If you think hanging onto a treadmill is an approach mostly committed by elderly walkers, think again.
Even big strong bodybuilders commit this sabotaging habit.
Many walkers who hold onto a treadmill are muscle-building or physique athletes in perfect health.
Typically, a bodybuilder or physique athlete will use a treadmill, especially an incline, to burn fat to prepare for a competition.
Many non-competitive bodybuilders or physique enthusiasts will gravitate towards the treadmill incline to slash body fat to get that super-cut appearance.
These same men and women will perform impressive feats with heavy barbells and dumbbells that require a lot more balance than what’s required for keeping up on a moving tread.
For example they’ll do walking lunges holding heavy dumbbells; repetitive jumps onto a stool; and squats with a very heavy barbell across the top of their upper back.
Yet they can’t walk on a treadmill without holding on?
Well, there is some truth to this. The reason bodybuilders need to hold onto a treadmill is the same reason that so many other grippers need to employ this sabotaging habit:
The speed is too fast. Or the incline is too high.
It’s that simple. A naïve trainee will think he’s burning tons of calories because the console shows a gazillion calories burned after “walking” 4 mph at 15 percent incline for 45 minutes.
What this individual fails to realize is that this calorie readout is generated by the settings in the machine’s computer and has nothing to do with that actual person moving on the tread!
To prove this, stand next to an empty treadmill. Now, press the button to start it, then set the speed at 4 mph, and then set the incline to 15 percent. Let the machine run without anybody on it.
The calorie total will immediately start tallying up. It will be a big total after 30 minutes, even though nobody was on the machine.
Thus, when you’re on a treadmill for a while, high incline, fast speed, hands on the bar, don’t let the big calorie total fool you.
You burn about 25 percent fewer calories, maybe 30 percent fewer, than what you would burn with a hands-off walk.
If a bodybuilder wants to burn maximal amounts of fat, they will achieve this much faster, and I mean MUCH faster, by using a slower speed and/or lower incline, and keeping their hands off the treadmill.
A fast tread or high incline are meaningless if you’re hanging onto the treadmill.
The irony is that a devoted bodybuilder or physique enthusiast will typically be very diligent about proper form when it comes to strength training exercises.
Why they toss efficient form out the window when it comes to the treadmill is a mind-buzzing mystery.