A new treadmill craze at my gym!

At my gym, there seems to be a new craze of people putting the treadmill to max incline, and walking. If done correctly, it can burn lots of calories and help tone, however EVERYONE I see holds on, and I have to fight the urge to tell them they're doing it wrong!

Holding on takes the weight off the legs and it's barely better than walking flat. They get mega (false) numbers on the calories burnt thing though, then go home and eat them all back.

At the very least I figured I'd share here to stop anyone here making that mistake.


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26 Replies

  • How is it a mistake?

  • Like I said: Holding on takes the weight off the legs and it's barely better than walking flat. It gives false calories burned.

  • But you are using the muscles differently when you walk uphill so it would be different to walking flat.

  • Not really, everyone leans back, so they're posture is the same as when walking flat. You have to let go of it's going to be effective.

  • No you don't, you still use the muscles differently because there is more stress when walking uphill.

  • But by leaning back, you're then perpendicular to the machine (as with walking flat), so you're body no longer gets the benefit of the incline.

  • you have tried it?

  • I was advised not to by a personal trainer, so no. I'm guessing you do this though? If so, try letting go and check out the difference.

  • It is different, for example your glutes would work differently..

    go you try it for yourself.

  • Just don't be letting go if you do lol

    I get where you are coming from but it does make a difference maybe not a big one but still a difference, I wouldn't waste my time with it tho.

  • I just wouldn't want to try it when I've been told it's bad for you. There probably is some benefit, and I can see muscles may work differently, but overall it's better to let go.

    I'll add a link explaining in the first post.

  • Yes its better to let go or not lean back if you are on incline, even if you do hold on when you lean back your glutes and lower back muscles have to work to help keep you upright. But I do get your point, it sounds like a waste of time, hopefully the craze wont last to long.

    There are lots of silly crazes that come and go at the gym.

  • ive noticed a lot of people doing it recently as well and everyone ive seen holds on... i did think to myself on a couple of time WHY !! but didnt realise it was the latest thing to do ha!

  • It's been about for a while, but it's spreading! I think it's a lot of copy-catting. There were 6 people (out of about 11) doing it earlier today.

    I just want to make sure people here don't eat back the calories without realising the difference.

  • i usually go to about 5 incline for mine and that gets me out of breath and i dont hold on.. and that was under PT instruction. so think i will be continue with anyway rather than being a copycat !

  • Even 5% sounds like a decent slope! If it gets you out of breath, then it's working!

  • yeah... it just gets me out of breath and i just walk up .. i dont run ha!!

  • I too have seen this alot at the gym I go to. The other week someone had it on a high incline and she was leaning forwards toward the rail holding on and running quite fast. Weirdest thing I've seen. I have also been advised in the past against holding on whilst using the treadmill. It's true it does take some of the slack so it doesn't feel as hard but what's the point in that?

  • I bet she looked a site lol

    No point in it really tho, the craze will pass and another one will take its place.

  • Wow! She must have been running pretty wonky?

    Yeah, I think if people can walk up a steep incline like that for 40+ mins and not feel out of breath, there's something a little off.

  • When I'm running on the treadmill I hold on with one hand because I feel safer doing that. A couple of years back I had a lot of trouble with my ankle just giving way and I guess I haven't let go of that feeling of not being able to control myself while falling and at least if my ankle goes again I can hold on to the machine instead of skidding off the machine and possibly crash into another member and their machine. I also sometimes get a slight 'dizzy' feeling - nothing major but again, holding on with one hand makes me feel safer. :) I just can't look down, even slightly, as seeing the treadmill moving so fast causes that dizzy feeling. To me holding on has nothing to do with making things 'easier' or because it's 'some new craze' - I've always held on with one hand while using the treadmill but I don't lean forwards either, I stand straight and run as I would normally, just with one of my hands holding on the the front bar.

    Let them do their thing how they want, there are many reasons they might be holding on and it's not for us to go round telling everyone how to do stuff. That's what the gym staff are there for and I notice they don't make a habit of going round the gym correcting people unless it's for safety reasons. You don't know if they're going home scoffing afterwards either. I hate the feeling of being observed in the gym and it took a long time to not allow that feeling from preventing me from going. It could really knock someones confidence if you went up to them and tried 'correcting' them.

    I learned that there are many ways to use the machines at the gym; quite often it states that on them, about how different positions help tone certain areas of the body. I can't believe I am saying this, because it reminds me of being told off when I was younger when I made a comment about how someone was eating or skipping or doing something that was different to how I would do something, but I was told to focus on myself and stop judging other people. It's rude! Especially as they might already feel quite self-conscious already!


  • Holding on with one hand for safety reasons is fair enough, that's why the supports are there.

    I don't gawk at others while they're doing their thing, and I don't say anything either when I see them doing something different, but when you're in the back row of treadmills, you can't help seeing those on the treadmills in front.

    I have had people intervene to tell me when I've used equipment wrongly - I personally don't mind it, because at least it means you're going to get the right benefits. It was a personal trainer who first pointed the treadmill issue out to me, to make sure I wouldn't do it myself. That is why I made this post - to spread their message and make sure others get the right benefits.

  • I get that, really I do. My point was that they might be doing it for reasons you have no idea about and you could be assuming this is a new craze (which you might be right about). I just think it's the gym instructors place to intervene if it's something that needs stopping. I just really dislike the idea of people at the gym judging others and then going away and telling their friends, it's things like that that really put others off and it would be a terrible shame for say members on here to have read this and been put off going to the gym because they might get talked about or, God forbid, laughed at. What we consider right, even by personal trainers, is not always the case. I have been in the gym and asked the same question to three different trainers, I got three slightly different responses. My point is just because you think it's wrong and you're right might not be the case...they might not be interested in calories burned, they may be doing it to work on a certain area. You might be right and some people are unaware and they might read this and realise. Personally I have not noticed this 'craze' most of the people I see running at my gym don't hold on at all, it's me and I think I've seen two other ladies hold on in all the time I have been there so maybe I've not experienced what you have (yet). I will certainly keep an eye out though because it sounds rather interesting but I shall try and do it in a way that doesn't make people aware that I'm watching. We are all there to try and improve ourselves in some way and I really do try to stay focused on ME when I go to the gym and if I spot something a bit strange I really try not to because I know what it feels like to feel observed and judged. I'm a bit of a cheerleader in my gym, actually, I often try to smile encouragingly and say things like 'that's impressive, well done' and normally people appreciate it. :)

  • Yeah, it's the way my gym is - there are two rows of treadmills pointing towards a big window with a beautiful view, so everyone stares out the window. It does mean you see the people in the row in front though, you can't avoid it (the treadmills don't have a TV so nothing else to look at).

    I generally don't judge people at the gym at all - unless they're hogging all the weights! If you want to see what I mean though, this helps:


  • Oh okay, I see. We're cool! :D It does look rather strange lol...oohh! Sorry, I'm just trying to figure out what they're doing...not judging them but it looks as though they could hurt themselves!

  • It's not the best image, but I can't find a better one! It just helps explain a bit. most people put the incline to max, hold on and lean back. Your gym must be good if no one does it!

    I think it's alright to judge that image though, they made it to teach people, so it's not a sneaky gym snap!

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