Exercise! - The elliptical just kicked my butt!

11-26-2008, 11:35 AM
I FINALLY received my ellipitcal machine last night, after ordering it over 4 weeks ago! Jeez.... anyways.. I decided to test drive it this morning....WOW!.. I probably didn't even use it for 15 minutes and I'm sweating like a pig. How often and how long should I be using the machine for?... this is my only form of exercise at the moment, due to the snow and crappy weather. I can't get outside to walk :(

P.S. I also find it very awkward... I can't explain it. I go foward.... should I be going backwards?

11-26-2008, 11:55 AM
I loooooove the elliptical. It's my favorite machine at the gym and I have to force myself to move to other machines and switch it up. :)

I usually do 30 mins of HIIT cardio on non weight lifting days and 30 mins of ss-cardio on weight lifting days. If you're working out at home and not lifting weights, you might try alternating HIIT days w/ ss-cardio days. Aim for 30 mins of HIIT and 45 mins of ss.

But you can work up to that - start with 10-15 mins at a time and gradually increase your time until you're reaching your time goal.

Also you can go forwards and backwards - backwards is really good for your glutes. :) I don't switch it up with HIIT, but when I'm doing ss, I'll alternate 10 mins forward, 10 mins backward, 10 mins forward again.

Sometimes I'll do an entire workout backwards and then just warmup and cool down forwards. Sometimes I do the whole things forwards. It's just mixing stuff up mostly to keep me from getting bored. :)


11-26-2008, 12:15 PM
I think also, it's so important you don't overdo it. I currently do about 15-20 mins a time on the cross trainer, but when I started could only do about five. Just allow yourself to get used to the machine and get your hate rate up, and give yourself aims to add minutes as you get used to it.

11-26-2008, 12:22 PM
Thank you! And boy my legs are feeling it NOW!

11-26-2008, 12:25 PM
Can I ask how much you paid for it? I've been thinking of buying one but not sure what to buy...I don't need anything super nice and I would like something as small as possible....

Shannon in ATL
11-26-2008, 12:34 PM
I could only do ten minutes when I started out, too. Now, I tend to do either 30 mins of HIIT or 45 minutes of more steady interval work. It didn't come overnight though, I had to add in gradually. I don't go backwards very often on the machine I have now because I can change the incline, but I did it a lot on my first machine.

11-26-2008, 12:39 PM
I love our elliptical. It was our big tax return purchase this spring. It is so convenient!
When we first bought it i did ten minutes at a time as many times a day as a could. Sometimes just one, sometimes 4. It helped me build up my stamina. Now i can do an hour or so no problem. I love the workouts that come programed on it. They really kick my butt!

JamieJo- I paid 800$ for mine, but you can find cheaper ones. I needed one with a longer stride since i'm tall, and those typically aren't as cheap. we also got a fold up space saver one, again, not an option that comes on the cheaper models. There are some great lower cost ones out there, just check reviews online and if you can , go to a store that carries them so you can test them out.
Finding a good workout machine is definitely worth the cost, especially if you use it. For my husband and myself, a gym membership with a daycare would run 100$ a month (we don't have a Y here :( ) so we have already "paid" for it. It is my favorite machine.

11-26-2008, 12:42 PM
Can I ask how much you paid for it? I've been thinking of buying one but not sure what to buy...I don't need anything super nice and I would like something as small as possible....

It was $550 Canadian dollars. It's not a GOOD machine by any means, but it will do for now. It's pretty nice, it gives you your heart rate, body fat, BMI.

12-23-2008, 10:35 PM
I just started with the elliptical at the gym. The first time I got on it, I couldn't go beyond a couple minutes. Then, a few days later (yesterday actually) I was able to push myself to 10 minutes after learning that I needed to put more weight into my heels on it. And wow, what a workout!

12-24-2008, 10:30 AM

Congrats on your new toy. Enjoy!
Hey, I think you did pretty good if you were able to stay on it for 15 minutes for the first time! When I started, I was finished after 5!!!
I am not using elliptical much, but on days when lift weights I generally get do 10 minutes of total body workout on the elliptical as a warmup.
I am very surprised how little calories I burn on it (not that it is important to me how many calories I burn by a warm up but I am suprised that it is generally only around 25 or so and I think I am no slouch).

You will get used to it. About a month ago, I did 30 minutes on it and you could wring me out like a towel.

12-25-2008, 10:05 PM
I use the elliptical at the gym much more than any other machine. When I first started, I was like you....couldn't go more than 10 minutes really. I was dripping after it too!!

I have been doing it pretty regularly since September, so I can now go around 30-45 minutes, using either the interval or weight loss setting on the machine. I don't really go backwards because it feels strange to me...my balance is all off when I try. I might have to start doing five minutes here and there of backwards and work my way up.

Just keep at it, adding a little bit more as time goes on, and you will become used to it.

12-28-2008, 01:26 AM
So glad to read these posts. I ordered an elliptical and got it just before Christmas. Heart rate monitor and its programs don't work so I'll have to see if I can get them to send me another. Missing a handlebar cap and the thing squeaks and wobbles but I put on my iPod and try to ignore that. I have a heart rate watch so I wear that to help me monitor.

I also can barely last 5-10 minutes on it, never having been on one before in my life! Half the time, I wanna just say screw it and just jog around my basement, at least I feel like I'm accomplishing something that way and I kind of prefer the "unrestricted" actual running motion. I lost most of my weight so far without the use of machines. Sometimes, after the 5-10 minutes, I'll get off and jog a bit and then get back on. Part of me is regretting the over $400 I spent on it. Is the thing better for losing pounds or for toning?

Anyway, I guess I'm kinda hoping for some words of experience and encouragement at this point because I'm feeling a little bit like WTH possessed me to bring this thing into my house? :?:

01-02-2009, 04:50 PM
I just bought one today, but I cannot pick it up from the wharehouse until tomorrow.

I bought a Reebok rl1500 for $1,199. I bought it because it has a dual fan, heartrate monitor that goes around the chest, and best of all, a 20-inch stride (the larger the stride, the better).

01-02-2009, 08:29 PM
Hm. I might say the fact that you can't go more than 10 minutes on it but you're ok jogging around your basement is a sign that maybe jogging around the basement isn't enough anymore? :)

The thing is ... your body adapts to whatever exercise you give it. That's why if you're trying to lose weight and burn more calories, the advice is always to keep things mixed up. If you keep doing the same thing over and over and over again, your body learns to become more efficient at doing that thing - biologically that's how our bodies are designed - to adapt. Becoming more efficient at running is GREAT if your life depends on being able to run. It means you can run for longer, harder, faster, and expend less energy. Super if you're being hunted by sabretoothed tigers. Awful if you're trying to burn the most calories possible to lose weight. :lol:

So you need to mix things up periodically. So you've lost a good bit of weight running ... but the elliptical is a different level of intensity and a different type of movement. And right now your body is going "Whoa! New mode here! What the heck!" And I'll bet you that you burn more calories in your 10 mins on the elliptical than in 20 or 30 mins of jogging around your basement at this point. Because your body isn't adapted.

That's a good thing. You should keep going with it. Alternate jogging and elliptical. Do them both - a little of each. Keep your body guessing. I'd be willing to bet that by mixing them up a little of each, your weight loss will possibly speed up a little.

AS for the losing pounds or toning question - I'm gonna get up a little bit on a soapbox here: Toning (the type you're thinking of) is a myth. It doesn't exist. You are building cardio vascular endurance and stamina by jogging or using the elliptical. That's a good thing. It will burn calories. It doesn't "tone" anything. You can build *some* muscle using an elliptical (and by running), and espcially if you can adjust the tension or resistance on the elliptical. Doing slower but harder workouts - or doing various elevations, if you can set those, will help with some resistance to build muscle in your legs and butt. But the only way to build muscle overall is to work those muscles hard ... by lifting weights and doing body resistance work.

There. That's my exercise soapbox for the day! :)

But I'd say you should keep using the elliptical. It will become easier - your body will adjust. But remember, the easier it becomes, the less of a workout you're getting. So keep mixing it up so that it's not *too* easy. :)


Shannon in ATL
01-02-2009, 10:19 PM
Trekkiegirl - If you keep at the elliptical you will build up to longer times, and it is true that your body will adapt to it. I have not had an HRM that gave me calories burned before, only the older one that only showed heart rate. Got a new one for Christmas that tells me heart rate and number of calories. I can tell you that I can see looking at the calories burned on the elliptical that I'm adapting to it if I use it the same way every day, and that is just over a week. If I throw something else in or drastically change the program I see the calories burned go back up.
And, I had a $300 elliptical I used every day and I wore it out after three months. Make sure you follow any recommended maintenance directions in the manual! Mixing up your workout every day can also help increase the life of the machine! :) What kind is yours? My old one squeaked like crazy, new one isn't too bad.