In an effort to stay fit and sane in these difficult times, Americans have become especially innovative when it comes to exercising during the coronavirus pandemic. Quarantines and stay-at-home orders prompted closures at many gyms around the country. Now Americans have turned to new ways to get their blood pumping. Some are building their own at-home studios with Assault Air bikes and life form treadmills. It has led to a massive sales boom and month-long back orders.
Most notably has been an increased popularity of a new style treadmill from Aussie Fitness Pros. It is a curved treadmill that is taking over the CrossFit community. Designed to be used as a part of a High Intensity Interval Training routine. We had a chat with Anthony, who just set up his Aussie Pro Runner, and listened to what he had to say.
“If you would have asked me a year ago if I was willing to spend 5k on my home gym I would have said no way! But with how everything transpired, the mental and physical toll that is at risk, it was a no brainer. I don’t have to drive to the gym, no membership fee, and my wife and teenage son all get to use our new family gym. Compared to the gym we went to, our home gym will pay itself off within 2 years and most of the equipment I purchased could be resold. I do miss being around people and I do feel for the gym owners, but it’s great to never have to wait for a treadmill or weight machine to be open.”
His favorite part of the home gym? The Aussie Pro Runner. He explained while it had a high price tag of $3,500, he had managed to get it on sale for $3,200 and it was a steal of a deal compared to other curved treadmills on the market. I had to admit, it looks pretty cool. And Anthony was kind enough to let me jump on to give it a go. He explained the basics. “Step on, set the resistance at 4 (1 being no resistance, 8 being max resistance on the belt) and just start walking while holding onto the frame.” I was a little confused at first as I expected to have to turn the machine on, but he explained it doesn’t have a motor and is powered by your own motion. I hopped on, started walking, and the machine’s display turned on. After getting used to walking on it I tried level 8 resistance, grabbed the front of the frame, and pushed against it. This is what is described as sled mode. Being a runner myself, I immediately saw why people like this machine. It was great to do a sled push and feel the quads warm up. After a minute I could feel the burn. Now it was time for a speed test. I set the resistance back down to 1, and started jogging. The machine almost feels like it is getting away from you. So it takes a minute to learn how to go at a steady pace. The farther up the machine you go, the faster you go. After 5 minutes I could feel the sweat building so decided to save Anthony the mess of a sweaty new machine.
“I have a series of workouts that I like to do on this machine” Anthony went on. “If I am doing a cardio day, this is my primary workout machine, and I’ll do about 5K worth of intervals.” I’ll warm up with 5 minutes of sled push and dynamic stretching / lounges. Quick stretch. Then I’ll go 15 seconds jog / 15 second sprint / 15 Second Jog / 15 second Sprint. It takes me about 30 minutes to get through the workout, but then I am absolutely drenched. It’s by no means an easy work out as I’ll jog at 9km/h and sprint at 18 km/h. I find it’s best to set goals of speeds to hit for specific durations. This 15 / 15 is just one of the workouts I’ve come across. In the end, for me, it is whatever gets my heart pumping the hardest. I’ll mix in bigger sled days / some sprint day / and just straight casual jog days. The workouts always leave me feeling incredible and without sore joints. If I were to do the same distance on asphalt my knees would be killing me!”
I took Anthony’s word for it, and wasn’t going to sweat up his machine, but he might have just sold me. On my quest to find out how Americans are finding alternatives to going out to the gym, Anthony just might have sold me on this premium machine.
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