How to Lose Weight on Elliptical Trainers? Burn That Fat 🏋️

losing weight with ellitpicals

How to lose those extra pounds on ellipticals

The elliptical is the perfect fitness machine for fast weight loss through sport in a way that is gentle on the joints. It also allows you to combine cardio and strength training, a very positive point for those who want to see results on their figure in just a few weeks with a few herbal workouts. However, in order to obtain conclusive results, it is important to create a sports routine and stick to it, gradually increasing the effort of the training sessions. How many sessions per week are necessary to get the most out of the benefits of elliptical workouts? Is it necessary to work at high intensity during a cycling session? What is the right heart rate for good results? We will answer all your questions.

The elliptical trainer: a fat-burning sport for a lot of calories burned

To better understand why it’s important to follow a strict weekly elliptical workout routine, and to stay motivated over the long term, it’s important to know how our physical exertion, when using the elliptical trainer, causes us to burn fat faster than for other sports. First of all, this fitness machine uses almost 80% of the body’s muscles. Combining strength training and cardio, it also allows you to continue to burn calories even after the workout. As the joints are not put to the test during training sessions, unlike running for example, it is easier to maintain the effort over time, and therefore lose more calories. One hour of physical activity on an elliptical represents on average between 500 and 800 calories burned and an excellent cardio workout with a controlled heart rate.

Regular physical activity is the key to success

As mentioned before, elliptical trainers allow you to lose calories at high speed, thus toning up your body from week to week, even with moderate sports activity. However, a sports session will be of no use if it is not part of a routine of several sessions per week. Once a week is for example not enough if you want to get results fast enough. With a minimum of 3 sessions per week you will be able to achieve your goals. Moreover, at this frequency, your muscles will develop faster, and you will quickly be able to increase in intensity and go from 30 to 45 minutes or even 1 hour per workout! The longer your workout, the more calories you will burn exponentially. If you don’t have enough time to fit 3×30 minutes into your schedule, it’s better to try to find a time for 2×40 minutes than 4×20 minutes for example, because in twenty minutes the body doesn’t have time to start burning fat, even at high intensity.

Between 30 and 45 minutes, 3 training sessions per week

In order to obtain the expected results, it is essential that sports activity has a privileged place in your planning, so that you can place a 30 to 45-minute training session at least 3 times a week, depending on your physical condition at the beginning. You should also allow at least 5 minutes each time for a warm-up, in order to increase your heart rate a little, and then for stretching, which should not be neglected either. With motivation and regularity, you will enjoy the full benefits of cycling and you will see changes in your body in just a few weeks, provided of course that you accompany your training with a healthy and balanced diet, which is essential to reward all your efforts.

Activity Calories burned for 30 min Calories burned for 60 Bmin
Gardening 120 240
Slow walk(5Km/h) 137 204
Bicycle medium intensity 160 320
Swimming medium intensity 201 400
Jump Rope 283 522
Running (10Km/h) 365 730
Elliptical (medium intensity) 225 450
Yoga 90 180
CrossFit 360 720

 

Is an Elliptical a good choice to lose weight?

We can see on the table above that running is still one of the best activities to burn fat, the problem is that it is a high impact sport, that is to say it will put some stress on the tendons and joints, it is not recommended if you are overweight.

Skipping rope is another activity that burns a lot, but I challenge you to last 1 hour!

Swimming is excellent, very cardio and non-impact, but it does require some technique and access to an Olympic pool.

Yoga, cycling or walking are great sports for days off, but you can do better to burn a lot of calories.

So we realize that our elliptical trainer is a good choice to burn calories, especially if it is done at high intensity. It’s low impact, doesn’t require any special technique and is very accessible (you can find it in any gym).

30 minutes spent on the cross trainer (its other name) at medium intensity burns about 230 KCal. If you can endure an hour at high intensity, you can expect to burn up to 800 kcal, which is roughly the equivalent of a 280 sandwich.

So it seems to be quite possible to lose weight using the cross trainer.

As a reminder, calories are a unit of measurement of the energy value of food, i.e. the amount of energy our body can produce from food. Our body needs energy to function and this energy is provided by the food we eat. When we exercise, our body needs more energy and therefore burns more calories than at rest. By abuse of language, we often say calories instead of kilocalories. A banana contains 130 kcal instead of 130 calories. In nutrition, the unit Cal is used with a capital letter and then means 1kcal or 1,000 cal, which makes things a bit confusing. In plain English, 1,000 cal = 1 kcal = 1 Cal.

 

Cardio or HIIT? What is better to lose weight?

The Hiit workout is an excellent form of training to lose weight, but beware not to abuse it! 30 to 40 minutes max per week according to the latest data…

As you may know, we here are big fans of HIIT training, short but very intensive sessions that burn a lot of calories in a very short time during AND after the workout (yes, you read that right).

These workouts have the merit of not being boring, time goes by very fast (except in the intervals where you have to send everything, there, time is slowed down) because you push yourself so much that you don’t have to think about looking at the clock!

With this format, no more monotonous elliptical hour workouts.

Less workout time doesn’t mean fewer calories burned, since we’re playing at maximum intensity.

As an example, you can burn as many calories in 30 minutes of very high intensity as you can in 60 minutes of cardio plan: a considerable time saving for you!

During interval training, your heart rate increases and reaches the anaerobic zone, i.e. 80 to 90% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). In such a zone, your body needs energy quickly and then taps into your sugar reserves.

When you are in the aerobic zone, on the other hand, typically during prolonged cardio training, at 60-80% of your maximum heart rate, your body will tap into fat reserves to produce energy.

35-Minute Beginner Elliptical Workout for Losing Weight and Getting Fit

You have just acquired an elliptical machine and would like to diversify your workouts? Here is a 35-minute program that will allow you to work your whole body.

When you ride an elliptical, there is a basic movement, but don’t forget that there is also the backward movement that will allow you to work other muscle parts. Also note that you can work your biceps or triceps a little more by increasing the push on the handles or pull. Whether you like it or not, the elliptical trainer remains one of the best ways to stay in shape safely!

Time Resistance SPM* Instructions
0 to 3 minutes
3
130 Warm-up phase
3 to 5 minutes
5
130 Phase n°2 warm-up and Resistance increase
5 to 10 minutes
5
140 Acceleration of stride rate/min (SPM)
10 to 15 minutes
7
140 Backward movement
15 to 20 minutes
7
140 Forward motion
20 to 22,30 minutes
7
140 Increase the thrust on the arms
22,30 to 25 minutes
7
140 Accentuate the pull on the arms
25 to 30 minutes
5
140 Movement without hands
30 to 35 minutes
3
130 Recovery phase

* SPM = Stride Per Minute -> Number of strides per minute.

Depending on your progress, you can adapt this training by increasing the resistance level or the number of strides/minute (SPM).

 

Weight Loss Elliptical Training Programs For Everyone

It is necessary to establish training programs that are appropriate for each individual’s health and physical condition. To begin, choose the program designed for beginners regardless of your goals.

The sport must also be practiced in a pleasant place in order to achieve effective results. As a guide, professionals have designed training programs for elliptical trainers. Typically, the training period lasts 10 weeks.

Elliptical Weight Loss Program for beginners

2 to 5 sessions of 15 minutes per week are sufficient for level 1 practitioners. In this case, the distance covered by the beginner is between 3 and 6 km; this may vary depending on his performance. During the first session, intensive efforts are not recommended. Try to start with a minimum of resistance so as not to tire the knees. Once you are accustomed to using the elliptical, you can progress little by little. Then, pedal forward during the exercise so that the pelvis does not get out of alignment.

Elliptical Weight Loss Program for experienced users

Individuals in this category must complete 2 to 5 sessions in one week. The average length of training required is 20 to 45 minutes. If you do a calculation, the number of kilometers to be covered is 12.

Elliptical Weight Loss Program for confirmed athletes

For this third type, the proposed training program is 1 hour 30 minutes per week. These people must cover a distance of about 30 km.

Elliptical Weight Loss Program for athletes

The program offered to professionals is not like the one mentioned above because they are obliged to practice intensive training. During the activity, it is highly recommended checking the heart rate, the energy expended and the results obtained in relation to the set objective. In any case, please consult your doctor before starting the elliptical trainer.

 

2 Great Training programs To Lose Weight On Ellipticals

Here are two examples of elliptical trainers that you can use for weight loss:

Training Plan #1

Tuesday: 30 minutes of “classic” cardio workout
Thursday: 20 minutes of HIIT training
Sunday: 45 minutes of traditional cardio workout

Training plan #2

Monday: 30 to 45 minutes of classic cardio workout
Thursday: 25 minutes of HIIT training
Saturday: 45 to 60 minutes of cardio workout

Notes :

  • The second schedule is a bit stronger, try to start with the first one and slowly work your way up to the second one.
  • For HIIT elliptical trainer training, you can use the pre-programmed trainings of some machines (otherwise you can alternate between 40s “sprint” and 20s active rest on the elliptical)
  • Hiit or not, always allow 5 minutes to warm up on the elliptical trainer at the beginning of the session and 5 minutes to cool down at the end of the session.
  • Try to leave a 24-hour window between workouts. This is not a reason to be sedentary, a day of rest should be active (walking, yoga, resistance training, etc…).
  • Do you feel the boredom coming on? Trade the bike for a rowing or running training outdoors (split for Hiit for example or jogging for classic, be careful though, running has a strong impact on the joints).
  • During “classic” cardio workouts, challenge yourself by gradually increasing the resistance or incline on the elliptical.

 

How To ensure weight loss (outside of the ellipticals workouts)

To lose weight, nothing is better than combining regular physical training with a balanced diet to enter a virtuous circle.

So here are a few tips to take your weight loss one step further and make sure all the angles are covered:

  1. Don’t dive into a diet you know in advance that you won’t last a lifetime! There will always come a time when you’ll stop it and regain all the weight you’ve lost. It’s useless! The key to success is the long term and it’s not called a fad diet, but rather dietary rebalancing (or good eating habits if you prefer). You need to change your diet once and for all, and not just sail from one new diet to another.
  2. Replace sugary drinks with water or (unsweetened) tea! Sodas are real calorie bombs. Also try not to put sugar in your coffee or tea. It’s a very easy way to lose a few pounds quickly! You know it, but it’s worth repeating.
  3. Replace any sugary snacks (such as chocolate bars) with fruit. Do you get hungry outside of meals? Eat fruits, they have the advantage of being digested more slowly and allow you to reach a state of satiety. However, don’t forget that they are also synonymous with sugar and calories, so don’t overdo it. An apple for a snack, not 3!
  4. Try to balance your dishes: 40% protein (it doesn’t matter if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you need a source of vegetable protein that you like), 40% fibre (good green vegetables) and 20% carbohydrates (think sweet potatoes).
    cook, cook and cook! Be creative, learn to enjoy cooking by looking for healthy recipes you like on the Internet, Instagram or Pinterest.
  5. Force yourself, take classes if you have to, learn to vary pleasures and flavours, incorporate new foods (spices, ginger, etc.) and over time, you will develop new healthy and balanced habits. I really think this is a very important point!

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