Monday, December 14, 2009

Nautilus TreadClimber

I'm in Gothenburg, Sweden today.

Went to an excellent gym this morning ... World Class.

To my delight, they had two commercial Nautilus TreadClimber TC916's in their cardio area.

I know these have been hocked on TV for a while, but this was my first chance to actually use one. I was seriously considering buying a home version for quite some time, but the price point kept me from taking the plunge. So, today I got my chance to a test run - as I have not seen the commercial version in any of the clubs I have visited in the states.

The TreadClimber is a hybrid of a stair stepper, a treadmill and an elliptical trainer. It looks like a treadmill with a split platform. The "treadles" move independently up and down while the belt moves at your selected speed.

I spent 30 minutes climbing the "treadles" and got a great workout.

I started with a moderate walk for 2 minutes with the treadles in their minimum position. Feeling comfortable, I increased the pace and bumped the incline of the treadles all the way up to their max.

I did 3:30 fast walk and then 90 second jog - keeping the treadles in the max position for the entire workout.

The jogging quickly raised my heart rate, was extremely taxing on the quads and a bit strenuous on the low back. I had to really focus on keeping my upper body upright and not slouching over to prevent low back strain. On the bright side, I felt virtuously no impact due to the up and down motion of the treadles.

The fast walking was comfortable and quite fun. It definitely felt like I was "walking through sand." The emphasis was centered on my glutes and calves.

I was a bit disappointed in the overall quality and sturdiness of the machine. The transitions between speed and treadle incline were jerky and felt a bit risky. I can only imagine how this is on the home version of the machine. I did expect a more solid product for the commercial version.

I also noticed that my workout varied whether I stepped toward the front, middle or back of the treadle. The further forward I positioned my stride, the tougher the workout.
Additionally, my stride was wider than normal to account for the separate treadles. Overall, this was a great change of pace for me. If I had access to a TreadClimber regularly, I would infuse it into my weekly cardio program for variety and most certainly use it with my clients.

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