5 Exercise Machines That Help Burn Fat And Build Muscle

Some folks are content to focus on cardio, and shed the pounds. Others want strength and muscle, and don’t care about the percentage of body fat they’re going to work with. Not you though, oh no. You, you want it all.

You might be a bodybuilder looking to enter the competitive scene. Maybe you’re interested in the martial arts, and want to replace dead weight with strength and speed. Perhaps you’re just a normal person and you want to be able to show your friends and family those beautiful before and after pictures you see on dedicated folks’ social media.

Whoever you are, and whatever your journey, today I’m going to discuss five exercise machines that can help you burn fat while also building up muscle to replace it. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

1 – Rowing Machine

The rower is a machine with a simple premise. Sit down and row like you’re in a boat. This exercise beast engages the core of the body, the arms, and the legs, all depending on how you use it. Further, it’s outstanding for cardio work, because you can set a light and fast workout to really get the heart revving. Then, you can transition to a slower, more resistance-oriented routine to focus on your muscle groups. There’s nothing not to love about a good rowing exercise, because it’s low impact power and cardio in one great package.

Suggested Workout Jam: Immigrant Song, by Led Zeppelin.

2 – Elliptical Machine

The elliptical is a glorious piece of machinery that will demand the involvement of your entire body. You’re holding yourself in a standing position whilst engaging in an exercise that somehow simulates running, stair climbing, and cycling all at the same time. Arms, legs, core, and heart all get a powerful workout once you get going. It demands your attention in the best way, and it will help you shed calories as you feel those muscles burning and building their way to strength. Prepare to absolutely feel the burn the next day, and know you made a difference.

Suggested Workout Jam: S&M, by Rhianna.

3 – Reclining Leg Press Machine

This is the definitive machine for building those big, powerful upper leg muscles. Your hamstrings and quadriceps both get in on the action, because you have to control the weight both going up and coming down. Further, if you have good bodily control, you can work with a lighter weight and set a faster pace while exercising instead of focusing solely on higher weight. This gets the heart moving and can burn a surprising number of calories over a good, extended workout.

Suggested Workout Jam: Give it All, by Rise Against.

4 – Stair Machine

Another great machine for leg and core definition. This isn’t a fast moving one, and it doesn’t feel exciting, but oh do you feel the burn. Nothing gets the legs in quite a shocking burn of physical activity as climbing an extended flight of stairs uninterrupted. Your heart will get engaged quickly, and by the time you reach your fourth flight of stairs (about forty to sixty steps in), you’ll feel it pounding in your chest. Don’t fear, that feeling is the sweet sensation of calories melting away step by step.

Suggested Workout Jam: Tobacco Island, by Flogging Molly

5 – Treadmill

What’s this? The Treadmill, you say? How could this be a muscle machine, running is pure cardio!

Let me explain. By itself, a treadmill isn’t going to develop a ton of muscle for your body. However, you can easily combine a treadmill workout with weights to give your body an additional challenge, building muscle as you run. Ankle weights add to the burden your legs must carry, building muscle. A good pair of adjustable dumbbells can help you tone those arms as you’re jogging. Never give up on an opportunity to improve a workout by adding some creativity.

Suggested Workout Jam: Through the Fire and the Flames, by Dragonforce.

A Word on Circuit Training

A great method of using virtually any machine to combine fat burning and muscle building is doing circuit interval training. A circuit is a series of exercises performed one after the other, with only brief rest periods between.

An example would be my favorite circuit that gets my heart moving and my muscles burning is what I call my Top to Bottom.

Station 1: Pull-down horizontal bar, 35 reps at high weight.

Station 2: 25 pushups.

Recover, 30 seconds deep breathing.

Station 3: Rowing Machine, 2 minutes high intensity.

Station 4: 35 crunches.

Recover, 30 seconds deep breathing.

Station 5: 30 squats.

Station 6: Leg press.

Recover, 30 seconds deep breathing.

Repeat this whole circuit 3 times, then recover, because your body will be screaming.

You don’t have to involve as many machines as I do, and your target times may not be the same as mine. Simply challenge yourself to select multiple machines and exercises, with very brief rest periods in between stations. This gets the muscles going but also keeps the heart rate up and will deliver fantastic, intense results.

In good conscience, I must recommend that those new to exercise do such circuits with the help of a physical trainer or highly experienced gym buddy, to maximize personal safety.

Happy returns!

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