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Elliptical for Cardio?

I am wonderring how good the elliptical machine is for fat loss. I have been eatting healthy and have noticed some improvement’s but I am wondering if they would be even better if I would be doing my cardio on the tread mill. The reason that I am usseing the elliptical is because on the tread mill my knee’s start to hurt. Also I should let you guy’s know that they elliptical that I use is able to increase the incline.

The elliptical is awesome for fat-loss. You don’t necessarily need to raise the incline because at any setting you can variate your own personal intensity ~ one of my favs for interval training and also to give my legs rest when they are beat up. it is as good as you make it, much like any other form of cardio.

I have great experience with ellipticals. My heart rate can go higher than in a treadmill without losing breath. It also burns calories faster because you’re using more of your body.

I burned a whole lot of pounds using the elliptical for cardio. Still one of my favorites.

Elliptical is great for cardio. Easy on the knees as well.

And easy on the back, too!

How long should you do intervals on the elliptical if your trying to gain muscle mass?

I didn’t know it was easy on the knees. I avoided it because I thought it would aggrivate my tendonitis. Should I go for it?

the elliptical that I use doesn’t have the arm’s thing’s because it’s has the ability to incline and decline is it still just as good? Also I was wonderring if 1 minute or going really hard and 2 minute’s or moderate going for 30 minute’s is considerred HIIT?

Thank’s ahead of time.

If all your concerned about is fatloss and using intervals and intensity the arm thing should not be a worry to you.

Incline and Decline allows you to make it a more muscular type of workout, same with the arm thing, actually the arm thing helps you because you shift some of the necessary energy from your legs to your arms. Hiking vs Sprinting down a straight-away are both great ways to exercise.

I’d say the easiest way to compare is to imagine your hard vs your sprint. If you have enough experience sprinting or doing anything high intensity such as swimming a race lap vs someone, and have a good enough feel for your body to know how to notch it down 10-20% that would be hard. Now if you could apply that same hard to the elliptical for a 1min:2min interval or a 30sec/30sec interval yes that is considered HIIT.

Moderate would be like pacing yourself for a 7 or 8 minute mile. Though it is all relative to where you are right now. For someone that is just getting back into exercise or is grossly out of shape, I’d advocate running at whatever speed they can maintain for however long they can, then walking til they feel good, then back to running. This in itself is a interval and high intensity for out of shape person #1 as an example.

The interval times vary based on your personal fitness level. A track and field sprinter would go at a 10-15second hard and a 20-30 second rest. As ellipticals dont have as much impact on the body you can go hard for more then 15 seconds thus the 30/30 example.

If you beat yourself silly 5 minutes or 10 minutes can be as useful as 30 minutes. Depending on the quality of your workout and how hard you can push. If you can maintain a high level of energy output for a longer duration that is when you extend the time for hiit. Otherwise it is more of a cooldown :wink:

Which is not a bad thing in itself.

But my point is it is all relative to your current fitness level and how much you are willing to challenge yourself. Also your current pain thresh hold levels and what you are willing to tolerate doing to yourself.

Sed, I suggest you try it out for 5 minutes. It’s less impact then sprinting or even the treadmill and you dont have to worry about bending your knee as much like with cycling. That or swimming would be the most logical bet ( rowing cardio machines are good too ).


If your trying to gain muscle you should keep your hiit down to 20-30 minutes max because you’re not going to be able to perform at high intensity indefinately and eventually it will shift to steady state which will make you more prone to losing some muscle. Though I’ve done an hour with 2-3 minute water breaks between sets of hiit. Take HRX or Carbolin 19 alone to help preserve muscle if muscle mass is your main concern.

Though the rule of thumb which you will notice is about 20 minutes. Not including warm-up and cool down.

would you recommend swimming three times a weeek, or will that shred to much lean muscle tissue?

What on earth is ellipticals, i presume its not the orbit?

I love the eliptical for fat loss

[quote]brumstar123 wrote:
would you recommend swimming three times a weeek, or will that shred to much lean muscle tissue?

What on earth is ellipticals, i presume its not the orbit?[/quote]

Swimming is one of the best non weighted muscle builders, fat shredders that I know of if you train for performance. The swimmers I knew personally years ago were always a lot leaner then I and were between cut and ripped. It helps that if you swim to be in shape you’ll build up your shoulders. When I hurt my rotators I had to learn to work around them and I found that the flat bb press for a period of time was not possible and Swimming was not possible.

For me anyone that has been working out for a while you’ll find swimming harder because you lack the buoyancy of a non lifter and your not traditionally from a swimming background you haven’t already developed a streamlined physique nor built up the necessary support muscles to swim as effectively as a trained competitive swimmer.

Thus you’ll try harder and tire more easily, limit yourself to a set time and make sure to check the clock for time and just try to do as many laps as possible. Or take 30-45 second rest breaks between laps and then go all out again. If you are really out of shape, its back to training wheels! Grab a kickboard, or just grab the edge of the pool and have at it.

If you want a simplified version, pick a style of swimming you can swim most effectively at and use that as your intensity phase. The 50% portion you water run for a lap and focus on pumping oxygen into your body. If that is too strenuous do the rest interval. Or switch between your best swimming style and your easiest to perform. As long as you understand the concept of HIIT and know how to fit your current athletic level into that framework you’ll be fine.

Sed the elliptical is very low impact on the joints. Thats what of the best parts about it for fat loss. You run on the treadmill long enough to burn fat, and your just about ready to give up all cardio cuz of the joints. Elliptical is easy to stick to and burns alot of calories if you try.

Swimming is great.