Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Question And Answer: Gazelle Edge

If you’ve read my book or work with my privately, you already know that I’m a huge fan of the Gazelle Edge Elliptical Trainer.  This machine is perfect for home use.  It is inexpensive at just over $100, it folds up for storage when not in use, and is extremely low impact.  The majority of my clients pick up one of these machines and use it as their primary source of cardio.  I have one myself and use it every day.  I figured I’d use this question and answer post to help owners of the Gazelle Edge get the most out of their machine.  For a complete review of the Gazelle, including where to get it, check out this earlier post (click here).
One note before we begin: whenever starting an exercise program, it is imperative that you contact your doctor and get medical clearance.  I will not even think about recommending exercise to a new client until I conduct a medical history and contact their doctor for clearance.  Safety first!  On to the questions:

Should I Use The Arms?
No. In fact, I recommend unscrewing and removing the arms altogether.  I say this for 2 reasons:  1) I want you to emphasize the large muscles of the lower body during your cardio, not the arms.  2) Having the arms off the machine will free up your hands to hold a phone, the remote control, your Ipad, book, or newspaper.

How Can I Prevent The Gazelle From Sliding Around?
If you place the Gazelle on a hardwood floor, you’ll notice that it moves around a bit during your workout.  To prevent this, use the Gazelle on a carpet if at all possible.  If this isn’t possible, a thin yoga mat underneath it will help a lot.  I actually use a yoga mat on top of the carpet to keep the Gazelle from leaving indentations on the carpet.  This combination reduces movement completely.

Initially, I Feel Like I’m Not Working Out Hard Enough, Am I Doing Something Wrong?
When you first start using the machine, you are not entirely comfortable and balanced.  This will slow down your pace.  During this early phase, many feel that they are not working hard enough.  You’ll find that if you keep at it, your balance will improve and you’ll be able to work harder.  Take long, fluid strides; kind of like you are cross-country skiing on one of those Nordic Track’s from years ago.  Also swing your arms as if you were running quickly.  Before you know it, you’ll be sweating and your heart rate will be up.

Can I Do Anything Else To Pick Up The Intensity?
For most people, just following the above recommendations will get their intensity to the proper level to improve fitness and lose weight.  However, if I have a client that is a bit younger and healthy, I’ll recommend interval training to ramp up the intensity.  I’ll have them start out their cardio at the normal intensity for 4½ minutes, and then sprint for 30 seconds.  I’ll have them repeat this 4 or 5 times during their workout.  This is a great way to increase intensity and calories burned.  The sprint does not have to be a maximal effort; simply increase your pace for 30 seconds.  If a client is very overweight or has risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc), I don’t recommend intervals, as the increased intensity can spike heart rate and blood pressure.

My Gazelle Is Starting To Squeak, How Can I Fix This?
You may notice after some time that your Gazelle squeaks a bit. I normally have headphones on when I use it, so I don’t even really notice, but some of my clients have found this annoying.  Here’s how to fix this straight from the user manual:

If squeaks or other noises develop over time, we recommend lubricating all
moving parts as follows:
             a) Apply clear household grease (i.e. petroleum jelly) to axle tube.
             b) Spray cable holders (top & bottom) with WD40 or equivalent.”

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