The first time I heard of an arc trainer was this winter while watching The Biggest Loser. I couldn’t tell exactly what the contraption was or what it did, but it looked like fun. Several months later, my Euclid Y now has two brand new Cybex lower body arc trainers!
I’ve gotta tell you: it was love at first sight. The design had me at hello. Naturally, since I’d never seen one in person before and had not the first clue of how to properly use it, I jumped right on. (Disclaimer: you should probably seek instruction before trying new equipment.)
Here are some of my impressions of the arc trainer:
1. Arms don’t move. At first I thought this was a drawback, but I've changed my mind. The model at the Y has four hand/arm positions: way out in front of and above my head; bicep level; hip level; and, my favorite, bent elbow push-up position.
2. The heart rate display is pretty – it scans through a rainbow of colors in a heart-shaped light – but it doesn’t display actual heart rate. Instead, it indicates a range in which your heart rate falls.
3. The leg motion is similar to that used on an elliptical machine, but with less knee pressure. Plus there’s no need for forward and backward modes: you’re working quads and hams the entire time! Woohoo!
Since trying the arc trainer, it’s the only cardio equipment I use at the Y. Maybe it’s the honeymoon period, but I’m in love with the arc trainer. This morning I spent 30 minutes on it and burned more than 400 calories. I kept my core engaged and my arms in push-up position for muscular endurance. Plus, with my arms there in front of me, I could watch them get all shiny with sweat. J
The changing resistance (which simulates a course of hills and flats), the leg and hip motion, and the arm position all contributed to my fantasy that I was out on the open road in French wine country, crouched low over bicycle bars.
Vive l’Arc Trainer!