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Should You Do Cardio or Weights First? Here’s What a CPT Says

No, running — even slow long-distance running — is not going to automatically eat away at your strength and ability to build muscle. The fears just aren’t backed up by science. Because yes, indeed, you can be ripped, strong, and have a great engine. You’ve just got to train the right way (and recover well enough, of course).

Whether you should do cardio or weights first depends on why you’re asking the question. If you’re a strength athlete who wants to breathe just a bit better up that flight of stairs, your answer will be different than that of an endurance athlete who wants to build stronger, bigger calves. Whatever your answer, read on: I’ll give you the pros and cons of weights before cardio and cardio before weights.

What Is Strength Training?

As the name suggests, strength training is a type of exercise that helps you increase physical and mental strength. You can also do it to build muscle (and retain it). It is typically anaerobic exercise, which the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines as short-duration, highly intense physical activity fueled by stored energy (ATP) in your contracting muscles. (1)

[Read More: Different Types of Strength Training (+ How to Get Started)]

Here are a few examples of strength training exercises:

Bodyweight Resistance Exercises: These are strength exercises that you perform using only your body weight as resistance, including squats, lunges, hinges, step-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, rows, planks, and other core exercises.

Weighted Resistance Exercises: You can do the same bodyweight exercises but add an external load with resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, cable machines, and other weight machines. More examples include compound movements like the deadlift, bench press, overhead press, row, lat pulldown, and single-joint exercises like biceps curls, triceps extensions, and more.

Weight Training: Yes, “weighted resistance exercise” is technically weight training, and vice versa. But for any newbies out there, it’s worth noting that “weight training” often also refers to specific strength sports. In addition to other forms of resistance training, it includes various styles of barbell workout including weightlifting and powerlifting.

What Is Cardio?

Cardiovascular exercise is primarily aerobic instead of anaerobic. The ACSM defines aerobic exercise as any physical activity that uses large muscle groups that raise your heart rate and breathing, which you perform rhythmically and continuously. For energy, it uses oxygen that you inhale while you exercise. Cardio exercise improves your heart health and builds endurance.  (1)

[It’s the chicken or the egg, but with gains.re: The Best Cardio Workouts at Home to Boost Your Fitness Without a Treadmill]

Here are a few categories of cardio exercise:

Steady-State Endurance Exercises: A steady-state cardio workout is usually low-intensity or moderate-intensity. It’s a physical activity you can do where you sustain the same heart rate for at least 30 minutes or longer, especially in endurance training. Examples include walking, running, cycling, swimming, dancing, or any cardio machine you can stay on for long enough.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Exercises: A true HIIT workout crosses over into anaerobic exercise. However, you can do something less intense and follow the same formula — short bursts of effort followed by brief rest periods. You spike your heart rate and let it come back down. You can do HIIT or other interval training on any cardio machine or with exercises like jumping rope and burpees.

Crossover Exercises: Some exercises are cardio but also anaerobic, like sprinting. CrossFit involves challenging strength exercises, but for many reps, so it crosses into cardio territory. Doing five sets of heavy deadlifts is strength training, but countless reps of barbell cleans in your CrossFit WOD are a little of each.

Benefits of Weights Before Cardio

Hit the weights or hit the treadmill first? Here are three cases where you may want to lift weights first in your training session.

You’ll Have More Energy for Strength Performance

You arrive at the gym freshly recovered, with enough sleep, nutrients, and maybe pre-workout to fuel your session. Whichever type of exercise you start with is the one you’ll have the most energy for, leaving you more tired for the second part of your training session. (2)

The reason? The acute fatigue hypothesis. Performing cardio before weight training can prematurely fatigue your muscles, so you can’t exert as much effort or intensity during resistance training. (3)

Suppose your main goals involve increasing strength, lifting heavier, improving athletic performance, or training power and explosiveness. In that case, you’ll want to have the most energy and focus available for resistance training first. You may get better muscle activation, have better form, and lower your risk of injury (especially for newbies).

It May Be Better for Hypertrophy

The same idea applies if your goal is hypertrophy (or building muscle). You’ll want your muscles to be fresh to focus on those slower, eccentric muscle-building reps. Going for a long run before hitting leg day will leave you pre-fatigued, and you may not be able to complete all your planned reps at a high quality.

It May Help With Fat Loss

When your goal is fat loss, the fitness zeitgeist may tell you to prioritize cardio. But resistance training is also essential to help build and retain muscle. If you’re in a calorie deficit, keeping protein high and doing resistance training helps your body burn fat instead of muscle.

[Read More: How to Burn Fat for Weight Loss and More Definition]

One study suggests that doing resistance training before cardio enhances fat-burning during cardio. This may also be because resistance training causes EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), which is when your body continues burning calories after your workout. Doing cardio after resistance training could enhance your calorie-burning potential. (4)

Drawbacks of Weights Before Cardio

There is one primary drawback to doing weights before cardio — and that’s if cardio is your priority.

You’ll Have Less Energy for Endurance Training

If you flip it the other way, the same holds true. If endurance training is your priority, you won’t want to start your cardio session pre-fatigued from weight training.

[Read More: Everything You Need to Know About Endurance Training for Strength Athletes]

Research suggests that strength training before endurance work can shorten your time to exhaustion — particularly after eccentric resistance training for hypertrophy and plyometrics. Your muscles may need up to 48 hours to recover from eccentric training, hindering your ability to do high-intensity endurance exercise for longer. (5)

It’s Less Effective for Running Training

If you’re a runner training for a long-distance event, your training plan is likely packed with longer runs, shorter HIIT workouts, sprinting, and speed work. Balancing running and strength training is key; you still want to keep your muscles strong, which can also improve running performance.

[Read More: How To Build Stamina for Running: Tips + Benefits]

Whether you’re trying to shave time off your 5K or build your endurance for a marathon, you won’t want to start your running workouts after tiring your muscles in weight training.

Benefits of Cardio Before Weights

Starting with cardio means you have more energy for cardio and one other potential benefit.

You’ll Have More Energy for Endurance Exercise

Since you’ll have the most energy at the top of your session, doing cardio before weights means you may perform better in your cardio session, which is important if your primary sport is endurance-based.

Cycling First May Be Okay

If your sport is cycling but you are also doing resistance training for hypertrophy, some research suggests performing cycling first may not interfere with muscle growth. Most of the research on the drawbacks of cardio first suggests that running before strength training can interfere with muscle gain, but possibly not cycling. (6)

You May Have Better Heart Rate Control

One reason you include a few minutes of light cardio in your dynamic warm-up before resistance training is to raise your heart rate, which should correspond with the level of intensity you’re working at.

An ACE Fitness study measured the heart rate response in people doing cardio before weights and weights before cardio. Both cardio sessions were done at the same intensity, but doing cardio after weights elicited a higher heart response (12 beats per minute), although the researchers suggest it should have been roughly the same. (7)

The study concludes that doing resistance training first may raise your heart rate too much. It may be better for some people to do cardio first because your heart rate can better correspond to how hard you’re working. Cardio after resistance training might keep your heart rate too high, even if you’re trying to do low or moderate-intensity cardio. (7)

Drawbacks of Cardio Before Weights

Cardio before weights isn’t your best bet if you have any type of goal related to strength training. Here’s why.

It May Interfere With Strength Gains

The “interference effect” is the possibility that concurrent training — doing a high volume of aerobic endurance exercise while trying to get stronger — can interfere with strength gains. Doing cardio before weights may heighten the potential for interference, particularly in lower-body muscle groups. (8)

One study found that doing cardio 10 minutes before resistance training significantly hindered lower body strength and endurance in the leg press and squat, but the bench press was unaffected. However, another study found that when doing strength training after cardio, participants performed fewer reps in the squat, bench press, push press, and deadlift. (3)

[Read More: The Best Barbell Exercises For Mass, Strength, and Power]

Performing endurance training after weight training may help prevent interference with strength gains. (9)

May Interfere With Power Performance

Performing cardio before strength training when your goal is power may also interfere with your gains. In one study, participants did a 45-minute run before a power-focused strength workout. Power and velocity were reduced in the squat, bench press, and high pull. (3)

When it comes to power, separating your cardio and strength training sessions by at least three hours may prevent interference. (10)

May Interfere With Hypertrophy

How you perform in a hypertrophy-focused session matters, but another factor may cause cardio first to interfere with muscle gain. Resistance training causes growth hormone (GH) secretion, which may affect muscle growth. One study found that, after performing endurance exercise for 60 minutes, resistance training released less GH. (4

The study concludes that weight training after cardio may interfere with anabolic activity in your muscles after resistance training. (4)

Who Should Do Weights First

Deciding which to hit first? The following groups may benefit from weight training before cardio.

Strength and Power Athletes: If your goal is getting stronger or training power, do that before cardio when you are least fatigued.

Bodybuilders: For gaining muscle, weight training first is better for the same reason — you’ll have more energy and be able to put in higher-quality work. Some evidence also suggests cardio before weights can lower GH release. (4)

CrossFitters: CrossFitters may fall into either category, depending on their daily goals (or WOD). 

Weight Loss Goals: Weights before cardio may be better for building and retaining muscle while losing body fat.

For Overall Fitness: Both types of exercise, in any order, offer health benefits for your heart and muscles. If strength training is more challenging for you, you’ll likely want to do it first.

Who Should Do Cardio First

These populations may get better results from doing cardio first.

Endurance Athletes: When endurance is your goal, do cardio first to maximize your energy supply.

Runners: To get better and faster at running, do your running first. If your program allows it, do strength training on a separate day.

CrossFitters: CrossFitters can switch between categories, depending on their goal. If you’re doing a major endurance challenge, you’ll want to do that first.

For Overall Fitness: The order doesn’t make a difference regarding overall fitness and health benefits. If you want to get your cardio over with, you can do it before weights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to do cardio first or after weights?

It depends on your goal. Do cardio first if your goal is related to endurance or running performance. If it’s strength, power, or hypertrophy, do weights first. If it’s overall fitness, either one works.

Should I do cardio or weights first to lose belly fat? 

Doing cardio or weights first won’t specifically target belly fat. However, if your goal is fat loss and you’re in a calorie deficit, doing weights first may be best to help build and retain muscle while losing body fat.

Is 20 minutes of cardio enough after lifting weights?

If it’s for overall health, sure. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends getting 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise per week (or 75 to 150 minutes of high-intensity cardio). So, 20 minutes of cardio after lifting weights goes toward your weekly goal, and you can split it up however you like. (11)

If you’re doing cardio to train for an endurance sport, 20 minutes may or may not be enough on any given day. It depends on your workout program.

What happens if you only lift weights and no cardio?

Cardio exercise improves cardiovascular health and builds endurance. Lifting weights is still better than no exercise at all, but it may not have the same heart health and endurance benefits as cardio. Doing steady-state cardio also gets you more movement in your day outside of your lifting sessions.

How long should I wait to do cardio after lifting weights?

It depends on what type of cardio you’re doing. If it’s a quick HIIT session, you can do it right after lifting weights. If it’s a longer endurance workout like a run, you may want to wait up to three hours and eat first.

Editor’s Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. When starting a new training regimen and/or diet, it is always a good idea to consult with a trusted medical professional. We are not a medical resource. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. They are not substitutes for consulting a qualified medical professional.

References

Patel H, Alkhawam H, Madanieh R, Shah N, Kosmas CE, Vittorio TJ. Aerobic vs anaerobic exercise training effects on the cardiovascular system. World J Cardiol. 2017 Feb 26;9(2):134-138. 

Inoue DS, Panissa VL, Monteiro PA, Gerosa-Neto J, Rossi FE, Antunes BM, Franchini E, Cholewa JM, Gobbo LA, Lira FS. Immunometabolic Responses to Concurrent Training: The Effects of Exercise Order in Recreational Weightlifters. J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Jul;30(7):1960-7. 

Ratamess, Nicholas A.; Kang, Jie; Porfido, Tara M.; Ismaili, Craig P.; Selamie, Soraya N.; Williams, Briana D.; Kuper, Jeremy D.; Bush, Jill A.; Faigenbaum, Avery D.. Acute Resistance Exercise Performance Is Negatively Impacted by Prior Aerobic Endurance Exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 30(10):p 2667-2681, October 2016.

GOTO, KAZUSHIGE1; ISHII, NAOKATA1; SUGIHARA, SHUHEI2; YOSHIOKA, TOSHITSUGU2; TAKAMATSU, KAORU2. Effects of Resistance Exercise on Lipolysis during Subsequent Submaximal Exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 39(2):p 308-315, February 2007. 

Conceição M, Cadore EL, González-Izal M, Izquierdo M, Liedtke GV, Wilhelm EN, Pinto RS, Goltz FR, Schneider CD, Ferrari R, Bottaro M, Kruel LF. Strength training prior to endurance exercise: impact on the neuromuscular system, endurance performance and cardiorespiratory responses. J Hum Kinet. 2014 Dec 30;44:171-81. 

Lundberg TR, Feuerbacher JF, Sünkeler M, Schumann M. The Effects of Concurrent Aerobic and Strength Training on Muscle Fiber Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2022 Oct;52(10):2391-2403. 

Green, D. J. (2014, October 1). ACE – ProSourceTM: October 2014 – ACE Research Study: Sequencing Exercise for Optimum Results. https://www.acefitness.org/continuing-education/prosource/october-2014/5020/ace-research-study-sequencing-exercise-for-optimum-results/

Wilson JM, Marin PJ, Rhea MR, Wilson SM, Loenneke JP, Anderson JC. Concurrent training: a meta-analysis examining interference of aerobic and resistance exercises. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Aug;26(8):2293-307.

Sabag A, Najafi A, Michael S, Esgin T, Halaki M, Hackett D. The compatibility of concurrent high intensity interval training and resistance training for muscular strength and hypertrophy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Sports Sci. 2018 Nov;36(21):2472-2483. 

Lee, C., Ballantyne, J. K., Chagolla, J., Hopkins, W. G., Fyfe, J. J., Phillips, S. M., Bishop, D. J., & Bartlett, J. D. (2020). Order of same-day concurrent training influences some indices of power development, but not strength, lean mass, or aerobic fitness in healthy, moderately-active men after 9 weeks of training. PLOS ONE, 15(5), e0233134.

Piercy, K. L., & Troiano, R. P. (2018). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans From the US Department of Health and Human Services. AHA Journal, 11(11).

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Does Walking Help You Lose Weight? Here’s What You Need To Know

Key Takeaways: 

Walking can lead to weight loss because it burns about 150 calories every 30 minutes.

To lose weight by walking, aim for a pace of about 3.5 miles per hour in addition to being in a caloric deficit per the American Heart Association (AHA). 

AHA Experts recommend 150 minutes of exercise per week to maintain good health. 

Walking is an efficient way to burn fat; one study showed that women lost 1.5% body fat from walking 3 days per week for 12 weeks.

Weight loss is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. At its core, any form of exercise will help you lose weight because movement burns calories. This applies to strength training workouts, brisk walking, and everything in-between. 

So, if you want to burn fat and change your weight on the scale by upping your activity level through longer walks, you need to know exactly how long, far, and fast you need to be on your daily walk. We’ve got you covered. 

How Does Walking Impact Weight Loss?

Walking is a form of physical activity, or locomotion. When it comes to maintaining energy balance (how your body uses or stores the energy you provide it from food), there isn’t much of a difference between walking and, say, weight lifting — they both burn calories. How many calories you burn depends on how hard you work in a given period of time, or how long you keep working, or walking, continuously. 

What Is Energy Balance?

Energy balance refers to how your body regulates the fuel you provide it from food. If you’re eating as many calories as you burn, you’re at your “calorie maintenance”, and your weight shouldn’t change too much.

But if you eat in a calorie surplus, or bulk up as bodybuilders often call it, you’ll slowly gain weight depending on how large that surplus is. The same idea holds true for a calorie deficit. One pound of body fat holds roughly 3,500 calories. If you adhere to a 500-calorie daily deficit (created by exercise like walking as well as making smart choices in the kitchen) for a week, you should lose about a pound. 

Here’s the best part: You can lose weight by walking, and only walking, as long as your overall activity level is high enough to create what’s called a calorie deficit. Let’s dig into that a little deeper. 

How Many Calories Does Walking Burn

Walking from the living room to the bathroom takes a few seconds and probably burns a calorie or two. Running a marathon, on the other hand, burns hundreds if not thousands of calories. Why does this matter? You need to understand, above all, that duration and vigor will directly affect how many calories are burned walking.

[Read More: The Best Leg Exercises and Workouts for Stronger Legs]

Let’s start with a general benchmark. According to physiotherapist and CEO of Advantage Healthcare & Physiotherapy Calum Fraser, a moderately-paced, hour-long walk should burn between 200 and 300 calories for an average-sized person.

That last part is crucial: Larger or heavier individuals carry more body weight, which requires more energy to move from place to place. As a consequence, heavier folk burn more calories walking the same distance as lighter individuals would. 

Here’s a visual aid with data from the American Council on Exercise: 

If you need help figuring out exactly how many calories you should burn or eat, we’ve got you covered. Try BarBend’s handy calorie calculator

Calorie Calculator

Age

Sex

Height

Weight

Activity Level

BMR estimation formula

NoYes


Your daily calorie needs: Calories Per Day

Daily calorie needs based on goal

Goal
Calories Per Day

Maintenance

Fat Loss

Extreme Fat Loss

Exercise: 15-30 minutes of elevated heart rate activity.
Intense exercise: 45-120 minutes of elevated heart rate activity.
Very intense exercise: 2+ hours of elevated heart rate activity.

Benefits of Walking for Weight Loss

We’ll make it simple. Walking burns calories, and if you burn enough calories to create an energy deficit (and then consistently maintain it each day), you’ll lose weight. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of walking for weight loss. Here are some other factors for you to consider:

Walking Maintains Muscle

Most people will need to engage in some form of resistance training, whether with exercise bands, barbells, dumbbells, or gym machines to build muscle. However, if you’re sedentary, walking makes for a great starting point to build and maintain the muscle mass in your legs.

[Read More: How Many Steps in a Mile? Calculate by Height and Pace]

In fact, a 2018 study published in the European Group for Research Into Elderly and Physical Activity declared that brisk walks, especially for older people, can help slow down muscle loss. (1)

Walking Increases Fat Loss

Aerobic exercise — another way of saying cardio workouts — burns fat. So does strength training, but not everyone has access to a gym. Luckily, you can bet on walking as a sure-fire way of increasing fat oxidation, or the process by which your body pulls on its fat stores to create usable energy. 

[Read More: Is Walking Good Cardio?]

A 2022 study showed that seven weeks of a walking workout intervention increased resting fat oxidation in obese subjects, along with several other valuable health metrics like VO2 max. (2)

Walking Is Easy To Maintain

We love group fitness classes as much as anyone, but they don’t always align with our schedule. Similarly, hitting the weights is all well and good until you’ve got a nagging injury or can’t bring yourself to slog through a long commute to the gym after a long day at work.

[Read More: The Best Treadmills for Walking]

Walking comes in clutch here when trying to lose weight. All you need to do to burn calories and lose weight by walking is, well, walk. You can do treadmill workouts or simply step out your door and stroll the block a few times. When it comes to convenience, walking is an unparalleled weight management technique. 

Walking Improves Mental Health

You can’t change your body if your brain is in the way. Oftentimes, mental and physical health go hand-in-hand. While nothing is a substitute for true mental healthcare, walking can be incredibly therapeutic in regulating your mood. Studies show that “green walking” outside can have “meaningful implications” on mental health markers. (3)

How to Burn More Calories While Walking

So, here’s where we stand: Walking is physical activity, which burns calories. Burn enough calories to create a calorie deficit — and then sustain it over time — and you’ll lose weight. 

[Read More: The Best Treadmill Walking Workouts From a CPT]

Here’s the “problem”. Walking is a low-intensity, slow activity, which means burning lots of calories through a walking workout can take a long time. Not everyone has a full hour to devote to getting their steps in; we sure don’t. So, here are our favorite tips for burning more calories while you walk.

Try Incline Walking: If you walk on a treadmill, set the grade up a few degrees. Walking uphill takes more energy, so you can burn the same amount of calories in less time. The 12-3-30 workout is a great option here, but remember not to hold onto the frame of the treadmill if you can help it. 

Go Rucking: Rucking is essentially loaded walking. It comes from the military originally, where soldiers need to build up their body conditioning by carrying large rucksacks on their backs. You can load up a backpack with some weight or pick up a weighted vest and try rucking for some extra calorie burn.

Bring Music (or a Friend): We love peace and quiet, but time can pass slowly if you’re alone with your thoughts. Bring music with you, listen to your favorite podcast, or invite a friend along and you’ll find that a 30-minute walking workout passes in the blink of an eye. 

How To Incorporate Walking Into Your Lifestyle

Here are a few other lifestyle-friendly tips for adding walking into your daily routine: 

Go for a walk outside while you drink your morning coffee!

Take a brisk walk during your lunch break, or between meetings to break up your work day.

Even better, see if your coworkers would like to go for a walk instead of sitting down for all of your meetings.

If able, volunteer walking dogs at your local animal shelter.

For errands that are within walking distance, ditch your car on a nice day and walk to the grocery store or wherever it is you need to go.

Sample Walking Workout for Weight Loss

Walking doesn’t necessarily need to be structured, but it certainly can be. A little bit of structure can help you both lose fat and get fitter, faster. Here’s a simple, straightforward walking workout for weight loss:

The Workout

5-10 minutes dynamic stretching

10 minutes of leisurely walking

10 minutes of brisk walking

5 minutes of light jogging or incline walking

20 minutes of brisk walking

5 minutes of leisurely walking

Equipment Needed: Running shoes or cross-training shoes, weighted vest (optional)

How Often You Should Do This Workout: This workout takes about an hour in total. Start by doing this one three times per week and add additional days as you’re able. You should be able to perform this workout every day of the week! 

Modifications

Make it Easier: If you’re still getting your feet wet with dedicated walking workouts, cut out the 5-minute period of jogging. You can also reduce the 20-minute brisk walk down to 10.

Make it Harder: Try completing this workout while wearing a weight vest or small backpack to burn more calories. 

Takeaways

Walking helps you lose weight by burning calories. 

The more calories you burn, the larger energy deficit you can create.

Sustain your calorie deficit for a period of weeks or months by sticking to a walking routine (and following a meal plan or practicing intuitive eating habits) and you’ll begin to lose weight.

Walking is easy, simple, and accessible to nearly every able-bodied individual.

You can shave time off your walking workouts by wearing a weight vest, increasing your average walking speed, or walking uphill.

Walking has been shown to help prevent muscle loss, improve mood, and increase fat oxidation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you lose belly fat by walking?

Yes, but it’s not quite that simple. You shouldn’t obsess over spot fat reduction, but know that walking burns fat from all over your body and will eventually target belly fat if you adhere to your exercise routine and maintain a calorie deficit. 

How much do I need to walk every day to lose weight?

If walking is your only form of exercise, you’ll need to do a lot of it to lose weight. Many people adhere to a 10,000-step daily benchmark. Try working up to that level while monitoring your body weight and adjust as necessary. 

Can I lose weight by walking 30 minutes every day?

Yes! 30 minutes of walking can burn a few hundred calories. In conjunction with regulating your calorie intake and eating healthy, you can create a calorie deficit and lose weight. 

How long does it take to see results from walking?

Cardiovascular fitness improves rapidly. You can expect to see positive changes in your fitness and mood after just a week or two of regular walking. If you’re walking solely to lose weight, you’ll have to be more patient and measure your results over a period of months. 

References

Yoshiko A, Tomita A, Ando R, Ogawa M, Kondo S, Saito A, Tanaka NI, Koike T, Oshida Y, Akima H. Effects of 10-week walking and walking with home-based resistance training on muscle quality, muscle size, and physical functional tests in healthy older individuals. Eur Rev Aging Phys Act. 2018 Nov 19;15:13. doi: 10.1186/s11556-018-0201-2. PMID: 30473735; PMCID: PMC6240935.

Cao J, Lei S, Zhao T, Xie Y, Zhou Z, Cheng S, Wang X. Changes in Fat Oxidation and Body Composition after Combined Exercise Intervention in Sedentary Obese Chinese Adults. J Clin Med. 2022 Feb 18;11(4):1086. doi: 10.3390/jcm11041086. PMID: 35207356; PMCID: PMC8879656.

Legrand FD, Jeandet P, Beaumont F, Polidori G. Effects of Outdoor Walking on Positive and Negative Affect: Nature Contact Makes a Big Difference. Front Behav Neurosci. 2022 Jun 3;16:901491. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2022.901491. PMID: 35726335; PMCID: PMC9206539.

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2024 Olympics: Meet the 5 Weightlifters Representing Team USA 

The 2024 Olympics are approaching, and fast. With just a hair over two months left until the summer Games kick off in Paris, France, all eyes turn upon the Olympians selected to bring some hardware home to the United States.

This year, America is sending perhaps its strongest roster of weightlifters ever to compete at Paris 2024. Not only are these athletes among the best weightlifters in the world, they’re all poised to take a shot at the top of the podium.

Courtesy of USA Weightlifting

In cooperation with USA Weightlifting (USAW), it is BarBend‘s distinct pleasure to introduce the five Americans representing Team USA on the Olympic stage this summer:

2024 Olympics Team USA Weightlifting Roster

Jourdan Delacruz (49KG)

Hampton Morris (61KG)

Olivia Reeves (71KG)

Wes Kitts (102KG)

Mary Theisen-Lappen (+81KG)

[Related: The Best Weightlifters of 2023]


Jourdan Delacruz (49KG)

Courtesy of USA Weightlifting

For lightweight Jourdan Delacruz, Paris 2024 is more than a second Olympic Games — it’s a chance at redemption. After a valiant campaign to make it onto the States’ Olympic roster in 2021, Delacruz “bombed out” in Tokyo, failing to register a Total (the sum of an athlete’s snatch and clean & jerk).

Jourdan Delacruz (49KG) | By the Numbers

22 IWF event appearances since 2015

4 World Championships appearances, improving from 13th place to 3rd between 2018 and 2023

4 Pan American Championships medals, including three golds and one silver

American Record holder in the snatch, clean & jerk, and Total

[Related: The Best Barbells for Olympic Lifting]

At her first Senior World Championships in 2018, Delacruz ranked a modest 13th. Flash forward to the 2023 World Weightlifting Championships in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Delacruz made it to the Senior World podium (bronze) for the first time in her career. She won her two previous IWF events before that as well, but hasn’t competed since last September. 

We aren’t sure what sort of shape she’s in heading into Paris, but one thing is for sure — she’s got a wrong to right and the grit to make it happen.


Hampton Morris (61KG)

Courtesy of USA Weightlifting

[Related: The Best Weightlifting Shoes You Can Buy]

61-kilogram Hampton Morris is a history-maker, and we mean that literally. Morris, 20, broke a 50-year U.S. world record drought in Men’s weightlifting earlier this year with a 176-kilogram clean & jerk — nearly thrice his own weight held overhead.

Hampton Morris (61KG) | By the Numbers

7 international competition wins since 2019

Number-two ranked 61-kilogram Olympian

3 out of 3 Senior American record holder

Junior and Senior world record holder in the clean & jerk

Morris travels to Paris as Team USA’s best hope for an Olympic medal in Men’s weightlifting in a generation. The gold-medal position is expected to go to Chinese athlete and snatch world-record holder Li Fabin, but Morris is in a solid position to bag silver if he has a good day on the weightlifting platform. And when Morris has good days, he has great ones.


Olivia Reeves (71KG)

Courtesy of USA Weightlifting

[Related: The Best Weightlifting Belts on the Market]

Since the 2016 Olympics in Rio, American weightlifting has undergone something of a renaissance. At the World Championships in 2015 (held in Houston, TX), the Team USA women ranked 14th in overall points. Flash forward to 2023 and the American women’s contingent ranked second. That’s off the back of practice, perseverance, and prodigal performers like 71-kilogram Olivia Reeves

Olivia Reeves (71KG) | By the Numbers

13 podium finishes out of 15 international competition appearances since 2019

3 out of 3 Junior world records in the Women’s 71-kilogram category

3 out of 3 Senior American records in the Women’s 71-kilogram category

Number-one ranked 71-kilogram Olympian

Reeves is heading to her first Olympic Games as the favorite for gold in the Women’s 71-kilogram category. She’ll face stiff competition from the likes of Ecuador and Romania, but Reeves has momentum — and an abundance of raw strength — on her side. 


Wes Kitts (102KG)

Courtesy of USA Weightlifting

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Tokyo Olympian Wes Kitts will appear in Paris as a “Continental” representative of the Pan-American region. The International Olympic Committee has in recent years prioritized athlete representation from all major worldwide regions at all Games events. Don’t sleep on Kitts, though — we certainly aren’t.

Wes Kitts (102KG) | By the Numbers

19 international event appearances since 2016

3 out of 3 American records in the Men’s 109-kilogram category

2 out of 3 American records in the Men’s 102-kilogram category

3 Pan-American Championships wins

2019 Pan American Games winner at 109 kilograms

Kitts, 34, is the oldest and most tenured competitor on Team USA’s weightlifting roster. As a husband, father, and business owner, Kitts has a lot on his plate. He’s also facing down multiple previous Olympic Champions in the Men’s 102-kilogram category, but we’re confident that Kitts has the steady hands and cool head required to perform under pressure.


Mary Theisen-Lappen (+81KG)

Courtesy of USA Weightlifting

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America has maintained a decade-long presence on the Women’s super-heavyweight international podium thanks to storied competitor (and two-time summer Games bronze medalist) Sarah Robles. Come the closure of the Paris 2024 qualification procedure in April, and Robles had gracefully stepped back to make way for newcomer Mary Theisen-Lappen.

Mary Theisen-Lappen (+81KG) | By the Numbers

7 podium finishes out of 8 international event appearances since 2020

2 Pan-American Championships wins

2nd place at the 2023 World Weightlifting Championships

Senior American record holder in the clean & jerk

Number-five ranked +81-kilogram Olympian

Theisen-Lappen ventures to Paris as the world-number-five Women’s super. She’ll do battle with Great Britain, South Korea, and Thailand for a likely-bronze medal finish. Theisen-Lappen may not be as tenured as some of her colleagues, but we actually think that’s an advantage.

Theisen-Lappen has improved rapidly in the last two years and shows no signs of slowing down. She’ll make it to the podium and probably set some new American records along the way.

Where Is Athlete Number Six?

Per the athlete quotas set forth by the IOC at the outset of the Paris weightlifting qualification period, countries are permitted to send up to six weightlifters — three men and three women — to the Games this year.

Team USA houses only five; no other American athlete placed high enough in their weight classes’ ranking lists to make the cut this time around. USAW has confirmed to BarBend that there are no official alternates on their Paris roster at this time.

2024 Olympics Weightlifting Schedule

The Paris Olympics begin on Jul. 26, 2024, and run until Aug. 11. Weightlifting won’t be showcased the entire time though; all weight class events will take place over a five-day period between Aug. 7 and 11.

Here’s a breakdown of the weightlifting schedule for Paris 2024, plus which American team members will be on stage. Dates and times are subject to changeAll times are in Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Wednesday, August 7

9:00AM: Men 61KG | Hampton Morris

1:30PM: Women 49KG | Jourdan Delacruz

Thursday, August 8

9:00AM: Women 59KG

1:30PM: Men 73KG

Friday, August 9

9:00AM: Men 89KG

1:30PM: Women 71KG | Olivia Reeves

Saturday, August 10

5:30AM: Men 102KG | Wes Kitts

10:00AM: Women 81KG

2:30PM: Men +102KG

Sunday, August 11

5:30AM: Women +81KG | Mary Theisen-Lappen

More Weightlifting News

2024 IWF Youth World Weightlifting Championships Results

Report: Scandal Within Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation

Mattie Rogers’ “Soul-Crushing” Injury Ends 2024 Olympics Dreams

Editor’s Note: BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. The two organizations maintain editorial independence unless otherwise noted on specific content projects. 

Featured Image courtesy of USA Weightlifting

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Bodybuilding Coach Joe Bennett Explains Proper Lat Pulldown Form

One of bodybuilding’s premiere trainers, the “Hypertrophy Coach” Joe Bennett, recently trained IFBB Pro John Ballard through an intense back workout that included proper execution of the chest-supported T-bar row.

Bennett coached Ballard through a unilateral lat pulldown session to continue that educational frame.

Single-Arm Machine Pulldown

The single-arm machine pulldown targets the latissimus dorsi, the large muscles spanning most of the back. Instead of a typical bilateral lat pulldown (i.e., pulling with both arms), the single-arm pulldown better isolates each lat to remedy muscle and strength imbalances.

While the primary focus is lats, single-arm pulldowns involve the rhomboids, teres major, and traps, which aid in the protraction and retraction of the scapula during the exercise. The biceps and brachialis are also engaged during a pulldown, as is typical in pulling exercises. See the training session between Bennett and Ballard below:

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Steps For Maximum Lat Building with Single-Arm Pulldown

Bennett shared numerous cues and instructions for proper form throughout a full range of motion to educate Ballard about what a proper single-arm lat pulldown should feel and look like. The following is a step-by-step breakdown:

1. Seated Neutral Position

Ballard performed warmups on the single-arm pulldown machine. Bennett allows his trainees to train the movements and correct them as needed.

The knee pads were locked onto Ballard’s quads. His knees were bent 90 degrees, and his feet were firmly planted on the floor. This machine did not provide back support. His pulling hand held a neutral grip while the non-pulling hand held a handlebar.

Bennett’s first correction for Ballard was Ballard’s lean. Ballard leaned toward the side he pulled toward. Bennett guided Ballard to maintain a neutral spine, with a mostly upright torso not directly under the weight. Bennett referred to this starting position as a “clean slate.”

2. Get A Full Reach With The Arm

Bennett continuously told Ballard to allow the arm to reach up so the lat could fully lengthen. That included scapula movement allowing the arm and lat to lengthen.

The eccentric should remain controlled. Do not let the weight pull the arm quickly. Ensure a slow tempo as the arm, shoulder, and lat allow the weight to return to the starting position.

Ballard was instructed to pause at the top so that the weight wouldn’t bounce, thereby creating momentum.

3. Pulling The Weight Down With Your Lat

Bennett demonstrated how most people pull the weight back as though performing a row before pulling the arm down. This forces the traps and rear delts to brunt much of the load. Bennett recommends slowly executing the pull downward, not backward, as one fluid motion.

Elevation, smooth depression, and extension of the shoulder simultaneously.

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View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Joe Bennett (@hypertrophycoach)

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4. Squeeze At The Bottom

With the top of this movement, Bennett instructed Ballard to pause in the fully shortened position. After pausing, slowly lift the weight to the starting position.

This slow, controlled movement keeps the muscles under tension. It prevents form cheating by not allowing the weight to create momentum and pulling the arm into full extension. When training to failure, Bennett recommends having a spotter help perform the movement fluidly.

Featured image: @classic.foodie_ifbbpro on Instagram

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Men’s Open Bodybuilder Brett Wilkin’s Push Day and Future Competition Plans

IFBB Men’s Open bodybuilder Brett Wilkin withdrew from the 2023 Olympia a few weeks before debuting on bodybuilding’s most prestigious stage due to digestive complications. He dedicated the remainder of the year to restoring his gut health and returned to a structured training and diet program in January 2024.

Wilkin is in the off-season and has returned to full training. In mid-May, he shared a chest and shoulder routine on his YouTube channel designed to maximize muscle growth and strength. 

Brett Wilkin’s Off-Season Push Day

Here is a summary of the training session:

Machine Pec Deck Flyes

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Machine Chest Press

Superset — Standing Cable Flyes & Push-Ups

Standing Machine Lateral Raise

Superset — Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise & Undergrip EZ Bar Front Press

Check out the video below:

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Machine Pec Deck Flyes

Wilkin opened with two sets of unilateral flyes on the pec deck to warm up. Isolating each pec deepens his mind-muscle connection, which carries over to the subsequent exercises. He extended his hand beyond his midline on concentrics to maximize inner chest activation. Wilkin followed with three heavy bilateral working sets.

Wilkin used a massage gun during the warm-up sets to stretch the fascia and promote muscle pumps, which could potentially contribute to hypertrophy

A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy concluded that massage guns can increase blood flow, modulate pain, enhance myofascial mobility, and reduce myofascial restrictions. These effects may contribute to enhanced fascial stretching and provide the muscles more space for expansion during resistance training. (1)(2)

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Wilkin performed three warm-up sets of incline barbell bench presses to prime the upper chest and front delts for heavier working sets. He progressively increased the load with a single 45-pound weight plate on each side, culminating in three plates per side for his final warm-up set. Wilkin pressed 405 pounds for 10 reps in his working sets.

Machine Chest Press

Wilkin trained on the chest press machine to further load the chest.

Control the eccentric to achieve a deep chest fiber stretch.

Wilkin used a stretch pause technique on the final working set. This advanced training principle involves a 10-second pause in the fully lengthened position after completing 10 repetitions and then lifting to mechanical failure. 

Superset — Standing Cable Flyes & Push-Ups

Wilkin performed standing cable flyes on a functional trainer with the machine’s arms at chest height. He positioned his back against the machine’s pad and arched his lower back to ensure the chest did most of the work. Wilkin superset high cable flyes with push-ups to amplify the chest muscle pump. 

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Standing Machine Side Lateral Raise

Standing lateral raises bias the medial deltoids to promote the coveted 3D shoulder aesthetic. On the final set, Wilkin employed a one-and-a-half rep technique, focusing on the top half of his range of motion (ROM). He lowered the handles halfway after completing a full repetition and returned to the top position before fully lowering to the bottom of his ROM.

Superset — Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise & Undergrip EZ Bar Front Press

Wilkin prefers seated dumbbell lateral raises over the standing variation, which limits momentum by engaging the lower body. He paused in the fully shortened position for a second to maximize medial delt recruitment. 

“I do two types of lateral raises because I believe volume with side laterals is what grows your shoulders and makes them rounder, fuller, and wider,” said Wilkin. 

EZ bar front presses with a supinated grip bias the anterior delts. Wilkin avoided locking out his elbows at the top to keep constant tension on the target muscles.

Competition Plans For the 2024 Season

At the time of recording, Wilkin weighed 275 pounds, claiming it was his most conditioned physique at this weight yet. Though his competition plans remain tentative, he’s contemplating entering the 2024 Texas Pro (Aug. 9-10) and the 2024 Tampa Pro (Aug. 1-3) following consultations with his coach, Matt Jansen.

Wilkin must win a pro show before the Sept. 15 qualification cutoff to punch his ticket to the 2024 Olympia, scheduled for Oct. 10-13 in Las Vegas, NV. 

References

Cheatham, S. W., Baker, R. T., Behm, D. G., Stull, K., & Kolber, M. J. (2021). Mechanical Percussion Devices: A Survey of Practice Patterns Among Healthcare Professionals. International journal of sports physical therapy, 16(3), 766–777. https://doi.org/10.26603/001c.23530

Hirono, T., Ikezoe, T., Taniguchi, M., Tanaka, H., Saeki, J., Yagi, M., Umehara, J., & Ichihashi, N. (2022). Relationship Between Muscle Swelling and Hypertrophy Induced by Resistance Training. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 36(2), 359–364. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003478

Featured image: @brett_wilkin on Instagram

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Why Does My Weight Fluctuate So Much? Dietitians Answer

Key Takeaways

You may encounter 1 to 3 pounds of weight fluctuation daily, which is normal. If your weight is fluctuating by more than 3 pounds consistently, you may want to get a medical evaluation.

Weight fluctuations, themselves, may increase a person’s risk of chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes and can indicate an increased risk of a cardiovascular event by as much as 85%. (1)

Common causes of weight fluctuation include hydration status, sodium intake, bowel movements, stress, menstruation, medication, and illness. 

Weighing yourself daily can make it seem like your weight changes more significantly than it actually does, making less frequent weigh-ins important for gathering meaningful information. It is also important that you weigh yourself in a consistent manner (i.e., before food or water each time).

Weight fluctuation is frustrating, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. It can make you feel as though your exercise and nutrition protocols aren’t doing what you want them to, or make you feel plain uncomfortable in your own body. While it never feels great to see the scale go up and down, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that some level of weight fluctuation is totally normal and nothing to worry about. 

Credit: Pormezz / Shutterstock

I talked with several dietitians specializing in different aspects of nutrition—weight management, eating disorder treatment, and medical nutrition therapy—to sift through the finer details of weight fluctuation. What’s normal? What’s not? How can you minimize it? We answer all of those questions and more—including the biggie, “Why does my weight fluctuate so much?”—in this guide. 

Meet The Experts 

Rita Faycurry, RD, is a registered dietitian at Fay Nutrition specializing in one-on-one medical nutrition therapy and customized nutrition counseling. 

Samantha McKinney, RD, CPT, is a registered dietitian and personal trainer at Life Time Fitness, specializing in metabolism and weight management. 

Emily Van Eck, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating coach specializing in women’s reproductive health and eating disorder treatment.

Gretchen Wallace, MS, RD, CD, is a registered dietitian who specializes in eating disorder recovery and Health At Every Size approaches to nutrition. 

Is Weight Fluctuation Normal?

Weight fluctuation is normal to a certain degree. Our bodies respond to all sorts of factors, such as exercise, food and fluid intake, medication, stress, sleep (or lack thereof), and much more. 

How Much Weight Fluctuation Is Normal?

According to Faycurry, you may encounter one to two pounds of weight fluctuation daily, something that’s not necessarily noticeable unless you weigh yourself every day. And if you do weigh yourself daily?

“Don’t be disheartened; it’s normal,” she says, adding that it’s best to compare your weight week to week instead of day to day to see true changes.

For individuals trying to lose weight, weight fluctuation may be higher in the early stages, which is also normal. “When you start your weight loss journey, it’s normal to lose four to six pounds in the first week,” Faycurry says. “However, your weight loss should average about one to two pounds per week in the span of six months.” 

And if you’re looking to gain weight, the same practice applies, she says: slow and steady wins the race. Trying to lose or gain weight too quickly can result in more weight fluctuation than what’s considered typical

When to Be Concerned About Weight Fluctuation

If you are losing and gaining more than a couple of pounds per day or week, it’s worth looking into. Sometimes, a particularly heavy meal or high alcohol intake can cause you to gain several pounds in a single day. When this happens occasionally, it’s not necessarily a problem. 

But, if you find that your weight fluctuates several pounds each day or more over the course of weeks or months, you may need to analyze your eating habits and/or other lifestyle factors. If you rule out lifestyle factors, it’s a good idea to see a healthcare professional about weight fluctuation.

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“If a person is losing and gaining the same 10 pounds over the course of months, it could mean that their diet isn’t sustainable,” Faycurry says. “They should ask themselves, is this something I can do forever?” 

Importantly, she continues, “Sometimes weight loss isn’t the answer. Maybe it’s a lifestyle change to remove old habits and behaviors that don’t serve them. If weight loss isn’t achieved, then maybe that’s where their body is meant to be.” 

Factors That Impact Weight Fluctuation

Several factors impact your day-to-day body weight, and not all of them are diet-related. “Some people have irregular bowel movements, consume excessive sodium, drink too much or too little water, or have too many alcoholic drinks,” Faycurry says, and those represent just a handful of factors that influence weight fluctuation. 

Hydration Status 

Drinking water can certainly impact weight fluctuation — hence the common cultural term “water weight.” Being dehydrated or overhydrated can impact your body weight. This can happen acutely or over the long term. 

For instance, drinking 32 ounces of water in a single bout will instantly increase your weight. (Water weighs about 28 grams per ounce, so 32 ounces of water weighs about two pounds.) If you weigh yourself after drinking a lot of water, you might think that you have gained weight in a short amount of time, but the truth is that there’s just a lot of water in your digestive tract. 

[Read More: How To Stay Hydrated While Working Out]

Chronic dehydration, on the other hand, may cause your body to hold onto water to make up for the lack of water coming in. This can alter electrolyte levels in the body, further increasing water retention and creating the illusion of weight gain. As counterintuitive as it may seem, the best fix is to drink more water. (2)

There is a relationship between proper hydration, body mass, and body composition: Individuals who have higher water intake and water balance tend to have more balanced body compositions. (2)

Sodium Intake

Sodium intake is closely related to hydration status. Faycurry explains that your body retains fluids to stay balanced. “If you have excessive sodium intake from food, your body will hang on to fluids to balance the excessive sodium,” she says. “Our body loves to stay balanced to function accurately. You might notice that your rings don’t fit, or your face is swollen or puffy. It’s a defense mechanism your body has, and everyone retains fluid in different places.”

“Overnight weight gain is not body fat, just fluid retention,” she points out. “Reducing sodium can positively reduce weight fluctuation and improve weight loss.”

[Read More: The Surprising Benefits of Salt for Strength Athletes]

McKinney adds that a sodium deficiency, too, can cause weight fluctuation, although she points out that it’s more common in heavy sweaters, endurance athletes, and individuals who are pregnant or lactating. If you’re low on sodium, eating salty foods and/or drinking electrolyte drinks can help bring your body to balance. 

Alcohol Intake

In addition to brain fog, headaches, and fatigue after a night of drinking, you may have also noticed that you feel bloated or puffy. Although evidence around alcohol intake and long-term weight gain is conflicting, consuming alcohol can certainly cause short-term weight changes. (4)(5)(6)

For one thing, alcohol itself contains calories (seven calories per gram of alcohol), so increasing your alcohol intake can push you out of a calorie deficit or past maintenance calories. This may affect your weight if you drink more than usual over a period of weeks. Conversely, cutting out alcohol may help you lose weight quickly in the short term. 

If you feel like you gained weight after one or two nights of drinking, you didn’t. Just like hydration status and sodium intake can cause bloating, so can alcohol intake. 

Alcohol irritates the lining of your stomach, which may cause inflammation and lead to feeling or appearing bloated. Alcohol also leads to dehydration because it has diuretic properties, which in turn can lead to fluid retention. All of this can be exacerbated if your drinks contain high amounts of sodium, such as margaritas with a salted rim. (7)(8)

The best course correction to reduce alcohol bloating? Hydrate and have a nutrient-dense meal that won’t upset your stomach.

Creatine Supplementation

Creatine is a popular sports supplement for its ability to improve athletic performance. However, McKinney says it can cause fluid to move into skeletal muscles. 

Credit: Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

[Read More: Creatine Benefits All Lifters Should Know About]

While this isn’t a bad thing, she says, (and the performance effects of creatine are nothing to scoff at), it can make the scale weight increase. Usually, water retention from creatine supplementation smooths out over time, and bloating minimizes the longer you take the supplement. (9)(10

Other Nutritional Factors 

Besides water, sodium, alcohol, and creatine intake, still other nutritional factors can affect weight fluctuations, says McKinney. Simply eating food that doesn’t agree with you can cause you to bloat, which may cause temporary weight gain. 

Importantly, “The health impacts really depend on the composition of the weight that’s fluctuating,” she says. “Is it coming from fat mass, muscle tissue, glycogen, changes in weight of waste material based on fiber intake, fluids, or something else? Each one of these would warrant a different response as to how to solve it.”

“You likely don’t need to adjust your diet to minimize weight fluctuations due to normal causes,” she continues, such as minor changes in hydration status or food intake. “Not only is it normal, but it’s expected to see a couple of pounds of variance in your weight from day to day.”

Bowel Movements

Bowel patterns have a role in day-to-day weight fluctuations as well, McKinney says. “For example, traveling can sometimes lead to constipation or diarrhea, causing more or less weight in the body, respectively,” she explains. “The bulk of your stool and amount of water in your digestive tract also varies—and therefore so does your weight—as your fiber intake changes.”

Menstrual Cycle 

Anyone with a menstrual cycle is familiar with how their mental and physical state changes over the course of their cycle. Menstrual patterns influence mood, mental acuity, fatigue, pain, physical performance, and, yes, body weight. 

It’s absolutely normal to gain weight during menstruation, which is mostly due to extracellular water retention, according to a 2023 study in the American Journal of Human Biology. Some research has also found that menstruation increases fluid retention in muscle cells. (11)(12)

Other causes of weight gain during menstruation can come from changes in appetite, leading you to eat more or less than usual or consume more or less salt than usual; a reduced level of exercise, which may influence hydration status; or hormonal fluctuations that lead to gastrointestinal symptoms like constipation. (13)(14)

McKinney says that increases in body weight are typically most significant on the first day of menstruation. Your weight should rebalance within a few days of your period ending.

Medication

Several types of medication can cause weight gain or weight loss, including corticosteroids and antidepressants. According to endocrinology researchers at the University of Antwerp, there is a long list of common drugs that can lead to weight gain: (15)

Some diabetes medications, including insulin and thiazolidinediones

Anti-hypertensive drugs, including beta-blockers 

SSRIs, a class of antidepressants

Lithium 

Antipsychotic drugs, including haloperidol and perphenazine

Contraceptives 

Drugs that can cause weight loss include: (15)

Some diabetes medications, including GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic 

Some antidepressants, like bupropion 

Some antipsychotic drugs, including topiramate and zonisamide

These lists are not comprehensive. If you think that your medication may be causing weight gain, weight loss, or weight cycling, talk to your doctor about the side effects of your medication

Illness 

McKinney says that if you experience day-to-day weight fluctuations of more than three pounds, you should consider a medical evaluation. This is because high levels of weight fluctuation can point to underlying health conditions or complicate known health conditions. 

For example, “Excess fluid retention can be dangerous with certain underlying medical conditions, such as ascites (in liver disease), high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and kidney problems,” McKinney says. 

McKinney notes that when she was working in a hospital setting, she saw medical conditions that could cause weight changes of up to 30 pounds in just a couple of days. “Those situations obviously require medical intervention, but I share that example to highlight that day-to-day fluid fluctuations can cause significant shifts to what the scale says,” she explains. 

Thyroid Function 

Thyroid hormones play a major role in weight management due to their role in metabolism and energy management in the body. If your body produces too much of the thyroid hormones T3, T4, and/or TSH (hyperthyroidism), you may lose weight. If your body doesn’t produce enough of any of the thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), you may gain weight. (16)

If your weight loss or gain is accompanied by symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, anxiety, nervousness, or irritability (hyperthyroidism); or fatigue, feeling unusually cold, dry skin, dry or thinning hair, or depression (hyperthyroidism), consider seeing a doctor to evaluate your symptoms. 

Exercise

Physical activity can acutely influence your body weight, too. 

“A tough workout causes micro-tears in your muscle, and with proper replenishment from protein and carbohydrate, you may see temporary—and expected—inflammation, fluid shifts, and an increase in glycogen and water storage in your muscles,” McKinney says. 

This would make your weight higher the next day, but all for anticipated reasons that are necessary for your long-term success,” she says.

Stress

Weight is also impacted by cortisol, our primary stress hormone, McKinney says. 

[Read More: Ways To Improve Your Workout Recovery When You’re Stressed Out]

“When we are under-slept or experiencing a stressful situation, infection, or injury, cortisol levels can go wonky,” she explains. “As a result, a hormone called aldosterone, which helps regulate sodium and fluid levels, can shift as well, which could cause daily weight swings.”

Eating Disorder Recovery 

Anyone in eating disorder treatment could experience weight fluctuations, says registered dietitian Emily Van Eck, and weight changes are a normal outcome of eating disorder treatment.

“Someone coming into treatment who has been undernourished could gain weight as a result of treatment, but they could also experience initial weight loss,” she says. “If their metabolism had slowed down because of inadequate nutrition, an initial ramping up of metabolism can occur. This is a sign that they need to continue nourishing themselves until they are well into recovery and their weight stabilizes.”

Importantly, treatment plans for individuals with eating disorders need to be individualized with the doctor and dietitian, Van Eck says. “If weight gain is emotionally challenging for a person in eating disorder treatment, this needs to be addressed with the treatment team, including therapy.”

The key, she says, “isn’t to limit weight changes, but to cope with and process emotions related to necessary weight changes.” 

When to Weigh Yourself

This may come as a surprise to many people who are trying to lose or gain weight, but frequent weigh-ins may actually be limiting your success. (17)

“Weighing ourselves, especially weighing ourselves too often, can make it feel like our body is changing more significantly than is actually true,” says Gretchen Wallace, a registered dietitian who specializes in eating disorder recovery. “In the case of weight stabilization, that does not mean that a body won’t fluctuate day by day or week by week but instead that we see the body naturally maintain weight in a small range; sometimes being a little up and sometimes being a little down but overall remaining in a similar place.”

“This can be a sign that the body is giving appropriate hunger cues, that intake is varied and satisfying, that a person is moving their body in ways that are supportive, and that the body is in a weight range that matches what is healthy for their unique genetics and weight history,” Wallace continues.

So, when is a weight-conscious individual to weigh themself? 

McKinney says the best approach is to use averages over time, rather than weighing yourself daily. “Your average weekly weight taken first thing in the morning after a bowel movement over six to eight weeks is way more meaningful than comparing today’s weight to yesterday’s weight.” 

Comparing day-to-day fluctuations to determine whether or not your program is working is incredibly misleading.

— Samantha McKinney

Van Eck points out that there are additional considerations for individuals coping with eating disorders. “I almost always recommend not weighing oneself in the treatment process,” she says. “Taking the emphasis off of the number on the scale and placing it on how things are going and feeling on a daily basis, is a much, much better indicator of progress. Fixating on that number can hinder progress.”

And Faycurry adds that weighing yourself midweek on the same day, at the same time, can help you avoid fluctuations that come with normal weekend activities, such as eating out at restaurants with friends.

How to Weigh Yourself

Interpreting weight changes accurately requires consistent and well-planned weigh-ins.

Credit: Artem Oleshko / Shutterstock

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The following steps can help you create a weigh-in schedule that allows you to minimize recording changes from normal fluctuation factors.

Weigh on the Same Day Each Week

Ideally, you’ll weigh yourself midweek to avoid recording changes influenced by weekend activities. Since drinking alcohol and eating out at restaurants can influence hydration status and sodium intake, give your body a few days to balance out by weighing in on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday each week. 

Weigh at the Same Time of Day 

It’s critical to weigh yourself at the same time each day. The best time to do so is right after you wake up, after having a bowel movement, and before eating or drinking anything. This minimizes factors that affect weight fluctuation.

Weigh Weekly, Not Daily

Experts recommend weighing yourself once per week to avoid recording normal daily fluctuations, which may give you misleading information about the direction your weight is headed. 

Wear The Same Clothes Each Time 

Weigh yourself in minimal, comfortable clothing, such as your underwear and bra or a light T-shirt. A swimsuit is also a good option. Wear the same or similar clothes each time to avoid weight differences from clothing.

Avoid Weighing After Exercise

Because exercise can change your hydration status from sweating, it’s best to weigh yourself before exercising, particularly if you are a heavy sweater or exercising in a hot environment. This also allows you to refuel after exercise without worrying about whether or not it will affect your weigh-in (it will). 

Maintain Hydration for Accuracy 

Stay hydrated daily to keep weigh-ins accurate—and to support your health and well-being. Being dehydrated or overhydrated affects your body weight both in the moment and in the long term. So, make sure you’re drinking enough water daily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Daily weight fluctuation is a common concern for many people. Here are some of the common questions we get asked about people’s wellness journeys.

Is it normal for your weight to fluctuate a lot?

According to registered dietitians, it’s normal for an average adult’s weight to increase and/or decrease by a couple of pounds per day. If you’re losing or gaining more than three pounds on a daily basis—or larger amounts of weight over the course of weeks or months—it may warrant a medical evaluation and/or lifestyle interventions.

How do I stop my weight from fluctuating?

Analyzing lifestyle factors and overall health indicators may help you discover why your weight fluctuates. Water, sodium, alcohol, and fiber intake all influence weight fluctuations. Exercise, bowel movements, stress, menstruation, pregnancy and lactation, medication, and illness also impact your body weight. Minimizing weight fluctuation may require accounting for one or multiple of those factors.

How did I gain four pounds overnight?

Gaining several pounds overnight can be a stressful experience, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. However, it’s likely temporary. You may have gained four pounds overnight because you drank a lot of alcohol, ate a particularly heavy or sodium-rich meal, started your period, or if you need to make a bowel movement. 

What time of day do you weigh the most?

For the most part, your body will be at its heaviest at the end of the day. This is because you’ve eaten meals and snacks and consumed water throughout the day. If you did a tough workout, had a very stressful day, started your period, or consumed a lot of salt, you may weigh more than usual at the end of a given day.

How does the thyroid affect weight gain and weight loss?

An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause weight gain, while an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can cause weight loss, all associated with hormonal changes. Both of these conditions are typically accompanied by a number of other symptoms and usually require medical intervention. (16)

Editor’s Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. When starting a new training regimen and/or diet, it is always a good idea to consult with a trusted medical professional. We are not a medical resource. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. They are not substitutes for consulting a qualified medical professional.

References

Bangalore S, Fayyad R, Laskey R, DeMicco DA, Messerli FH, Waters DD. Body-Weight Fluctuations and Outcomes in Coronary Disease. N Engl J Med. 2017 Apr 6;376(14):1332-1340. 

Taylor K, Jones EB. Adult Dehydration. [Updated 2022 Oct 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan

Laja García AI, Moráis-Moreno C, Samaniego-Vaesken ML, Puga AM, Partearroyo T, Varela-Moreiras G. Influence of Water Intake and Balance on Body Composition in Healthy Young Adults from Spain. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1923.

Wang L, Lee IM, Manson JE, Buring JE, Sesso HD. Alcohol consumption, weight gain, and risk of becoming overweight in middle-aged and older women. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(5):453-461.

Booranasuksakul U, Singhato A, Rueangsri N, Prasertsri P. Association between Alcohol Consumption and Body Mass Index in University Students. Asian Pac Isl Nurs J. 2019;4(1):57-65.

Fong M, Scott S, Albani V, Adamson A, Kaner E. ‘Joining the Dots’: Individual, Sociocultural and Environmental Links between Alcohol Consumption, Dietary Intake and Body Weight-A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2021;13(9):2927.

InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Overview: Gastritis. [Updated 2021 Nov 10].

Polhuis KCMM, Wijnen AHC, Sierksma A, Calame W, Tieland M. The Diuretic Action of Weak and Strong Alcoholic Beverages in Elderly Men: A Randomized Diet-Controlled Crossover Trial. Nutrients. 2017;9(7):660.

Wang CC, Fang CC, Lee YH, Yang MT, Chan KH. Effects of 4-Week Creatine Supplementation Combined with Complex Training on Muscle Damage and Sport Performance. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1640.

Antonio, J., Candow, D.G., Forbes, S.C. et al. Common questions and misconceptions about creatine supplementation: what does the scientific evidence really show?. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 18, 13 (2021).

Kanellakis S, Skoufas E, Simitsopoulou E, et al. Changes in body weight and body composition during the menstrual cycle. Am J Hum Biol. 2023;35(11):e23951.

Sawai A, Tochigi Y, Kavaliova N, et al. MRI reveals menstrually-related muscle edema that negatively affects athletic agility in young women. PLoS One. 2018;13(1):e0191022.

Gorczyca, A.M., Sjaarda, L.A., Mitchell, E.M. et al. Changes in macronutrient, micronutrient, and food group intakes throughout the menstrual cycle in healthy, premenopausal women. Eur J Nutr 55, 1181–1188 (2016).

Guarino M, Cheng L, Cicala M, Ripetti V, Biancani P, Behar J. Progesterone receptors and serotonin levels in colon epithelial cells from females with slow transit constipation. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2011;23(6):575-e210.

Verhaegen AA, Van Gaal LF. Drugs That Affect Body Weight, Body Fat Distribution, and Metabolism. [Updated 2019 Feb 11]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Blackman MR, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000

Liu G, Liang L, Bray GA, et al. Thyroid hormones and changes in body weight and metabolic parameters in response to weight loss diets: the POUNDS LOST trial. Int J Obes (Lond). 2017;41(6):878-886.

Helms ER, Prnjak K, Linardon J. Towards a Sustainable Nutrition Paradigm in Physique Sport: A Narrative Review. Sports (Basel). 2019;7(7):172.

Featured Image: Pormezz / Shutterstock

The post Why Does My Weight Fluctuate So Much? Dietitians Answer appeared first on BarBend.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill Review (2024): A Budget-Friendly Machine for Beginners

Many of the best treadmills can take up loads of space and cost thousands of dollars, leaving consumers wondering, “Where has all of my money gone?” The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 treadmill, on the other hand, is a budget buy we’d recommend for its approachable training capabilities and reasonable footprint.

To be clear, the SF-T4400 isn’t for serious runners looking for HIIT work or marathon prep. It does, however, provide the basics for beginners looking to dip their toes in the world of treadmill training. With a max speed of 9 miles per hour, a 4.3-percent max incline, and a compact design for those with limited floor space, this treadmill can reliably support brisk walks, jogs, and light runs as novice athletes build up a routine. We’ve tested nearly 50 treadmills in our search for the best gear, and that collective knowledge has helped inform this Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 treadmill review.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400

This Sunny Health & Fitness treadmill is a steal at less than $400. It goes up to high speeds and even has some incline capabilities at an ultra-low price. 

Shop Sunny Health & Fitness

About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level-1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cite to help ensure we’re providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations. She has also tested multiple budget-friendly treadmills herself, so she knows what these machines can offer.

Main Takeaways

The SF-T4400 comes equipped with nine built-in programs, and the center console showcases your speed, time, distance, pulse, and calories burned.

The 15.5-inch by 49-inch running deck is smaller than we’d recommend for running treadmills, but should suit low-intensity work and shorter runners. 

This folding treadmill uses a hydraulic mechanism soft-drop system to help you lower the running deck to the floor from its folded position.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill Highlights

Price: $499.99

Incline Range: 3 levels (manual)

Max Speed: 9mph

Motor Size: 2.2 Peak HP

Weight Capacity: 220lbs

Product Dimensions: 50” H x 62” L x 25.5” W

Running Deck Dimensions: 49” L x 15.5” W

Display: LCD screen

Warranty: 3-year frame, 180-day parts and components

One of the biggest draws of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 is its compact profile, which takes up just 10.98 square feet — about the same footprint as a full-size baby crib and roughly half the size of many commercial treadmills. (1) It’s one of the best compact treadmills we’ve tested. 

What’s more, it can fold up, saving an additional 4.6 feet of floor space. This folding mechanism is aided by a hydraulic soft-drop system that helps to gently lower the deck. “The folding feature actually is soft, and I didn’t have to worry about the deck crashing into the floor,” noted our tester, a certified personal trainer.

Our BarBend tester moving the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400.

Similar to other compact treadmills, this bite-sized profile comes at the cost of a spacious running deck. It measures 49 inches in length and 15.5 inches in width, making it best suited for walking and jogging. “People who intend to run or sprint on their treadmill should look for a running deck of at least 60 inches in length,” says our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto. 

Our tester agreed. “The deck length could work for those looking to add some movement to their day, but it isn’t meant for advanced runners,” they said. 

Speaking of movement, the SF-T440 can support speeds up to 9 miles per hour and has three incline levels that can intensify your training. That said, the incline maxes out at 4.3 percent, and adjustments must be made manually while off the treadmill. “The speed and incline is limited compared to pricier treadmills, but I appreciated that it was sturdy when I took this machine through all of its available settings,” said our tester. 

The SF-T4400 has a 2.2 Peak HP motor, which isn’t as strong as the CHP motors you’re likely to see on the best commercial treadmills. “For the motor, continuous horsepower (CHP) is ideal, and runners who train at a high volume will want to look for a CHP of 3.0. However, that may be really tough to find in a budget lineup,” says Capritto. While this treadmill’s motor isn’t as strong as the CHP motors we like to see, it should easily support low-intensity work.

“This is a true, no-ifs-ands-or-buts budget treadmill,” says Capritto about the SF-T4400. “It’s one of the least expensive models I’ve ever tried, and I recommend it as a starter treadmill or for people who only plan to use their treadmill occasionally.” 

Pros

This space-saving home treadmill folds down from 10.98 square feet to just 6.38 square feet.

The $499.99 price tag is roughly $600 to $1,100 less expensive than the average treadmill we’ve tested.

It has nine built-in workout programs that can help beginners cultivate a routine. 

Cons

There are three incline levels, but they can only be adjusted manually while off the treadmill.

The 49-inch running deck and 2.2 Peak HP motor are best suited for walks, jogs, and light runs. 

Its 220-pound user weight capacity is below the 300-pound industry standard. 

Training With the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill

To see how the T4400 would hold up to your cardio workouts at home, our tester ran, jogged, and walked on this treadmill over several weeks to see how well this fitness machine could support a variety of training.

Following the BarBend equipment testing methodology, we scored this treadmill on a scale from 1 (not great) to 5 (fantastic) in categories such as durability, workout experience, setup, and adjustability. The following areas were highlighted by our tester after their experience testing out all of the features on the SF-T4400.

Manual Incline

Incline capabilities are rare on budget treadmills under $500, so our tester appreciated the 4.3-percent manual incline available on this treadmill. For clarity, manual incline means you won’t be able to make adjustments while you’re on the treadmill. To make adjustments, you’ll need to lift up the belt deck, pull out a metal push pin, and then choose between the three available levels on the orange spacers on both sides of the deck. 

Our tester adjusting the manual incline on the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400.

“There isn’t a lot to work with regarding incline capabilities,” noted our tester, who noted that the incline percentage for each level isn’t labeled. The SF-T4400 won’t make our list of the best incline treadmills — many of which can reach pitches of 15 percent and beyond — but we still appreciated the options. Adjustability scored a 3.5 out of 5. 

Foldable Running Deck

While saving cash with the SF-T4400, you’ll also be saving floor space with this treadmill’s foldable running surface. When your workout is done, this treadmill can fold down from 10.98 square feet to just 6.38 square feet. 

“This machine folds up fairly flat, I think I’d even be able to fit it in the back of my car,” noted our tester. “To unfold it, all I had to do was kick a foot tap and the soft-drop hydraulics lowered the running deck slowly without banging against the floor.” 

Once folded, this treadmill can tilt back onto transport wheels located on the front of the unit so you can roll it out of the way. Portability scored a 5 out of 5.

Workout Programs

There are nine built-in programs that you can choose from on the LCD display. “The amount of pre-programmed workouts is limited, but it should be suitable for beginners or those looking to just add some steps to their day,” noted our tester, who gave workout experience a 4 out of 5. This quantity of programming is typical for budget treadmills, which rarely exceed more than 10 programs. 

Tech Capabilities

As is the case with wallet-friendly treadmills, the tech on the Sunny SF-T4400 is limited. There’s no fancy touchscreen, auto incline, or Bluetooth connectivity like you’ll find on a smart treadmill. However, the LCD screen provides access to workout programs and keeps track of stats like speed, time, distance, pulse, and calories burned. 

The console on the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400.

The handlebars, meanwhile, have pulse sensors to keep track of your heart rate, as well as quick speed buttons so you can start, stop, and adjust your speed mid-workout. Speed adjustments can be made from either the handrail controls or the LCD screen. Tech capabilities scored a 3 out of 5.

We also like that there’s a tablet holder on the center console, allowing users to watch shows or boot up one of the best fitness apps via their mobile device. However, our tester felt a little uncomfortable with this shelf. “The device holder doesn’t feel too secure, so I’m not sure I’d want to store my phone or tablet here during my workout,” they said. 

What to Consider Before Buying the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill

To buy, or not to buy, that is the question. You’ll want to mull over the following factors to help you decide if the SF-T4400’s is suitable for your training. We’ve tested nearly 50 treadmills, so here are some things to consider based on our experience. 

Fitness Goals

First and foremost, you’ll want to consider the type of training you’re looking to accomplish by bringing a treadmill into your home. Motor power, max speed, incline capabilities, and programming are all features that can dictate the intensity of your workout. If you’re interested in training for an upcoming race or practicing the uphill climb on a hike you’re eager to tackle, look for treadmills with incline capabilities and max speeds that can support your fitness goals. 

Our tester makes adjustments to their speed on the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400.

Additionally, if you want the ability to sprint, you’ll want max speeds that allow you to pick up the pace — we like to recommend a 12-mile-per-hour max speed for sprinters since this allows for a 5-minute mile pace.

The SF-T440’s 2.2 HP motor, top speed of 9 miles per hour, and limited incline won’t help it land on any of the best treadmills for running lists, since these specs are best suited for those looking for brisk walks and jogs. Capritto notes that this treadmill isn’t designed for seasoned athletes or runners looking to log a ton of daily miles, but that it can absolutely help beginners and seniors stay active, limber, and on track with their fitness goals. 

Running Deck

Before buying a treadmill, consider the belt deck length that will best support your stride, and also if you’ll need extra cushion beneath your step to keep your knees and joints happy.

Our tester walking on the belt deck of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400.

As Capritto notes, “People who intend to run or sprint on their treadmill should look for a running deck of at least 60 inches in length. Walkers and joggers can get away with shorter decks, unless they are really tall individuals. Fifty to 55 inches can usually cut it for walking and light jogging. A padded deck can be helpful for individuals with joint pain, although it may be tough to find a well-padded deck on a budget.” 

The 49-inch length belt deck on the SF-T4400 isn’t suited for long strides, but should provide enough space for shorter runners and taller walkers. Plus, our tester thought the shock absorption under the deck helped to reduce impact on their joints and made for a comfortable walking experience.

Footprint

What’s the point in finding the perfect treadmill if it won’t fit in your home? Before you start your search, take inventory of the space you have available. “Check the overall length, width, and height of the machine in its assembled position and folded position if applicable. And triple-measure your space to make sure it will fit,” says Capritto.

We think the SF-T4400 is one of the best treadmills for apartments thanks to its compact footprint of 10.98 square feet, which is roughly half the size of many commercial treadmills. Additionally, the foldable deck can help you save space, transforming down to 6.38 square feet when folded. Footprint scored a 5 out of 5 with our tester.

Price

Create a budget of how much you’d like to spend, how much you’re able to spend, and how much you’re willing to spend. Armed with these numbers, start creating a list of the treadmills that fit within your spending limits. While treadmills with touchscreens, app compatibility, and Bluetooth don’t tend to come cheap, you can still find machines with the training intensity you want in a price range that won’t break the bank.

The Sunny Health & Fitness T4400 carries a sub-$500 price tag, making it one of the most budget-friendly options on the market. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the monthly subscription fees associated with treadmills with touchscreens and their integrated apps.

User Weight Capacity

Before purchasing a treadmill, take note of its max user weight limit to ensure its suited to your body type. It’s also worthwhile to allow for a slight buffer between your weight and the treadmill’s max user weight since, if you plan on running, you’ll be putting additional force onto the deck and forcing the motor to work harder. (2)

Our tester takes the SF-T4400 for a test ride.

While the SF-T4400 scored big on footprint and portability, this small build comes at the cost of a larger weight capacity. This treadmill can only support users up to 220 pounds, which is far less than the industry standard of 300 pounds. If you’re a larger athlete, the best treadmills for heavy people feature max user weight capacities of 350 pounds and more.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill Vs. the Competition

We’ve tested nearly 50 treadmills over the years, dabbling in a wide range of budget-friendly options with features similar to this Sunny Health & Fitness treadmill. The chart below compares this treadmill against three worthy considerations when looking for a low-priced treadmill with a minimal footprint.

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-T4400 most closely resembles the XTERRA TR150, and these two machines look like fraternal twins, with similar features but some slight differences. Both treadmills offer three levels of manual incline, but TR150 has a higher user weight capacity, larger running deck dimensions, and wider speed range. However, for those tight on space, the SF-T4400 takes up less space, measuring 10.98 square feet compared to the TR150’s footprint of 12.66 square feet.

The Egofit Walker Pro and GoPlus 2-in-1 treadmills are two of the best under-desk treadmills we’ve tested. In fact, I’m currently walking on the Walker Pro as I write this. Unlike the SF-T4400, these treadmills are designed for use under desks, and as such, feature shorter belt decks and slower speeds. These options are ideal for those looking to increase their step count during the day, whereas the SF-T4400 and XTERRA TR150 can provide more of a challenge.

Places to Buy the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill

You can purchase the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 from Sunny Health & Fitness, Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Lowe’s.

Customer Experience

Our tester received their treadmill about a week after ordering. Sunny Health & Fitness offers free economy shipping, which takes, on average, six to seven business days for delivery from the date of your order. You’ll receive email updates about the status of your order, but you can also visit your account page on Sunny’s website to track where your shipment is.  

Delivery scored a 4 out of 5 with our tester. Once delivered, carrying the package inside wasn’t a HIIT workout in itself, since the box only weighed just a little more than 100 pounds. “For many of the treadmills I’ve built, I always need an extra pair of hands to help move it and put it together,” mentioned our tester, “but this treadmill was easy for me to build all by myself.” Setup scored a 4 out of 5.

Warranties

The warranty that comes with your purchase includes a three-year structural frame and 180-day parts and components. Sunny Health & Fitness also offers extended warranties: one year for $24,99, two years for $64.99, and three years for $99.99. This extended warranty covers free repairs and can help protect your equipment from defects and damage beyond the included warranty.

Company Information

Sunny Health & Fitness was founded in 2002 and makes quality, budget-friendly, treadmills, exercise bikes, ellipticals, rowers, and steppers. This brand makes high-performing equipment that’s popular with all levels of athletes looking for affordable options to support their training.

To contact Sunny Health & Fitness and talk with a customer service agent, you can call them at 1-877-90SUNNY or reach them via email at support@sunnyhealthfitness.com​.

In Conclusion

The market for budget-friendly treadmills is filled with options, but navigating through this sea of budget-priced machinery can be stressful. Nobody wants to purchase a treadmill only to regret their decision later on, wishing they’d spent a little more money or picked a different model. So there’s no confusion, the SF-T4400 is a bare-bones machine. “It certainly isn’t ideal for serious runners who want to do sprints and hill climbs, but it will work just fine for those who simply want a reliable treadmill to lightly exercise on,” says Amanda Capritto, our expert reviewer.

If you’re interested in more tech capabilities, a stronger motor, and a longer belt deck to support more intense workouts, see if it’s possible to up your budget — you’ll definitely find more features and capabilities on some of the best treadmills under $1,000. But if you’re fine with a no-frills machine to add some movement to your day, the SF-T4400 could be the walking treadmill to get the job done.

FAQs

How much does the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 cost?

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 is currently available from Sunny Health & Fitness for $499.99.

Does the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 treadmill have incline?

Yes! There are three adjustable levels of incline on this treadmill, taking you as high as a 4.3-percent incline. However, this incline is manual, so you won’t be able to make adjustments to it while you’re working out.

What is the weight capacity for the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 treadmill?

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Folding Treadmill can support user weights up to 220 pounds.

Does Sunny Health & Fitness make good treadmills?

It depends on what “good” means. Sunny Health & Fitness makes quality, budget-friendly equipment, however much of this gear lacks impressive tech features you’re likely to find on the best high-end treadmills. I personally own a Sunny Health & Fitness exercise bike and I love it. The gear is simple, but the cost was inexpensive and it’s lasted me for almost five years so far.

References

Haniya, R. (2024, January 6). Mattress Size Chart & Dimensions. U.S. News & World Report. https://www.usnews.com/360-reviews/sleep/mattress/mattress-sizes

Nilsson, J., & Thorstensson, A. (1989). Ground reaction forces at different speeds of human walking and running. Acta physiologica Scandinavica, 136(2), 217–227. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-1716.1989.tb08655.x

The post Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T4400 Treadmill Review (2024): A Budget-Friendly Machine for Beginners appeared first on BarBend.

9 Best Rowing Apps in 2024 for Your Home Gym

When it gets colder and going out on the water seems less fun (or isn’t possible), the best rowing apps can be helpful. Indoor rowing is a great way to work your legs and heart while improving your cardio in a home gym. These apps aren’t just trackers; they’re like having a personal trainer in your pocket. These training programs monitor how fast you’re going, your stroke rate, and even how hard your heart is pumping, all in real time. Plus, these fitness apps give you tips and plans to improve your rowing technique. 

But the best part? These rowing apps make rowing exciting. You can challenge your friends, join in on contests, and meet other rowers from around the globe. It’s like being part of a big team, working towards your fitness goals. So whether you’re a beginner or a pro looking to up your rowing workout game, BarBend has found the best rowing apps to enhance your rowing journey and make it fun and rewarding. 

[Related: Best Personal Training Apps]

9 Best Rowing Apps in 2024 

Best Rowing App Overall: iFIT

Best Rowing App for Scenic Rowing: Hydrow

Best Rowing App for Beginners: Ergatta 

Best Rowing App with Concept2 Rower: ErgData

Best Rowing App for Live Classes: Echelon Fit

Best Rowing App with On-Demand Classes: Peloton

Best Rowing App for Water Rowers: CITYROW App

Best Rowing App for Advanced Training: Asensei Rowing

Best Rowing Apps for Detailed Metrics: EXR Game

How We Chose the Best Rowing Apps

The BarBend team consists of gym lovers and fitness experts, including certified personal trainers, who thoroughly tested over 55 individual training apps to discover the top choices for indoor rowing machines. Our equipment testing methodology includes factors such as how easy they were to use, pricing, user experience, and workout variety. Each app was rated on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. From this process, we compiled a list of the best rowing apps. 

Price: In our review of the best rowing apps, we’ve covered a range of options, from free to $50 a month. The pricier ones offer personal trainers or coaches for tailored programs, while the budget-friendly ones still provide value with plenty of workouts and basic customization.

Long-term Success: We prioritized rowing apps built for a long-term commitment, offering tools like personal coaching and community support. Remember, significant changes require dedication beyond quick results, so focus on developing lasting habits. Choose apps that align with your long-term fitness goals for sustainable progress.

Workout Variety: We evaluated these personal training apps based on their diverse workout offerings, encompassing programming types, difficulty levels, session lengths, workout styles, and suitability for various fitness objectives.

Connectivity: Without good connectivity, you won’t be able to even reach the App Store, let alone any other apps. So, we found a few rowing apps that can connect to both iPhones and Androids, ensuring you can access them regardless of your device.

User Experience: The best rowing apps are easy to use and understand. You can figure it out without needing a guide. Its simplicity makes it enjoyable to use, which is why it ranks highly. Plus, it looks good, works smoothly, and doesn’t get stuck mid-row.

Best Rowing App Overall: iFIT

$25 Off

IFIT Class Subscription

IFIT Class Subscription

The iFit app features a library of over 16,000 live and on-demand classes that range from mental health and recovery to rowing, running, HIIT and strength classes. You can get the full studio experience virtually through iFit, and is a great boost to any home gym set-up — with or without equipment.

Shop IFIT

Specs

Price: 30-day free trial, individual monthly: $15/month, yearly: $180/year, family monthly: $39/month, family yearly: $396/year.

Available On: iOS, Android

Compatible Rowers: NordicTrack, ProForm, Weider, Matrix, and Freemotion products

Types of Workouts: On-demand studio classes, challenges, progressive programs, and live events

Metrics Tracked: Heart rate (with monitor), distance, time, watts, strokes per minute, calories burned, and 500-meter split

Pros

Expert coaches

Immersive training

Extensive workout library

Cons

Expensive 

Can be glitchy 

Finding the best rowing app means it should guide, engage, and connect easily. Our top choice, iFIT, scored a solid 4.2 overall, impressing our team with its fresh fitness approach. 

Setting up iFIT is a breeze, earning a perfect 5 out of 5. “Downloading the app was quick, and I signed in within minutes,” shared our tester. iFIT works with various machines like NordicTrack and ProForm, though your experience might differ based on your device.

iFit Classes on the NordicTrack Spacesaver SE7i

Once you’re all set, iFIT offers many classes to explore. Our tester found it a bit overwhelming, but they appreciated the variety. Whether it’s a scenic row or a journey through Glacier National Park, there’s something for everyone. If scenic workouts aren’t your thing, iFIT also offers studio row classes for that gym-like atmosphere, with instructors cheering you on. With an instruction score of 4.5, their guidance is clear and motivating.

[Related: Best Workout Apps for Women]

Can you monitor your heart rate while rowing? Strap on the ActivePulse arm strap for accurate tracking. Even though it’s an extra step, it still scored 4 out of 5 from our team, keeping you in control of your workout. Plus, the machine logs important metrics like distance, time, rowing strokes, and more.

Jake following an iFit workout on the NordicTrack Commercial 2450.

Looking to switch things up? iFIT’s extensive workout library has you covered. Whether it’s high-intensity interval training, outdoor runs, or strength exercises, there’s plenty to keep your fitness journey exciting and engaging.

Unfortunately, iFIT’s automatic adjustment feature is only applicable to machines compatible with its system. This means that if you happen to own a rower that isn’t iFIT-compatible, you won’t be able to benefit from this functionality. In such cases, users may miss the convenience of automatic adjustments during workouts.

Best Rowing App for Scenic Rowing: Hydrow

Hydrow App

Hydrow App

The Hydro App is the perfect companion for those investing in the best rowing apps. With various programs to meet all levels of expertise, it’s a game-changer. 

Shop Hydrow App

Specs

Price: $26.49/month

Available On: iOS, Android 

Compatible Rowers: Hydrow, Hydrow Wave 

Types of Workouts: Speed, endurance, recovery, intervals, off-the-rower workouts 

Metrics Tracked: Strokes per minute, 500-meter average, time elapsed/remaining, total meters, calories, heart rate (with compatible monitor) 

Pros

Live and on-demand workouts 

Variety of rower and non-rower workouts

Access to over 4,000 on-demand workouts, including scenic rows 

Cons

Limited reviews 

Full membership is expensive 

Imagine rowing at breathtaking landscapes, gliding along tranquil waters, or amidst awe-inspiring scenery, taking your workout to new heights. Doesn’t that sound incredible? Our team certainly thought so, so we gave the Hydrow app a stellar score of 4.25 out of 5, deeming it the best app for rowing with stunning views.

As you mull over whether to subscribe to the app, it’s essential to consider your options. With a monthly subscription, you get a complimentary 30-day trial to test its features and offerings.

Now, the big decision: will you opt for the comprehensive $44 package or the more budget-friendly $19.99 basic access? The latter grants you access to both live and on-demand content, while the former provides the added benefit of progress tracking and unlocks a vast library of over 4,000 workouts led by expert instructors in picturesque locations like Miami, London, and Scotland.

Tester using the Hyrdrow rower’s app

[Related: Best Water Rowing Machines

Our in-house tester, Jake Herod, says, “With this membership, you can join classes led by instructors and athletes, including those from the esteemed U.S. National Rowing team. You’ll feel like you’re rowing alongside them as they navigate real rowing routes.

Lauren Keary, senior editor at BarBend further emphasizes, “In addition to rowing, the app offers a variety of other workouts including yoga, strength training, and Pilates. Rowing is beneficial for everyone, especially those seeking low-impact exercise, athletes looking to diversify their training, and individuals aiming for a comprehensive full-body workout.” 

While there may be limited reviews of the app, and some users have reported occasional slowdowns, it’s a factor worth considering. Nevertheless, with Hydrow, your workout transforms into an exhilarating adventure without ever needing to leave the comfort of your home.

Best Rowing App for Beginners: Ergatta

Ergatta App

Ergatta App

The Ergatta App is a membership-only way to access additional on-demand classes, instructor training, and more from the comfort of your own home. 

Shop Ergatta

Specs

Price: $29/month, $26.58/month for 1 year, $25/month for 2 years, $24/month for 5 years.

Available On: iOS, Android

Compatible Rowers: Ergatta, some water rowers

Types of Workouts: Scenic rows, custom intervals, live competitions, technique tutorials, and games

Metrics Tracked: Heart rate (with compatible monitor), stroke count, stroke rate, 500-meter average, time elapsed/remaining, and calories burned

Pros

1,000+ game-based workouts 

Live and on-demand racing

Works with Strava, Apple Health, and heart rate monitors

Cons

Requires Ergatta rower

No trainer-led classes

New to rowing and want a chill workout? Ergatta’s your go-to, with our team giving it a thumbs-up. And its easy-to-use app makes it the best rowing app for beginners.

Starting with Ergatta is simple – just download the app on your iOS or Android device. The membership costs $29 a month, with discounted rates available for longer commitments, covering all household members.

[Related: Best Magnetic Rowing Machines]

Ergatta’s game-based fitness platform offers diverse workouts, programs, competitions, and challenges to maintain motivation,” says our tester. The app’s intuitive navigation, including features like intervals, competitions, and open rows, makes it beginner-friendly.

Additionally, you can sync your Ergatta account with Strava for seamless workout tracking. While it lacks virtual coaches or group fitness classes, Ergatta’s straightforward design is tailored for beginners.

Our tester was so impressed that they might add  Ergatta Lite to their home gym. “I’m considering Ergatta Lite for my own home gym. I believe my kids would enjoy it, particularly with the engaging game-based workouts,” they added. This showcases Ergatta’s versatility and suitability for beginners tackling their fitness journey.

Best Rowing App for Concept2 Rower: ErgData

ErgData

ErgData

The ErgData by Concept2 is a great addition to anyone looking to take their rowing indoors. 

Shop ErgData

Specs

Price: Free  

Available On: iOS, Android 

Compatible Rowers: Concept2 RowErg (PM3, PM4, and PM5)

Types of Workouts: Build Your Own, Concept2 Workout of the Day

Metrics Tracked: Strokes per minute, watts, calories, total distance, total time, target splits, projected finish, stroke rate

Pros

It’s free  

Connects to Concept2 RowErg, SkiErg, BikeErg

Work out with others in real-time 

Cons

Only one workout for the day

Limited reviews 

ErgData is a free Concept2 Rower app compatible with iPhones and Androids. It seamlessly syncs with your Concept2 Performance Monitor, enhancing your rowing experience and fostering a sense of connection. Rated 4 out of 5 by our team, ErgData stands out as our best rowing app for Concept2.

One standout feature is the Real Time Loop, which allows you to virtually row alongside others whenever you wish, creating a more interactive and engaging workout environment. Also, this free app lets you continue racing alongside others when skiing or riding.

Photo Credit: Concept2

However, there’s more to ErgData than just social rowing. It also simplifies adjusting your workouts. Whether you enjoy interval training or have a fixed routine, making adjustments is as simple as tapping your phone screen. Moreover, ErgData integrates with the Concept2 Online Logbook, enabling you to participate in challenges and share your progress on platforms like Strava and Garmin Connect.

Our team appreciates how ErgData empowers you to customize your rowing adventure. It’s compatible not only with Concept2 RowErgs but also with SkiErg and BikeErg, catering to all your indoor training needs. Even if you have an older PM3 or PM4 monitor, you can still enjoy ErgData’s features by upgrading to a PM5.

With various display options, you can tailor the app to your preferences: pace graphs or simple interval tables.  This flexibility makes it easy for beginners looking to elevate their fitness journey. 

Best Rowing App with Live Classes: Echelon Fit

Echelon Fit

Echelon Fit

Shop Echelon

Specs

Price: $34.99/month or $399.99/year

Available On: iOS, Android 

Compatible Rowers: Echelon Row, Echelon Row-s, or any rower with a device holder

Types of Workouts: Scenic rows, studio rows, challenges, combo, and non-rowing sessions

Metrics Tracked: Time, distance (in meters), strokes, watts, heart rate (with monitor)

Pros

30-day free trial

Works with Echelon bikes, treadmills, rowers, and fitness mirrors

40+ live sessions and on-demand classes

Cons

The app lags at times 

Expensive

If you can’t make it to a live class, don’t worry. The Echelon Fit app has you covered. Rated 3.9 out of 5 by our team, it’s ideal for iOS or Android users keen on rowing, with over 40 live classes available year-round. With plenty of options, it’s a great fit for anyone looking to diversify their workouts with live classes.

The Echelon app offers plenty of variety with over 30 instructors, each with their own unique style. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rower, you’ll find a class that suits your preferences. Envision yourself rowing through stunning landscapes or dancing to lively playlists – it’s like escaping to a different realm altogether.

Even better, this app isn’t just about exercising – you’re grooving to the latest hits. We partner with top music labels to create the perfect playlist for your workouts. Whether you’re into indie vibes, country beats, or nostalgic tunes like Nelly’s ‘Hot in Here,’ Echelon’s live classes have something for you.

When it comes to class size, it changes from session to session. Some classes might have 20 people, while others could have over a hundred. However, most reviewers observed an average of about 50 participants, which is noticeably smaller than Peloton’s usual larger groups.

This smaller size means more opportunities for personalized attention from the instructor. One reviewer even mentioned an instructor enthusiastically noticing, “We have Coco in the house!” Who wouldn’t feel energized with that kind of enthusiasm? 

While some reviewers mention occasional lagging issues with this app, it’s common. However, it’s important to weigh this against the fact that the Echelon Fit app works seamlessly with all Echelon equipment, including bikes, treadmills, rowers, and fitness mirrors.

Read our full review: Echelon Row

Best Rowing App with On-Demand Classes: Peloton

Peloton App

Peloton App

No need to have Peloton equipment when you can have access to the app with a subscription. Take classes from popular coaches to help you get your run done and dusted.

Shop Peloton

Specs

Price: $12.99/month 

Available On: Amazon compatible devices, Peloton App for Apple iOS, Peloton App for Android, Peloton on the web with Google Chromecast

Compatible Rowers: The Peloton App is compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device.

Types of Workouts: Rowing, Row Bootcamp, Time & Distance Scenic classes, music-based classes, and more. 

Metrics Tracked: Total strokes, split/split pace, output (current, average, and total), stroke rate

Pros

Real-time feedback from trainers 

Tracks training data 

Work out from home 

Cons 

Leaderboard requires all-access membership 

Classes take up a lot of device space

Can’t swing Peloton’s expensive rowing machine? Don’t sweat it. They offer a more budget-friendly solution with their rowing app. It’s not just about saving money—it’s the best rowing app for on-demand classes, giving you awesome workouts without breaking the bank.

 Here’s the deal: For $12.99 a month, you can access workouts like strength training, yoga, outdoor running, and gym sessions. But if you want to step it up with bike, treadmill, and rowing workouts, go for the $24/month plan. And, you can try it free for two weeks before committing. Plus, they offer annual plans and discounts for teachers, veterans, and more.

Already have a Peloton Bike or Tread? Lucky you, because your membership already includes access to the app. But if you’re starting fresh and keen on those rowing workouts, go for the $24/month membership.

The cool part? If you have a rowing machine at home, just sign up for the Peloton App membership. It connects smoothly with third-party rowers using Bluetooth from your phone or device, giving you access to various classes.

Peloton Tread display at BarBend testing gym.

Whether you’re new to rowing or a pro, Peloton’s got you covered. Start with beginner classes to learn the ropes, or challenge yourself with advanced options to up your game. They even have themed classes for holidays or music lovers.

And, for a more personalized workout, you can set your own pace or enjoy scenic routes that make every workout feel like an adventure. It’s worth noting that some users mentioned these workouts occupy a considerable amount of storage on their smartphones and devices, which may not be ideal for their data plans.

[Related: Best Peloton Alternatives

Not sure about the instructors? Give them all a try. “If you’re worried about the instructors talking too much, don’t be. Some chat more than others, but it’s usually with stories or words of encouragement,” says our tester. They recommend trying out each instructor to find your perfect match. With reviews like that, it’s tough to argue that this isn’t the best on-demand rowing app out there.

Best Rowing App for Water Rower: CITYROW App

CITYROW App

CITYROW App

The CITYRow offers a variety of classes, tutorials, and instructors to achieve your fitness rowing goals, while using one of the best rowing apps. 

Shop CITYROW

Specs

Price: $14.99 free trial, then $29.99/month

Available On: iOS, Android 

Compatible Rowers: CITYROW Max, CITYROW Classic, some WaterRower models

Types of Workouts: Power Row, Endurance, HIIT the Rower, Cardio + Core, and combo workouts 

Metrics Tracked: Meters rowed, split, personal records, heart rate (through Apple Watch), total classes, total minutes 

Pros

Compatible with rowers, including water rowers

Classes for rowers and non-rowers

Provides six different class styles 

Cons

Some report the app is buggy and lags 

No scenic rows 

Water rowers aren’t just for exercise—they’re also stylish home additions. And, when you team one up with the CITYROW app, which we believe is the best rowing app for water rowers, your workout routine gets a serious upgrade. 

Inspired by the famous CITYROW studio in New York City, this app brings that top-notch workout to your living room. Our team gave it a solid 4.1 out of 5 because it works like a charm with CITYROW models.

With the WaterRower Bluetooth Commodule, hooking up your WaterRower PM4 performance monitor to the app is a piece of cake. This means you get real-time stats to keep you pumped up as you row.

You can track how far you’ve rowed, your speed, your personal bests, and even earn cool badges. If you’re sporting an Apple Watch, you can keep tabs on your heart rate. And with live tracking, you’ll always know where you stand and how much progress you’ve made—keeping you motivated every stroke.

For those dead set on crushing their fitness goals, the CITYROW app is your ultimate sidekick. It lets you row at whatever pace suits you best and tweak your workout to your liking—all while keeping an eye on your progress.

One of our testers loved how versatile it is, saying, “You can mix things up with endurance sessions, speed drills, HIIT workouts, or even combo classes that throw in some strength training, yoga, Pilates, or core exercises.” Bottom line? This water rower has your water rower fitness needs covered, every time. 

Read our full review: CITYROW Rower 

Best Rowing App for Advanced Training: Asensei Rowing

Asensei Rowing

Asensei Rowing

Shop Asensei Rowing

Specs

Price: $12.50/monthly

Available On: iOS 

Compatible Rowers: Bluetooth-equipped Concept 2, WaterRower or FluidRower 

Types of Workouts: Rowing

Metrics Tracked: Stroke rate, split rate 

Pros

World-class coaches including Olympians

Discounted family plans are available

Provides feedback on form and technique

Cons

Not compatible with Androids 

Exclusively a rowing app 

Asensei is the go-to app for advanced rowers seeking to refine their skills and enhance their fitness. Its specialized tools are designed to cater to experienced rowers, aiding them in perfecting technique and reaching their fitness objectives. With an impressive rating of 4.4, it’s hailed by our team as the best rowing app for advanced training.

Central to Asensei’s success is its team of instructors, which includes Olympic medalists like Eric Murray. Their expertise isn’t just a title; it’s a game-changer for users. Guided by these experienced professionals, users learn techniques, personalized training plans, and the motivation to overcome obstacles. Drawing from their careers, these instructors offer insights and strategies, elevating Asensei’s reputation for top-tier coaching.

Beyond coaching, Asensei excels in working with Bluetooth-enabled rowing machines such as Concept2, WaterRower, and FluidRower. This feature tracks workout metrics directly from the app, providing feedback and insights to monitor progress and adjust training as needed. It breaks down rowing of all skill levels, stressing Asensei’s commitment to effective workouts.

[Related: Best Rowing Machines

Furthermore, Asensei doesn’t stop at tracking progress; it offers an in-depth analysis of rowing techniques and delivers constructive feedback to enhance proficiency. This personalized coaching approach ensures users receive tailored guidance, fostering continuous improvement. Additionally, Asensei provides, enabling users to follow structured workouts aligned with their goals and abilities.

However, it’s worth noting that Asensei is currently exclusive to the iOS app store, leaving Android users unable to access its advanced training features. This limitation may disappoint users without iOS devices and eager to use  Asensei.

Best Rowing Apps for Detailed Metrics: EXR Game

EXR Game

EXR Game

The EXR Game app is a great app for those looking for something that’s offered worldwide. Excellent for ramping up your rowing fitness goals, it caters to all levels of expertises. 

Shop EXR Game

Specs

Price: 14-day free trial, $9.99/month or $83.88/year if paid annually

Available On: Smartphones, tablets, computers, and Apple TV

Compatible Rowers: Concept2, RP3, WaterRower, and many more 

Types of Workouts: Rowing

Metrics Tracked: Boat weight (currently: single scull), power output (watt), strokes per minute

Pros

Workout feels like a video game

Metrics factor in boat weight Real-time instructions provided

Affordable

Cons

Reviewers found the price unjustified  

The app may lag

Could this be the best of the best? Very likely. The EXR is a standout in the realm of rowing apps. Of all the rowing apps on our list, this is the best for those seeking detailed metrics during their workouts. 

Branded as an “innovative exergame” by its creators, EXR offers a captivating 3D interactive experience unlike any other. Everything you need is right at your fingertips: connect your rowing machine and heart rate monitor, and explore three main training modes with over 100 workouts. Receive real-time feedback to track your progress while seamlessly syncing your data with third-party apps like Strava.

One standout feature is the real-time feedback feature. As you row, you can monitor your performance instantly. Plus, with the smooth integration of popular apps like Strava, you’ll have thorough tracking, so you stay on top of your progress like never before. But EXR doesn’t stop at tracking numbers — it makes exercising into a game.  

As you row, watch your avatar progress through unlockable items and boats, delivering rewards for your hard work and dedication. With each stroke, you’re not just exercising, you’re getting closer to your objectives.

While some users have mentioned concerns about the $9.99 monthly price point being expensive for what they perceive as just a regular virtual game, and others have experienced occasional lag in the app, these factors haven’t been major issues for the majority of users who have found EXR to be a game-changer in their fitness routines.

Benefits of the Best Rowing App

Our top picks all have one similar purpose: to help people meet their fitness goals. While some rowing apps are not as expansive, others check all of your boxes for cardio or strength training (or both). Regardless of your decision, you’ll notice when using your rower you suddenly have an extra boost of confidence, a healthier lifestyle, and a sense of community. 

The Aviron App leaderboard up close.

Confidence Booster: We all benefit from occasional boosts in confidence, and with a supportive community behind you, you’ll feel empowered in your actions (both physically and symbolically). This increased confidence will enable you to navigate both successes and failures simultaneously.

Lifestyle Change: Beginning a new exercise plan or habit can be tough at first, but once you understand it, you’ll start to feel better suddenly. There’s a sense of needing to be responsible that makes you suddenly want to make time in your day to fit in a workout. Gradually, you’ll begin to notice positive changes in your lifestyle.

Sense of Community: Certainly, there will be days when you lack the motivation to begin or finish your workout. These apps effectively merge two powerful motivators: accountability and a sense of community. Discovering a supportive community of fellow rowers who share your goals can significantly enhance your journey towards achieving fitness milestones.

How Much Do the Best Rowing Apps Cost?

A rowing app subscription starts with ErgData’s free version and goes up to EXR’s $83.99/yearly plan.  Typically, the more money you spend, the more options and access you’ll have for workouts

What to Consider Before Buying a Rowing App?

Navigating the dozens of rowing apps available can be challenging to identify the best one. To assist you in selecting the most suitable app, here are some key factors to consider before investing in one.

Metrics: Not everyone prioritizes metrics, but certain ones are essential: total time elapsed, 500-meter split times, and stroke rate (strokes per minute). For advanced training, additional metrics like heart rate, projected finish, and watts for power output measurement prove invaluable. 

Connectivity: An application capable of syncing with platforms like Apple Health, Strava, Garmin Connect, or Training Peaks can provide a comprehensive overview of your fitness and wellness journey. While not obligatory, it adds a valuable dimension to your experience.

Workout Classes: Adding variety to your workouts is key for progress and motivation. iFIT stands out as a top pick due to its diverse offerings, including rowing sessions alongside strength and core workouts. With this app, you can ensure a well-rounded fitness regimen that keeps you engaged and continually improving. 

Best Rowing Apps FAQS 

What is the best rowing app?

Are you looking for the best rowing app overall? iFIT has got you covered. It’s our best rowing app overall, shaking up the fitness scene. And if you’re ever in the mood for a change, iFit offers a wide range of workouts to keep things fresh and exciting, from intense intervals to outdoor runs and strength training.

Is there a free rowing app for beginners?

ErgData is the go-to app for indoor rowing, being the companion app for Concept2. Recently updated with a cleaner interface and improved Bluetooth connectivity, it’s even easier to use. Best of all, ErgData is completely free, making it essential for any Concept2 owner.

Can you use any rower with rowing apps?

It depends on the specific app you’re considering. For example, the Hydrow app is compatible with any rowing machine, while the Ergatta app is exclusive to the Ergatta rower. As a general rule, it’s best to check compatibility before purchasing a rowing app to ensure it works with your equipment.

The post 9 Best Rowing Apps in 2024 for Your Home Gym appeared first on BarBend.

2024 Optimum Classic Pro Bodybuilding Show Preview

The 2024 Optimum Classic Pro show is scheduled for Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Shreveport, LA. This event features six pro divisions, with over 60 athletes competing across all six shows. 

The winners of each contest will earn a 2024 Olympia qualification if they have not already qualified.

2024 Optimum Classic Pro Roster

The roster for all six divisions is below:

Classic Physique 

Kirk Anderson (United States)

Chibueze Anyasor (United States)

Harold Bright (United States)

Camilo Diaz (Colombia)

Derrican Franklin (United States)

Barry Irving (United States)

Hunter Lee (United States)

Eric Lisboa (Brazil)

Matt Orchard (Australia)

Lamar Shaw (United States)

Jorge Tabet (Spain)

Adam Thomas (United States)

Men’s Physique

Brandon Cantallops (United States)

Rhyan Clark (United States)

Drew Cullen (United States)

Darnell Dean (United States)

Bhaben Deori (India)

Tom Mcnamara (Australia)

Chevy Phillips (Canada)

Derrick Stevenson (United States)

Micah Thomas Jr. (United States)

Alexander Toplyn (United States)

Roy Williams (United States)

Frank Worley (United States)

Mike Wynn (United States)

Women’s Physique

Natalia Bystrova (Russia)

Luciana Esquilin (United States)

Susan Graham (United States)

Donna Jones (United States)

Katie Nyland (United States)

Hayley Perry (United States)

Vicky Tackett (United States)

Figure

Thais Cabrices-Werner (United States)

Gabriela Cadena (United States)

Madison Dinges (United States)

Bailey Gutierrez (United States)

Jessica Hamilton (United States)

Jessica Heath (United States)

Ashley Howells (United States)

Jennifer Johnson (United States)

Shana Malcolm (United States)

Monique Mealey (United States)

Deshane Price (United States)

Danielle Rose (United States)

Delaney Smallwood (United States)

Sarah Van Heiden (United States)

Aksana Yukhno (United States)

Bikini

Gigi Amurao (United States)

Hope Andrews (United States)

Alessia Facchin (Italy)

Ashley Humiston (United States)

Ashley Kaltwasser (United States)

Luciana Santos (Brazil)

Sierra Swann (United States)

Stephanie Warden (United States)

Heidi Young (United States)

Wellness

Madison Begley (United States)

Taylor Gartenmayer (United States)

Sheila Guidry (United States)

Chen Qi Liu (China)

Jasmine Payne (United States)

[Related: A Guide to the Best Pre-Workouts, Tested and RD Approved]

[Related: The 8 Best Whey Isolate Protein Powders, Tested by Our Experts]

Bikini Division Athletes to Watch

Below are the Bikini competitors likely to contend for the crown:

Ashley Kaltwasser

The Bikini division has nine competitors, but one is the all-time winningest athlete in IFBB Pro League history: Ashley Kaltwasser, who is seeking her 45th career pro win.

Kaltwasser is coming off a second-place finish to Aimee Leann Delgado at the 2024 Pittsburgh Pro. A three-time Bikini Olympia champion, Kaltwasser ranked third in the 2023 Bikini Olympia. Thus, Kaltwasser has already qualified for the 2024 Olympia. If she wins in Shreveport, no Olympia qualification will be awarded.

Alessia Facchin

Alessia Facchin won this contest in 2021 and needs a pro win to qualify for the 2024 Olympia. She has been on the Olympia stage every year since 2020—her best Olympia finish was 14th in 2021.

Facchin’s most recent pro show win was at the 2023 Orchid Pro. She is coming off a 15th-place finish at the 2024 Pittsburgh Pro.

Luciana Santos

Luciana Santos finished the 2024 New York Pro in sixth place — a big step forward. Some experts see Santos as a rising star in the pro ranks. Facing Olympia-caliber athletes like Kaltwasser and Facchin will help her gain the necessary experience and gauge how many physique adjustments might be needed to seal a pro show gold.

Featured Image: @ashleykfit on Instagram

The post 2024 Optimum Classic Pro Bodybuilding Show Preview appeared first on BarBend.

2024 Everest Muscle Show Preview

The 2024 Everest Muscle Show is scheduled for Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Warsaw, Poland. It will feature the IFBB Pro League’s Men’s Physique and Wellness divisions.

If they were not previously qualified via a 2024 season pro show victory, the winners of both contests will qualify for the 2024 Olympia in Las Vegas, NV, on Oct. 10-13, 2024.

2024 Everest Muscle Show Rosters

The list of athletes entering both shows is below, as shared on the IFBB Pro League:

Men’s Physique

Tobias Rasheed Abdoul Hamid (Germany)

Mishal Alhassan (Saudi Arabia)

Andrea Amato (Italy)

Simon Pietro Arena (Italy)

Happy Edodo Ogieva (Spain)

Mauro Fialho (Spain)

Yoann Gomes (France)

Enrique Gutierrez Caro (Spain)

Hachemi Hemza (Algeria)

Adama Jammeh (United Kingdom)

Pamuke Kisala (Germany)

Mikael Lega (Belgium)

Rui Liu (China)

Ruben Marques (Portugal)

Aldo Martini (Italy)

Jaime Maso Lopez (Spain)

Dawid Wachelka (Poland)

Wellness

Klaudia Vanessza Csuri (Ukraine)

Anna Ercolano (Italy)

Lenia Fernandes (Portugal)

Natalia Gorska (Poland)

Antonia Liliana Licciardi (Italy)

Valquiria Lopes (Brazil)

Anna Mroczkowska (Poland)

Ruth Petizco (Spain)

Eleni Printezi (Greece)

Mafalda Teixeira (Portugal)

Danai Theodoropoulou (Greece)

Paulina Zawlocka (Poland)

[Related: A Guide to the Best Pre-Workouts, Tested and RD Approved]

[Related: The 8 Best Whey Isolate Protein Powders, Tested by Our Experts]

Men’s Physique Athletes to Watch

Below are Men’s Physique competitors likely to contend for the podium:

Mauro Fialho

Mauro Fialho of Spain was in the 2023 Men’s Physique Olympia, but he finished tied for 16th place. The winner of that contest was Ryan Terry. Fialho’s victory at the 2023 1 Bro Pro show is his only win in the pro ranks thus far. This will be his 2024 season debut, his fourth pro season.

Rui Liu

This will be Rui Liu’s IFBB Pro League debut. His last amateur contest was the 2023 NPC Worldwide Amateur Olympia Spain event, where he won the overall Men’s Physique title.

Liu would not be the first athlete to win his pro debut to qualify for the Olympia, but it is challenging to do so in a lineup as large and as stacked as this. If he reaches the first callout, that would be a noteworthy accomplishment.

Dawid Wachelka 

Dawid Wachelka is the host country favorite, making his 2024 season debut. He was most recently onstage at the 2023 Prague Pro, where he finished sixth place.

Wachelka has been a pro since 2017 but has not competed in Olympia since 2018 when he finished outside the top 15.

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Featured Image: @maurofialho on Instagram

The post 2024 Everest Muscle Show Preview appeared first on BarBend.