the only machine i have in my house is the elliptical, i have a bike, and i bike sometimes but i prefer the elliptical because it is more controlled and when i bike i have to go around my neighborhood 3x to get a decent workout and it gets pretty boring. i try jogging occasionally but find it hard and i walk most of the time, besides that i can barely do it, right now i have achilles tendinitis so its hard to flex my foot which is needed to run/walk. i have some weights, but every time i promise myself to do 50 biceps, 50 triceps, i end up giving up and becoming bored of it after a few consistent nights.
so, my question is, eating aside, can i just do the elliptical and still lose weight (i have a pretty decent amount to lose :( ) and become healthy? if i do the elliptical 5-7 times a week, for an hour, at the highest resistance and incline, which i have been doing (highest resistance is 15 and incline 30), is that enough? or do i have to do weights also? i know i dont HAVE to, but is the elliptical sufficient?? thanks!
That is kind of my question too.
I always do the elliptical for my cardio.
I have a bad heel and walking on the treadmill or even walking the track becomes painful after about 10 to 15 minutes BUT I can work on the elliptical for a couple hours at a time without pain.
So my question is, is it OK to just do cardio on the elliptical so long as I vary my workouts and resistance?
I also get in 2 days of strength training along with cardio and vary those exercises from week to week.
You have to mix things up if you want to see continual results. I too have an elliptical at home but it isn't enough. I have noticed that I have passed my plateau (elliptical only for 18 months and plateau for 12 months) and the biggest change is mixing up the cardio by doing elliptical 3 times a week, recumbent bike 2 days per week, treadmill 1 or 2 days a week and then outside cycling 1 or 2 times a week (yep you read that right. Many days I do the treadmill at work then go home and do the elliptical or recumbent). I do believe that you have to mix things up a bit to keep from getting to a place where your body is used to your routine. The elliptical will always be my favorite though!
I have lost 98 pounds with nothing more than watching my food intake and doing the elliptical 5 times a week ( I don't use it on the weekends).
You will hit a plateau with any exercise, there is nothing wrong with adding strength training or other types of exercise, but I don't think it is necessary.
I found that after the weight had come off I had more energy, my joints ached less and I was out and about doing more which in return burns more calories and keeps things going.
Making the decision to change my lifestyle; my outlook towards food and not just trying to loose weight is what really made the difference for me.
G/L with your weight loss!
I lost 100lbs watching what I eat and excercising using mostly the elliptical 5 times per week....it does get boring so I kicked it up and now twice a week I do the elliptical for a warm up 15 - 20 minutes only and then use the weights and excercise ball. Changing the tension on the machine helps a lot and I also take spin class 3 times per week.
You worked so hard to lose the 98lbs.....dont give up you can do it!
I have 40lbs to my goal weight! It's been 3 years and I'm keeping it off!
I lost 90 pounds using the same formula as above. Sadly I then felt accomplished, celebrated my new found energy and proceeded in doing all the things that got me in trouble in the first place. I have now found 45 of the pounds I lost and am looking to go lose them again.
My new best friend (again) is the elliptical
I've lost 70 lbs on my elliptical with only a modest calorie restriction. I love it. I do about an hour a day, six days a week. It's right in front of my TV and it's waiting for me to hop on and go nuts as I type this! I better not keep it waiting!
Of course you may want to add weights, but the elliptical is the best cardio machine out there, so if you only have time for one thing, it's the best candidate!
40 lbs gone here since Feb. I eat healthy food ONLY and use the elip one hour a day, 5 days a week!
I lost 15lbs in 2 months by only (1) using the elliptical 5 times a week for 30 minutes at a low - medium setting; and (2) cutting out sugar.
My theory is to do something that I will realistically incorporate into my life from now on, something that I WILL do, that isn't so great a burden that I feel so intimidated before I even start that I give up.
I always stop after 30 minutes, because then I really go hell for leather for that 30 minutes and break out into a heavy sweat, and I do actually do that 30 minute workout. I know I wouldn't do it if I aimed for 45 minutes, or even 30 minutes on a higher scale. 30 minutes of regular intense exercise is much better than none at all.
I'd love to lose another 10-15lbs (I'm now 132lbs, at 5'5"). But I'll see where my body ends up after this lifestyle adjustment, and be happy with that.
How long did it take to lose the 100 lbs?
Good question, I will do the elliptical three times a week for one hour my weight is currently 180 I'm 5'4" my goal is to lose 50 pounds. I will keep you post it.
I totally agree with this. Great feedback. If you can lose weight with just walking everyday you can do the same with the elliptical. I walked 4.5 miles daily and lost 40 lbs. This was a few years ago and i have had two more children so i wanted to incorporate something new. Just give it sometime it will eventually melt right off. I always mix it up and I continue to hit a plateau. That is how our body works. It needs to take a break and catch up with what is going on with your body. Keep it up.
I try using the elliptical and after 5 minutes my legs hurt and I want to stop. How do you guys go for 30 min to an hour. Wow! I also go to the gym but I would really like to stay on the elliptical for at least 30 min. Any ideas????
I was like you and my legs would really hurt after a few minutes. But if you keep going fo a few more minutes they will stop hurting and it gets easier. I have only been doing it for 2 weeks but now I can do an hour no problem after I get through the first few minutes. Good luck
I will try this very afternoon when I get home, I guess I just give up too quickly.
It depends on the setting you want. If your legs are hurting then maybe come down a level. I do the cardio workout for an hour four or five times a week and yesterday managed 11 k in the time (last k in the five minute wind down). I have been doing it for a while now and I think it is very important to work with your heart rate. The "fat burning zone" theory has been largely debunked, even if it is built into the machines. Cardio gives a better workout all round and lets you monitor your fitness level.
I am nearly forty and weigh 98 (216 pounds YIKES) kilos. The suggested heart rate for a cardio workout for me is 145. I have been doing this for a while now and I am now managing to keep the speed at around 10kph. The machine will adjust itself to your heart rate, so that the first few minutes you might find your legs working harder until you reach the target rate, at which point the tension will adjust. Just stick with it.
Fot the past three weeks I have been doing Paul McKenna and the gym, and I have lost 8 pounds. His system is great because it addresses why you eat not what you eat, and for me it has really helped to knock out the cravings.
I find the elliptical very relaxing with some good punk music after a stressful day at work. I do go to a gym and do weights afterwards and three to four times a week I do an ab class. It is also great that you can set different goals for yourself (distance, heart rate, calories etc) so it does not get too boring. I am very big and bouncy so I am leaving the tread mill for when I am more toned.
I am happy to share my experience with the elliptical with all that are interested. I decided on the elliptical because of the comfort and variety of exercise intervals you can choose from. I have the moving and stationary handle bars on my machine along with a built in "coach" and heart rate monitor. Adjustments to the rail incline is also possible.
The elliptical has been very effective for me. 2 years ago I was on it consistantly until I suffered an injury (not related to the elliptical). During a 4 month period I lost 24 lbs of body fat. Now, I am back on it and gaining ground quickly.
I am 6'1", 222 lbs (down from 230 10 days ago), My goal is 205-210. In cycling terms I am what is called a "Clydesdale".
I completely agree with Maeculpa.
Fat burning zones are not so effective or reliable as they can vary from machine to machine based on the construction and design of the machine and the physical nature of the exercise and person.
Heart rate monitoring is the way to go. If your machine does not have a heart rate monitor, Consider purchasing one... they are now very affordable and are available in many different options. I use the Garmin Edge with the chest band and it is set to alarm when I hit 95% of my heart rate (approx 170 BPM)... for safety. I can use this with my road bike as well (I am preparing to get back in the saddle).
I use the various auto-training options on the machine that randomly changes the resistance and speed-match requirements at different intervals. This results in approximately 20 minutes in zones 2-3 (moderate resistance, slow pace) and 40 minutes in zones 4-5 (for those that track max heart rate percentage). I consume 40 Oz of water during the routine to keep the seat coming out.
During the random slower intervals I really pay attention to form and breathing (in through the nose, out through the mouth). Strength is built with the Slow pace and moderate resistance, back straight, do not wobble side to side, minimize movement to legs as much as possible. I Do this for 20 minutes per workout. Forward AND reverse equally. I love the leg and lower ab burn and tightness that you experience about 2-4 hours after the session. Couple this with the speed-demon intervals (also pay attention to form) with low and then med-high resistance and you got yourself one crazy, mixed up body (in a good sense) at the end of the session. I can also change the incline of the step slides manually to really make things... difficult.
My workouts are 1 hour a day for 5 days a week.
I couple this with an 1800 calorie day (approximately 1/2 of my daily requirements to maintain my current weight). I vary the calories on the weekend and throw in an elliptical session on Saturday.
This keeps things changing, my body does not get the opportunity to adjust metabolism-wise to a constant routine. For me, this is very effective, it may or may not be for others.
One thing is certain, most all elliptical users notice that the weight you drop the first week or two is fast and mostly water. Bloating in the abdomin reduces moderately and clothes get a little looser. The 3rd and 4th weeks things may slow down weight loss wise, but remember your leg, glut and ab muscles are begining to increase at this time, resulting in some (slight to moderate) muscle weight gain. The idea is to burn fat so it may be worth the effort to go through the "caliper routine" to precisely determine body fat and monitor it bi-weekly. This will help you truly track what you are loosing.
I tend to set periodic aggressive short term goals and moderate long term goals. Again, this is to keep my body "guessing" in a manner of speaking.
A couple things I would like to stress: Consume plenty of water, potassium and lean proteins if you do the elliptical. This lowers your recovery time and all but eliminates the possibility of random cramping. And as always, be safe and smart. Be aware of your limits and respect your medical conditions (if existing).
Thanks to all that share their experience and thoughts on this subject. We all stand to learn from and be motivated by others and benefit greatly from it.
That's an awesome routine, kboling! I have lost 91 lbs and the elliptical has been a huge part of my success. I too ate 1800 calories a day from December 15 to May 15. Now I am up to about 2750 calories a day and I am still losing!
During that May to December period I used the machine for an hour a day, six days a week. I totally rock it and push myself pretty hard. Nowadays I am content to use it for four days on, one day off. I do 45 mins a session and keep myself at about 80-90% capacity. I just can't get into interval training, though. I also can't stand going backwards, or slowly. I set the resistance to about medium and sometimes I just use my arms. My legs look nice and toned, and my arms are getting there.
I don't know where I'd be without my machine. I picked mine up used for $300.00 cdn. That's a great bargain...considering it's helped me get the body I always wanted.
Question: Do you know if it would be worth it to use arm weights with it? Would there be any benefit to that? I would love to see some more definition in my arms, and if I can achieve that on my elliptical I would be pretty happy.
I have used the elliptical 30 minutes 5-6 times a week as my cardio for 2 years and in less than one year lost about 45 lbs. Changing the incline and resistance is necessary once you plateau. I also do 20-30 minutes of weights 3-4 times a week. When I want to kick it up, I will do 20-30 minutes on the bike besides the elliptical - good way to tighten up your middle quickly!!
98 pounds lost using the elliptical? That is AWESOME! The elliptical is the only machine I really like at the gym. I am doing 65 minutes 7 days a week. When did you start hitting a plateau and what did you do to start the weight loss again? I am trying to lose 100 pounds. I am now hitting 40 and think it is high time I get off the couch and start living.
I have been workign out very hard... usually 80%... so that the machine says I am doing cardio...not fat burning. To keep myself in fat burning mode, I don't feel like I am getting a "real" workout. I wanna sweat and get that awesome endorphin rush that 80% heart rate gives me. Am I sabotoging myself?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated. You are a total inspiration!