The Elliptical Machine (not like you usually see it)

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Radon, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. Radon

    Radon Purple Belt

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    Hey guys,

    I've noticed the elliptical machine tends to get a lot of hate. Considered a sissy machine for babies, but I'm hoping to change some minds, and hopefully get some kind of a competition going for it.

    I'll start off by saying the reason I don't run is because of a knee injury (patellar tendonisis), and the reason I don't use the bike is because a) it hurts my ass, and b) too much lactic acid builds up when I try HIIT on it.

    If your legs are in good shape then no doubt elliptical just isn't as good as straight up sprints. If you're in the same kind of spot as me though, or maybe you just want to try something new then this thread's for you.

    The reason for this thread is I want more motivation to push myself in cardio, and competition has always been a great motivator for me. If anyone else likes intense cardio, and uses the elliptical I'd be happy to hear some of your routines.

    I'd like to get some kind of a competition going for elliptical intervals, or possibly maximum distance in 30 minutes/1 hour time period. Before I post any competitive ideas I want to check if there's any interest though.

    If you've never used the elliptical, but maybe you're curious, or maybe this thread has made you a little curious, I'll give you my current routine.

    First:
    This is the elliptical machine I use:
    http://64.251.194.203/fitnesscorp/pictures/Life 95xi.bmp
    If your gym doesn't have this one, then it'll be very difficult to compare. I think it's a common machine though, at least in my area from what I've seen.

    Alright so you think it can't give you a good workout?? Try this:

    Warm up 8 minutes ish, then crank the resistance up to 16 and get maintain 17 MPH for 30 seconds. That's my first interval of my routine. Subsequent intervals are 15 resistance and an average of 15.5 MPH. I do 30 second sprint, 2:30 recovery. Total of 10 intervals in about 35 minutes (including 8 minute warm up). Last interval is 15 resistance and about 17.5 MPH (factored into 15 MPH average).Usually I'm too tired to cool down honestly.. maybe 1 minute cool down then the 1/8th mile walk to my car for the rest of the cool down.

    Just as a small note so I'm not exaggerating: The first 4 seconds of the 30 second interval is me accelerating to my average of 15.5 MPH. On my stronger earlier and later intervals it's probably just 0 second acceleration, because I start the interval a second earlier, and about 16.5 MPH average, but on my middle intervals it might be 6-8 second acceleration, and 15 MPH for the remaining 22 seconds.

    I figure that's a pretty good description of my routine.
    I'd be pretty amazed if anyone can handle that first try. Maybe if you're already doing something similar, or you're in excellent shape 180+ lbs.

    Well that's my challenge I guess. If anyone else is in the same boat as me with knee/leg injury preventing running, I'd be happy to hear some different routines. I'd also be up for a different interval breakup challenge. Maybe you like the 30 seconds sprint, 30 seconds rest intervals? Let me know your stats and I'll give it a try.

    Really hope this thread gets some hits. At least if you run alone you can keep working on a mile time. I have no frame of reference on the elliptical !!
     
  2. spirez

    spirez Purple Belt

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    I'd never really bash on any piece of cardio equipment in terms of getting a god workout. My beef with the elliptical though is that i just dont feel comfortable working in what to me feels like a very limited ROM.

    Is the rower bad for your knee? obviously there's more ROM but is it movement or impact that causes you problems?
     
  3. Dustin Ashford

    Dustin Ashford Amateur Fighter

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    this winter i have been adding the eliptical into my training on days that i couldent jog outside. i think it's a great workout to add to my cardio.


    when i use it i go for 30 mins on hill mode. i go the first 5 mins or so and get my heart rate up to 145/150 then i push harder till he4art rate is around 165/170. i start on level 8 btw . at this point im approx 10 mins into the workout. and every couple of mins i up the level bye 1 or 2. i do intervals bringing my heart rate up to 180 and holding there for 30 secs/1 min then ease off till im in the low 170 range again and repeat till the 30 mins are up.
     
  4. RollinDownRodeo

    RollinDownRodeo Blue Belt

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    Why would it be difficult to compare two ellipticals?
     
  5. Radon

    Radon Purple Belt

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    ^^^^^^^^
    The way they read resistance and speed seems to vary quite a bit. I'm of course talking about 2 different brands or models of ellipticals.

    As for rower it's a combination. Impact fucks it up, but it also gets irritated even doing the elliptical. More so on the bike, and I would guess even more so on the rower.

    I actually can't evenly push on intervals doing HIIT on the elliptical unless I'm wearing a strap over my patellar.

    I think what I should do is invest in an independent heart moniter. The one on the machine handles is really hit and miss for me. Sometimes it appears to only be reading 1/2 my heartbeats and sitting at 85ish while I'm going extremely hard, and other times it can't get my beat at all.

    Sounds pretty good though.
     
  6. EASYTAPPINS

    EASYTAPPINS Blue Belt

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    If you want a great cardio workout and have injuries or are rehabing or just wanna mix up your cardio routine you should try swimming! most higher end gyms have them these days or you can simply use a good sized community pool! I hate running and swimming has worked great for me!
     
  7. ThePitBull32

    ThePitBull32 Green Belt

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    I have nothing against it, it just feels awkward to me.
     
  8. JRT6

    JRT6 Black Belt

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    I own an eliptical and they are a great non impact workout. I read an article recently that said some older model elpiticals have a pedal path that is actually hard on the knees. The one I have works great.
     
  9. Freeman102010

    Freeman102010 not Bȧnned

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    I'm down with the oliptical. It gets hate (as stated by the orginal post) its not as good as strait up sprints or people rely it solely for cardio.

    I'm in the same situation as the TS and have a bad knee, so running isn't always an option (I have good days and bad days). I like the eliptical for 10-15 minutes after lifting (especialy this week were I've done 2 day split heavy lifting). feels good and I think it helps with recovery.

    When I do cardio i prefer to mix it up with machines (I'm in Canada and its been a BAD winter) Treadmill, rower, bike, stairclimber and eliptical. I'll usually hit 2-3 machines for 10-30 minutes each. It keeps things from getting a mundane.
     
  10. drew21

    drew21 Banned Banned

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    The elliptical, like any other machine, has to be used properly. I started to get knee problems because I realized I didn't align my body properly. Same problem wit hthe bike, now I know how to position myself and no more problems.
     

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