Exercise! - I bought an elliptical!

View Full Version : I bought an elliptical!

03-21-2002, 04:06 PM
WooHoo! I am so excited about this! :D

Anyway, I'm hoping that any fellow elliptical users can give me any of their tips and tricks? How should I start out? Start at 5 minutes, and work my way up? Every day? Every other day?

Tell me what works for you!

Thanks in advance,

03-21-2002, 05:03 PM
Hi there Marvin. I'm always interested in different types of exercises but I have never heard of this:o So what exactly is it?

03-21-2002, 06:47 PM
Well, it's kind of a cross between an exercise bike and a treadmill... hard to explain, really.... try doing a web search, and you'll get a million hits, any one of which can show you a pic... HTH!

03-22-2002, 12:29 PM
Hi there. I purchased an Orbitreck about two years ago and I can tell you that it is the ONLY piece of exercise equipment that I have EVER stayed with. Most of my equipment just ended up being used as clothes racks until I sold them for little or nothing at a garage sale.

I was totally out of shape..... well I was round, but that doesn't count. Anyway, two minutes was all I could do when I first started (having the handle bars on backwards didn't help) and now I can do 45 minutes in one setting without any problems. I don't use it everyday as I did when I first started. I have since added various exercise tapes to my routine, but I think that you will enjoy this piece of equipment. I usually turn the radio on or watch tv while using it and the time goes by very quickly. Good luck. BTW makes great looking legs.;)

03-22-2002, 12:53 PM
Thanks Semo!

I'm seeing that I'll have to start out slow too! I think that I can maybe do 2-3 minutes every day, and then maybe try to up that by a minute every week... slow and steady progress is what I'd like to see!


My thighs already ache a little and all I did was play around with it for a few minutes last night! I can tell this is gonna be awesome! I just need to figure out where to put it so I can watch tv while I ride!

03-22-2002, 01:41 PM
I don't have one but my daughter does and she loves it!!! Best of luck with yours!!!

I have a Weslo Air Strider (kind of like a Tony Little Gazelle but sturdier) and I would not do without it. I know that sometimes we hear from people that machines are not worth the price but I disagree. If one is careful to choose a reputable brand, it can be a really good experience.

Best wishes...

03-25-2002, 12:44 PM
Just checking in to find out about your progress. So tell me how it goes, have you up-ed the minutes and or miles since you started?

03-26-2002, 12:37 PM
Hi! I have managed to up (a little)! I started out at 5 minutes, with 3 - 15 second breaks! and am now up to almost 6 minutes with 2 breaks, so I'm happy about that!

Phew! Is this ever a hard workout! But it's sooooo what I need right now. I go to Curves, and that's a great muscle-building workout, but not really much on cardio for me. With my knees, I'm never able to get moving enough to get my heartrate up, but this ET works great! :) I'm really happy that I got it, and I can't wait until we move into our new house, and I can set it up permanently in front of the tv! (right now, I have to drag it out every time, and it's really heavy! I guess I can count that as a little bit of extra exercise, right? ;) )

Anyway, I'm trying to get on the ET every day (except Saturday ~ rest day) and trying to up my time on there a little each day. I haven't figured out the mileage part of the computer yet, but i'm hoping to soon, so I can track that in Fitday too.

How long did it take you to build up to that 45 minute workout Semo?


03-26-2002, 03:20 PM
Glad to see that you are making good progress. :D I can't really say how long it took because I've had mine for so long. Mine has a timer and milage counter and I would use that as motivation. I would be a little less than a mile and think well I can make it to that point and it would make me do a little more than I had intended. (I'm a bookkeeper so I like nice even numbers on everything) ;) Then it was two miles, then three and so on. Five has been the most that I have done at one time. Does yours have the arms that move back an forward? When I didn't feel like doing that I would pick up a couple of hand weights.

03-27-2002, 11:29 AM
Yep, mine has the arm thing too, which is nice, because I'm finding that right now, it's too much for just my legs! :lol: Hopefully, I will progress to the point where my legs can handle it by themselves...

Anyway, I made it to 6 minutes last night, and I only took one momentary break at one minute, to turn the radio on and let the cat in the room! :) I was so excited when I finished!

And I know exactly what you mean about even numbers! LOL! That motivates me a lot too, as I'm somewhat *ahem* anal about things like that! :^: Can't help it, but it sure is nice when you're trying to get in that extra little bit!

04-01-2002, 01:20 PM
Gosh..I'm so envious..I bought an orbitrek a few months ago..and boy does it kick your butt..which is what I need. But I can still only do 2-4 minutes on it at a time and that is with just the legs. I turn off the arm mode. Just can't get both just yet. I have to admit I haven't done it like I should because it is too hard. I have a total gym and a treadmil, so I use those more. Now that the weather is beautiful here in AL have been walking at the local park. I just returned from FL over spring break and am up 2 lbs so need to get busy. Good luck on all your workouts and wish me luck..I will try to stick with the orbitrek atleast 3 x's a week.

04-01-2002, 05:39 PM
Shelia: The Orbitreck that I have is the orginal model, it could be that it's easier to operate. I have a Ultra glider that I bought from HSN (a total gym knock off) and I hate that thing. The Orbitreck has been the only exercise equipment that I have stayed with for any length of time and I'm not really sure why but I do like it. I just turn the radio on and go. Good luck.

04-04-2002, 10:38 AM
Just checking on your progress. I hadn't been on mine in a while but jumped on it last night........drum roll please....... I went one hour and did 8.53 miles. Not bad for an old gal.

If I can do it so can you! :strong:

04-04-2002, 11:58 AM
Whew! An hour?!?!?!? I can't even imagine that yet! ;)

I'm still at about 5 minutes, although some days I can do 6, but yesterday, I only made it to 4... :( I've been totally exhausted though, so I'm not surprised!

I can't wait to be able to just get on and ride for an hour! :) You're amazing, Semo!

04-10-2002, 03:16 PM
Thought I'd post my 2-cents worth. I love elliptical machines and when I first started out I could barely do 10-15 minutes. Two things have saved me and allowed me to go longer:

1. I reduced the incline, the programs are preset and usually the incline starts out at like 10, I reduced mine to the lowest setting and I can do 45 minutes. I'm gradually increasing the incline week by week, but I'm more concerned with keeping my heartrate up for a prolonged period of time rather than building muscles, so the incline really doesn't matter much.

2. I read a book. Although I love this machine, it has got to be one of the most boring pieces of exercise equipment I have ever used. I go to the gym and although they have TVs around it's hard to actually get into a TV program. I tried listening to music, but that didn't work. I can read and before I know it my 45 minutes is up! Plus I get a lot more studying done that way.

Hope this helps some. Good luck!

04-10-2002, 10:57 PM
I'm on the verge of buying a treadmill, but after reading an article in the paper (just today) about the elipticals and reading through this thread, I wonder if one of these would be better. Has anyone tried both and developed a preference?

The story I read talked about the advantage of getting the upper body workout along with the legs, and pointed out that it's easier on the joints. Have you all found this to be so???

04-11-2002, 09:56 AM
I definitely have a preference for the elliptical machine. I walked on the treadmill at the gym for months before I got up enough courage to try the elliptical machine. I've been hooked on the thing ever since. Here's why...

1. You burn A LOT more calories in the same amount of time
2. It is easier on the joints, it's sort of like walking/jogging on air
3. I can read on the elliptical machine so my workout is not nearly as boring as it used to be
4. I don't use the ones where you can work out your arms, but some of the ladies at the gym do and they love it.

Having used both and if I were to buy one of these machines I would definitely get an elliptical machine. Hope this helps some.

04-17-2002, 08:29 PM
I've been using my elliptical trainer for almost 2 years now and LOVE IT! I agree w/ the earlier posters in that having a book or turning on the radio makes the time go by so much faster.

04-17-2002, 08:52 PM
Is it similar to the Precor?

It sounds like it.

If it is, lemme tell ya, that is one fine machine.

It is my absolute favorite to use at the gym (when I actually go). I used to HATE it but when I realized the reason I hated it so much was because it worked me out good, I learned to respect it.

I affectionately call it my Dark Ages Torture Device. :lol:

04-26-2002, 03:55 PM
Marvin, it's check in time....... how's it going and how many minutes have you build up to? Didn't realize that you were expecting....congrats... guess the name Marvin threw me or are you the dad to be?

Venus Envy
04-26-2002, 06:49 PM
I'd definitely go for the elliptical exerciser over the treadmill. Much more aerobic for a faster burn, plus after you get better on the walking, you might prefer to walk outside whenever you can, and the poor lil treadmill will just be sitting there feeling useless and collecting dust.

I download books onto my MP3 player and listen to them while I'm on the machine, or I'll watch television ... or maybe even pop a spicy movie into the VCR (a two-fer deal on things to make one sweat). Listening to music's wonderful, too, because you can adjust your pace to the rhythm of the music and get a nicely varied workout.

04-27-2002, 11:51 AM
Ok this is not about the eliptical...Venus where do you download books from?


Venus Envy
04-27-2002, 02:31 PM
I get them from www.audible.com. I joined their subscription service and get two books a month for something like $15. Perfect for portable reading!

Jenn in MN
05-09-2002, 05:09 PM
Do you have any recommendations? There are so many brands, I don't know where to start!

What do I look for? How can I find a good one that isn't too expensive??



Venus Envy
05-10-2002, 09:47 AM
I bought my machine at a second-hand sporting goods store. Waited until they had one that was professional quality -- a Precor machine that had been used in a gym. Because I'm heavy, I needed one that's stable and durable. And I figured that if it didn't work out as well as I'd hoped, I could exchange it or sell it back to them and not be out so much money.

Here's a site that rates products:

05-10-2002, 02:47 PM
Well hello,
I just found ths and hope you dont mind me jumping in. I have had my precore for about 2 years. I too have a love hate thing with it. It does not log miles, only steps and have wanted to figure out the milage but have had no clue how to do it. Mine has pre set programs and i usualy do the crosstraining but I like the interval program too. it climbs and changes the incline... I do the resitance. i try to keep the resistance at the level of the inclune. I try for 6 days a week and I do no less than 30 min... sometimes a little over an hour. other days i do some in the am and another at night.

I watch tv and try to WO when something I like to watch is on, it makes the time go faster. my motivation is the calorie count. Love to see that reach big numbers!

Do any of you know how to convert the number of steps to miles?

i would love to know.

Good luck to all of you and congrats on the baby....My second child was born on Christmas, 1996.

be well,

05-10-2002, 07:18 PM
i use the precor at the gym and i love it!! its so much fun... plus i am really into football and hockey and there is a tv right in front of it that is always on espn. :) i usually do it for about 35 min. to change it from steps to miles you press a button...i cant remember which one, but i am going to the gym here in a bit and i can get back to you, i change it all the time. on some of the older models it wont let you change it.

05-11-2002, 09:45 AM
I have a home model and I don't think I have that feture. What I would love to know is how many strides = 1 mile. if it is not too much to ask, when you do your WO will you take note of that sand post it?


05-21-2002, 12:32 PM
Hi- I have one more suggestion- use a heart rate monitor. The monitor helps you work in the correct "fat burning' range. But- it also keeps you from working too hard- in an anarobic state which does nothing for you. You might be working too hard which is exhausting you- I was suprised how much I had to slow down and it made the whole excercise session easier.

I use a polar monitor- you can get them at walmart.

Kick *** music also helps -- :)

Jenn in MN
06-04-2002, 03:21 PM
Got a ProForm 700s on sale at Sears. Used it for the first time this morning. Only lasted 15 minutes, at .25 miles.

Please tell me this gets easier?

Also, it has a BPM (beats per minute) thingy, but I'm not sure how accurate it is... should I invest in a heart monitor, and what would you recommend?

Overall, I like it. I can feel it in my upper thighs (especially in front) this afternoon.

Can anyone tell me, besides the aerobic benefits, what muscle groups this works? I have the arm things, but mostly just hold onto the grips.



06-04-2002, 09:29 PM
Congrats on your purchase,
the elliptical is mostly lower body until you add the arms then it is total body and it does get easier. If you can do 1 min with arms 2 with out and build up that would be great. Some have just resistance (how hard it is to move the peddles) others have incline (think up hill) as well, as the incline changes it will work different muscle groups

As for the heart monitor, mine has the polar chest strap and I hate it. It gets in the way; it is hard and becomes uncomfortable the longer I have it on. I would rather have the watch kind that polar makes but I think it runs around $100, maybe a gift from someone I love someday…lol
Yes it does get easier. I think 15 min is great. If you think you are moving too slowly, you could decease the resistance (make the peddles move faster) and then you might cover more distance. Play with the resistance until you find the right one for you.