Indoor or outdoor? This is the question!
The Hamlet dilemma of choosing between a gym or outdoor workout afflicts many users, but especially many personal trainers.
The fitness industry continues to diversify the offer of machines and tools that allow you to train with the greatest comfort, reducing as much as possible the physical stress induced.
As far as the technological evolution of machines is concerned, purists and minimalists of the heavy workout or hard training do not spare harsh controversies about it, interpreting progress as a facilitation, an advantage-handicap.
We can only share this from certain points of view.
It is undeniable that many users’ approach to motor activity is more social than athletic, but there are real circumstances in which research and development make the impossible possible.
Before entering the technician of the topic, we propose the reading of a paragraph oriented to the analysis of the social aspect, because as we will see it is the one that has the greatest impact on the choice of users for indoor or outdoor training.
Indoor VS Outdoor Workout
The Social Aspect
90% of the fitness-fauna choose the facility or gym where to train according to economic and social criteria.
Indoor or outdoor? The influence of the social aspect.
We Can Summarize The Criteria Of This Choice:
- Quantity of potential partners (most often Platonic)
- Beauty and trending
- Logistic management
- Quality of instrumentation, service and comfort
Comfort is not in first place; but neither is the quality of the instrumentation and service. So the controversy of the minimalists is unfounded.
Let’s be clear, the one reported is not a sharable trend, but it is still the trend today. If the order were reversed, we would talk about real sportsmen – who usually practice sport, not fitness.
It’s no wonder, however, that most users prefer to train on a stepper equipped with an usb, wireless or bluetooth jack, color display and speakers or better headphone jack, rather than working out at the city park (with the complications of the case). Anyone who puts 5 priorities before service and instrumentation shows that it is not the quality of training that affects their choices.
Indoor VS Outdoor Workout: The Importance Of The Technical Aspect
Discriminating between training in the gym and working out outdoors, we mainly refer to the choice between fitness machines for aerobic activity and sports or free-body activities to be performed outside.
In strengthening, however, both free weight training and calisthenics can be done outdoors or indoors. Different is the case with isotonic machines that, for maintenance and preservation reasons, should be stored dry and away from sunlight.
A comparison between exercises practiced with aerobic machines (indoor cardio-training) and outdoor aerobic activities (outdoor cardio training) will follow, and we try to understand what and why to choose one type of approach instead of another. However, we must first make a premise, given that the primary use of fitness machines for aerobics is the slimming one.
For years we have been taught that, considering that modern man no longer has a physically active but sedentary life, we should try to propose gymnastics that “somehow” recreates the physiological movement and energy expenditure for which we have evolved. Given that aerobic activity is also an excellent tool to make the cardiovascular and respiratory system work in the best way, to improve the metabolism of metabolism and train aerobic endurance, it is not the only way to lose weight – on the contrary, we say that, like all training protocols, it is an aid.
It closely relates energy consumption and fat consumption to basal metabolism, which accounts for about 60% of total energy expenditure constrained by the amount of muscle mass. Training makes up a much lower portion, although obviously the ratio varies according to the level of overall motor physical activity.
Practicing motor activity is still possible to consume easily 500 kcal in an hour of exercise, but do not make the mistake of thinking these are entirely made up of fat. At best, only half will come from triglycerides in the fat and liver. In the worst case (which has, in fact, absolutely nothing negative), this energy comes almost entirely from muscle glycogen, which will be restored at subsequent meals optimizing the metabolism of food carbohydrates and promoting weight loss. In short, to lose weight you have to consume more than you eat, period, and that’s it.
With the same intensity, which to be punctilious would be optimal if placed in the now known “lipolytic band”, this disregards the movement or machine; therefore, training indoors you do not lose weight more than training outdoors – even if the fitness machine is able to provide us with a lot of useful information, although sometimes inaccurate and misleading.
Machines or Natural Movement? Diversity of Movement.
Let’s go back to our technical evaluation on a biomechanical muscle basis. Analyzing, to give a concrete example, the movement on a treadmill (treadmill) compared to running in the open air, we notice as a first approach the difference in the gesture’s execution.
Natural Walking and Running VS Treadmill
On the treadmill the projection of the body is upwards, vertically, in a skipped way to allow the tape to slide under the body. The mechanics of the step are translated decidedly in a collection of the foot on the tape, that comes dragged toward back, instead in the propulsion and push of the leg typical of the support-traction-push forward.
The activation of the extensor muscles of the hip on the Treadmill, mainly of the buttocks and ischiocrurals, is much lower than running on the ground, which is characterized by the propulsion of the buttocks and similar to allow the body to project forward.
The activation of the hip flexor muscles, mainly of the ileo-psoas and rectum of the femur, is marked regarding running on the ground because it is not balanced by the work of the hip extenders; according to some this, from a biomechanical point of view, can lead to imbalances between the pelvic anti-versor compartment and the rear-versor, which can interfere with the stability of the pelvis and lead to back problems. The same is also true for the uphill walk.
Keep in mind that, in fact, on the carpet it is the ribbon sliding under the subject and not the subject sliding on the ground as in outdoor running. From a functional point of view, therefore, moving on the carpet does not have the same productivity; unless the carpet is like those of the past, magnetic type, where what makes the tape move is the thrust of our legs and not an electric motor.
Stepper VS Stairs
Another interesting tool is the stepper with intensity modulation, where the subject practices buoyancy thrusts to maintain the support of the feet. In reality this tool should re-propose the gesture of climbing stairs but, in this regard, the biomechanics of climbing stairs differs greatly from that on the stepper.
This is a very popular tool especially for women who work in gyms or home fitness, because it is very common misinformation that makes the buttocks work a lot, toning them and making them more aesthetically pleasing.
Regardless of the fact that anaerobic effort can in no way heavily affect the tropism of a similar muscle – except for the initial transition from a condition of total sedentariness to one of aerobic activity – it must be specified that the buttocks are primarily responsible for a movement that, on the stepper, is mildly ape-like. By definition, these are hip extenders that bring the thigh from a bending position to extension, then behind the body – to understand the right movement, imagine the lunging exercise while walking.
On the stepper instead, the thigh never goes beyond the horizontal line of the pelvis and the vertical line of the axis, performing only a movement of marginal activation of the large buttock.
Another interesting thing is the fact that the foot does not grip the step by pulling the body up, as happens when climbing a flight of stairs, but performs a lunge and float movement that can be more or less difficult depending on the intensity of the training. It is the weight of the body that makes the foot support go down, while on the stairs it is the lower limbs that push the body up to the next step.
From the outside it might look like the same movement (with a partial extension of the hip) but in reality it is not. In addition, 90% of stepper activity practitioners put their hands on the side supports, which are not made to support but to keep the balance of those who climb for the first time, and tilt their back forward. Using the arms as support reduces the buoyancy work and the working angle of the buttocks.
There are even steppers with lateral thrust, which try to recreate the movement of skating. In nature the human being does not perform any repetitive movement that pushes the thigh sideways and backwards. Here too the choice would be to train on a flight of stairs, despite the lack of practicality or availability of such a structure.
Pros and Cons
There are many other aerobic work tools in the gym, but the concept is always the same, that is the little functionality of the athletic gesture.
As far as cardiovascular work is concerned, instead, it can be a good way to make the heart work by keeping the training range under control.
It is understandable that gyms do not have an athletic track or a large penthouse where you can run naturally. It will therefore be the care of the users (who can do it) to diversify the training, also doing it outdoors, for their own good.
As mentioned above, indoor is very suitable for the training of certain people with specific needs. First, the elderly ones, which must be carefully monitored when they exercise; it is in fact much safer to keep them under control on a machine rather than entrust them with a training program to be carried out alone in the open air. The same is true for those who carry out a rehabilitation protocol after heart surgery, for those who carry out therapy or prevention of COPD, for post-traumatized locomotor, etc..
Think of a person who can not run but can walk, or for a fracture in the upper limbs can not ride a bike (risk of falling) but can practice exercise bike, and is forced to perform motor activities. Living in a hilly or mountainous area, both will reach considerable intensity, but if they lived in the plain, the workouts would be endless and unproductive.
The “softening” of the gesture allows in certain cases to limit unwanted stress, for example, on the back, knees, ankles, etc.. There are many people who prefer to run on treadmills to limit joint pain.
Ultimately, running outdoors or on the treadmill, and spinning or cycling, or working on the elliptical or trying your hand at cross-country skiing, are not the same thing.
The high cost of some equipment, sometimes exorbitant, should not lead you to think the higher the price the better the results will be, because most of the time a healthy person only needs a pair of suitable footwear, seasonal technical clothing and possibly a heart rate monitor.
Movement, however, remains the main commandment; indoor or outdoor, the important thing is to do it. If, however, we are looking for the optimal performance, then it should orient the choice on natural movements and gestures.
Feeling the need, nothing should prevent us from choosing a fitness machine.