Exercise! - Exercise machines - manual setting or one of the programs?

gray eyed girl
06-07-2005, 02:39 PM
Which does everyone else use? I've been using an elliptical machine and a recumbent bicycle at the gym for about half an hour each. I'd just used the manual setting before yesterday but yesterday I decided to try interval training instead and it felt great! Is there a big difference between the two? Any reason I should not do interval training again today?

06-07-2005, 04:08 PM
While I usually use the manual setting (though on the elliptical I set the level), I have tried the programs. On the treadmill I find that I have to work harder - in intervals of course :) On the elliptical I haven't found much difference.

06-07-2005, 04:55 PM
I always use the manual settings to create my own intervals. :D

It's perfectly OK to use interval training or a program every time you do cardio. :)

06-07-2005, 05:46 PM
On the elliptical I like to try out the different programs that they have because I've found that I slack off when I just do the manual setting. Also, I don't get bored as quickly because if there is something "hard" coming up then I have a bunch of mini-goals in my mind. I end up going a greater distance and working out at a greater intensity when I'm doing a hill-interval program.

If you continue to push yourself on the manual settings then you`re probably getting the same benefit as you would doing the programs.

gray eyed girl
06-09-2005, 12:34 AM
WaterRat, do you change the levels manually? I tried doing that but slacked off.

Meg, I tried that but the workout seemed to drag and it was hard to motivate myself to want to do the intervals. Hopefully it'll get easier to motivate myself as I get more used to exercising.

WastedThermos, that's how I feel too. It goes faster wwith the intervals :).

06-09-2005, 01:34 PM
On the elliptical I choose a higher level - manually - and then challenge myself to keep the rate at a certain level. I find that I really need upbeat music. Plus I often close my eyes and try to get into a "zone" where I'm not paying attention to the time. :)

On the treadmill, I sometimes go for the programs, other times just alternate faster times with somewhat slower, or work my way up the incline and back down.

Basically I just try to play with things to keep it less boring and still get a good workout.

06-09-2005, 07:36 PM
I hit "quick start" on the elliptical, set the level, and then try to keep the speed gauge at a constant (80 on my life fitness elliptical) for the whole duration of the workout. I do this so I do roughly the exact same amount of work each workout, that way I can look at what my heart rate is doing at various time intervals to see if I'm getting in better (or worse) shape. Anything to keep it interesting...



06-09-2005, 07:44 PM
It depends entirely on my mood. I very often do a hill program on both the treadmill and eliptical, as I get bored otherwise. I too listen to music, we have the radio on at the gym, but I take a cd player, as they always play the same station and it's boring. If I am listening to something good I can get into a zone and the time flies.

I play with different programs and mix it up often. I really enjoy my cardio time. I can't believe this time last year the only exercise I ever got was walking to the store for the newspaper, it's such a part of my life now.

06-09-2005, 07:46 PM
When I was unexperienced gym goer I used Elliptical on X-trainer aerobics - it is nice and says what to do. Currently I find that it is way too easy for me, even on highest level. So I do hill or random with reverse mode on (it does 2 min of reverse after each 5 min) and I often get bored too. I noticed that I can only use equipment for so long and my "long" inside the gym is 30 min. Even best music can not make me do it longer than 30 min, however, I can run for hour or so and bike for 2-5 hours without getting bored, i guess because scenery changes.

In summer I rarely use elliptical as go for bike ride or run or swim...

06-09-2005, 10:56 PM
Well I am an interval person...I let the machine set the program to increace the stride length and resistance every 3 minutes or so...i get on for about 45 minutes. After reading different fitness mags i have found out that periods of hard vigourous exercise followed by short recovery periods is most beneficial.