A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Me vs The Machine

On Tuesdays my Pilates class gets out 15 minutes early. This means that I get to the fitness room at the Y between 6:45 and 7:00. But because equipment sign ups are listed on the half-hour, many times the ellipticals are all full until 7:00. This was the case last night. I hate standing around waiting for a machine so instead of using an elliptical I jumped on the Precor AMT machine. Both of which were empty. I learned very quickly WHY they were both empty.

The Precor AMT is a cross between a stair stepper and an elliptical. Allegedly it works with your stride to adjust to your body's movements. Watch the video posted above for a demo. What the video doesn't tell you is that you have to concentrate really hard to move beyond doing the stair stepper motion.

My plan was to do cardio for 30 minutes. On to the machine I hopped. And on the machine I flailed. Jerky, halting motions. Attempting to move my feet forward only to find myself going backward. Oscillating back and forth instead of smooth, circular motions. I began to think that I'd just stay on the machine until an elliptical opened up and then I'd jump ship.

But after about six minutes I paused, took a breath, and tried again. And this time it seemed to click. I was able to move past the halting, jerky stair-stepper motions and into the more smooth, gliding running motions. However, it took A LOT of concentration. So much, in fact, that even though the machine had a built in television I didn't dare turn it on and get distracted. Even so, there were a few times I had to slow down and rededicate myself to concentrating on my movements.

About 15 minutes in, a woman got on the other Precor AMT next to me. I watched her flail just like me. I watched her halting, jerky motions. I watched a look of confusion and frustration come over her face. And then I watched her get off and move to a recumbent bike. She didn't even last five minutes.

I made it the entire 30 minutes. According to the machine I went 3.4 miles and burned over 300 calories. I was dripping sweat and felt like I'd gotten a decent workout. I'll definitely try this machine again. And maybe eventually I can use it while watching tv, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I tried that machine at the gym the other day too. I thought it was my lack lack of coordination, but at least it's good to hear I'm not alone.

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