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fluffypookie 01-10-2011 04:42 AM

Elliptical training
 
I've been doing the elliptical for about 3-4 months. I am up to 2 hours typically a day at a moderate pace. So far I am seeing little result. Doing weight watchers diet. What gives?

Moses18 01-11-2011 02:00 AM

How to lose fat on the elliptical
 
The best way to lose fat on the elliptical is to do high intensity interval training. Basically, it really pushes up your heart rate, calorie burning and afterburn. Google it to get more specifics. I lost 75 lbs doing it.
You'll need to keep track of calories in/out. And most importantly, work on increasing the lifestyle calories you burn. That's where 70% of your calories are burned. You can do it!

rpmcduff 01-11-2011 05:03 PM

I agree HIIT is the way to approach cardio. Increase the intensity not neccesarily the length of your workouts. (Most HIIT workouts are about 20 minutes, but you will be tired if your intensity is correct.)

There is an old adage (that I have unfortunately proven) that you can't out train a bad diet. I don't believe steady state cardio, as you have been doing, is the best approach to fat loss so I do recommend you make changes to how you are working out. But if your diet is bad then the exercise won't fix it.

schlemoc 01-13-2011 09:10 PM

I do elliptical every day and have dropped 12 lbs so far. I set mine to a 4 incline, 10 resistance and a 10 incline, 10 resistance on the interval setting. What happens is you'll naturally speed up on the lower incline, and slow down on the higher one. This will force your muscles to adjust about every 2 minutes. best of luck to you!

tandoorichicken 01-13-2011 09:40 PM

IMHO on any cardio exercise if you can go longer than an hour it's time to increase the intensity or switch to something else. If you want to maintain the low-impact advantage of the elliptical, you can switch to stationary bike to work similar muscles, or change it up and do the rowing machine (my all-time favorite cardio machine). Sure, it will be hard at first, but that's the point. You don't gain anything from doing really easy cardio for an hour, but hard cardio for even ten minutes will literally blast fat.

almeeker 01-13-2011 10:21 PM


Originally Posted by fluffypookie (Post 31320)
I've been doing the elliptical for about 3-4 months. I am up to 2 hours typically a day at a moderate pace. So far I am seeing little result. Doing weight watchers diet. What gives?

Seriously? I lost 80-90 pounds using one, but I never went at a "moderate" pace, I put on my headphones with loud fast music and went all out for an hour every morning. I also keep my calories around 1,300-1,500, with a pie chart at 40-40-20, carbs-proteins-fats. How are your proteins? You might take a look at increasing those. I can't say what the issue with WW is, I'm not familiar with their points system. I do know that you can cheat easily enough on WW, where you're points look fine, meanwhile your calories and pie chart are completely wonky. I have a friend who has been on WW for years, she counts points religiously and is now hedging 300.

schlemoc 01-15-2011 10:10 PM


Originally Posted by tandoorichicken (Post 31881)
IMHO on any cardio exercise if you can go longer than an hour it's time to increase the intensity or switch to something else. If you want to maintain the low-impact advantage of the elliptical, you can switch to stationary bike to work similar muscles, or change it up and do the rowing machine (my all-time favorite cardio machine). Sure, it will be hard at first, but that's the point. You don't gain anything from doing really easy cardio for an hour, but hard cardio for even ten minutes will literally blast fat.

You also want to switch up your machines. You will lose some effectiveness if you just do the same machine day in, day out. You're muscles adjust. I do elliptical for 1 hour, then do my lifting, then go over to a gazelle machine for half an hour. The next day I'll do gazelle an hour, then lift, then the elliptical half an hour. It keeps me working the muscles in a different manner. Throw in some cycling and other cardio just to switch things up. I agree that you should not spend more than an hour on a machine. It's not beneficial.

SailorDoom 01-15-2011 11:06 PM

This is just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.

With the goal of weight loss in mind, I would never dedicate more than a half hour to 40 minutes (tops!) to "cardio" in a given workout. Obviously this would not apply to people trying to become endurance athletes. By "cardio", I mean the standard practice of using treadmill/elliptical/rowing machine/stationary bike to burn calories. There are lots of other activities that qualify as "cardio", like weight lifting, tennis, and so forth, but I'm just addressing the standard usage of that word here.

Losing weight by "doing cardio" for long periods of time doesn't work! It doesnít work for two reasons. The first reason it doesnít work is that your body will get more efficient over time at doing the same activity repeatedly. While efficiency is valued in most other aspects of life, this isnít one of them Ė here, efficiency means your body is working less and less hard to accomplish the same task (read: burning fewer calories to perform 2 hours of elliptical).

The second reason that endurance cardio doesnít work is that your body will start fueling itself by breaking down muscle tissue, therefore depriving your body of its ability to keep your metabolism running at its highest. Muscle burns a lot more calories than fat. Maintenance of lean muscle mass is key to keeping the fire burning, so to speak. Youíve probably heard about people who go on a diet, lose weight, and then gain all of it *and more* back. Many times this is a result of decreased metabolism due to loss of muscle tissue along with body fat when dieting. As you probably already know, the higher your metabolism is, the more calories you can get away with consuming without a subsequent weight gain. That's what we all want, right? The ability not to worry about that extra slice of pizza on a Friday night....yum!

So, I'd say continue to watch your diet by not only counting your points, but also making sure your macros are where you want them to be. You'll never outrun a crappy diet with any amount of exercise. Also look into replacing all that time on the elliptical with a short session of HIIT. As others have said, this is not only more time efficient, but it will burn way more fat.

If you do go the HIIT route, here are three ďrulesĒ to keep in mind:
1.)Donít go all out the first time or two. Youíll avoid injury and you wonít be so burned out youíll never do it again.
2.)Make sure your recovery intervals are truly slow enough that you, well, recover. Itíll feel weird at first to go that slow, but the payoff will be worth it.
3.)Donít do HIIT two days in a row. Generally speaking, sprinting breaks down your muscles and they need a day to recover and rebuild.
Sorry this got so long, but hopefully it helps! Good luck on your weight loss journey!

cerra71 01-16-2011 06:55 AM

I do a high intensity interval on the eliptical - similar to running - except i do it to music - i go to the beat of the music, then at the chorus i go all out - i also split the time - 5 minutes forward, 5 minutes backward. on my leg workout days - i put the resistance on 20 and go as hard as i can for 30 min.

mchedester 01-18-2011 04:39 PM

The eliptical machine is high enough in intensity that it burns glucose instead of fat. It's great for your heart and lungs, but not for fat loss. If you want to lose fat, keep your heart rate around 55-65% of your max rate. If you do that for 2 hours, the fat will melt off.


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