Interval training for the elliptical trainer workout machine consists of alternating periods of high intensity with slower speeds. This gives your body a boost with the benefits of short periods of high calorie burning, coupled with slower speeds so that you can rest in between bursts. This type of workout is beneficial for weight loss, endurance and cardiovascular health. There are a number of different ways you can get involved in interval training, but the most important factor will depend upon your level of fitness health.
1. Beginner Interval Training
Beginners who want to start interval training on the elliptical trainer exercise machine should start slowly in order to build up endurance and fitness levels. As always, no matter what length of time you decide to train, you should begin and end with a 2 minute warm up or cool down period at around level 2 on your elliptical machine. Once your muscles feel like they have come alive, boost the level up to somewhere between 3 and 5 for a couple of minutes. Next, you'll want to enter the vigorous 1-2 minute period of intense workout. Set your level somewhere between 5 and 8 and push yourself. Once the 2 minute period is up, reset the level back to a lowered 4 or 5 and wait 1 to 3 minutes until your heart rate and breathing feel at full rest. Alternate this way throughout the workout period, attempting to reach higher levels during the intensity portion of your interval training, but since you are a beginner, you may also need to lower the length of time. For example, your first intensity interval may be at level 5 for 2 minutes. Once you have rested, try level 6 for 1 minute or level 5 for 1.5 minutes. Your next intensity period might be only 30 seconds long. This is acceptable for beginning purposes, and as you build endurance and strength, you'll be gradually increasing time length and levels.
2. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Basically, a high intensity interval training workout follows the same guidelines that a beginner would pursue. The difference is that to engage in a high intensity workout, you'll want to be of sufficient fitness level so as not to create injuries or overexert yourself. Start and end with the warm up and cool down periods. The bulk of your workout will consist of alternating, just as the beginner workout. After the warm up period, begin with level 5 for a couple minutes, and then increase the level on your machine to somewhere between 8 and 10. Keep this level for around 3 minutes and then recover to the lower level for around 2-3 times the length of your intensity run. Try to increase the level at least one point each time you enter the intensity period. For example, your first intensity period might be at level 8. Next time, try level 9 for 3 minutes. You'll want to experiment with levels and time frames to reach the best variations for your body strength and style, as well as to meet your goals in the most healthy way possible.