This one basically kicked my arse.
I personally love the Nautilus StepMill because to me, they make for the toughest cardio you can get on the gym floor.
One of the pre-set programs I’ve recently tried is their INTERVAL set-up, where you enter:
- Body Weight (only useful if you want a very rough calorie burn estimation)
- Total workout time
- Work pace (in steps per minute)
- Rest/Recovery pace (in steps per minute)
- My work pace was 140 steps/min (like a fast jog on these rotating stairs)
- My rest pace was 40-50 steps (trust me, after 2-3 intervals, you may want to slow it down even more).
Later, you’ll see how I arrived at these numbers. The work pace will be too fast for some of you, so I’ve crafted a manual method for determining what work pace to use, and it can also serve as your warm-up.
WARM-UP / ASSESSMENT
- Start the machine at about 50-60 steps/min. This should give you an idea of how fast this is, and if you can use it to sustain a work/recovery effort after a hard interval. Note that you can ALWAYS slow it down even more if the interval just knocked the wind out of you.
- After 2 minutes of this, enter a higher speed (I go in increments of 10 or more from 80 steps/min, you can choose to be more conservative), and see how much this pushes your heart rate and effort for 1-minute.
- After said minute, re-enter your recovery speed of 50-60 steps/min, or just push the speed arrow down to your desired speed. Recover for a full-minute.
- If Step#2 did not challenge you enough, increase the speed by 5-10 steps and perform that for 1-minute, again, gauging to see if this is enough in pushing you past your comfort zone, to your perceived maximum.
- Then return to Step#3, again for a full minute, and so on …
Assume that you have only 8-10 minutes to “learn” the interval speed that works best for you, meaning 4-5 attempts at finding out what speed works best. This way, you can warm yourself up in preparation for your intervals, without fatiguing you too much to perform well during the actual workout.
As an example, here’s how I did my manual warm-up and work-pace assessment:
- Min 1: 60 steps/min
- Min 2: 90 steps/min
- Min 3: 60 steps/min
- Min 4: 100 steps/min
- Min 5: 60 steps/min
- Min 6: 120 steps/min (100 just felt too slow to challenge)
- Min 7: 55 steps/min (I brought it down after feeling the challenge of Min 6)
- Min 8: 130 steps/min (could barely finish this w/o holding on by the end)
- Min 9: 50 steps/min
- Min 10: 140 steps/min (could barely finish and thought this perfect as my work pace)
- Min 11: cooldown and active calf/hip stretch
I’m happy to show you how to try this out for yourself. Once you have it sorted out, you’ll have a PRODUCTIVE 15-minutes you can spend at the gym.
And as you can see, my final choice from this warm-up/assessment was:
- Work pace: 140 steps/min
- Rest pace: 50-60 steps/min
Here’s to your “Happy Humpday” workout!