Elliptical Trainers: πŸ•’ Ideal Duration for a Workout Session πŸ•’

how long should an elliptical session be?

Halfway between the stepper and the classic bike, the elliptical trainer helps to tone the whole body and work the cardio. A very complete fitness tool, it will allow you to quickly reach your goals in a fun way and is suitable even for the most novices.

What is the ideal duration for an elliptical trainer session?

Have you bought an elliptical trainer for regular physical activity or a gentle return to sports but don’t know how to organize your session? Don’t panic! In this article, we explain how to build your workouts according to your goals and the time you have available to enjoy the elliptical benefits of working out in the best conditions.

The right length of an elliptical trainer session to lose weight

If your goal is to lose weight, and to tone you up by improving your breathing capacity, the basis of your workouts will be low-intensity efforts, just enough to accelerate your heart rate without exhausting you, but continuous and for a sufficient length of time to burn a significant number of calories.

So, if you get back into the sports, try to go at your own pace, stopping for short breaks if necessary, for about 30 minutes with the elliptical trainer set to low resistance. As your endurance increases, extend the time of the sessions if you have the time. This type of session should be done 3 to 4 times a week, and can possibly be coupled with another cardio-training activity, such as running for example.

However, if you have little time, it is possible to do split / intervalΒ  sessions, i.e. alternating very intense effort and rest, for example 30 seconds of low-resistance sprinting and 1 minute of rest, repeated 4 or 5 times; 3 to 4 times a week. The more your level increases, the more you can decrease the rest time and increase the effort time. However, please note that it is necessary to already have a certain level of athletic ability to perform these types of sessions.

The Best Workouts to lose weight on ellipticals

In order for the effort to be adapted to an individual’s type of training, it is necessary to adjust the pedaling resistance. The ideal is to opt for a moderate difficulty for endurance, increase the intensity in HIIT and choose a maximum resistance for a Tabata HIIT.

A five-minute warm-up on the elliptical trainer at the beginning of the session and a five-minute cool-down at the end of the session are essential.

Program 1: moderate intensity cardio-training session

This elliptical trainer program helps to lose fat and burn fat while improving breathability.

Example of training: do elliptical trainers for 45 to 60 minutes 3 times a week. This one should be just difficult. That is to say that a person will not be out of breath and will not have any aches and pains. This is a training plan to be practiced over the long term. It allows you to progress over time.

During this type of training, a person can increase the difficulty by increasing the resistance or the slope on the elliptical trainer.

Program 2: HIIT session

The HIIT is a high intensity interval training. It is particularly effective for belly slimming. It burns nine times more fat than a cardio workout. In addition, it allows you to burn calories several hours after a session. However, a person should not do more than 40 minutes of HIIT per week. Many elliptical trainers have pre-programmed HIIT workouts.

Program 3: the HIIT Tabata

This program is characterized by its intensity:

  • 20 seconds of intense effort
  • 10 second recovery time
  • To be repeated 8 times.

The training lasts 4 minutes in total. It is very intense because a person usually reaches 90% of their maximum heart rate. The 10 seconds of recovery may seem short at first. However, with practice a person feels less and less tired and manages to optimize the recovery phase. The HIIT Tabata on the elliptical trainer allows for optimal calorie loss.

 

Program 4: Coupling HIIT and cardio

Here are two examples of elliptical trainer training to lose weight. A day of rest is necessary between each session.

Training program nΒ°1

Session 1: 30 minutes of cardio training
Session 2: 20 minutes of HIIT training
Session 3: 45 minutes cardio workout

Training program nΒ°2

Session 1: 30 to 45 minutes of cardio training
Session 2: 25 minutes of HIIT training
Session 3: 45 to 60 minutes of cardio training

The second program is a little more difficult. First, a person must start with the first one and move slowly towards the second one.

Check the video below for an insane HIIT workout to burn fat and lose weight

Targeted elliptical program to slim the thighs and tone the arms

If your goal is to slim your thighs and firm your buttocks while strengthening your upper body, then again, the elliptical can help, it is the elliptical machine that works most muscles in the body. By combining endurance to burn calories and therefore fat, and by concentrating the effort on your arms, you’ll lose weight while developing your upper body. Double benefits!

To do this, you’ll use the handlebars of the elliptical trainer. Either by pulling them to strengthen your back and biceps, or by pushing them to strengthen your pectorals and triceps. Some machines allow you to adjust the resistance of your arm movements.

Plan sessions of 30 to 45 minutes 3 times a week.

Tip: Of course, as with all sports, if you suffer from a health problem (heart, back or pelvis for example), talk to your doctor before you start on an elliptical trainer.

The right length of an elliptical workout session to build up your muscles

If you want to build muscle, have a sharper, more sculpted body and therefore increase your muscle mass with an elliptical trainer, you may need to add weight lifting and barbell workouts to your elliptical trainer sessions. However, it is possible to start building muscle simply by riding a bike.

Many ellipticals have fairly high resistance levels that will require you to engage your muscles extensively to operate the machine.

Thus, by alternating times of effort with high resistance, between 30 seconds and 1 minute depending on your level, with times of effort with low resistance, of 30 seconds, repeated 10 to 12 times, 3 to 4 times a week, you will be able to train several leg muscles, which will grow to adapt to the effort required.

However, please note that with an elliptical trainer, you will not be able to build up your entire body, so we recommend investing in some small weight training equipment, dumbbells or weights to build up the rest of your body.

The Best workouts to gain muscle on elliptical trainers

Interval programs on an ellipticals give better results than linear workouts. The practice consists of perpetually alternating effort and recovery periods. Here is an example of timing, to be adapted according to your level. Repeat 8 times if you are a beginner, 12 times if you have an intermediate level and up to 15 times for experienced athletes:

  • 1 minute at low intensity followed by 1 minute at high intensity.
  • 2 minutes at cool, then 2 minutes at full power.
  • 3 minutes at very low resistance, alternating with 3 minutes at high resistance.

Don’t forget to prepare your body well, by doing a few minutes of warm-up beforehand. Fractional exercise is a demanding exercise, but you will quickly see the results of your daily efforts.

 

The importance of changing your routine

If you keep repeating the same workouts every day, it won’t be enough! Your body evolves over the sessions, your routine must follow. To do this, nothing could be simpler: you keep the same session, on the same day, for three weeks in a row, then change. For example: on Mondays of each week, you work on your cardio, while on Wednesdays, you target your legs. After three weeks, it will be a matter of working at a higher intensity and increasing the duration of the workout.

Using the handlebars

It is important to know that on an elliptical trainer, the body weight is shared between the top and the bottom. This means that if you work without using the handlebars, you will not strain your arm muscles at any time. On the other hand, using the handles to move back and forth will help you to keep your balance, as all the limbs of your body are used and the weight of your body is distributed evenly. Most importantly, to prevent injuries that could occur to your lower back, it is important that you always keep your back straight. Handgrips can help you do this.

Stay focused

In the sports world, there are two types of people: the fervent supporters of music during training, and the others. And, whether they are coaches or scientists, neither can agree. So, without necessarily placing yourself on one side or the other, it’s important to determine what’s really good for you. While music can be uplifting and make you more resistant to pain, for others it can be so stimulating that it totally disconnects them from the present moment. A situation that is incompatible with playing sports. Indeed, it is important to always listen to your body in order to work efficiently and, above all, to surpass yourself.

After the theory, now it’s time to practice! If you’re looking for a simple and above all fast routine, this video should allow you to start practicing elliptical trainer smoothly. Then it’s up to you to adapt it according to your objectives, the time you have available but above all according to your progress.

 

What you need to remember for effective workouts on elliptical machines?

In conclusion, what you need to remember to make your sessions really effective is that you need to adapt the exercise time according to your goals, depending on whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle or both. Don’t forget to warm up well before you start your session so you don’t get injured, to hydrate well and not to overdo it to let your body rest and recover properly. Finally, don’t forget that any physical transformation also and above all involves diet, so make sure you balance your nutritional intake!

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