I love when packages get delivered – it’s always so exciting to open the box and see what’s inside. I recently received an enormous delivery – some of the biggest boxes I’ve ever seen!
Wanna know what’s inside? Keep reading. First, though, I want to do a quick goal update. Last week, after my depressing weigh-in, I gave myself three goals for the week to help get me out of my slump. Here’s how I did:
- Goal #1: Repeat a list of positive things I have going right now every day. Done and done. A complete success.
- Goal #2: Incorporate two weightlifting workouts this week, an upper body and a lower body, in addition to my cardio. Done and done. Upper body was Wednesday, lower body was Friday. Plus four additional cardio workouts, including my first training session in a 54-story skyscraper.
- Goal #3: No junk food binges this week. Period. Ummm…mostly successful, except for one incident that involved toffee peanuts, a brownie, and chili cheese Fritos.
I’ve set the same goals for this week, but I’ve upped it from two to three weightlifting workouts. This was my weekly standard for months and months, so I know I can do it.
NOW…Time to reveal what’s in those boxes! It’s…. a BOWFLEX MAX TRAINER M5!
This is the first in-home cardio machine I’ve ever had, and it’s a keeper. It’s kinda like a cross between an elliptical and a stair machine, and it’s been kicking my ass. That’s because it’s designed specifically for interval training, so I can maximize your workout in a short amount of time. Plus, it looks pretty sweet in my home, doesn’t it?
I like that it doesn’t take up much space. I like that it has red accents, because I love red. All in all, it’s a sleek-looking machine, with the design inspired by motorcycles (something I learned when I visited the Bowflex headquarters over the summer).
There’s a variety of workouts programmed in the MAX Trainer, or I can climb on and do my own thing. But a big selling point is the MAX Interval workout, which condenses an entire cardio workout into 14 minutes. The 14 minutes are tough: it’s a cycle where you go all-out for 25 seconds, than recover (but still pedal) for 80 seconds. You repeat that 8 times, and BAM! Your 14 minutes are up.
I needed a little while to get adjusted to the MAX Trainer’s display, which looks cool, like a speedometer.
The display (and the workouts) are based around your burn rate (how many calories you’re burning per minute), as opposed to your speed or distance. In fact, it doesn’t display distance at all, and the only speed-related measurement is RPM (revolutions per minute).
While it’s not what I’m used to, the focus on burn rate makes sense: since calories are important. During the 14-minute interval workouts, the intense (or “Active,” as the MAX calls them) parts challenge me to essentially triple my burn rate, and I can tweak that higher or lower if I want to. I can increase or decrease the resistance level, too.
I’ve been using the MAX trainer a few times a week for the past couple weeks, and doing the MAX Interval workout at Level 5 has been a good challenge. I burn around 200 calories in 14 minutes, my heart races, and I feel wiped out afterward. There’s also a Smart MAX Interval workout, where the machine automatically adjusts resistance to help get you to the target burn rate, and I tried that, and at some points, it was bumping me up to Resistance Level 14. WHOA!
I’ve also been tacking on a few minutes of warm-up and cool-down, because the MAX Interval workout starts with a 25-second all-out Active part, and that’s hard for me to do without warming up my muscles. At the end of those 14-minutes, I need more time to lower my heart rate (which can reach the high 160s during the Active parts), so I stay on and pedal a little longer, with little or no resistance. My 14-minute workouts have ended up being 20-22 minutes, and that’s fine by me.
I just read over this post, and it sounds like a big ol’ commercial for Bowflex (and I’m just now getting to the part where I share the link to learn more about the MAX Trainer). I’m sorry. That wasn’t my intention. But I have enjoyed using this machine, and it came at a good time. I’ve heard so many trainers and experts say how important is it to switch up your routine, and adding the MAX Trainer to my arsenal of workout activities has been a huge help towards getting me out of my slump.
On the flip-side, having this machine in my home has majorly messed with how I approach and mentally prepare for my workouts, but that’s a topic for another post, because I’m still sorting all that out. Stay tuned.
Added Bonus: The MAX Trainer works all the muscles I need for my stair races, and with my two races in Chicago just a few weeks away, that’s huge!
Keep it up, David!