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Or to put it another way - is there a benefit to alternating between e.g. the treadmill and the stationary bike, other than making it a bit more interesting.

I mostly asked because right now I'm splitting up a 1 hour work-out into 20 mins on 3 different machines (usually bike, treadmill, cross trainer). This is mainly to stop it getting too boring for me. However I'm not really sure if this is the most efficient since there's inevitably a few minutes of time whilst I'm swapping and I calm down/regain my breath a bit inbetween.

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While Evan already answered it, did you have any reason for asking it? You generally get better answers if you explain why you ask for certain things, because then we might be able to get rid of false assumptions or teach you something extra. –  Ivo Flipse Mar 29 '11 at 18:07
    
I mostly asked because right now I'm splitting up a 1 hour work-out into 20 mins on 3 different machines (usually bike, treadmill, cross trainer). This is mainly to stop it getting too boring for me. However I'm not really sure if this is the most efficient since there's inevitably a few minutes of time whilst I'm swapping and I calm down/regain my breath a bit inbetween. –  victoriah Mar 29 '11 at 20:08
    
@Victoriah, you should edit that info into your question ;-) –  Ivo Flipse Mar 29 '11 at 20:18
    
What are your goals? That is, why are you doing cardio? General health? To burn calories? To improve fitness for some sport/activity? –  Yevgeniy Brikman Mar 29 '11 at 22:07
    
I'm not convinced any cardio at all is needed..... –  JDelage Mar 30 '11 at 5:44
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Not really...

Aside from making workouts less monotonous, changing machines will also help you build different muscles.

The main focus of a 'cardio' workout is heart/lungs so it doesn't really matter what type of exercise you do as long as it's the right intensity to kick your body into increased metabolism mode.

A side effect of using different machines is, by working out more muscle groups you may also increase your caloric expenditure vs always using the same machine (Ie more muscles strength increases require more energy overall). But, that depends completely on what types of workouts you're doing and probably won't have a drastic effect overall.

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