor is difficult because it requires more than working with the strength of your hamstrings to push the peddles.

Outdoor cycling uses your core muscles to stabilize the bike, then your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, shins and calves, not to mention the upper body, arms, and shoulders to move the bike!

However with outdoor cycling your muscular fitness will likely be higher if you don’t spend all of your time “cruising”  because you must engage so much more of your body and mind, and by default use more energy.

Our workouts are built on these principles, if you use your body to move, your fitness and strength is forced to improve given your ability to intensify the workout.

You are in control of regenerating your strength and vitality by giving it all you have in the short time we have together.

We are all looking for life balance, and it is a function of learning or relearning a very simple skill – human movement!
Live well with fitness!


Square Box Fitness
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