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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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