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  1. #1
    The Panting Walrus BowtotheFlex's Avatar
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    elliptical as cardio

    i notice the elliptical is an easy way to burn a lot of calories. i see guys at the gym burning 400 calories in 25 minutes while hardly breaking a sweat. a lot of times after i train (especially legs, core) i can't do cardio at a high intensity. I think that the elliptical is the perfect tool for putting urself at a calorie deficiency...

    im on a 4 day strength oriented split. my priority is to get stronger without gaining too much more body fat, while also building my endurance so i plan on doing about 20 - 30 minutes of cardio after i train, 2 days on the treadmill (upper body) and the other 2 on the ellipticial.

    im just looking for opinions and perhaps guidance from those who were weak yet still possessed a high bodyfat.
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  2. #2
    Registered User IronBuddhist's Avatar
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    Eliptical is awsome for interval training. Thats why i like it. Plus it doesn't hurt my knees.
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  3. #3
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IronBuddhist View Post
    Eliptical is awsome for interval training. Thats why i like it. Plus it doesn't hurt my knees.
    Yep

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  4. #4
    Registered User sam31503's Avatar
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    Personally I dont like the eliptical machine. I used to use it religiously but then i read an article that it may not burn as many calories as it reads out on the machine. After that i stuck strictly with the treadmill and between the two i feel like i get a better workout on the treadmill.
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  5. #5
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sam31503 View Post
    Personally I dont like the eliptical machine. I used to use it religiously but then i read an article that it may not burn as many calories as it reads out on the machine. After that i stuck strictly with the treadmill and between the two i feel like i get a better workout on the treadmill.
    I love the treadmill but unfortunately my knees don't ;-)
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  6. #6
    Registered User sam31503's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    I love the treadmill but unfortunately my knees don't ;-)
    I can understand that....sometimes I get pains in my shins from it.
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  7. #7
    Registered User MonsterLu's Avatar
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    elliptical is great i throw on a hoodie and hop on it and all goes well for me i get the sweating around 1000 strides which is around 50 cals its good cardio not bad on the joints
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  8. #8
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    Use a high level of resistance and you'll get that nice V shape below your abs. Great workout for all levels.
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  9. #9
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    Concept 2 Rowing machines bring the pain and the fat loss. Try em out
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  10. #10
    Registered User kurty8's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    I love the treadmill but unfortunately my knees don't ;-)
    try setting it on a incline....i had the same issue before, now i set it to like 4-5% incline and no issues with knees. I belive 1% is about the same as pavement



    I would also say that the calorie counter on most of them is bs....some garbage math formula, i all tell people that take about 2/3 or half of what it says....

    i use both though and would say too, they work my legs differently and i think its good to switch it up
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  11. #11
    Registered User nappyjim's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kurty8 View Post
    try setting it on a incline....i had the same issue before, now i set it to like 4-5% incline and no issues with knees. I belive 1% is about the same as pavement



    I would also say that the calorie counter on most of them is bs....some garbage math formula, i all tell people that take about 2/3 or half of what it says....

    i use both though and would say too, they work my legs differently and i think its good to switch it up
    what he said ^^^. Dont believe the calories counts on those.
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  12. #12
    Registered User tblake87's Avatar
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    I firmly believe "easy cardio" is an oxymoron. You see people burning 400 calories in 25minutes in the gym without looking sweaty or short of breath--well I guarantee the calorie counters for them is wayyyy off. Cardio is short for cardiovascular, if that heart ain't pumping, you aren't doing it right.
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  13. #13
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    Smile

    Originally Posted by nappyjim View Post
    what he said ^^^. Dont believe the calories counts on those.
    Exactly. At best, those machines ask your age and weight - many don't even ask your gender. As far as I know, they never take your height into consideration.

    So, you tell the machine "I'm 30 years old and 220 pounds"...

    What the machine doesn't ask you:

    220 pounds, huh? Are you 5'1 or 6'1"?
    Male or female?
    Is it 72 or 90 degrees in this room?
    Are you built like Michael Phelps or Rosie O'Donnel?
    Do you have any prosthetic legs?
    Are you running barefoot, in sneakers, or mountaineering boots?
    Are you using ankle weights?
    Are you wearing a CamelBak or a back pack filled with 10 pound plates?
    Are you running while holding a rifle above your head, Marines style?
    Are you holding onto the goddamn railing the whole frickin' time?
    Are you even ON THE MACHINE? (treadmill only)

    All of those things affect your actual calorie burn substantially. Hell, a recent study found that swinging your arms and legs in unison requires 30% more energy than if you let your arms swing naturally. The machine couldn't possibly know that, or any of the things mentioned above. So, the number it displays on the screen is virtually useless. The ONLY thing it's good for is comparing it to previous or future workouts on the same machine at exactly the same level of effort. Or for the little games you play in your head ("I'll keep running until it reaches 500", etc.)
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  14. #14
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    My treadmill tells me I have burned 900 something calories after three miles. (I wish. LOL) Level of exertion and heartrate is what matters to me. If I am not tired after doing cardio, I didn't do it right.
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  15. #15
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    I'm never concerned with what the calorie counter says.
    If I'm going for a 20 min. sesh I pace it so I'm trashed at 20, If I'm going for 30 min. I pace it so I'm trashed at 30, etc.
    Works well for me
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  16. #16
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    Cardio machines are notorious for ridiculously overestimating caloric expenditure. Of all the cardio machines, elliptical is probably the worst @ overestimating calories burned.

    just saying.

    That said, push yourself (it's very easy to fall into a easy stride thats comparable to light walking on an elliptical machine) and the calories will burn. I know i've done a good job on cardio when I can feel heat radiating out of my body when i'm done, especially off my head.

    On a somewhat unrelated note lol after a swim session one day i went outside (it was early winter and fairly dry /cold) and my head was actually steaming. My friends were all joking how it looked like my head was seriously on fire lol.
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  17. #17
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    I find the elliptical to be the best option for me...It is either that, or walking at a quick pace on the inclined treadmill.

    HIIT (or similar interval) training on the elliptical really kicks my ass....i just hate the treadmill, bike or anything like that. I never pay attention to the calories it says though.
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    Only machine i use for cardio. Crank up the incline and power walk that bish for 20-60 minutes.
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  19. #19
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    Exclamation

    Originally Posted by Nutshell20 View Post
    Use a high level of resistance and you'll get that nice V shape below your abs. Great workout for all levels.
    hmm... =S
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    The elliptical is my cardio machine of choice. I am an old-school Stair Master fan and the elliptical is one step better. With no impact to my knees or feet, I can get my heart moving and sweat it out doing an exercise that I can reproduce session after session to track changes in performance. Lately, I've been riding it for 20 minutes and increasing levels every minute until I reach a level that is the most I can do at which point I drop it back down four levels for a rest and start increasing the levels again. I can usually manage to sweat-up a shirt in 20 minutes.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by Nutshell20 View Post
    Use a high level of resistance and you'll get that nice V shape below your abs. Great workout for all levels.
    The nice v comes from low body fat brother. If you want to get defined hips then do squats.
    Spoon pics are a dime a dozen, demand a fork pic.
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    Originally Posted by coals View Post
    Cardio machines are notorious for ridiculously overestimating caloric expenditure. Of all the cardio machines, elliptical is probably the worst @ overestimating calories burned.
    Couldn't have said it better myself. That's why it makes itself a better candidate for HIIT cardio, after 45mins - 1hour of weight lifting.
    Spoon pics are a dime a dozen, demand a fork pic.
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    I used to hate the elliptical... because I couldn't do more than 5 minutes on it.
    Now I'm doing 30 and sweating up a storm.. my heart rate stays up.. when I use the treadmill I don't sweat as much and my heart rate doesn't stay up like it used to. I feel I get a better workout from the elliptical. I don't believe the calorie counter either...
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    Registered User fatmanslim's Avatar
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    ^
    yeah I have an elliptical and I too recon the calorie counter is nonsense "even though it is nice to see 500cals burned". However I don't really worry about the calories that I burn anymore, the only thing that I concentrate on now is my heart rate and keeping it above 60%. Its strange that eventhough fatloss is my ultimate goal when I focused on the calories burned I lost nothing but when I started paying attention to improving my cardiovascular strength I lost.

    So basically what I am saying is that you should probably be focusing on HIIT or just HIT also I would suggest trying different cardio equipment.
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    i like to turn the treadmill on 9mph and stand on the sides while the counter goes up, easy cardio ftw, makes me feel better brah.

    in all seriousness running outside > anything.

    if u live close like me (2 miles) u can walk to the gym, lift, and jog home.
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    another perspective: bikes,rowers,kettlebells

    Hi guys,

    i'm sorry i can't site a whack of papers right now - i'll try to pull them together - and a lot of this is from work i know about in different labs that hasn't been published yet - BUT

    both the eliptical and treadmills have particular issues with the CNS that rowers and stationary bikes don't. These have to do with both gait mechanics and the VVP - the visual vestibular and proprioceptive systems.

    You know how you feel a bit dizzy reorienting after getting off a treadmill? that's an upset to the VVP system. One might say so what? we adjust, right? well, anything that screws with the nervous system produces a kind of low level threat that impacts strength.

    In terms of startle response (this is part of what i research) when we startle, we start to shut down systems for protection. So if our body perceives a dissonance, it starts to pull back. An example of that can be seen in what's been called the arthrokinetic reflex. Here's an example vid of that if you're interested.(link)

    Indeed, one of the folks our lab works with did an in house study where athletes were assigned to one of four groups: rower, bike, elliptical, treadmill. They were tested for strength and ROM (i believe ROM - have to check) before they did some time on the machine and then tested after. The testors did not know what machine the athletes had used. At the end the folks who did the eliptical and the treadmill all tested weaker than before they did their machines.

    A second effect is that the mimicing of gait in the eliptical (which i used to love for all the reasons folks have posted above) and the treadmill is not natural. Folks looking at gait on the treadmill recently have seen some oddities in muscle performance using the treadmill - it seems it may be this overly regularlized gait patterning that's not quite how we were designed to move - plus this vvp effect.

    Apparently stationary bikes and rowers don't induce this effect - they're machine made motions - though stuart mcgill - famous back guy - hates anything sitting because of how that may effect spine mechanics.

    So you may ask, if we can't sit and the standing things mess with our brains, what's left for cardio? Well, i still row and bike, but for a full body break that can be done standing and does not enforce a gait, kettlebells can be a potent cardio or vo2max trainer.

    here's a kettlebell hill workout (link).
    here's some physiology of cardio - with kb's (link)
    and here's an overview of a vo2max approach with kb's (link).

    what can i say? those kb's are strangely compelling.

    best
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    I tried the elliptical when I first starting hitting the gym seriously 6 months ago because of all the raves they get. I felt more knee pain on that than I do running 10km.
    I asked my chiro his thoughts about them and he said the knees don't track straight on those machines as it's an unnatural movement.
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    I take any readout on any machine as just a suggested number. As has been said before, which I'm a firm believer of, if I'm not sweating or breathing heavily or have some sort of indicator that I worked hard I must not have done it right. This is true for my weight training as well. If it doesn't feel like I did the work, I must not have worked hard enough.
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    Originally Posted by IronBuddhist View Post
    Eliptical is awsome for interval training. Thats why i like it. Plus it doesn't hurt my knees.
    Same here man. My knees take a killing on the treadmill after a while
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    Originally Posted by kurty8 View Post
    try setting it on a incline....i had the same issue before, now i set it to like 4-5% incline and no issues with knees. I belive 1% is about the same as pavement



    I would also say that the calorie counter on most of them is bs....some garbage math formula, i all tell people that take about 2/3 or half of what it says....

    i use both though and would say too, they work my legs differently and i think its good to switch it up

    A good rule of thumb for running and calories burned is 100 per mile. I am a crazy runner/triathlete and this is usually to the T on flat land. You start adding the hill option to the treadmill and you get more obviously!

    TRIJEW
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