Wednesday, September 09, 2009

As Seen on TV: NordicTrack Incline Trainer

This month's special promotion features things that I have seen advertised on TV while watching a MacGyver marathon on a network called Sleuth.

Long, long ago they came out with an amazingly new and innovative exercise machine. There were already exercise machines at that time that simulated all sorts of normal everyday exercise activities: rowing, running, cycling, etc. But what was missing out of the "things that you could actually do outside but are paying a lot extra to do inside anyway" stable was one of the most aerobically beneficial activities known to man, and that of course was cross country skiing.
The original NordicTrack, if you were to go look at it today, seems very antiquated. It is actually made of wood, or at least the ski-like things are, and it is difficult to move. But it looks like cross-country skiing on a machine and it feels like it. It is a very good workout. Well, the good folks at NordicTrack, whoever they are, went beyond the original device and began to make all manner of workout equipment, and they chose to advertise their newest invention on the Sleuth Channel during the MacGyver marathon.
What they have come up with is a type of treadmill that they claim will allow you to burn up to five times the calories of a regular treadmill, regardless of whether you are walking, jogging, or running, which are the three traditional things that one can apparently do on a treadmill. It also includes like a little memory card slot where you can put a card with some personal training stuff, so it sets it to where you should be and it has a little voice to encourage you, or maybe to scream obscenities at you if you had been in the Army earlier in your life. But none of these things will help you to burn those five times as many calories, what does that is the Incline Trainer, like its name suggests, can incline up to 40 degrees. What NordicTrack has discovered is essentially walking uphill.
Wow. Stop the presses, this new and exciting information has to get released to the masses as quickly as humanly possible. Of course walking uphill is harder and burns more calories than walking on the flat. Everybody knows that. That is why lazy people always live in an apartment on the first floor. That is why football players run stairs to train. That is why your grandfather always tells of walking uphill both ways to get to school when he was a kid, because going uphill was a lot harder. It is a lot harder. You are fighting gravity people, which is an extra force, so you you are going to use more of your energy. I can't believe that it took the exercise equipment makers until now to figure that out, I've known it for ages. They could have paid me twenty bucks and asked me what is harder than walking and I would have been able to tell them that. What I can believe even less is that they are trying to pass this off as a new and innovative idea. It is not new, it is ages old, it just took until now for someone to come up with an idea other than putting your treadmill up on blocks. But sorry, I am not buying. There are some steps just a block or two away.

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