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Elliptical Trainer

Has anyone used the elliptical trainer and lost weight when they were near their goal weight? I have about 10 lbs to lose and am in good health. It just seems the ellipital doesn't get my heart rate up high enough to make a difference. Running really does the trick but it hurts my knees. If you are sweating more you are losing more calories, right?

Tue. Jun 6, 12:08pm

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Incline and resistance

Here's what I see at the gym all the time with the elliptical: Cute little skinny girls with matching outfits going 150 steps a minute. Looks really tough, right? Then you look a little closer, subtlely of course, and notice that they are at base incline and no resistance.

I've used the elliptical to help me lose the last ten before and what I did was take the incline all the way up and pump up the resistance to the highest I could sustain 100 steps a minute at for 30+ minutes. Once you get to a higher resistance level, it's like wading through jello, no knee trauma, but your muscles are WORKING!

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 12:36 PM

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Actually, I've always heard that your "fat burning zone" was at a relatively low heartrate - one where you don't get totally sweaty/gross. I've heard when your heartrate is really high, you end up burning off muscle, not fat, and that hurts you.

I agree, though, that you can get a hard workout on an elliptical, or an easy one, and it's entirely up to you to make the adjustments.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 12:51 PM

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Other options

I agree with the above poster - there is a cardio heart rate zone and a fat burning zone (there are normally posters about this in gyms or little charts on the cardio machines). Your fitness goals should dictate their optimum heart rate.

I'm not sure what kind of gym you belong to but if you have bad knees I'd suggest using the rowing machine or swimming. Both are excelent workouts and are low-impact. Also, switching up the kind of exercise you do might be just what you need to lose your last 10 pounds :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 3:13 PM

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Fat burning

The fat burning vs. intense effort debate will continue. Basically it boils down to this: The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose. The same old calorie in-calorie out stuff you've been hearing for years. My experience has been that with the last tough pounds, just working at a light pace doesn't cut it, unless you have a couple hours to spend doing it. You might consider trying a combo approach- a shorter, more intense workout followed by a longer moderately paced section.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 3:44 PM

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as a fitness sales person, let me say ellipticals aren't half as good as a PROPERLY USED treadmill. Rather than run, try jacking the incline on a treadmill up to around 8-10% (seeing as incline isn't a universal thing on treadmills) and walk at around a 4-4.4 mph pace. Much less impact, and it's NOT an easy workout. DO NOT HOLD ONTO THE HANDLE BARS.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 5:44 PM

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I disagree with the above. If your knees are a problem, the elliptical is perfect for you. It's how you use it, and for how long, that counts. Treadmills don't do good things to your knees if you've got problems with them, above poster! I used to own a treadmill and now own an elliptical. I made the switch for that reason, and Ihave no knee problems whatsoever using it. And I've lost 12 pounds so there!!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 6:45 PM

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have you ever tried walking at a 12% incline? there's very little impact. I'm not wrong. Misusing a treadmill causes probs with your knees.

I didn't say you can't lose wieght on an elliptical. You can. You can also lose weight by only eating soup, but that doesn't make it your best method.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 6:55 PM

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The fat burning zone is a long abandoned training protocol. You want to work hard – upping your intensity equals more calories burned – equals greater weight loss. Work harder, not longer. You want to get your heart rate up! Don’t try to do a fat burning workout – it’s inefficient and not the best use f your time.

So up the incline, get your legs moving quicker and find that button that increases the resistance. It’s as simple as that. That should get your heart going. Also try intervals – you go hard for say 30 seconds, then ease up for a bit, then hit it hard again.

Also, cross training is wonderful. Doing lots of different activities will keep your body guessing – and you’ll burn more. Keep mixing it up.

Do you lift weights? Muscle will help increase your metabolism and is one of the best but least utilized methods for weight loss and weight control.

And don’t forget that it all boils down to what you’re eating. The last 10 are the hardest and will just require lots of dedication. Work hard at the gym, but remember that what you do or don’t eat will make the most impact. Take a look at your diet – it might need adjusting to help you see the scale move.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006, 4:09 PM

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What my personal trainer has me do on the eliptical is this
warm up 5 min
go as fast as you can go 1 min
slow to 55% 3 min
repeat 3-5 times
cool down 5 minutes
You will lose 2-3 lbs per week. DO this 5 times a week.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006, 4:24 PM

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To the last poster..have you seen results using this method? My trainer had me on the elliptical for 45 minutes, 4X a week, heartrate at 140. Didn't see any results. Looking into what you are eating may be more important.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006, 7:18 PM

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