Stepping up my game
A couple of years ago my friend who is just a little older than me decided to have a heart attack. Due to him only being a few years older than me, it got me thinking about my own health and what I could maybe do differently to keep the same thing from happening to me.
I started walking and doing some cardio/aerobics type exercises about five times a week. These exercises were definitely making me healthier on the inside, but on the outside I don't think you could really tell much of a difference based on my weight. Somehow I was expecting better results after having been pretty faithful with my exercises for the past two years.
Additionally, I eat a pretty healthy diet with only mild indulgences, so I didn't really feel like that should be having an adverse impact on my weight. It wasn't until I started doing some research that I learned as you get older your metabolism slows down (that part I knew) and once your metabolism slows down doing the things you would expect to lose weight don't work quite so well anymore.
Instead, as you get older you need to build muscle so that you can burn the fat off easier. It was at that point that my wife and I decided we needed some kind of weight training device.
We saw the Total Gym for sale on QVC (shopping channel) and started doing some more research on them. The brand has been around for a long time, it has some pretty significant celebrity endorsements (more on that later), and it does a whole lot for a pretty small price.
We picked up the Total Gym XL7 at Sam's Club for right around $300. The cool thing with going through Sam's is that they delivered it right to our house for free.
There are about a dozen different models of Total Gym with prices ranging from a couple hundred dollars into the thousands. Apparently the Total Gym is widely used in rehab facilities because it allows you to strength train with very low impact. From what I have seen, the more you pay the sturdier the gym seems to be built and the more exercises you can do with it.
If you are looking at the site, the Supreme is probably the closest thing to what we have at home. I think the model we bought is a little old or one that you can't get direct through the site.
It allows us to do something like 65 different exercises and I have swapped out three of my walking/aerobics days to focus on the Total Gym. So Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I do the Total Gym. Tuesday and Thursday I aerobic walk upstairs while my wife uses the Total Gym downstairs. It works out very well for us.
It isn't a small unit, it takes up quite a bit more space than I had previously anticipated, but it folds up pretty small if you don't mind resetting it up every time you want to use it.
The cool thing about it is it uses your own body to supply the weight for the exercises. If you need to add a little more weight, you just increase the angle of the incline. That is like adding more weight. We have ours at the five setting right now and that gives me a pretty decent workout. The model we have goes all the way up to twelve.
I typically do 11 or 12 exercises twelve times a piece and I do that workout three times through. It is a good combination of leg and upper body and lower body stuff. I can certainly feel the burn after I finish up.
The Total Gym has been a great addition to our weekly routines. I am not sure I am seeing any significant changes yet, but we have only been using it regularly for a couple of weeks now. Perhaps by the end of the summer I will have a post talking about how ripped I am.
Oh yeah, I mentioned some celebrity endorsements. Here you go, check out this YouTube video. Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley, need I say more...