Pros: Low Impact, Total Body Workout, Low Tech
Cons: Challenging To Master, Takes Up Some Space, Not Sexy or New Age
I wish I could tell you that I?ve used my NordicTrack religiously since we bought it; heck, I wish I could tell you that I?ve used it religiously THIS YEAR!
Now, this hardly looks like the opening of a favorable review, but trust me, it is. I think that the NordicTrack is one of the best exercise products on the market, and any deficiencies in its use or results I take full responsibility for.
I?d be lying if I didn?t tell you that there have been times over the last four and a half years where I have grumbled about my $600 clothes rack. We first purchased the thing back in 1995, before we got married, after my soon-to-be wife came home and told me we HAD to have one. Allegedly, she worked with a woman who had lost an astounding 40 pounds over six months by doing it 30 minutes each day, and so we had to get one so that she could get in shape for the wedding.
So, off to the store we went. However, her enthusiasm took a turn for the worse when we encountered the hefty $600 price tag. We were trying to pay down debt, and we weren?t sure what exactly was the value of losing 40 pounds over six months, especially since neither of us had the 40 pounds to lose.
But did they have a deal for us! If we would just buy it today, we could finance it for 6 months with no finance charges. My wife, always the suspicious one, was sure there was a catch, and passed. On the drive home, she brought it up again. She admitted that she wanted it, but didn?t like the thought of owing more money.
?So, what would you like to do?? I asked.
?I?d prefer to just save up and buy it,? she answered.
?And when would you hope to have enough money to buy it,? I continued, mentally ticking off the months between now and the wedding day.
?Oh, probably 3 or 4 months.?
I looked at her like she was crazy. What was the problem with the six months, no finance charge deal then? We?d pay it off before we got hit with any charges, and we?d get to use it in the interim. She admitted that her only arguments were philosophical, and when we got home I called the store and made the purchase.
It?s All About Coordination
Now, don?t get me wrong; it does take a little time to master the NordicTrack. I?m a fairly athletic guy, and there are very few sports I can?t play passably, but it took some getting used to make this thing work. The motion feels unnatural at first, and I found myself expending more effort trying to stay on the bloody thing than exercising. At the store, they warned us that it might take as much as a month to get the motion down and begin exercising effectively. But since we purchased it new, we also got a video tape that at least demonstrated how we should look if we were doing it right. That made a big difference. For a while, a favorite pastime was watching people that visited try to make the thing work.
Now the other dirty little secret; it is BORING. At least for the first three months, most of my attention was focused on not pulling something I shouldn?t, so I had something to distract me. Once I got it under control, I was then faced with 30 to 45 minutes of?nothing! Using a walkman is a bit of a challenge because of the jarring motion, and you have to turn the television or stereo up pretty loud to hear it over the movement of the gears (not really an option in an apartment), so you have to really want to get in shape to stay interested in this thing.
So Why Do I Like It!?!
Well, late last year I looked in the mirror and realized that I?d become ?That Guy?. You know, the one who I passed on the street at 18, with the dumpy body and slightly outdated clothes, and said ?I?ll Never look like THAT GUY!? Or the one who I laughed at on the beach when I was 22 because he clearly thought he still had the body he had in college, and I thought to myself, ?I?ll never let myself look like THAT GUY!?
Well, now at 34, I?m approaching that condition, and I?m determined to reverse it. Luckily, using the NordicTrack really is like riding a bike; it was easy enough to begin again. Eight weeks at 45 minutes three days a week and I?m down 10 pounds and two pants sizes. Overall, my body feels better and instead of having the body of a 30 year old, I easily have the body of a 37 year old (I?m working, I?m working).
Also, I don?t live in a climate where I can be outside comfortably all year round. I plan to supplement the NordicTrack with weights and road work in a few months, but at least I could get a decent workout and build a base during the period typically where I just sat around making excuses.