1Life Blog

Best Gym Machines for Toning and Weight Loss

Posted by Paul Rayner on 17-Feb-2020 06:00:00
Paul Rayner


We all go to the gym for different reasons, some people want to improve their fitness, others might be recovering from an injury while some people are looking to tone up or lose weight.  If you fall into the latter category, we’ve put together a list of some of the best 1Life gym machines you should be using to help achieve goals.  

Try incorporating these machines into your workout routine to maximise the efficiency of your training and over time you should start to see the results.   



Most people will be familiar with a treadmill and it is a staple at many 1Life gyms.  They tend to be popular with gym-goers and for good reason, here’s why. A treadmill is capable of accommodating a range of fitness levels which is why it is such a crowd pleaser.  If you are looking to lose weight through exercise, a treadmill is a great place to start.  

These machines are straight forward to use and are excellent for burning calories which can help with weight loss, as they simulate real life movement, whether you use them for brisk walking, running or hill sprints.  They engage nearly every muscle in the body but the way to boost its fat-burning ability is to bear the full load of your bodyweight so don’t be tempted to hold the side handles as you use the machine. Another top tip is to vary your workout on them.  Many treadmills have a ‘fat burning’ programme which automatically adjusts the speed and incline over a certain amount of time to put your body through its paces.


Stationary bike

Again, another firm favourite when it comes to weight loss is the stationary bike.  If you enjoy using the bike during your workouts then you might also enjoy spinning classes or innovative exercise experience THE TRIP™, both of which are interval based group cycling classes set to music, which is a fun way to burn calories.   Again, just like the treadmill, the stationary bike is simple to use and can be of benefit to anyone, regardless of their fitness level. The bike differs to the treadmill though, in that it allow users to exercise at a high intensity yet it remains low impact on the joints.  If you plan to base your cardio workouts on the bike then try out the fat-blasting interval training programmes to keep your workout interesting and varied. 


Rowing Machine 

If rowing is more up your street then you are in luck, there is no shortage of rowing machines at 1Life gyms.  These machines simulate a smooth rowing action with an ergonomically designed handle to enable you to challenge yourself through both intensity and duration.  You might be mistaken in thinking that rowing only works your arms and back, when in fact a rowing machine uses more than 80% of your muscle mass. The machine takes your body through a dynamic range of motions and by spreading the workload over your entire body rather than mainly your arms, you’ll find you are able to train for longer and at a higher intensity.  All this means you’ve instantly added more calorie burn to your gym workout.

When working out, try sitting with your hips at a right angle with your torso and keep your torso upright.  Place your feet on the platform for support and grab the straight bar ensuring your palms are facing down. Now, pull the scapulae towards you as you flex your elbows. As you pull the bar inwards, pull the shoulder blades together, and when the shoulder blades are completely retracted, hold for a second. Bring the bar forward to straighten your arms and repeat.


Elliptical trainer

You might also know this machine as a cross-trainer.  This versatile bit of kit can be used to simulate walking, stair-climbing and running, all without putting any excessive pressure on your joints but with the option to increase the resistance. The elliptical trainer is a great platform for burning calories which ultimately is the key to losing weight.   These machines can be controlled either manually or by selecting a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to really put you through your paces. A HIIT programme alternates between maximum effort, and a moderate recovery pace which is proven to be highly effective for weight loss.  



If you haven’t used a stepper before, picture climbing a flight of stairs but with added resistance.  This machine is quite similar to a cross-trainer in that you place your feet on two separate plates and your legs make a continuous stepping motion.  One of the reasons it’s effective for weight loss and toning the legs and glutes is the potential to climb the equivalent of 10 to 20 flights of stairs during a workout, which as you can imagine also burns some serious calories.  While on the machine you are working against gravity which forces you to bear most of your bodyweight throughout your workout. You have the ability to vary your workout by altering the speed and resistance, depending on your fitness level and the intensity you wish to work at.  

To really see results from your gym routine, combine exercise with a healthy, balanced diet.  If you are new to working out or the gym then don’t overdo things too quickly and speak to one of our 1Life instructors if you are unfamiliar with any of the equipment. 

Good luck on your fitness journey!