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  1. #1
    ಠ_ಠ Brian94's Avatar
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    30 min Elliptical good workout?

    Hello,
    I am 20 yrs old, 173.5 lbs, (I haven't measured height but i think I'm around 5"7-5"8) and since around the middle of June I have been trying to do Elliptical machine for 30 min (100 SPM, 5-7 mets) every day.

    I'm trying to keep doing Elliptical everyday, and every other day I try to do a full body workout (mostly upper body), bench press, flies, shoulder press, biceps, triceps, lat, rowing, and occasionally forearms.

    I was wondering if this sort of routine would lead to good weight loss. I hate running and treadmill so this is why I picked the elliptical machine.

    As for diet, I've been trying to take in less calories (I've had this sort of beer belly since I was say 14-15 yrs old [prolly cuz of sedentary lifestyle]).

    My diet is usually:::
    Morning: fatfree creamcheese minibagel.
    Lunch: Subway 6" 'oven roasted chicken breast' (light mayo, mustard, american cheese)
    Dinner: Genoa Salami/meatball sandwich usually, unless I go out or cook dinner (rice/vegetables/etc).

    I only take Whey Protein Gold Standard 24g one scoop on the workout days.

    My progress so far has been:
    End of May 2009 --- 178 lb
    June 10th 2009 --- 176 lb
    June 18th 2009 --- 175 lb
    June 21st 2009 --- 174 lb
    June 28th 2009 --- 173.5 lb

    How am I doing? (I was a little slacking around early June though, so that's why it's low weight loss at the start).
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  2. #2
    Registered User TheLaw1224's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    I find the elliptical can you give you a great workout. I like using the elliptical because my knees can't always handle running (although I generally try to mix things up). The key, however, is making sure you keep challenging yourself and making your elliptical workout challenging. I started off at a rather low level on the machine, but then as I became more experienced started increasing the intensity of my workout and now, I am all aboard the HIIT bandwagon. All in all, I was previously doing 40 minutes of elliptical training per day at medium-medium high intensity intervals. I also completely transformed my diet. It really, really helped me lose weight (about 40 lbs in 4 months). The past couple weeks, I've been doing HIIT and I find that you can get a workout that's just as difficult and it's been helping me continue my weight loss at a pretty good rate. I'll probably need more time to see how effective I feel it is... but yeah, the answer is, you can definitely get a great workout with this machine (and it's perfect if you have foot and leg problems like I do because it's a lot easier on your joints!).

    Edit:

    Just wanted to add, regarding your "full body workout"... while I did that at the start of my exercise routine when I was pretty overweight and trying to lose as much fat as possible... now that I've lost quite a bit I have been starting to try to bulk up more. The "whole body" thing helps add definition to parts of your body, but it's much, much better if you isolate muscle groups and come up with a schedule of what to work out each day. I've added muscle much, much, much faster this way because you actually push each muscle group to its limit. I think this is probably a better option for you. Generally, now I do about 1.5 hours of weight lifting on different muscle groups about 4-5 times a week. On most of those days, I do a bit of cardio at the end too (for like 20-30 minutes, depending on my energy level, I'll do HIIT). Then on days off, I try to do good solid cardio workouts to help burn more calories and keep challenging my endurance. Anyway, hope this is kind of useful to you!
    Last edited by TheLaw1224; 07-01-2009 at 09:47 PM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User user51615212's Avatar
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    The elliptical is very good. I switch it up every other day and on leg days with the rowing machine and the bike (good after doing legs).
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  4. #4
    ಠ_ಠ Brian94's Avatar
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    YEah, it is really great for me because I can't stand running.

    I suppose separating muscle groups is a good idea, but it's not something I can do so often with so much time (because of work etc).

    I was also seeing all the argument on this forum about starvation etc, and how much calories you should have per day.

    Seems to me like my day can vary from 800 calories to 1300 or so (especially if i go out it may be more).
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  5. #5
    Registered User 2fluffy2long's Avatar
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    I love the elliptical. Really helps build endurance. When I first started, I could barely do 5 minutes. Then I started doing it for about 30 minutes, followed by 30 on the stair climber.

    I agree with the above post about HIIT. LOVE it! You can get a great cardio workout in with very little time if you're pressed. Plus, it's supposed to have great benefits post workout. Increased EPOC (excess postexercise oxygen consumption) should lead to increased fat burning potential. Even though research shows that it doesn't increase EPOC as high as previously thought, every little bit helps.

    this is what I do:

    2 minutes warm up - level 5 - 140-150 SPM
    followed by 7 sets of:
    - 30 seconds high intensity - level 12 - 220 SPM
    - 90 seconds recovery - level 4-5 - 140-150 SPM
    Then end with a 4 minute cool down

    Total of 20 minutes. Great workout, IMO.

    Just a note too.... I'm no expert, but I've tried to research this a lot and I've been following a program for almost 4 months now. I've lost 57 pounds. In the beginning, I only ate around 1000 - 1200 cals/day. Then I found out that it would cause me to lose muscle to eat this low.

    I did a calculation for you based on the Harris-Benedict formula. Based on your height, weight and current activity level, I got a BMR of about 3000 cals/day. Recommendation is to drop cals by no more than 500/day for fat loss if you don't want to lose lean mass. That means you need around 2500 cals/day.

    Please, correct me if I'm wrong anyone....
    Last edited by 2fluffy2long; 07-01-2009 at 11:50 PM.
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  6. #6
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    For HIIT on elliptical.....is it best to:

    (1) change the level for the increased intensity or

    (2) keep the same level but go at a faster rate (steps per minute)?

    What is the difference you'll see in results between these two?
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  7. #7
    Aim: Fit & Slim plAythiNG's Avatar
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    personally, , irather UP the INTENSITy rather than the speed...
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  8. #8
    Registered User tizer76's Avatar
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    The eliptical works great. It is much easier on the joints and because I just had another knee surgery I plan on using it as my main source of cardio. I used the eliptical before to stay as I made my way back from another knee surgery years ago when I was playing college ball and it worked great. It is important to switch it up thought. I would do the eliptical for 30 minutes each day. The first 5 minutes I would cruise. After that I picked up the intensity. I sprinted as fast as i could on the eliptical for 20 seconds and then cruised for 40 seconds the remaining of the time. As my endurance increased i worked my way up to 30 second sprints and 30 second cruises. That was more to get ready for football sprints but in general it will help wit losing fat.
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  9. #9
    Braineater Danzig747's Avatar
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    Any exercise that causes you to work and keeps you injury free is a good workout to me


    just depends on the level of intensity
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  10. #10
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    The elliptical is an awesome machine, it doesn't really feel like working out but still gets my heart pumping.

    30 minutes @ 150 bpm feels like a stroll in the park and burns around 400 calories. I'd love to have one at home...
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  11. #11
    Registered User TheLaw1224's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by plAythiNG View Post
    personally, , irather UP the INTENSITy rather than the speed...
    Or, up both!
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  12. #12
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    yeah it really works, I should start using it again...but I prefer bike or running no doubts
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  13. #13
    Registered User dust1984's Avatar
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    I get on the elip pretty much every day I work out for the minimum of 45 minutes. I for one, stay at a level that isn't too much of a strain I find that I get a better work out when I'm not struggling for 45 minutes, if I have good resistance for 45 minutes, I bust it out. I always try to keep my heart rate at 150+... seems to be working for me. Couple times a week I'll walk a few miles or StairMaster for 2-30 minutes.
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  14. #14
    Registered User mangojuice's Avatar
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    i prefer elliptical because it's less impact on the knees... other than that i suggest you incorporate a leg workout routine and maybe eat a little more... i'd aim for a 2,000-2,300 calorie day with your figures and activity level, just an estimate tho
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  15. #15
    ಠ_ಠ Brian94's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mangojuice View Post
    i prefer elliptical because it's less impact on the knees... other than that i suggest you incorporate a leg workout routine and maybe eat a little more... i'd aim for a 2,000-2,300 calorie day with your figures and activity level, just an estimate tho
    See I'm too afraid to do that.
    Today I had cheerios breakfast heh (100-200 cals?), Subway Chicken breast flatbread (300 cals), one coffee (Probably 100 cals of sugar), and then dinner I'll probably be having another 400-500 calories. My worst case estimate would be 1100-1300 calories today.

    The thing is. When I was at university, I'd eat pizza or spaghetti-meatsauce and that's how I got up to 178 lb in the first place (In high school I was probably around 150 or so).

    So this is why I am not so into the belief that I actually need 2000 calories per day. It feels like having 1000 calories per day will get me enough calorie deficit to make me lose weight and become healthier.

    My uncle, a surgeon, is very fit, and all he ever eats is salad or chicken salad (something I cannot do!), he must get like 600-700 calories a day and then he goes to gym too.

    So in a way, I'm not sure I completely believe those websites that calculate you need 2000 or 1700 calories etc.

    Has anyone tried working out a lot but eating 1700+ calories, versus working out a lot and eating ~1000 calories--- if so, which worked out better?
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  16. #16
    Grumpy Old Dwarf MCrow's Avatar
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    I love Eilliptical and generally to about 30 minutes each go. I get my HR up to around 150 and cruise, before I know it I'm getting a good sweat on. Plus, I can still walk afterword unlike when I try to run.
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  17. #17
    ಠ_ಠ Brian94's Avatar
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    I guess my body is not use to exercise because I usually do 30 minutes elliptical, 7-8 mets, (level 8), about 100 SPM average and my heart rate is almost always at 160-170. If I try to go to 110 SPM or 120 SPM, then heart rate goes to 180 (almost max).
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    Originally Posted by Brian94 View Post
    I guess my body is not use to exercise because I usually do 30 minutes elliptical, 7-8 mets, (level 8), about 100 SPM average and my heart rate is almost always at 160-170. If I try to go to 110 SPM or 120 SPM, then heart rate goes to 180 (almost max).

    I normally have the resistance down low like 2 and going at a faster pace but if I bump it up to 5 or 6 at the same pace my HR would go through the roof.
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  19. #19
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    Yeah, it is good to look at those chart things. 160-170 for me is Anaerobic or whatever, so it's pretty good usually. As long as you're in that Anaerobic or aerobic zone.

    Although I think that if you're at the anaerobic zone you are burning fat, while aerobic is just maintenance or something.
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    Treadmill vs Elliptical?

    IF you have knees problem, i would go for it but if you dont, just run in the treadmill, do interval training. Go fast for 2 mins and slow walking (incline) for 1. I lost 8 pounds in 16 days doing that plus of COurse weight training.

    I find it harder to burn fat in the Elliptical.
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    buttom line is, if your workin hard, and your getting you heart runnin, its fine
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    ಠ_ಠ Brian94's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HotMixed View Post
    IF you have knees problem, i would go for it but if you dont, just run in the treadmill, do interval training. Go fast for 2 mins and slow walking (incline) for 1. I lost 8 pounds in 16 days doing that plus of COurse weight training.

    I find it harder to burn fat in the Elliptical.
    I'm not sure I believe this.

    With Elliptical you are building muscle because of resistance. With treadmill, you are building some muscle but mostly it's a little more calories burned. But I think with the muscle I build on elliptical I think in the end I'll lose more fat than if I were to use treadmill.

    Plus running is really boring and annoying :S.
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  23. #23
    Registered User kmain's Avatar
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    To original poster...

    Hi there, don't usually reply but thought I would anyways... you sound a lot like me... sort of I guess a casual bodybuilder in that you take a normal 3 meals supplement some protein from ON for workouts and muscle building and don't weigh/measure your meals out... hey not everyone can do that.. especially where I am (Afghanistan)... About the 30 minute Elliptical workout... its great just make sure you eat healthy and get some resistance training in, in some form... and you will start getting in shape... Maybe not like some people who get completely shredded and bulk up tons... but that lifestyle isnt for everyone.. its not for me..

    I started doing cardio seriously after many years of a non-active life style and I always seem to go back to the Elliptical machine for some reason, or if you have one available one of the Cybex Arc Trainers is similar and will really give you a serious workout on the Interval training... I usually stay away from the Treadmill unless I decide on some speed walking at max incline with 30 second sprints... But I don't do it often because I find Treadmills are hard to run on.. seems like the Tread is to narrow and you constantly have to watch where you are running or and at the same time its boring like a lot of indoor Cardio machines. Which brings me to another point running outside... if the weather is good.. go for it.

    My advice... continue with the 30 minutes on Elliptical.. but as you build endurance and if you feel motivated start doing more than that... I try to put in 60 minutes on the Elliptical at least 2-3 times a week... on the other days I do 30 minutes or maybe split 15 on Rowing/15 Elliptical after I lift.

    I feel a lot better these days to, I may not be the biggest/strongest guy around compared to many around me but at least I'm happier about myself.. and really thats what matters in the end.
    Last edited by kmain; 07-08-2009 at 09:42 PM.
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    Registered User kmain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MCrow View Post
    I normally have the resistance down low like 2 and going at a faster pace but if I bump it up to 5 or 6 at the same pace my HR would go through the roof.
    Just curious, don't know if you'll see this reply.. but what sort of machine does your gym use? Resistance seems low. The gym here uses Tecnogym machines, the Elliptical has "effort level" of 1-25. If I keep 8 resistance and around 150SPM I can keep a BPM of 160-165 constantly. But everyone is different some people but have to bump it way up...

    I also prefer the faster pace, seem to be able to keep going alot longer and can maintain that "anaerobic zone".
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  25. #25
    is cutting. Amandarose531's Avatar
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    I don't want to be the bearer of bad news or anything but congratulations OP for looking to workout and be healthier, but your diet is absolutely atrocious

    What are your goals exactly?
    You get back what you put in.
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    Original Neanderthal theapexxxx's Avatar
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    Work on your diet before you worry about your elliptical workout. Thats a horrible diet. Not enough protein, and not enough calories in total.

    Read some more threads and do more research.
    If you haven't tried a Million things, you haven't tried everything!

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    "Not as hungry yes, but when he wants the food, its there"

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  27. #27
    Registered User kmain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by theapexxxx View Post
    Work on your diet before you worry about your elliptical workout. Thats a horrible diet. Not enough protein, and not enough calories in total.

    Read some more threads and do more research.
    I tend to agree... my diet is something as follows... though my meal choices are limited..

    Meal 1 Breakfast: Egg Whites, Oatmeal w/ Honey & Raisins added (can't eat that crap plain), Bran Cereal w/ milk... sometimes I mix it up and get other items though not always the same thing.... Rice w/ Vegetables, Egg White omelet... I just try and make healthy choices.

    Meal 1.5 (the meal between breakfast and lunch!): 2 Scoops ON Whey w/ Water

    Meal 2 Lunch: Really depends what the DFAC is showing but generally some type of protein w/ boiled vegetables and mash potatoes (no gravy) on side and a small salad...

    Meal 2.5: Another protein shake

    Meal 3 Dinner: Same as lunch, just try to make a healthy choice depending on what there serving that night.

    Now generally I workout at night after Dinner around 1 1/2 hours after... then another protein shake afterwards...

    Anyways not really a strict diet but seems to do alright...
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    If you really wanna challenge yourself on the elliptical, try running backwards for a certain time/distance. It really gets you burning those calories.
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    Originally Posted by theapexxxx View Post
    Work on your diet before you worry about your elliptical workout. Thats a horrible diet. Not enough protein, and not enough calories in total.

    Read some more threads and do more research.
    +1

    Get the diet in check, at least well enough to KNOW that you within a targeted caloric range each day. Guessing at calories will not work (learned that one the hard way, repeatedly).

    And where'd you come up with 300 calories for the subway sandwich? 6" chicken breast is 320 calories without cheese, without mayo.
    "In order to survive you, I must first survive myself. I can sink no further and I cannot forgive you. There's no choice but to confront you, to engage you, to erase you."
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    Any cardio is fine as long as you're comfortable with it.

    I find a treadmill gives me a much better workout (the elliptical always seems too easy), but I'll switch it up now and again or if my knees are bothering me.
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