Corporate Athletes: Meet the Precor EFX®

Personal Training

Corporate Athletes: Meet the Precor EFX®

by Elizabeth Rae Kovar, M.A., Master Trainer for the American Council on Exercise

Busy schedules and the expense of joining a private gym often keep corporate employees from maintaining a regular exercise routine. Wellness programs and onsite corporate gyms can help bridge the gap by offering convenient and reasonably priced membership fees and programs.

Given that people are more likely to adopt wellness behaviors that are convenient and accessible, and due to the fact that time is of the essence, it is critical for corporate employees to be able to efficiently and effectively get exercise in during their scheduled workout times.

When looking for a piece of equipment that offers innovation combined with built-in workout technologies, try an entirely new workout experience with the Precor EFX, or Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer. Whether you are new to exercise or a corporate athlete, the EFX is designed to enhance the cross training experience.

Why the EFX Benefits Corporate Employees
Employees who chronically sit will develop muscle imbalances over time. It is common to see the thoracic spine round as gravity “pulls” the body toward the floor. Without postural awareness, the spine will take on a “hunch backed” posture and cause the shoulders to roll in and a forward head tilt. Also, people who sit are in a constant hip-flexed state. This shortens the hip-flexor muscles and pulls the pelvis forward, resulting in back pain. Along with poor posture, “desk jockeys” commonly experience improper length-tension relationships between certain muscle groups, specifically with a tightness or weakness in their gluteals and hamstrings.

Athletic ventures such as endurance runs, cycling events and triathlons are primarily quad-dominate exercises. Most people do not consciously focus on activating the posterior chain when moving. The EFX allows exercisers to cross train while focusing on calf, hamstring and gluteal activation at certain ramp levels, which reduces the risk of an overuse injury. The EFX not only enhances cardiovascular fitness, it also balances the muscular system.

The EFX is also chock full of pre-made workouts.  Some beneficial programs include Push Performance 1-4 interval or the Rolling Hills, so exercisers can get an effective workout in a shorter period of time.

EFX Considerations & Benefits - Why is the EFX different?
The Precor EFX incorporates the revolutionary Converging CrossRamp™ technology. This ramp better replicates a person’s natural converging path of motion as they walk and run.

The increase in posterior activation is actually due to the converging trajectory paired with the varying CrossRamp angles. Introducing frontal plane motion elevates involvement of the glutes compared to the quadriceps, resulting in a more balanced movement.

The best feature is that the EFX is designed to fit and work for every body and fitness level. With a smaller frame, the machine is suitable for men and women of all ages and body types.

EFX Training Program Considerations
When using the following programs, monitor your efforts by using the RPE, the Rate of Perceived Exertion scale. The RPE scale ranges from one to 10. One indicates very light activity and ten replicates maximal effort.

Depending on your fitness level, you may need to adjust the CrossRamp and resistance settings to meet your current capabilities. For maximal benefit, maintain a steady cadence even as the cross ramp increases. This increases the heart rate and caloric expenditure. Avoid reducing your cadence to compensate for higher ramp angles.

Forward Training Hill Climb Program
The following 30 minute program focuses on the forward motion to enhance the activation of the posterior chain. This hill program gradually increases throughout a 30-minute duration. The goal is to maintain a cadence throughout the entire program. Adjust the ramp and resistance as needed throughout the program to give yourself an additional challenge or recovery.  

Interval Backward Pedaling Program

This program will definitely mix up your traditional cardio routine. This routine includes both forward and backward motions to focus on quadriceps and hamstring activation. The backward motion is less familiar so the body will naturally work harder, which increases the heart rate. Also, the core will automatically fire, especially on a hands-free backward pedal. Although it is cardio, the core is indirectly being trained through bracing and stabilizing the torso.

 

  • The program incorporates a 1:1 and 1:2 work to rest ratio.
     
  • Suggested RPE:
    • 1:2 – work: 6-8, recovery: 4-5
    • 1:1 – work: 7-9 (maximal effort), recovery: 3-5
  • Additional Challenges: Alternate using the arms and hands-free movement to incorporate additional challenges

For the following program, aim for the work portion to range between 6-8 RPE and the rest between 4-6 RPE. You can achieve a higher work RPE by increasing your cadence or most effectively, by the resistance. For the bouts that have a longer recovery, aim for your work portion to be harder since the recovery is longer. 

Stage 1 - Work Pedaling Forward and Recover Pedaling Backward

Stage 2 - Work Pedaling Backward and Recover Pedaling Forward

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Author Information

Elizabeth Kovar
Elizabeth Kovar's picture

Elizabeth Kovar, MA, is based in Seattle, WA, where she serves as a fitness coordinator at a local recreational center. Elizabeth has studied yoga in five different countries, and completed her master's thesis on "Creating Yoga Programs for People with Movement Disabilities", implemented on a 12-week study for people with Stage 1-2 Parkinson's disease.

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