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Cardio Fitness

A Helpful Guide to Cardio Equipment

Check out our latest blog for a helpful guide to cardio equipment at the gym. Read now to learn more!

Published: 6/20/19


A Helpful Guide to Cardio Equipment

Whether you are looking for cardio workouts for beginners, or simply trying to get to know the cardio equipment, It can be daunting walking into a gym and seeing all of the machines that you have to work with. But that is why we are here—to help you! We want you to feel confident, so we have created a helpful guide to cardio equipment at the gym.


First things first: the treadmill. The treadmill is the most popular piece of cardio workout equipment. It allows for any level of gym-goer to use it, from someone who just stepped foot in the gym to Olympians. This diverse piece of equipment is one you should get to know.

Things to note:

  1. Don’t be intimidated by all of the buttons. Instead look for the green Quick Start button, the up and down arrows to adjust your speed, and the emergency brake. These are the most important buttons on the treadmill.
  2. Start where you are. Meaning, if the most you can do right now is a walk—that is incredible! Just hit that green Quick Start button, take your speed up to a 2.5 mph – 4 mph and walk as far as you can.


There are two types of bikes, recumbent and upright. They have different uses but are both excellent cardiovascular exercise machines. If you are looking to complete a low impact cardio workout that is easy on your joints, either of these is a great option.

Recumbent Exercise Bike

This bike looks a little different than you may expect because it is lower to the ground and has a seat with back support. If you have back problems and need something to help hold you up, choose this bike. You can get in a great cardio workout with the support of a seat keeping you upright. For a great beginner workout, try and ride for 20 to 30 minutes. See how far you can go and then try to beat that mileage on your next workout.

Things to note:

  1. Secure your feet in the straps with the ball of your foot on the pedal.
  2. Position your seat correctly. For the best position, you will want to be able to straighten your legs out almost all of the way without your knees locking.
  3. Play with the resistance. You should see a resistance button on the display of your bike. This button will help to make your workout a little more advanced. Click the resistance up a few times until you feel like there is a little bit of road and friction under your feet and you are starting to have to work for your workout.
  4. Push Quick Start, and go!

Upright Bike

The main difference here is that there is no back support, similar to your average spin bike. This allows you to do things like stand up, do “jumps” and the like. Head to this bike if you are looking for an exercise routine that mimics more of what a road bike feels like.

Things to note:

  1. Make sure your bike seat is at the right height. It should hit right around your hip.
  2. Make sure your bike seat is adjusted backward or forward far enough so that your leg is extended but does not lock.
  3. Start with your handlebars high. As you learn to ride, you can lower them down to create more difficulty.
  4. Make sure your feet are strapped or locked in with bike shoes. You should be hitting the pedal with the palm of your foot, not the center.
  5. Don’t be afraid to make your workout more difficult by playing with the resistance knob.
  6. Pedal away!

Stair Climber

Ever wondered why you see people walking up never-ending stairs at the gym? This is because the stair climber is not only a great low-impact cardio workout, but it works those glutes too!

Things to note:

  1. Use the footholds to get up onto the machine. These look like pedals at the base of the stair climber.
  2. When you get to the top, get familiar with the buttons, and locate the red stop button. You will use this if there is an emergency and you need the machine to stop.
  3. Tap the green Quick Start button, and the belt and stairs will start to move.
  4. Find the up and down arrow keys to gradually adjust your speed until you find the one that is the most comfortable for you.


The elliptical machine is perfect for cardio training that is easy on your joints. A lot of people use the elliptical in place of the treadmill for a low-impact option, among the many other elliptical benefits the machine boasts.

Things to note:

  1. Step onto the machine to start and hit the Quick Start button. The ellipticals only stay on if the pedals are moving, so if you stop moving, the machine will turn off.
  2. Locate the Level button. Slowly increase until you find the proper resistance for your fitness level.
  3. Depending on the machine, you may have moving handles. Use these for a full body cardio workout.

We have cardio equipment at all of our locations. If you aren’t sure where to start, grab a team member and they would be happy to walk you through using a machine. Always remember to stay hydrated by bringing your water bottle, and stretch it out before and after your training session.

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