Improve Your Running Form with Zero Runner

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Do you know how to run properly?

Most people would find this question strange, since popular opinion is that runners naturally find their best form and stride on their own, and once found it shouldn’t be changed. Indeed, even people who find themselves in some pain and discomfort after running find it hard to believe that their running form could possibly be the culprit.

Nevertheless, the benefits of running with proper form consistently throughout your run are enormous:  running correctly can reduce the risk of injury, increase basic speed, and improve endurance.

So how can you learn to improve your form and increase the productivity of your workout?

Try the Zero Runner from Octane.

It’s not only a fantastic running machine, but it can also help you improve your running form so that you get more miles out of your run. Its innovative no-impact design guides your movement yet contains no moving belt or fixed track. The Zero Runner also features technology that displays your gait so you can monitor your stride length and height for consistency throughout your run.

Octane Zero Runner Runners Gait

As the diagram demonstrates, there are 4 basic steps in the running cycle: Initiate, Pull Through, Lift, and Extension.

  1. Initiate: As you begin the running stride, you must first transfer weight to the lead foot
  2. Pull Through: Start accelerating into your stride with a strong hamstring contraction
  3. Lift: Flex your knee while curling your hamstring, bringing the heel of your foot to your glute
  4. Extension: Flex the hips, then extend the knee forward as you transfer weight to your other foot to begin the next stride

Octane Zero Runner Stride PhasesAlthough focusing on each of these four steps as you run could become tiresome, the Zero Runner’s unique design compels you to concentrate on your running form, at least for the first few strides. With the Zero Runner you can start your workout and find a comfortable pace and stride. The machine will continuously provide exact feedback on how consistently you can maintain that stride over the course of your run.

Once you are comfortable maintaining a uniform stride, you can focus on holding your form for longer durations to gradually build up endurance. Or you can use this as a guide to know when you have met your limit for hard interval or tempo workouts. Once your body becomes accustomed to the movement, you’ll find that maintaining the proper running form soon becomes second nature, and the benefits of doing so quickly materialize.

Still not convinced? Stop by your nearest HealthStyles Exercise Equipment location and try the Zero Runner out for yourself. We guarantee it’s unlike any running machine you’ve ever tried.

Master your running form and reap the benefits of zero impact running with the Zero Runner from Octane.

A Personal Trainer’s Notes on Lateral X

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I just wanted to share with you this blog I found on the Lateral X:

By Julie King, June 4, 2013 |

Loving the LateralX – Most of us are creatures of habit, but when it comes to exercise, it is helpful to change our routines and try different workouts. Not only can this spike excitement in our minds, but our bodies definitely benefit from a variety of exercises. When we’re doing something new, our bodies have to continually adapt to different challenges, and we tend to be more focused versus simply going through the motions.

 So I just tried Octane’s new LateralX. I run, spin, lift weights and teach a whole bunch of different group ex classes each week. I have a traditional elliptical at home that I use when I can’t get to the gym or outside.

 But I must say that there is nothing like the LateralX. It’s smooth, adjustable side-to-side movement – with zero learning curve (bonus!) – was addictive and an effective workout. It didn’t take long before my thighs and hips were talking to me.

 Throw in the upper-body motion and every muscle was firing big-time, which definitely made this workout hard, but in a good, ultra-efficient way. In fact, since it was so rhythmic and fun, I didn’t watch the clock at all and actually wasn’t really ready to hop off when my time was up.

 Having worked in the fitness industry for more than 22 years, I’ve tried a lot of different equipment. This LateralX is an entirely new way to workout – and it’s here to stay. Go find one!

Herschel Walker on his Octane Elliptical

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Hiesman Trophy winner, Former NFL Running back, MMA Fighter, and guest on The Apprentice, Hershel Walker gets fueled by Octane Fitness. Listen to Hershel talk about why he likes Octane Fitness elliptical machines, and why he chose to put one in his home gym. Hershel didn't need elliptical machine reviews, he just wanted the best home elliptical on the market, and once he tried it, he knew Octane was for him.

2013 Award Winning Fitness Equipment

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HealthStyles Exercise Equipment’s selection of the latest 2013 home fitness equipment once again earn top honors from leading consumer publications.

Top Rated Ellipticals

Octane Fitness earned top honors again this year. The Q47c Elliptical earned another Best Buy rating in the premium elliptical category for it’s quality construction, smooth performance, and advanced features. The Q47c had the smoothest movement among ellipticals with automatic stride adjustments. The upgraded Q47ci Elliptical with heart rate control programs also earned a Best Buy rating.

The Octane Q35c, Q37c, and Q37ci ellipticals were all ranked in the top 3 in their class.

Vision Fitness also earned a Best Buy rating for the new X10 Elliptical. The X10 was awarded a Best Buy as the smoothest and most stable elliptical under $1000. The Vision X10 Elliptical also offers contact heart rate and 7 programs which is typically found in much more expensive machines.

Other ellipticals that received top honors this year include:

Top Rated Treadmills

Once again, the Landice L7 Cardio Trainer Treadmill was ranked 2nd in the premium non-folding treadmill category. Landice is the only treadmill that offers a lifetime home warranty on all parts and is the gold standard for quality and consistency. Landice treadmills have earned top awards from many consumer review publications and websites every year since 2004.

The Life Fitness T3 Treadmills earned a Best Buy rating in the mid-range treadmill category. The T3 Go Treadmill was noted for it’s convenient secondary control panel that allows you to adjust speed and incline closer to your natural hand position while running. The T3 Track Treadmill added advanced features with an iPod/iPhone dock, custom workouts, mobile applications, and online workout tracking.

Other treadmills that received top honors include:

Top Rated Exercise Bikes

The Lemond G-Force Recumbent and G-Force Upright Exercise Bikes earned a Best Buy rating this year. The G-Force bikes are the gold standard for comfort and performance. The recumbent bike offers an extremely comfortable mesh seat and both are fully adjustable. The G-Force bikes also offer the widest range of activity monitoring and track the history of up to 3 different users.

Top Rated Home Gyms

The new Torque Fitness H2 Hybrid Home Gym earned a Best Buy rating for it’s versatility. The H2 Home Gym offers traditional seated home gym exercises with a press arm and leg extension and leg curl. Dual mid pulleys, high and low pulleys, and extended cable travel offer an almost unlimited variety of free from functional cable exercises.

New 2013 Vision Fitness Equipment

Many of the newest Vision Fitness treadmills, exercise bikes, and ellipticals just missed the 2013 review season.

The Vision R40 Recumbent Bikes are the newest upgrade to the 2012 award winning Vision 2250 recumbents.

The Vision TF20 Folding Treadmills replace the 2012 award winning Vision 9250 treadmills.

The Vision X40 Ellipticals are the latest upgrade to the 2012 award winning Vision X30 Ellipticals.

Vision Fitness has upgraded their past award winning machines with all new consoles with the latest technology.

Click here to read more about the exciting new Vision Classic, Elegant, and Touch consoles.

Contact your local HealthStyles fitness consultant today to learn more about any of these top rated ellipticals, treadmills, exercise bikes, and home gyms.

Landice, Octane Fitness, Vision Fitness, Lemond Fitness, Life Fitness, and Torque are on display and available to demo in stores.

AFG, Horizon, Lifespan, and Diamondback fitness equipment can be ordered direct online or from your local retail sales team.

Octane Takes Crosstraining in a New Direction

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Octane Fitness, the company that has revolutionalized the elliptical category since entering the marketplace 10 years ago, has now introduced the LateralX. The LateralX is the first fully adjustable lateral moving elliptical cross trainer.

The LateralX from Octane Fitness offers unique, smooth, 3D motion that goes from a vertical elliptical stepping motion to an adjustable side-to-side motion for invigorating, one-of-a-kind workouts.

Combining elliptical and lateral movement, the total-body workouts utilize 10 varying planes of motion to create muscle confusion, resulting in customized, functional exercise that uniquely builds stamina, muscular endurance, coordination and balance.

No other elliptical machine is this powerful or this flexible. You can literally choose the lateral motion to fit your training needs based on your goal whether it is training for a sport, improving balance or increasing energy. It is a great workout for sports requiring lateral movement such as tennis, basketball, skating and skiing as well as conditioning anyone for the functional activities in everyday life because of the variable plane of movement possible on the LateralX.

University research on the LateralX shows that users experience a 27 percent increase in caloric expenditure going from the lateral width of one to the maximum width of 10. Studies also indicate that the LateralX motion represents a 30 percent increase in hip abduction, hip adduction and knee extension over traditional ellipticals.

You really need to see the LateralX and to try it out, to experience the variety and intensity of the muscular and cardio workouts possible!

Check out this video of the LateralX, or better yet, visit one of the HealthStyles locations to try it out!

Octane Fitness is one of Oprah’s Favorite Things

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HealthStyles Exercise Equipment is thrilled to have one of our top selling ellipticals featured among this year’s list Oprah Winfrey’s Favorite Things!

Oprah is a very well know and very particular gift giver and the Octane Q37ci is one of her favorite gifts for the 2012 Holiday Season. It is featured in the December issue of “O”, the Oprah Magazine.

Oprah’s personal trainer Bob Greene got her working out on the Octane Q37 several years ago and as Oprah states, she is “forever grateful”. The Q37 as well as Octane’s other elliptical models, provides a great variety of exhilarating total body workouts like a 10k and a half marathon. Octane ellipticals are regarded worldwide as the No. 1 premium elliptical machine. Known for the ergonomic design that produces the smoothest, most comfortable and effective workouts, Octane ellipticals help you stay motivated, achieve your goals faster and feel great.

Click here to read Bob Greene’s full review of Octane Ellipticals.

Why not give the gift of fitness either to yourself or to others this Holiday season!

In celebration of Octane being one of Oprah’s Favorite Things, you can enjoy a minimum of 10% OFF MSRP now through 12/31/12 on any Octane elliptical at any one of HealthStyles Exercise Equipment’s 7 Colorado locations.

Octane Fitness — Why They Are Set to Dominate!

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Actually, Octane already does. Octane Fitness has garnered more than 55 awards in consumer and trade magazines like Health, Consumer Guide, Prevention.com and Today’s Health and Wellness. Octane has also been voted the “Best Elliptical” for the past 7 years by specialty fitness retailers. That’s like winning an Oscar in the movie industry—voted the best by own industry.

We highlight Octane to explain the success of this surprising “new kid on the block.” Ellipticals have the following benefits over other cardio equipment:

  • Low impact motion
  • Low perceived exertion (i.e., exercise feels easier than the body is actually working)
  • Total-body exercise
  • High caloric expenditure
  • Weight-bearing activity
  • Movement variety (forward, reverse, upper- or lower-body only)
  • Quiet operation
  • Minimal maintenance

Because of these benefits, elliptical trainers have exploded in popularity since entering the market in the 1990s. A recent independent analysis of elliptical trainers demonstrates that Octane machines are biomechanically superior to competitors.

Newer cardiovascular machines, such as Cybex’s Arc Trainer and Life Fitness’ Summit Trainer, utilize repetitive reciprocal motion, in which the movement of each limb stops and starts repeatedly. This is similar to stairclimbers and skiers, which have limited popularity today. Compared to repetitive reciprocal motion elliptical trainers of competitors, Octane ellipticals offer safer, more biomechanically correct, continuous motion recruiting more muscle groups, which fosters a better feel and leads to greater exertion and longer workout duration for maximum conditioning and results.

To read more about this independent study, click here.

As the elliptical cross trainer category becomes increasingly competitive, marketing claims are sometimes made that do not have scientific basis. One example is that speed is the main determinant of an effective workout, so exercisers should move as fast as they can on ellipticals, using the legs only and engaging a high ramp/incline. According to this theory, using the upper-body handles is not recommended since they simply slow down the legs. Read more on this here.

Even while offering the best product of its class, Octane Fitness is set to move the bar even higher. The new LateralX that Octane unveiled at IHRSA, has the whole club industry abuzz. They are truly taking cardiovascular equipment in a new direction. Read more on this on the IHRSA article.

-Misheel Chuluun

Take a Closer Look at the Octane Q37 Elliptical

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According to a leading consumer magazine, the Octane Q37ci Elliptical was rated a “Best Buy” for it’s sturdy construction, safety features, and interactive training programs.

By far, the biggest advantage of the Octane Q37 Elliptical over any other machine is the quality construction. The Octane Ellipticals are sturdy and reliable and in our experience as a specialty exercise equipment retailer, we’ve seen far fewer service requests from these machines than any other elliptical sold.

In addition to the reliability and solid commercial feel, the Octane Q37 Elliptical allows users to feel more comfortable and balanced with a natural movement pattern. The natural motion enhances the use of core muscles and gives the user the maximum comfort in using both the legs and arms at any speed without feeling off balance.

The movement patterns of many less expensive machines do not feel as natural and can put stress on hips, ankles, and knees. Over the course of many hours of weekly use, these repetitive unnatural movements can cause discomfort, pain, or overuse injuries. But more often than not, an uncomfortable machine is just less likely to be used on a regular basis.

Here are a few fitness tips to help you get the most out of your Octane Elliptical workouts.

  1. Make sure to keep good posture while using the arms especially during the arm blaster workouts. You want to feel like you are pulling from your mid back muscles while retracting your shoulder blades well and keeping your elbows moving back and downwards close to your sides. The last place you want to feel like you are pulling from is your upper neck or traps.

  2. At your comfort level, get used to dropping your hands and arms and swinging them like you would during a walk or run, this will help your balance as well as your core. It is harder to do during higher resistance levels so you can choose to work on this during the warm up and cool down.

  3. Make sure you are going in reverse occasionally. It’s not a bad idea for people to do at least 10% of their workout going backwards. This will help insure that you are equalizing the load across some of the muscle groups in the legs as well as challenging your balance.

  4. Make sure you do not over do it on a weekly basis. The beauty of the Octane elliptical is that the workout time needed is compressed since there is so much muscle recruitment involved, so you can modify the workouts based on time and intensity each day and also modify which muscles you are using more for that specific workout. An example would be that someone might have a 15 minute workout one day while using the arm feature, really concentrating on pushing and pulling at a higher level of resistance. This could be followed up the next day with a simulation of running at a low level of resistance without using the arms much and the time might be 30-40 minutes. This variation example will help prevent overtraining by allowing different body parts to rest and recover properly in between workouts.

  5. Use the Cross Training program and instructional book to challenge yourself to a circuit style program. Research shows how effective going back and forth between cardio and strength training can be to help maximize cardiovascular training as well as muscle toning and weight loss. You don’t have to rely on the pictures in the cross training book that come with the Octane as they are just suggestions, you can use anything from bands to kettlebells to body weight training, just be creative.

  6. Try shorter workouts less than 30 minutes to stay consistent. Just as long as you are concentrating on warming up and cooling down properly, you can challenge yourself to come off the machine completely wiped out and have a ton of calories burned in just a short period of time. Some favorite workouts are only 20 minutes long! It’s much easier from a motivational standpoint to find less than 30 minutes of time to work into your schedule for using the Octane than it is to find 45 minutes or an hour. Get used to these small blocks of time and you will see how much fun and productive the workouts can be!

  7. Use the custom interval program to set intervals with a set resistance for a selected period of time. Some people enjoy doing 1 minute hard efforts followed by 4 minutes of mild to moderate effort and then repeat for a number of times. Others seem to like a 30 second peak interval followed by a 90 second recovery and repeat for 8 times. These are called recovery and peak effort intervals and you can play with the right combos of resistance level to make it right for you. Just make sure you are doing your warm up and cool down properly.

  8. Set shorter, reasonable goals when you first try X-Mode. When setting the time that the X-Mode comes on, I would recommend having it come on for only 30 seconds for users just starting with the Octane. Move up the time and frequency of the X-Mode as your fitness improves.

  9. Challenge yourself to use only one of the arms when pushing and pulling. This requires a good deal of concentration and core control to resist swinging from side to side as the other arm wants to join in but is resting in the downward, swinging position. Don’t push into anything that is painful. A lighter resistance still gets the job done.

In addition to the top reviewed Octane Q37ci ellipticals, Octane offers a full range of options to fit your personal preference and budget.

Each Octane Elliptical offers a “c” and “ci” console. The “ci” consoles offer the full interactive heart rate training programs. The “c” consoles offer basic workouts without the interactive heart rate so you can get the same quality machine at a lower price without all the buttons and whistles.

The Q37c console on the left and Q37ci console on the right:

The Octane Q35c is the most affordable Octane elliptical and offers the same quality construction and stride without the converging multi-grip arms.

The Octane Q47c and Q47ci ellipticals offer a unique “SmartStride” feature that automatically adjusts the stride lengths from 18 to 26 inches. This is ideal for family use to ensure that mom, dad, and the kids can all use the machine comfortably. This is also an added benefit to ensure maximum comfort transitioning between walking, jogging, and running speeds.

The Octane xRide series are a one-of-a-kind seated elliptical. These seated ellipticals offer a completely different style of low-impact elliptical workout. The additional back support from the seat can be beneficial for beginning exercisers and physical therapy. And for the experienced exerciser, it offers the opportunity to incorporate a new level of power and strength into a cross training workout.

Stop in to demo an Octane Elliptical at one of HealthStyles’ retail locations to find the cross training solution that works best for you.

Or call us at 800-829-9705 for more information.

Scott Laurent
has a BA in sports psychology. He is a certified personal trainer and was a semi-pro athlete. His consulting business, ReadyToExercise.com, helps people who are contemplating, just starting, or having difficulty remaining in an exercise program.

Visit Scott at the Healthstyles Exercise Equipment Colorado Blvd or Park Meadows Retail Stores Or email: scott@readytoexercise.com

HealthStyles’ Top Reviewed Ellipticals and Treadmills

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Based on the latest reviews from a leading consumer publication, Healthstyles Exercise Equipment’s selection of ellipticals and treadmills were well represented in the line up of 2012′s best home fitness equipment.

The Octane Q37ci was ranked as the best overall elliptical with high marks for it’s high quality, sturdy construction, safety, and interactive heart rate training programs. The Octane Q37c elliptical was also given high marks as a more affordable alternative to the Q37ci with the same quality construction and safety without the added heart rate training programs.

The Vision Fitness X30 Premier was the 2nd ranked elliptical trainer this year. The Vision X30 Premier was also given high marks for quality construction, ergonomics, user safety, and heart rate training. The Vision X30 Deluxe and X30 Simple were also well reviewed as more affordable alternatives to the X30 Premier with less programming options.

The top rated budget elliptical trainers under $1,000 were the Horizon EX-69 and Horizon EX-79 Elliptical trainers.

The Diamondback 1260ef Elliptical received an honorable mention as the top rated elliptical from 2011.

In the non-folding treadmill category, the Landice L7 Cardio Trainer Treadmill was ranked 2nd this year with the highest horsepower rating of all of the treadmills that were reviewed this year. The Vision T9500 Deluxe and Vision T9200 Simple treadmills made it to the top of the list. The Vision T9200 Simple was the top rated treadmill under $1500.

The top recommended folding treadmill was the LifeSpan TR4000i. Vision also made the top 10 folding treadmills with high marks for the T9250 Deluxe, T9250 Premier, and T9250 Simple treadmills.

In the budget treadmill category (under $1,000), the Horizon T203, T202, and T101 and the LifeSpan TR1200i folding treadmills all made the top ten.

Octane ellipticals and Vision Fitness ellipticals and treadmills are available to demo in HeathStyles’ Colorado retail stores.

Horizon, Lifespan, and Diamondback fitness equipment is available for order online or from your local retail store.

Contact your local HealthStyles fitness consultant today to learn more about any of these top rated ellipticals and treadmills.