Cybex Fitness Blog

Arc Trainer Exercise Series: General Fitness

In this Arc Trainer Exercise Series edition, we will discuss the Arc Trainer's impact on Improving General Fitness. When we say “General Fitness” we define this as:

750A Arc Trainer“The ability of a training program to raise the level of function applicable to everyday life.”

This refers to increased cardiovascular function, strength gains and work capacity (which includes heart rate recovery). Whether you are chasing kids around the house all day, or training for a 5K the Arc will set the foundation you need.

Arc Trainer workouts in the General Fitness category include those that will build an endurance base as well as a functional lower body strength base in just 2-3, quick 30 minute workouts per week. The best part about this is that there is relatively no soreness associated with this on the following day!

So for general fitness clients who might be suffering from knee pain, back pain or maybe even some that have jobs that are demanding, and don’t like to be sore on the day following their workouts, this is a great place to start.

Here is an example of a General Fitness Interval on the Arc Trainer. If you are thinking of starting a training program, but are unsure of where to begin this is for you.

 General Fitness Interval 3:1

 Warm up on the Arc trainer for 5-10 minutes adjusting the incline from 3-8 to identify a comfortable level. Note: increasing the incline on the Arc Trainer will sometimes make the workout feel a little easier as you get a little bit more time (pull from gravity) in the down stroke. This is unlike a treadmill program where increasing the incline will make the program more difficult. During this warm up, also adjust the load (resistance) from 15 – 30, as you look for a comfortable starting resistance, and increase the speed to somewhere between 100 and 120 strides per minute.

Now that you are ready to begin…

Set up the Arc with the identified settings (usually around 5-6 incline and 20-25 resistance) and begin at a pace of 100-120 strides per minute for 3 minutes. This first interval is followed by a 1-minute rest interval where you will keep the incline and resistance settings the same, but decrease the strides per minute to a walking pace of less than 25 strides per minute.

After the 1-minute rest period, start your next 3-minute interval and try to increase the resistance by 5. This is followed by another rest period of 1 minute and the pattern will repeat. The goal is to be able to keep the strides per minute around 120 and increase the load (resistance) as high as possible. We have some recreational runners who will increase the load to 50-60 and we have some stay at home moms that will hover around 30-35 resistance. Everyone is different, and we are all starting at different fitness levels, so challenge yourself in each set to go one notch higher on the resistance.

Case Study:

31-year-old female who just joined a running club and is looking to increase her fitness level through cross training, but has had mild knee pain in the past when she has tried to strength train.

After 3 weeks of 2x per week on the Arc 3-1 interval she moved from the back of the pack in her running group to the middle of the pack. She reported no soreness and no knee pain and her motivation to continue was higher than ever.

She started off hitting an ending resistance of 30 and now is hovers between 45-50 depending on the day. Her perceived level of exertion at the end of the workout (last few levels – minutes 24-30 in a 30 minute workout) gets close to 8 and has hit 9 on a scale of 1-10. So this workout can become fairly difficult if you continue to increase the resistance and push yourself.

She is also reporting more energy during the day and is motivated to start running 5K’s in the fall.

Scott Moody
Founder and CEO Soccer F.I.T. Academy


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Cybex is a provider and manufacturer of premium commercial fitness equipment.  Content featured in the Cybex Fitness Blog is meant to inspire healthy living and wellness and should not be taken as medical advice. For medical advice please consult a doctor. 

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Topics: Power of the Arc

Posted by Marybeth Fottler on Sep 11, 2010 10:38:00 AM

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