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elliptical machine?

Guest Hilarie

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Guest Hilarie

(I have looked through the archives for this but haven't found anything very useful..)


Since I haven't been dancing lately I've started using the elliptical machine for cardio. My endurance is not the greatest, but in the last 3 weeks I've gotten to where I can comfortably (i.e. mild to medium exertion) keep up a good pace for 20-25 minutes at the lowest resistance setting.


I want to up my workout to be more of a challenge soon, but I don't really know how to do so. I used to be a gymnast and I'm very susceptible to my quads bulking up, which I'm trying very hard to avoid. I always stretch well when I'm done working out. I'm just not sure how to progress: should I increase the resistance I'm using at all, or just go for longer at the lowest setting?

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Try rest-work intervals... say, five-minute warmup on easy resistance, then four minutes at a higher resistance, four easy, four high, four easy, four high, then a five-minute cooldown. That's thirty minutes, but you can decrease or increase. You can also run backwards on an elliptical and it works different muscles, but be sure to hold on to something when you do it. Don't want you falling backward or anything. The rest-work intervals will help you build up endurance.

Edited by jazzyme
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Rest-work intervals are an excellent way to build up (especially strength aspects) and in my opinion infinitely more interesting and satisfying than increasing time or resistance uniformly. I’d say the same for all types of gym cardio machines.


Having said that, I’d also say that cardio exercise has only two factors: heart rate and time. From strictly a cardio-vascular conditioning standpoint you want have your heart rate at about 60%-70% of its maximum. At that rate your fuel is almost completely fat. As far as time is concerned, longer is always better, but after about 25 minutes the increased payoff with time gets less and less.


Again from strictly a cardio-vascular development standpoint you are highly unlikely to bulk up in any sense of the term. Muscles usually get bigger either because your genes cause them to grow at certain ages or due to heavy doses of progressively increased resistance (and a dose of testosterone in females).

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