The Arc Trainer at 10 Fitness

I love my gym.  My gym-going experience has only improved since I started in September.  I chose 10 Fitness initially because of its simple motto, “$10 a month, no contract.”  I stay because of their friendly staff, the comfortable atmosphere, and the dedication to continuous improvement that I see.  There’s something moved, fixed, or added all the time at 10 Fitness in Conway.  The latest addition is a new set of Cybex Arc Trainer machines.

When I approached it, I was looking for a new piece of equipment that I could warm up with, having decoupled my warm-ups from my cardio workout.  It looked somewhat like an elliptical machine, but one which had been attacked by a cyborg.  I got on it, pushed the “I don’t know how to use this — just give me something simple” default workout button, and found it to be very simple to stride on.

I fussed with the level buttons a bit more, and I found that I could make it behave less like a Nordic Track and more like an elliptical machine in terms of how hard I had to push on the pedals and how far I had to lift my knees on each stride.  Where this machine was different was that I could keep increasing the level, and I could have very deep strides.  I felt like I was marching in the North Korean Army on each dip.

Needless to say, I was warmed up.  I decided to return to this machine for my cardio, too.  It has 9 workouts, 3 of which say they are good for weight loss.  One looks to be an interval workout, and two are rolling hills at different levels.  I chose the rolling hills #2, which resembled the Cross Train #2 that I like on the Precor Elliptical Trainer that I normally use.

I’m not sure if it’s because the machine is new or if it truly is “revolutionary” in its design, but it’s so smooth!  You just sort of float away on it.  Then, the intensity kicks in, and you’re climbing.  While I never trust the calorie estimates on gym equipment, I like to think that they’re at least something to go by.  Whereas on the elliptical it says I burn 300 – 350 calories in 30 minutes, the arc trainer claims it’s working off 400-500.  I know I’m dipping lower and pushing harder.

Here’s a video from the manufacturer’s website that explains the differences between the two types of equipment. 

I came across a blog post, also from the manufacturer, that recommends a particular workout with the machine.  You can read up on that if you like.  I know little about fitness other than what I’ve learned from seminars, friends, and my own personal experience.  What I will say is that the puddle of sweat after my cardio is much bigger when I step off this machine.  It looks like this is going to be my new friend until 10 Fitness buys me a new new toy to play with.

Do you have a favorite gym or piece of gym equipment?

Postscript:  Now that I’ve been using the Arc Trainer for a while, I have discovered that I gravitate toward the model without the moving arms.  On the elliptical machines that 10 Fitness has, most of them have the option to use either the moving arms or they have a place to rest your hands.  The Cybex Arc Trainer is all or nothing.  One model has only moving arms, and the other has only handles.  I wish I could have the best of both worlds.

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