The December issue of Germany's version of Men's Health magazine ran a story on tests run for it by a German exercise physiologist on the calorie-burning potential of different categories of equipment. Then the magazine listed what it considered the three top pieces in each category in three segments it called Economy, Business and First Class. The final results gave top cardiovascular-training ratings to rowers, with the bonus of strength-training due to upper body use (models recommended -- Economy: Tunturi R 610; Business: Concept 2; First Class: Waterrower S1). Second place was given to treadmills, with thumbs-up for being the top "calorie killer," with models recommended -- ProForm 14.5 QM, Schwinn 6350p, and Life Fitness T5i. Third place went to climbers, which they said offered a good combination of upper and lower body training, with models recommended -- Versa Climber CL-108 Home, Versa Climber CL-108, and Miha Climber. In fourth place among categories came ellipticals, partly because of motivating factors and comfort; model recommended -- Horizon Fitness Andes 100CS, Kettler CTR 1, and Vision Fitness X6200HRT-DA. In fifth place were upright cycles, and models recommended were Bremshey Cardio Fit N, Reebok RB 3000, and Ergobike 8008 TRS.
SNEWS View: Interesting is how high climbers ranked. We know they have a good overall training effect, but it's been difficult to convince the North American market to use them. But think of it: They take so little space that in smaller European homes, they can fit in a corner well. On the other hand, rowers and treadmills (the top two) are the biggest space hogs. Also worthy of note is the predominance of U.S. brands, except among cycles.