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by WorkoutHealthy  on October 12, 2011Comments(4)

Your Elliptical Workout Plan For Weight Loss

elliptical workout

As you get started on your weight loss journey, one thing that you’ll definitely want to spend some time getting into place is a solid elliptical workout plan.  The Elliptical machine is one of the best forms of cardio you could be doing for a variety of reasons, so if you have yet to give it a try, it may be time to shift your usual workouts over to see what it has to offer.

Let’s take some time right now to go over what benefits there are to using an elliptical trainer as well as help you sort out a few elliptical workout plans that you can add to your usual weight loss plan.

Why Use An Elliptical Trainer?

Elliptical trainers are one of the relatively new forms of cardio equipment to hit the scene as back in the day the treadmill and bike were your only two options.

With the addition of this though, people everywhere are welcoming the change to their sessions and are seeing results because of it.

Lower Impact

Perhaps the single most attractive feature of using the elliptical trainer is the fact that it’s a very low impact workout.  If you’re always running on the treadmill, all of this pounding can really build up over time and lead you to suffer from knee, back, or hip pain.

Those who are already in pain no doubt felt some restriction as they went about their workouts and this could have caused them to put in less effort than they should.

Elliptical machines are great because they are a very low impact form of exercise that will still allow you to easily get your heart rate up so you can get that cardiovascular conditioning that you need.

Those who do have knee pain will be able to use these pain-free in most instances, so it definitely can open doors for how you can go about improving your fitness level.

For those who are also at a heavier weight right now, you’ll find that the elliptical trainer is much more comfortable to use since it doesn’t have the up and down motion that running does, which just has that weight coming down on your body with each step you take.

Both Upper And Lower Body Workout

The second reason why you should consider adding an elliptical workout plan into your overall routine is because it’s going to provide both an upper and lower body workout at the same time.  With running or cycling, you’re predominantly only going to be working the lower body, so it’s not nearly as effective.

You’ll also be working against a higher resistance level when using the elliptical, which can prove to provide strength benefits as well. If you’re someone who isn’t performing weight lifting workouts in addition to your elliptical sessions, this definitely will prove to be an advantage.

With running or cycling you may develop more muscle tone in your lower body, but very often the upper body will still stay soft and undefined.

High Calorie Burn

The next reason to integrate an elliptical workout plan into your weight loss routine is simply because they will burn so many calories.

Sessions performed on this machine can easily burn 300-400 calories per 30 minutes, so if you go for an hour straight, that’s enough of a daily deficit to create at least one pound of fat loss per week.

This is partially due to the fact that unlike the treadmill or bike you are only working the lower body, while the elliptical works pretty much every muscle group in the body in its entirety.

This definitely enhances the rate of weight loss you’re going to experience and may mean you don’t have to be quite as strict on your diet to see your desired rate of fat loss take place.

Due to the fact that it is working the upper body as well, you’ll get your heart rate up higher more easily when using the elliptical, which is also critical for improving your cardiovascular fitness.

Quieter Sessions

Finally, the last big benefit to using the elliptical trainer is the fact that it’s a very quiet machine.  If you’re planning on doing home workouts, the treadmill with the constant banging as you take each step can be quite disturbing to those around you.  Especially if you work out first thing in the morning, this could cause some upset amongst other members of your household.

The elliptical on the other hand is incredibly quiet so no one will even know you’re using it as you go about your intense workout session.

Structuring Your Workout Routine

So now that you see why you should have an elliptical workout plan, how do you go about designing one?

The first thing that you need to figure out is whether you want to perform a steady state session or perform a form of interval training routine.

Steady state sessions are going to be great for beginners who are just starting out and at a slightly lower overall fitness level.  Interval training is a very intense form of workout and for these beginners will likely be just a bit too much for them to handle.

Steady state workout sessions are also a good idea for those who are performing a number of weight lifting workouts each week as well, as they can really come to place a high stress load on the body after time.

If you go adding numerous intense cardio workouts in addition to this, overtraining is very likely.  So in that situation, steady state workouts will be a smarter choice.

On the other hand, interval training sessions are great for maximum weight loss.  This form of workout set-up is really going to help to boost your metabolic rate the greatest since it is so high intensity in nature.

You’ll find that after performing an interval training workout your metabolic rate stays elevated for hours, helping you burn more calories 24/7.

This additional calorie burn will all work towards increasing your daily expenditure and move you further along the path to success as far as fat loss is concerned.

The second reason why interval sessions are good is because this form of workout will also really enhance your fitness level the most.  Any time you push the body way beyond its comfort zone you’re going to see very high training adaptations, so this is no different.

Those who want to improve their VO2 max, which is how much oxygen your body can use minute per minute while you exercise, will be well advised to incorporate interval sessions into the program plan.

Finally, the last great benefit of the interval training elliptical workout plan is that it’s fast.  If you’re short on time, you’ll appreciate how quickly these can be performed so that you can get on with your day.

Most will only last a total of 20-30 minutes, so you’ll be done before you know it.

Since you’re constantly changing around the intensity in which you work with as well, this helps to liven up the workouts, keeping boredom at bay.

So now that you know the basics of what type of elliptical workout plan you can create, let’s give you a few workout examples for weight loss.

Your Elliptical Workout Plan For Success

The following two workout plans are perfect for those who are already doing a strength training workout program and looking to add in the cardio element.  Make sure that you always perform a brief five minute warm-up before getting on that includes some easy going stretching to loosen the muscles up.

Steady State Elliptical Workout Plan

The very first workout plan is the steady state one.  This one is appropriate for beginners and should be performed on the off days from your weight lifting workout, 2-3 times per week.

5 minute warm-up on the elliptical

30-45 minutes at a rate of perceived exertion of 5-7 out of 10

5 minute cool-down

5 minute post-workout stretching

Interval Training Elliptical Workout Plan

The next workout is the interval training workout plan.  This one is the more advanced form of workout and great for those who want to crank their weight loss into high gear.  Remember that you also should be performing these on the days off from any weight lifting and making sure that you’re still getting at least one full day of rest for recovery each week.  Even better is if you can have two days off, or at the very least, one day where you’re just doing the steady state workout listed above.

Note that RPE, as mentioned below, refers to the rate of perceived exertion.  This indicates how hard you’re working on an effort level of 1 to 10.  One would refer to an incredibly easy pace (think a very light stroll) and ten being an all-out effort (such as if you were sprinting away from a bear chasing after you).

5 minute warm-up

60 seconds at RPE 7
60 seconds at RPE 3
45 seconds at RPE 8
60 seconds at RPE 3
30 seconds at RPE 9
60 seconds at RPE 3
30 seconds at RPE 9
60 second at RPE 3
20 seconds at RPE 10
60 seconds at RPE 3
20 seconds at RPE 10
60 seconds at RPE 3
30 seconds at RPE 7
60 seconds at RPE 3

5 minute cool down

So next time you’re looking for an elliptical workout plan to help accelerate your weight loss results, make sure that you keep these in mind.

About the Author
Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology.  In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 8 years now.

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4 Responses to “Your Elliptical Workout Plan For Weight Loss”
  1. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve take into account your stuff prior to and you’re just extremely wonderful. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way through which you are saying it. You’re making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to keep it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you. That is really a great website.

  2. Ana says:

    I will definitely try this tomorrow… Thank You!

  3. alex maroko truth about quickness 2.0 says:

    Can i crosstrain with two times of Martial Arts and still
    benefit?
    Also, let’s say I function up to 50 reps of specific exercises will
    high reps build?

    • Shape-Up Shawn says:

      Yes, Martial Arts is a type of physical activity and any physical activity is beneficial. The best way to build muscle is to lift heavy w/ a low number of reps.

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