Ditch the Elliptical & Try Something New

16 02 2011

I hate the stereotype girls get at the gym.

You know, wears her hair down, texts on her cell phone, reads Cosmopolitan, barely sweats on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes and then she heads home.

While that stereotype may be in place for a reason – there are a good number of girls who do this – I really don’t approve. Mainly, I have a problem with girls’ obsession with the elliptical. To me, it just seems like an easy way out. Hop on, don’t work too hard, and call it a “workout.” Not my style. And you may argue that you can still get a good, sweaty workout from the elliptical–but come on, you know you’re choosing it because it’s easier than other cardio workouts at the gym.


Photo by itsaboutellipticaltrainers.com

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely shunning the elliptical. It can be great if you have an injury because it is low impact. It is also okay to use every once in a while, or if you’re feeling beat from weightlifting or just not feeling great. For instance, sometimes I’ll use an elliptical machine if I have a cold. But usually you should opt for a harder cardio session.

So what do I suggest?

Well, I am a big fan of interval training. Studies have shown that alternating between fast and slow paced exercise [ex: sprinting for 2 minutes then walking at a fast pace for 2 minutes] can improve cardiovascular fitness and raise the body’s potential to burn fat. Experts have even gone so far as to say interval training is the best workout you can do.

So, here’s a few workout ideas.

Workout #1: Hop on the treadmill. Warm up for 2 minutes, walking. Sprint at about 6.5-7.0 for one minute. Walk at 4.0 for one minute. Repeat this 30 minutes.

Workout #2: Get on the StairMaster. Choose the interval training button. The levels usually go from about 1-20. Make sure you choose at LEAST level 10. I usually try around level 13.

Workout #3: Variety. Sprint on the treadmill for 3 minutes. Get on the StairMaster for 3 minutes. Alternate back and forth for about 30 minutes.

You should be dripping sweat and tired from all of these workouts! I usually aim for around 45 minutes of cardio, but 30 minutes works well if you’re weightlifting in addition to your cardio session.



3 responses

17 02 2011

Good motivating post. I recently started using the stair machines at the gym so I’ll have to give intervals a try.

17 02 2011

You should, you won’t be disappointed!

18 02 2011

I couldn’t agree more with the idea behind this post. I was telling Katie after kickboxing last night that it felt great to not do a typical gym workout — they get boring and repetitive. Same theory behind using an elliptical machine!

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