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eliptical machine - how did you "get use to it"?
Old 08-19-2008, 07:19 PM   #1
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eliptical machine - how did you "get use to it"?

thinking i may try the eliptical again as im still not up to walking for longer than 30mins since my foot surgery this past May

How did you get up to speed? did you try manually or with a program? for how long? what incline? speed? How often are you on it now?
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:58 PM   #2
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I do the manual, sometimes the interval.
I use a Cybex machine, slightly different than the regular elliptical but has an easier stride for taller folks. I also like the incline feature, and use that to add difficulty to the workout. I usually do 30 minutes, working intervals. It is a good cardio workout for the days I'm not doing strength training.
I also like the rowing machine and cranking the treadmill up to 8.5 and walking--good for the legs!
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:03 PM   #3
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I have an eliptical and I do the random program. I started wth 20 min on level 7. I now do 35 Min on level 11. Every week I would try and go up.

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Old 08-19-2008, 11:05 PM   #4
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Wow! I am really out of shape.
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:15 PM   #5
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They are real easy to get used to, if you have a good one. At the gym I was using 10 years ago I could not get used to it at all, but at the one I go to now, they have the life fitness machines that have the upper body handles as well. For me, the handles give me that extra little bit of balance that was lacking on the other machine (with only stationary handles). I trade off between the treadmill and the eliptical, and wish my gym had a rowing machine (no room in the apt, but going to buy one for my house in the states). I usually do about 50-60 min on a manual setting between level 5 and 8, depending on my condition that day. The past few days the gym has been closed for summer vacation (yeah, can you believe that? only in asia, and maybe only in this country) so I have been going for walks with DW. That is much more enjoyable than the gym, but once school starts I have to take DD for an early morning class too far away to go back home, and closer to the office and gym, so I'll be back there....from next week.

Try the eliptical though. If it is a good one,you will probably like it.

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Old 08-20-2008, 02:11 AM   #6
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I found it easiest to start out by having little or no angle, with the resistance up higher. They usually start with very little resistance as the default, and hence move fast for a newbie. But with the resistance up it slows the movement. When it feels comfortable you can go faster or set the angle higher.
But if you're recovering from an injury, you should get advice from your physical therapist about what angle is best. For me specifically, anything higher than flat aggravated my injury, but that was specific for my problem.
Also I suggest you start slowly, with no more than 10 minutes, then wait 48 hours to see if you hurt from it before you do any more. I learned that the hard way.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:49 AM   #7
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When I developed knee pain a few years ago, a physical therapist told me to stop using the treadmill. My only choice among gym machines for cardio is bicycle, being minimal weight bearing. She showed me a very specific way to adjust the machine. Of course, swimming is optimal but it's more difficult to get to a pool. BTW, that's what I'm looking forward to it the fall, heading to a variety of pools instead of the off*ce.

A coffee shop habitue (not a licensed physical therapist) told me I could do the treadmill if put my weight on the hand rests. Seems to me that might also be good for the arms. I may ask my doctor about it.

Hope you find a way to get cardio exercise into your routine. It might be useful to buy a few hours of trainer time to find out how to get the eliptical machine to work best for you.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:12 PM   #8
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I had no problem adjusting, and I always do manual, adjusting speed, angle, intensity to get the heart rate to where I want it. I usually only do 30 mins at a session.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohfrugalone View Post
Wow! I am really out of shape.
I can't stay on one very long, either. The elliptical is an EVIL machine!!! But it really does good things for me. I do what I can on it at the gym for now, but I am planning to buy one after my move to Missouri next year.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:23 AM   #10
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I work out 5 days a week. But NEVER on the elliptical.

I can crank up the treadmill at 4mph and steep inclines for 45 mins, no problem! Stairmaster 30 mins no problem! Even the Cybex machine I can do a good half an hour on.... But I CAN NOT for the life of me stay on the elliptical for more than 5 minutes without being completely and totally exhausted, LOL I have tried several different machines over the years and I just can't do it, it is just the most un-natural movement for me. :confused:
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:37 AM   #11
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Justme, what is the Cybex vs the elliptical? The machine I use is a Cybex but it has the same motion as the elliptical, just a longer stride and the incline can be changed.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:48 AM   #12
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The cybex I use has more of a stepping up and down motion versus a circular motion. Hope that makes sense?? ellipticals seem to have a strange almost running motion but very unnatural, then they go backwards too.... I guess if I got used to them I could work my way up to doing some time on them but I just give up and hop back on one of the machines that feel more comfortable to me.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:56 AM   #13
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Okay, then I'm with you, I can't use the elliptical machines at all. It is only the Cybex I use. The other ones have a really short stride and are very uncomfortable for me. Thanks for clarifying it as there is no way I could do 30 minutes on the elliptical machines--my knees would ache!
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:02 AM   #14
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Sarah, I think the stride length is the most important thing, no matter what the brand of equipment.

I quit a gym because they 'improved' their machines, got rid of 2 I really liked and brought in some tra-la-la fancy elliptical trainers that didn't fit me at all!

I liked the ability to go from almost flat, with a motion like an egg on its side, to a higher, almost 'stair-climber' motion. It helped reduce the boredom factor.

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Rowing Machine or 'Ergometer'
Old 08-28-2008, 07:52 PM   #15
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Rowing Machine or 'Ergometer'

My personal choice is a Concept II ergometer, or 'Rowing Machine.' Mine offers 8 differing settings for resistance, relative to the kind of resistance one would get when ranging from a single, very streamlined 'shell' to a 'flat-bottomed-scow' boat. Facing me I have a moment-to-moment display of my rowing energy expenditure, time expended and virtual distance rowed through each 'pull at the oars'. When up to speed, I try for 5000 meters of rowed distance in 35 minutes, with a series of maximum-pull intervals between steady rowing. When this starts getting 'easy,' I dial in more resistance.

The exercise is non-impact, but still uses all the major muscle groups. Check out Concept2:

Please note I have NO financial interest in the company. This is just what I use.
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:57 PM   #16
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I like the rower at the gym--our trainer says it is one of the best workouts in the place. I think they are the same brand, but must be much older models.
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:57 PM   #17
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I've tried elliptical machines at health clubs and hotel fitness centers for years while traveling and never liked/got used to one, seemed very unnatural like squatting while running to me - but it may be that I've never been on a "good one." For cardio, I'd rather ride my road bike outside and if I'm stuck inside a good treadmill or my WaterRower. YMMV
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:11 AM   #18
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I have a New Balance 9000 elliptical which I purchased last December. Before that, I was walking a treadmill, but wore it out one day.

I started using the elliptical it at levels 1 and 2 for a couple weeks. Then I went up to level 3 for a another couple weeks. I followed this pattern up to my current levels of 9 and 10 (I think this machine has 16 levels).

Has it helped me achieve my goals? HELL YES! In about 8 months of 5 days per week (45-60 ea/session) I lost 30 pounds and 3 inches off my waist. Several weeks ago I had to buy new pants and trim off the excess leather on my belt. I would like to confess that I also started eating healthier around the same time. Anyway, since I'm at my goal weight now, I'm reducing my sessions to 30-45 minutes.

I'm a shorter guy (5'6") and the New Balance has adjustable stride lengths to accommodate all sizes of people. Best of luck!
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