Why Did Cardio High Select Manual Gear?
Why did we pick the gear we use at Cardio High?
Dr S states:
Because “Unicorns are not for page 27. They are for eternity.” -Jasper Fforde
In other words, movement and exercise isn’t a phase, ideally it’s a lifelong endeavor. Cardio High works to embody that belief in many ways. This explains why Mark researched and thoughtfully selected ergonomic, fun, self-pace-able exercise machines and equipment: to optimize joy and choice in exertion from class to class, and uses equipment and treads/bikes that allow the body to move in the way it is designed to. This minimizes injury and allows the client to move the way they do in real life. Enjoyment, self-monitoring and minimizing injury all allow joyful movement to persist beyond page 27, or January 8th, and instead become a durable, valued part of ones life.
Mark adds the details:
We wanted gear that could safely raise the heart rate and help promote the training style of “go at your own pace.” We realized right away that going all out for some people means doing a speed walk, while for others it’s a fast sprint for 30 seconds. We visited dozens of gyms and boutique studios and attended fitness conventions to try as much of the gear on the market as we could.
Woodway Manual Curve Treadmills. We selected manual treadmills because they allow clients to start moving quickly right away without pushing any buttons. We also wanted clients to control their speed instead of setting a machine at a certain speed. The Curve shape allows clients to run with a more natural running style than a flat treadmill. Why a treadmill? We like to focus on natural movements, and walking and running are two basic natural movement patterns.
Fan Bikes. We selected fan bikes because they raise the heart rate quickly, and most clients are familiar with cycling. The moving arms add an upper body challenge for those who want upper body with their machine \-based cardio. These bikes also have no buttons to push, and clients can sit up and ride vs. riding while hunched over.
Tubing. We use resistance tubes attached to our walls because they are excellent for a variety of exercises such as rowing, pushing, rotations and half a dozen iso-metric holds (activating a muscle group under tension without moving joints).
Pull-up Bars. We primarily use the pull-up bars as a way to hang long bands for clients to grab and pull down so they can run in place with little impact. This is a great warm-up exercise prior to running. We also use the bars as regular pull-up bars.
Suspension. We use a system called VS that’s similar to TRX. We primarily use these for rows and pushups.
We also have a variety of strength training and core gear that you will see at any HIIT studio: weights, stability balls, Bosu balls, plyo boxes and aerobic steps, clubs for swings and resistance bands. We believe in using weights for strength and endurance by aiming for 15-25 reps in each we do.
Obstacle Course. We like to set up obstacle runs using plyo boxes, aerobic steps, a ballet barre and stairs. The obstacles force people to use a natural, trail running style.
Heart Rate Monitors. We use heart rate monitors and display client heart rates on a large TV screen, so they can their intensity level in real time. This type of feedback helps the coaches explain what it means to train at high levels of intensity.
What’s a good piece of gear we passed? We looked at water-based rowers. They’re a great piece of equipment for some people, but our PT consultants told us they often lead to shoulder and back injuries. We also found that they do not drive heart rate as high as the bikes and treadmills. We also considered the Versa Climber which is used by some professional athletes during their max intensity workouts. It’s great for raising heart rate, but it can be tough for people with shoulder limitations, and it can be awkward to learn and master.