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Weight training is what it takes to ďtoneĒ muscles. Cardio equipment does not tone, unless resistance is applied.

Weight equipment comes in different formats. Free weights are the most common usage of weight training equipment. Bodybuilders will use benches, bars, plates, dumbbells, and separate equipment to work out with. Others will use a good multi gym that incorporate many exercises with the safety of the machine. They usually take up less room, and are easy to use when increasing resistance by moving a pin on the weight stack. Either way, create a mandate of what you want to accomplish and set up an appropriate program designed by a professional with years of experience.

Cardio training is designed to burn fat, while weight training is designed to build muscle. The denser a muscle fibre is, the higher your metabolic rate. You burn more excess calories from glucose during the day when muscle is denser and metabolic rate is high. One should incorporate both kinds of training to accomplish their goals of a firm and fit body. Weight training first, then cardio. Once glucose levels have been lowered, cardio training will use fat as an energy. If you do cardio before your weight workout, you will burn glucose used for weight training that turns to glycogen in the muscle cells, and not fat, for about 30 minutes. Warm up for weight training with very light dumbbells. Get oxygen in the muscle cells first. Cardio get oxygen in the blood, but very little gets into the muscle cells that youíll be working on.

Make sure you spend the appropriate amount for your equipment. You get what you pay for. I find that people that arenít serious about working out will look for the ďbest dealĒ and miss out quality equipment. Sub par equipment breaks down a lot, have short warranties, are noisy, feel light and rocky. We refuse to sell this kind of equipment - we donít need the problems of repairs. I want good feedback from our business. Good product gets us that!

In order to make sure youíve purchased the right equipment, here are a few hints:

1. Purchase equipment that has weight to it. Light machines have a tendency to fall apart easier and in a short time. If the discount appears too good, you get what you pay for. Companies are in the market to make money. They donít give the stuff away. Knocking off $800.00 on a treadmill is either an older model the company is clearing out, or the original price has been very inflated. Department stores have a tendency to advertise that way to get you into the store. Shop around, and check out the specialty stores where you get more professional service and info.

2. Donít purchase features you will never use. They add to the price, and if they ever break down, it will cost you plenty to repair.

3. When purchasing equipment, spend more than a minute or two on the treadmill or elliptical. Give yourself a feel for the equipment as youíll be using it for many years. Make sure youíre comfortable for the period of time youíll be on it.

4. Donít be afraid to spend more money on a better machine. They will normally be better built, will feel better, and will last longer. Better built machines have a lower breakdown ratio. When in the store, try a variety from expensive to cheaper and see which one will suit you the best. Specialty stores will carry many different quality units for you to try.

5. When purchasing cardio equipment, donít be stuck on what your friend or neighbor suggests. Try a treadmill, then an elliptical, and finally a bike to see which one you feel better on. What is good for your friends may not be good for you. When purchasing a strength training machine, make sure youíre comfortable with the movements and weight adjustments. If itís too difficult to use, you will have purchased a clothes hanger.

6. Be honest with your weight and body capabilities. If youíre overweight, you canít purchase that treadmill on sale for $699.99 at a local department or hardware store. If you have knee problems, maybe an elliptical would be a better choice for cardio than a treadmill. If youíre a short person, a long stride on an elliptical is not the best thing to get. If youíre tall, and want to run, purchase a treadmill with at least a 60" long running surface. Donít buy a rower if you have a bad back. make sure the bench you buy can accept your weight and weight lifting potential.

7. Stay away from fitness infomercials. Most are geared to mass advertising and some have been found to not give the right information concerning what the product can achieve for you.

8. For local sales, donít be afraid to pay extra for home delivery and set up. Specialty store are professional when it comes to assembly. They know the equipment better than anyone else.

9. Accessories can help in getting you in shape. Things like ankle weights, exercise balls, medicine balls, skipping ropes, steppers, exercise mats, martial arts or boxing equipment, belts and gloves, floor mats, hand grips, etc. There are a multitude of exercise equipment that will add to your home gym or cardio.

10. Try to purchase new whenever you can versus used. New equipment has full warranties and you are the first to use it. You may be buying someone elseís problems by buying used. With no warranty, this may cost you more than new if you run into a problem.
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