Exercise! - elliptical or treadmill??

View Full Version : elliptical or treadmill??

06-08-2004, 08:34 AM
My trusty ole treadmill just croaked on me! Thank goodness I recently got a Gazelle at a yard sale so I had a back-up. But I do want to replace my treadmill and I was wondering if an elliptical might be a better idea? I would love some feedback from those who've tried either or both and which you would recommend.

Beverly :D

06-08-2004, 09:00 AM
First off- I want to compliment you on your accomplishments. Losing 180lbs is not easy. That's not news to you, I guess!
Do you belong to a gym? Or are you in a position to try the Elliptical for a period of time to see if you like it? I have used both and much prefer the Elliptical. My gym has a row of Precor ellipticals and a row of treadmill and they are normally both well populated.It seems the older people are on the treadmills and younger are on Precors. I like the range of motion and ease on the joints of the ellips. They are smoother and give me a more challenging workout than either my Gazelle at home, the crosstrainers, or the treadmills. Is cost a consideration, because I think they are expensive!

06-08-2004, 09:35 AM
I agree, I think the elliptical kicks the treadmill's butt! LOL I have bad knees and the motion of the elliptical is very easy on them. Plus, I think you can get a harder workout on an elliptical. In fact, the doctor at my fitness center said he thought the elliptical was the best thing to come along in calorie burning exercise.

But, I also agree that it would be a good idea to try one out for a while. It may seem a little harder and maybe a bit awkward the first few times, so give it a time or two before you decide. Even if you don't belong to a gym, most gyms will let you pay a small fee and work out on a day pass. Also, I find that different elliptical machines have different "personalities" -- be sure and play with all the adjustments and settings until you hit the combination that feels right for you.

Sugar Apple
06-08-2004, 11:54 AM
how long should you be on the elliptical machine? I see people on them doing really intense workouts and I would like to join them but I fear that I would burn out. Any ideas?

06-08-2004, 12:29 PM
Start out slow! Work your way up!! When I first started the elliptical I could only go 4 minutes LOL I would just go a little longer each day! I agree the elliptical gives a much better workout than the treadmill. I saw one at walmart for 188 bucks and it worked well, if you want to check it out :D


06-08-2004, 12:35 PM
Sugar Apple,
How long,how intense,these are timeless questions. The answers are as many and varied as the people asking them. There are varying schools of thought on the subject. How experienced are you at exercise? How well do you know your body and it's signals? What are you training for? Consult a licensed exercise physiologist, not just a salesman in a trainer's shirt about a program and explain your goals, listen to his advise, and fine tune from your experiences. Don't overdo it to prove yourself to yourself or others. It's hot out there. Get a good workout, but live to fight another day.

06-08-2004, 01:03 PM
"Consult a licensed exercise physiologist, not just a salesman in a trainer's shirt about a program and explain your goals..."

You must have some lousy trainers at that spiffy Bally's to have that great an attitude towards trainers. Yes, part of a trainer's job is to sell their own services, but that's true of the licensed exercise physiologist, a nutritionist, dentist, or any other person who you would pay. That doesn't mean that the trainer doesn't know anything or is not qualified to contruct any exercise and nutrition program based on a client's current condition and goals. It's what I do all day long, and I have a lot of satisfied clients who are meeting their goals. It's definitly a two way street, though. Just because a client pays me doesn't mean that he or she will achieve anything; I can only guide and provide information, and the motivation to get through the 1 hour session. An unhappy client is always the one who doesn't do what I've suggested during the other 23 hours in the day.

I'm sorry you've either had bad experiences with trainers or only seen the sales pitch side of the business.

For the rest of you on this thread, there are knowledgable, caring trainers out there who can help. Just like any other profession, there are also some who only care about collecting their pay. As a consumer, you need to interview the trainer during your initial meeting (which at most gyms should be a free session to talk) and determine if a particular trainer is right for you. Will they listen to YOUR goals? Will they provide the kind of information (nutritional, sport specific, conditioning) that you need or do they have a standard, one-size-fit-all approach?

Not too many people go into training to get rich. It just plain doesn't pay enough. From my experience, trainers do the job because they want to help people and are excited by the chance to change people's lives. If I just wanted to make money, I would have stayed in the computer field.


06-08-2004, 02:17 PM
Mea Culpa Trainers, Mel,it's just that the one's who are just salesmen do outnumber the good ones at my gym. When you spend as much time as I do where I do and hear the same BS from them(they stop at the same place and tell the same pitch to each customer, directly in front of the first cross trainer) you tend to think of them all the same. I actually consulted a very highly thought of (by herself) trainer with a wall full of awards when I joined the gym back in the 400 lb days. She pitched her program, with diet and sessions and group etc. and I frankly couldn't afford it. I told her so. She dismissed me with "Then you're not serious and you will never lose weight if you don't work out a way to afford this" She is still there. Every time she sees me there she averts my glance and walks the other way. I just grin. Maybe she would have been right about 90 percent of the people. ****, I've been a salesman all my life. I know about putting a positive spin on things. But you have to know your product and your client. That's why you spend more time listening than talking to them.The good ones show it pretty fast. So do the hacks.

06-08-2004, 03:42 PM
I belong to the same Ballys as Jack (and know exactly who he's talking about, above ;) ). There ARE some great trainers there as well as bad ones and I'm sure most gyms are the same way. Like Mel says, you have to be an informed consumer and choose wisely.

For the record, I worked with a personal trainer for the year that I lost weight. He taught me everything that I know now about nutrition and exercise. It was a true partnership and my success was as important to him as it was to me. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that I could NEVER have lost the weight without him. So the right personal trainer can be priceless. :)

06-08-2004, 04:15 PM
Getting back to original post....I'm probably in the minority, but I prefer the treadmill. I have both at home (and both are good quality). I have found that I don't enjoy spending much time on the elliptical. I tend to "get into" my workouts more on the treadmill. My husband prefers the elliptical though.

06-08-2004, 08:59 PM
OK, back to the original post. I know it's not practical at home unless you have a lot of space and big bucks, but I like them both. I get really bored doing cardio on only 1 machine. Sometimes I even break up my sessions and do a "cardio circuit" of 10 minutes elliptical, then treadmill, then bike, then stairmaster if I'm feeling ambitious.


06-09-2004, 06:30 PM
Thanks for all the great responses everyone! Sounds like the elliptical wins this one. I may sneak over to a local gym and see if they'll let me try one out before I make up my mind. Thanks again!


06-09-2004, 09:15 PM
I would also recommend an elliptical trainer. If you want to run or walk, you can always go outside. I've switched from treadmill running to outdoor running and it's both more challenging and more pleasant. But as much as the treadmill bores me now, I still love the elliptical trainer for cross training.

06-10-2004, 10:11 AM
Chalk another one up for the ellipticals! I love mine. I got it for $400 (It's a Pro-Form). I find it more challenging and it burns a lot of calories quickly.

Good Luck,

06-11-2004, 03:43 AM
Go with the eliptical...yea, it's hard but it works...I just started and I've lost 12 lbs in 2 weeks! If there is a Gold's Gym in your area they can give you a 1 week pass most of the time if u just wanna try things out. I don't know if you can still do it but for a while if u said you saw it on Dr Phil you got a free 2 week pass..either way, the trainers there seem pretty nice and honest :)


06-11-2004, 08:18 AM
This was really an interesting thread to read. I don't know what I would pick. I love to run outside when it isn't too hot and I'm physically able. When I go to the gym I spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the elliptical and then reward myself with 10 minutes in the jacuzzi. I travel fairly frequently for business and have found most hotels have treadmills in their 'fitness' rooms and the better hotels have ellipticals, too, so I've seen a variety of brands of TMs and Ellipticals.

Thinking about it.... I love running on the TM because when I lose my balance I can catch myself before I fall. I use the TMs on the back row so I don't scare people. So far, none of the trainers have noticed me or approached me because I'm invisible. ;) The Elliptical does give me a different workout and the advantage is that when my legs give out I can use my arms to continue the motion and my workout, so I'm getting a good upper body workout.

I love to people-watch at the gym. There are the socialites - in the 'right' clothes and chat for about an hour (usually right in the middle of the track or flitting from one area to another), glance at their watch, wipe their brow, and then, I think, go home. Then there are the First Timers - very tentative about the equipment, but they are Gonna Do It. I always quietly breathe the prayer "go go go" and "keep it up" for them. There are the Gym Rats. I don't think they'd come if there weren't any mirrors. There are the high school athletes, girls and boys. They should be banned. Then there are Us. I can always pick Us out. We're the ones in the clothes that don't match but we have Serious socks and shoes. We go straight the equipment - whether cardio or weights - and get down to business.

Oh. Back to the original question... I STILL don't know what I'd pick!

06-11-2004, 09:08 AM
Before I launched my tirade about trainers. Bad thing to do. I apologize to you! I suggested ellipticals. Still like them as choice between them and treadmills. But if you can get a good crosstrainer for close to price, get it. Love those! But we haven't talked about the most valuable piece to have for the home gym. A piece of equipment that will keep anything you end up with from turning into a clothes hanger. Invest some time in Time. Set aside some time each day to use whatever it is you settle on. I can't tell you how many resale shops buy and sell slightly or not at all used equipment from well meaning people each year. In fact it may be a heck of a good place to shop for yours. Do you hve a Play it again Sports Shop in your area? I bought most of my stuff from them. Have for some time!