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GYM

Will the Bicycle Machine Work Out Your Abs?

The bicycle maneuver is one of the most effective ab exercises you can do. The American Council on Exercise found it trains the front of your abs an astounding 248 percent more and your side ab muscles 290 percent more than the classic crunch.

However, jumping on the bicycle machine at your gym is a completely different activity. Pedaling away on this stationary bike does build cardiovascular fitness and burn calories to help with weight management, but it doesn’t directly train your ab muscles like sit-ups, crunches, planks or the bicycle maneuver.

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Benefits of the Bicycle Machine

The indoor cycle offers a quality workout by raising your heart rate and training your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. As a result, you burn calories, which helps you manage your weight or drop fat, so that abs you develop with targeted exercises pop.

Cycling indoors means you can work out regardless of the weather, and may even multi-task by watching your favorite show or reading while exercising. For people who are more than 50 pounds overweight or who have joint issues, the bicycle machine offers a way to work hard without putting undue stress on the spine, knees, hips or ankles.

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GYM

A WH Fitness Face Off

In one corner: Dumbbells. In the other: A jump rope. The ref: WH, slicing and dicing the research to determine whether strength or cardio rules.

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Passat or Prius?
Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods? And when it comes to getting the body you want: strength training or cardio? Back when you carpooled in Ma’s minivan, men went to the weight room and women hit Jazzercise. But recently, taking a cue from athletes, many fitness gurus insist that strength training is where it’s at. Some even suggest ditching cardio altogether.

To KO fat — and keep it off…

Cardio’s edge Calorie for calorie, cardio has a slight advantage. You’ll burn 8 to 10 calories a minute hoisting weights, compared with 10 to 12 calories a minute running or cycling, says Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., director of research at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Strength’s edge Lifting weights gives you a metabolic spike for an hour after a workout because your body is trying hard to help your muscles recover. That means you’ll fry an additional 25 percent of the calories you just scorched during your strength session, Westcott says. “So if you burned 200 calories lifting weights, it’s really closer to 250 overall.” And if you lift heavier weights or rest no more than 30 seconds between sets, you can annihilate even more.

To resolve the strength vs. cardio conundrum, we culled research and chatted up experts to find out how each would fare in a head-to-head matchup (don’t worry, nobody’s going to bite anyone’s ear off). Whether you want to get buff, torch calories, or run your fastest mile ever, we’ve decoded which discipline you should devote your sweat to — and created a workout that’s perfectly proportioned to give you all the benefits. Now, let’s get ready to rumble…

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HIIT Treadmill Workouts: Improve Your Running & Burn Fat

Do you want to get maximum results in little time with your next treadmill workout? Then you’ve got to try high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Let us show you how HIIT treadmill workouts can elevate your running and effectively burn calories.

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What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training, or “HIIT,” is a type of interval training in which short periods of high-intensity exercise alternate with less-intense recovery periods. It is one of the most popular and most effective training methods for boosting your running performance and burning as many calories as possible in a short time.

What’s the best way to run intervals on a treadmill?
Longer intervals of, say, 4 minutes are better for HIIT treadmill workouts than short intervals of 15 to 60 seconds. High, sprint-like intensities on the treadmill are more suited for advanced runners. They require a certain degree of running technique and experience to be able to sprint on a treadmill safely and without the risk of injury. Plus, it is easier to manually adjust the speed between intervals if your pace is not so fast. There are scientific studies that have discovered the level of intensity which you need to run your HIIT intervals at in order to achieve maximum results.

What are the benefits of HIIT training?
Studies have compared high-intensity running intervals with moderate long-distance runs. What they found was that HIIT achieved significantly greater training effects for workouts of the same duration. HIIT improves your aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) endurance, increases your maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max), and thus your running performance. The high level of intensity provides your muscles with a much greater training stimulus than moderate long-distance running. Plus, your muscles require far more energy for their recovery processes after HIIT. Thanks to this afterburn effect, you burn additional calories, which in turn helps you melt off pounds.

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