Weight and Resistance Training - Elliptical Anybody??

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05-14-2009, 07:34 PM
Ok, I just got an elliptical for Mothers Day, have never been on one in my life. After the first minute of being on it, my thighs were on fire and I could feel my heart pounding through my stomach, is this normal? Its a $200 Weslo Momentum from Walmart and seems a little hard to use. I have it on the easiest resistance level and it seems a little hard to get going. Im not sure if thats how its suppose to be, or If I have to keep using it to break it in. I hear you can burn 300 plus calories in 30 min, but I cant even stay on it for 5 minutes without feeling like Im going to die. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated,thx!

05-14-2009, 07:55 PM
I hate the elliptical so I wouldn't be much help. I find the Arc Trainer is better and actually I burn more calories on it. I finally worked my way up to 40 min on the AT and it said I burned about 370 calories. My iPod touch app (Lose It) said about 389. On the elliptical for 30 min I burn only over 200.

I ended up on an elliptical the other day at the gym because all the AT were taken. Having said that, I hadn't been on one in quite awhile and I still hated it. Since you got one that I am assuming is a little different then the gyms, I would really check the instructions/manual to make sure everything is right with it. If it's still hard, maybe they have one set up in the store that you could try and compare it to yours. If they are both the same and the store one is easier, maybe you got a defective one.

05-14-2009, 09:27 PM
I'm unsure. One danger of the less expensive ellipticals is that they have short stride lengths which can actually stress your knees. It may be that the elliptical was put together wrong?

05-14-2009, 09:40 PM
You shouldn't have to break it in, so that's not it. I agree that if you're not used to that machine, even if you've done other things, 5 mins can kill you.

Do you have a Leisure Fitness or some other type of home equipment store? They sell higher end equipment and would have no problem with you going in there to try out how a good one should feel on your knees.

05-14-2009, 09:47 PM
I have an elliptical that I bought in February. I haven't used it much since spring got here and I prefer walking, but the elliptical was great (for me) to get started and I will start using it again when it gets hot here (over 100f in the summer).

I did 11 minutes my first night and thought I was going to die. My heart was pumping out of my chest and my thighs were on fire, like you said. I just kept at it and kept increasing a couple of minutes per day. It's amazing how quickly you start to get in shape on it but yeah, it can be really hard work.

I don't know about your model, but mine comes with different resistance and incline levels. I started out on almost the lightest of each, I think, just because I was really in bad shape.

05-16-2009, 05:22 PM
I love the eliptical, but the smiley is pretty much me while trying to do it : :tantrum: I turn bright red when I excercise, and I probably look hilarious on that thing.

The first couple of times you do it, sure, it SUCKS... but you just have to go slowly. It's working tons of parts of your body, and it burns like MEGA calories! :exercise::flame:

Keep at it girl! It WILL work! It's just something your body isn't used to :)

05-27-2009, 04:08 PM
The first time I tried an elliptical machine, I barely made it for 45 seconds before my whole body turned to jello. The trainer I was seeing at the time wanted me to do 5 minutes and I nearly fell off the thing at 1!! I refused to get on one for over a year after that, but when I tried again was able to go 5 minutes and eventually worked up to 10. You just have to let your body adjust!

05-27-2009, 05:21 PM
I'm glad to find out I'm not the only person who had trouble initially with the elliptical! After more than a year of being bored on the treadmill, I decided to try it again. At first I could only stay on it one minute at Level 1, and I thought I was gonna die! I have since worked my way up to 9 minutes, and it's still difficult, but a bit easier every time. My goal is to eventually be able to do my entire aerobic workout on the elliptical, but until I get there, I do whatever I can on the elliptical and then move over to a treadmill for the duration.

06-24-2009, 11:07 PM
I swear by Precor ellipticals. They are the only ones I use at the gym. Try varying the resistance and the incline and that should help with the soreness. If you have knee problems ellipticals are great and they burn a lot of calories. In 45 minutes I burn between 550-650 calories.

06-24-2009, 11:27 PM
I am SO glad I'm not the only one who could only manage a minute on the elliptical before dieing!!! I definetly had to slowly progress on this machine. I don't use mine consistantly as I vary my exercising between it, walking, and using my exercise ball, but I can now do 12 min on mine. LOL, my legs are definetly jelly when I'm done. I tried watching TV while using mine but it doesn't work very well, so I started using my MP3 Player and the music just makes me forget that I'm exercising. Also the upbeat music seems to get me going faster. Oh BTW, my elliptical has been on Number 1 Resistance and I only recenly upped it to 2 and can only do about 4-5 min at 2.

06-25-2009, 05:53 AM
The one I bought this spring is my second. The first was cheaper and broke. I do like them. If my cranky knee complains, I go backward.

And about feeling like you're going to die ... the first time I tried jogging, I lasted 22 seconds :)

06-25-2009, 09:08 AM
I don't know anything about the machine...but when I first started using the elliptical I struggled to finish 3 minutes. I can do 45+ now. Just work up to it, as long as it's not hurting your knees, etc.

06-26-2009, 07:34 PM
I don't know anything about the machine...but when I first started using the elliptical I struggled to finish 3 minutes. I can do 45+ now. Just work up to it, as long as it's not hurting your knees, etc.

Wow, 45 min! You're my hero!!!!!:love: I can't wait till I get up to that!!!!

07-02-2009, 11:26 PM
I LUV LUV elliptical if you like to dance get some sort of music so you can forget you are on it number 1. Second I don't know what kind you have but if you have the kind that has set prorams of 20 min that vary speeds of difficulty you may need to work slowly into it read instuctions. Now if it gives you the option of setting a resitance[sp] you might try 2 or 3 insead of 1. one moves fast so its like running fast and you have to move really fast the more resistance the harder you push but the slower you move so you may play with that. I know I pushed myself to do 5 min my !st day and added 1 min a day. I PRETEND IAM DANCING AND BOY DO MY NEIGHBORS HEAR ME SING!!!

07-07-2009, 07:22 PM
Yeah, I hate the eliptical. To be honest, I am not fond of any of the aerobic machines. However, of all the evils, I like the treadmill the most. My trainer won't let me near it though. Instead she has me doing 10 mins of eliptical, 5 mins of stepper, and 5-10 of bike. I was going to the gym for 3 months on the treadmill before getting the trainer, now the bike isn't so bad. The first time she had me on the eliptical I thought I was going to die. I had tried it before and was lucky to get over the min mark - here she was pushing me to do 10 mins. It was good to have someone to talk to while I was on it. That helped get me past the burn. Maybe someone could hang out with you while you are on it, building up the strength for it. For me it wasn't so much the cardio part that was making it hard, it was the muscle strength (and my short legs). My legs would burn and burn. Today's 10 mins wasn't so bad - still don't like it but I know I can do more than 10 mins on it now.

07-08-2009, 01:40 PM
wow, i actually like the elliptical machine...theres this one elliptical machine that is popular at the gym and i swear, every time i go there, i see people on it..its always in use...and in HIGH DEMAND...lol...my legs did burn the first week i used it...now , after three weeks of using it, i do an hour easily and i set it up to the highest interval..but the problem is, im not losing weight..sucks!
for those of you starting off, just do it for as long as you can, no matter how slow you are.
eventually you will get up there and be able to increase the time youre on it.
i went from 15 minutes in the first week to an hour in three weeks...

07-11-2009, 01:26 AM
I swear by the elliptical. it's my go-to machine, the first thing i head to in the gym. i lost my first 20 pounds on it. was doing the slow and steady cardio burn on it. Am anticipating my plateau, so am now trying HIIT (high intensity interval training) on it. Love it!

07-13-2009, 09:21 PM
For those doing the elliptical at home- which brands and models are they. I have to buy one for my mom and I have no clue which one to get.

07-13-2009, 09:34 PM
I have a LifeFitness x5i. I love it but I bought it with the mindset that it was an investment. I was also greatly disappointed with many of the consumer ellipticals on the market. Even the ones that cost $1k were falling apart in the stores and felt flimsy. We also great deal because they were trying to get rid of it because it was the previous model and they wanted to make room for the newer model.

Bette k
07-14-2009, 12:26 AM
I love my elliptical, I don't know what brand or anything, it was given to me by a friend. I agree with the music, I also find that I do best with my eyes shut so I can't see how long I've been on until near the end. I could only do 5 minutes the first day but am up to 35 minutes and increasing. I do work up a sweat.

07-14-2009, 01:41 AM
I have a Sole E35 that I bought in February. It is so cold and dark here that time of year that I thought it would be a great way to kick-start my exercise program. Like Nelie says, it was an investment. I tried the machines at Sears and Costco but they all felt rickety and loose.

I'm not really using mine right now because I like to get out and briskly walk (including hills) during the nice weather but you can bet when winter comes and it's dark after work, I'll be back on the elliptical. I credit the elliptical for really helping to slim down my hips and for improving my cardiovascular health a LOT. I like to watch TV shows on Hulu while I'm using the elliptical. I cover up the readout with a piece of paper that says, "Suck it up, Princess--you can do this!*" so I can't see how slowly the minutes are ticking by.

*I can't take credit for the quote--I saw that someone else had a similar sign in their home and I shamelessly stole it.

07-14-2009, 11:18 AM
I cover up the readout with a piece of paper that says, "Suck it up, Princess--you can do this!*" so I can't see how slowly the minutes are ticking by.

That's a nice idea. Usually when I'm on the ellipticals at my gym I just cover up the readouts with my towel (if I remember to bring one), and I've seen at least one other person do the same. Funny how we can play mind games with ourselves that way!

07-14-2009, 11:25 AM
I have a Sole E35 that I bought in February. It is so cold and dark here that time of year that I thought it would be a great way to kick-start my exercise program. Like Nelie says, it was an investment. I tried the machines at Sears and Costco but they all felt rickety and loose.

Your experience was my experience. I also think very highly of the Sole E35. It was on my short list of ellipticals to get. If I hadn't got such a great deal on mine, I think I would've gone for the Sole.

07-14-2009, 10:00 PM
I did get the Sole, didn't like the feel of the front flywheel, and returned it for my Life Fitness (like nelie's) which I love. well, sort of love in a weird way. and I also cover the readout most of the time :)


Shannon in ATL
07-14-2009, 10:38 PM
I have a Nordic Track Audio Strider 900 something or other. Had a cheaper one before that fell apart in 3 months of use... Happy with the Nordic Track so far. Use is several times per week, not much noise, smooth, long enough stride for me, and it has adjustable incline and resistance which I like. I covet a Sole or one like Nelie's, but didn't have the cash to invest at the time of purchase. :)

07-20-2009, 08:25 AM
i agree with the girls, just stick with it!. The first time i hopped on one i made it to 1min 54sec...today i did 50min

07-20-2009, 10:57 AM
Shannon mentions stride length, which is a good consideration and one that I forgot about. I'm pretty tall, so a longer stride length was important to me and was one reason that I went with the Sole. A machine with a shorter stride makes me feel like I'm taking short, choppy steps and it's not comfortable. A shorter girl might not mind a smaller stride length, so people should get the elliptical that fits their needs best.

07-20-2009, 11:21 AM
Windchime - Good point. I think I've read that an elliptical should have at least a 20" stride length. Too short of a stride length can actually cause knee issues. The Lifefitness I have has an adjustable stride length, 18 to 24. Its good because both my husband and I can use it.

07-20-2009, 11:38 AM
I love our elliptical. We have a nordic track audio strider that is a space saver model. It also has a longer stride because i'm tall. It folds up and we keep it in our living room.
When we first bought it, i would only do 10 minutes at a time, it was pure torture. Eventually though i worked my way up. I really like the pre-programmed workouts, i'll do them while i watch a movie or a tv show. It helps to distract me. Last night i did 45 min. while watching He's just not that into you.
I don't like covering up the display though, because a lot of times i'll do intervals and stuff and i like to follow along with the time.

07-20-2009, 04:35 PM
The first time I used one of these machines, 1 minute was pure torture.
after working at it slowly I find that the first 5 minutes are the hardest but have worked my way up to 10 minutes or 100 calories.
I can now do 10 minutes in teh morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon.
But yeah it was a killer at first....
good luck

Shannon in ATL
07-20-2009, 04:50 PM
The stride length is definitely important - I had a ProForm before that died and it had a stride length that was barely long enough for me and too short for DH to comfortably use. The Audio Strider is much better. I also forgot to say that it is the space saver, someone above mentioned it too, so I could fold it up and move it out of the way if needed. I have it in my garage so don't have to do that, but can see how it would be nice in a living room.