I know, I’ll torch 750 calories every day on the elliptical and will be in great shape. Perfect! Let’s hit the gym now, I can’t wait to get started! Better slow your role, before you sprint out of the door, make sure you know the answer to the following questions: have you ever worked out before? what precautions are you taking? do you even know how to use an elliptical?
If you cannot answer these questions, don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s start from the beginning, first of all:
Is It Ok To Burn 750 Calories Everyday On An Elliptical Machine?
The short answer is “Yes”. However, take it with a grain of salt. If you are just starting, burning this many calories may not be possible for you at the beginning. It all depends on your age, weight, and fitness level.
You should gradually work up to this number. With time and work though, it’s a very reasonable goal. The good news is, if you are on the heavier side of the scale, you will be burning more calories as you work out.
How many calories can you burn on an elliptical machine?
This depends greatly on your age, weight, and intensity of your workout. Let us assume that you will be working out on an elliptical machine for 30 min per day.
Here are some approximate numbers:
Keep in mind these numbers are just estimates. The number of calories you will burn is completely dependent on your age, gender, weight and the intensity of the workout.
If you want a more precise number for your age and weight, you may use this calculator.
How accurate is your elliptical anyway?
Now, this is tricky. Most of the fitness equipment comes with a calorie calculator and many times they are grossly inaccurate. You can utilize the above chart to help determine the accuracy of your equipment. But a word of caution though, your machine may not show the exact number…and that’s ok. When in doubt, assume the elliptical is OVER estimating how many calories you’ve burned. This usually seems to be the case.
What are the other benefits of elliptical machines?
Elliptical machines are not only for calorie burning purposes. If you are working out only to burn some calories, then you may be surprised at some of the other benefits. Let’s take a look at a few:
1. Improved coordination
With elliptical machines, your entire body works together. Having your opposite limbs move in sync can help you develop much better coordination between them. This movement also turns on your core, giving you a bonus core workout. This can also be helpful for improving balance.
2. It’s a low impact workout
The motion of an elliptical trainer follows an elliptical path. This motion reduces the stress on your joints, actually, 2.5 times less than running.
Due to this additional impact, running may also cause extra wear and tear to your joints. With an elliptical, chances of such joint damage are minimal. So if you have achy joints, an elliptical may be the right option for you.
3. It’s a weight-bearing exercise
Ellipticals are weight-bearing exercises. Working out regularly on them gives you some unique benefits like:
- Developing strong bones
- Better body balance
- Burning more calories
Because of the bone strengthening qualities, using an elliptical could actually help delay the onset of osteoporosis. You can enjoy better bone health for a longer period of time.
Precautions To Take While Using An Elliptical Machine
Using elliptical machines for your regular workouts can be great. However, you need to take a couple of precautions while using them to ensure your safety:
1. Don’t get pinched
Elliptical machines have a lot of moving parts. If you are not careful, your skin, your fingers or your clothes can get pinched. This is more so when you have an indoor elliptical machine and your kids or pets are around.
To avoid such situations you can place the elliptical inside another room and locking it, trying to keep it away from small children. If you don’t have a spare room, you may want to get an elliptical trainer which has a locking pin. This will keep the pedals and the bars stationary when not in use.
2. Adjust it for you
When you are working out on a treadmill you have a lot of flexibility. You can adjust it according to your stride. If not, then also chances of falling off from it are minimal.
However, with an elliptical trainer, you are closely bound to the machine. With so many moving parts, falling off the machine can happen. Having a machine that fits your properly is important.
Also, if the movement of the machine is not smooth and natural, you may get hurt. To avoid these situations, take a test ride before you make a purchase, if possible.
Adjust the stride, resistance, and incline based on your comfort level and start the beast. If you feel that the movement of the machine is not natural and smooth then choose another one.
This is not the right one for you. For more information on choosing the right elliptical, check out this elliptical guide.
3. Dressing for the occasion
When going to a gym, which shoe will you choose?
If you choose 2, touche…
Many times I’ve seen people choosing something like 1. When going to a gym, having proper gears is very important. It not only puts your mind in what I call “gym-mode” but also provides you with ample protection from injury.
These shoes will provide good cushioning and support while you are sweat fat off your body. Also, while selecting a shoe always select one according to your feet and built.
This means you should take into consideration your feet type and any special needs you may have. For example, I have bunions. So, I cannot wear anything of normal width.
I always have to wear a running shoe made for bunions. Also, for gym sessions, I always use shoes that can be used with treadmills or ellipticals.
Since they are specially designed for these machines, they will provide maximum support and protection. This goes for other gears as well.
Don’t follow the latest trend or fad. Dress according to your body.
4. Dealing with malfunction
Elliptical machines of commercial quality are built for rough use. With minimal maintenance, they can go a long way. However, if you are buying a cheap one, make sure you take good care of it.
Otherwise, the longevity of these machines will be reduced and you may find yourself buying another one sooner than you’d like.
The worst thing that may happen is that -You are working out on it in full swing and it abruptly stops. Result? You fly out of the machine due to inertia and land hard on the ground!
You can imagine what may happen then…right?
If you still want to go for an affordable option, check out this list of budget friendly ellipticals.
In case you’re looking for some sample elliptical workouts, I thought I’d include a couple. I’ve put together 2 sample workouts based on my experience. This will get you rolling right away.
1. Fat torch-er
This is a form of HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training.
What is HIIT?
As per Wikipedia:
High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training (SIT), is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods, until too exhausted to continue.
A good HIIT workout can be something like this
- Start warming up on your elliptical trainer with a little resistance (Don’t avoid resistance completely)
- Continue this for 5 mins
- After that crank up the resistance up to a level where you have to put in 80% your maximum effort.
- Workout for 60 secs
- Lower the resistance so that now your effort level is 20% of your maximum effort
- Pedal as fast as you can without losing balance or form.
- Do this for 60-90 secs.
- Repeat 3-7 for 20 min
- Then cool down for 5 min by leisurely pedaling the trainer
2. Body sculptor
This is a full body workout which focuses on both of your upper and lower body. If you do this exercise on a regular basis, it will help you get a toned and firm body.
For this, you will have to follow these steps:
- Start with a warm-up of 5 to 10 min.
- The resistance of your elliptical should be minimal (don’t avoid the resistance completely)
- Then gradually raise the incline and increase the resistance
- You should be able to maintain your form and do push and pull motion with the handlebars.
- If you feel you are not able to do it, decrease the resistance and incline till the point where you are able to do it again.
- Workout with this setting for at least 20 min.
- Then lower the incline and resistance to minimal and cool down for 5-10 min
When you are working out on an elliptical machine, it is definitely possible to burn away 750 calories every day. However, to do that, you may have to work out for at least 60 min or more.
Also, a lot of other factors are also involved like your age, sex, weight and fitness level. If you are a beginner and trying to burn 750 calories on the first day of your gym, you are up for a big surprise.
Start slow, build up the momentum and keep going.
I would also suggest that you try switching up your exercise routines periodically and include different types of exercise. This way your body will not get used to the elliptical and you will be able to get more effective workouts.