Elliptical

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blb8698
9/23/09 4:35:30PM
I use an elliptical pretty much on a daily basis for a half an hour. I juggle between no resistance, a pyramid program that goes up and down, and a program that is random every 2 minutes. I usally stay between 50 and 65 rpms throguh the half hour. My question is should I be going faster or is that a good speed to maintain?
Rush
9/23/09 7:30:57PM
I consider myself a decent (sub-elite to competitive) runner and only used the elliptical cross trainer when I had a leg injury or muscle strain and couldn't run well. Basically I used to work up a sweat and get blood flowing to my leg muscles to get back on track. That being said, I usually kept a 95-105 rpm rate for about 15 min. at level 12-16. That was good enough to keep my heart rate around 180 bpm, which for my age is above the 90% mark ans sustain it for at least 2/3 of the total time.

So really there are other factors that need to be addressed to answer your question.

1) What level of resistance did you use when you were using resistance. If the answer is below 10, yes I think you should be going faster. Personally I feel little difference on any level below 10.

2) What are your fitness goals for using the cross trainer? Are you doing this to get teh blood pumping and work up a mild sweat or are you trying to use it for performance enhancement? If the answer is the former, then I would say you are doing fine, but if it is the latter, you want to be challenging yourself.

3) What is your heart rate whilst doing these exercises and what is your target heart rate goal? Do you want to be in the cardio zone, fat burning zone or VO2 max zone? For fat burning you want an rpm that will keep your heart rate at about 60%, the more intense your training goals, the higher you push your heart.

4) Are you using your arms? I personally don't use them. I find that it is hard to keep up with my legs when going as fast as I do. Obviously this puts more load on my legs. If I put the resistance level up from 16-20 (20 being the highest) my rpms slow down and I need to use my arms.

5) It depends on the machine you are using. At my gym there are about 20 cross trainers and all of them offer different levels of intensity (at a set numerical level). Therefore the resistance I feel and ultimately the max rpms I can sustain vary from machine to machine. I always tried to use the same one each time so I could get an idea of whether I was performing up to speed.

So as you can see there is no clear cut easy answer.

Svartorm
9/23/09 7:59:51PM
The resistance levels vary greatly between manufactures and how often the machine is used as well. I love ellipticals because I have bad knees and ankles, and can't run on a treadmill or street. Depending on what you're working towards, its all about resistance, more so than time. 15-30 minutes is a good amount of time with resistance, so the trick is is to kick up the resistance over time so thats a very difficult task to make the 30 minute mark.
Jackelope
9/24/09 2:02:40PM
Yeah, it's hard to give you any advice on this until you answer Rush's questions. Most specifically what are your goals and what is your heart rate while you're doing this? RPM's and all of that are a moot statistic.. some guys can run at 60 rpm's with a 140 heart rate and others are practically collapsing at 180 heart rate at that pace.
blb8698
9/24/09 3:12:23PM
Alright I get were your all saying. My elliptical only goes to 10 with the resistance. My heart rate is usually 150 - 160. I'm looking to loose some weight which I have lost a good amount I was 203 now I am 178. I want to make sure I am working my cardio too though especially since I start training in a week.
blb8698
9/24/09 3:14:31PM
just thought of another question. I have been doing the programs that change ths resitance every 2 minutes should I start setting the resistance at 1 level and just do the 30 min at that?
Rush
9/24/09 4:08:20PM

Posted by blb8698

just thought of another question. I have been doing the programs that change ths resitance every 2 minutes should I start setting the resistance at 1 level and just do the 30 min at that?





In my experience, when you select a resistance level and then select a program that varies the level, the overall average resistance is the number you picked. Meaning that the highest points on the program are higher than the resistance and the lower points are lower.

i.e. I usually like the Kilimanjaro level on the trainer I used. If I chose level 15, the peak of the mountain would be higher than 15 and the lower levels were lower than 15, such that it all averaged out to 15 in the end.

In other words, you want a total resistance where the highest intensity levels you reach (in a given program) will be challenging, but doable.
bayonetxwork
9/29/09 11:58:59AM
Find your max heart rate and do whatever necessary to stay between 60-85% of your max...or if your just trying to burn fat keep it between 40-60%.
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