Elliptical Trainer - Questions/Your Experience

Lynne

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We got an elliptical trainer for a family Christmas present. We bought a Sole E25 and I'm excited about using it.

We'd thought about a treadmill but decided against one because of the impact on joints (and bouncing the timber floors in this old house).

As a red belt, I have to run 5 miles twice a year. At black belt, it will be 7 miles twice a year.

Can an elliptical condition me to run 5 miles?

What has been your experience with elliptical trainers as far as weight loss, toning, cardio conditioning, or anything else?
 

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We got an elliptical trainer for a family Christmas present. We bought a Sole E25 and I'm excited about using it.

We'd thought about a treadmill but decided against one because of the impact on joints (and bouncing the timber floors in this old house).

As a red belt, I have to run 5 miles twice a year. At black belt, it will be 7 miles twice a year.

Can an elliptical condition me to run 5 miles?

What has been your experience with elliptical trainers as far as weight loss, toning, cardio conditioning, or anything else?

I've used them before. I liked them and they gave me a fantastic cardio workout. A low impact exercise that kicked butt. :)

IMHO, if we want to improve in a certain area, we need to do the thing that needs improving, over and over and over. So, that being said, yes, the elliptical will help with cardio, but if you want to improve your running, you need to run.

And yes, there are arguments on running on a treadmill vs. the track or road. Personally, I like jogging/running on the treadmill. When I took my 1st degree BB test, I had to run. I did all my running on the road.
 
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Lynne

Lynne

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I've used them before. I liked them and they gave me a fantastic cardio workout. A low impact exercise that kicked butt. :)

IMHO, if we want to improve in a certain area, we need to do the thing that needs improving, over and over and over. So, that being said, yes, the elliptical will help with cardio, but if you want to improve your running, you need to run.

And yes, there are arguments on running on a treadmill vs. the track or road. Personally, I like jogging/running on the treadmill. When I took my 1st degree BB test, I had to run. I did all my running on the road.
I thought that running might be the best way to prepare for running! At least I can work on the cardio with the elliptical; it should really build my endurance for sparring.

Running on the road here is impractical much of the year. There's often ice and plow trucks, plus I live in a rural area (not necessarily the best for personal safety). My dojang has a full gym on the bottom floor but I know how it is when gyms are not close to home; it can be difficult to get to them. The funny thing is we run the 5 miles in March and most people don't start training outdoors here until April (the snow doesn't melt until April usually).

Eh...I can run in place, do my stairs, jump rope, and do the elliptical. I'll do the best I can.
 

elder999

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We've got an elliptical at home, and I've used the ones at the lab's wellness centers for years. I really like them-when I'm out of town, it's the first thing I look for in a gym. It's great cardio conditioning, and really helpful for those of us with knee issues.

That said though, I'll second what's already been said here. It's great for cardio, but not going to be best for conditioning you to run.What I do is limit my actual running to once or twice a week, and do the elliptical 3 times a week for a little more time than my runs, with the highest settings I can maintain my running pace with. This can make for some long elliptical workouts, though.....what this means for me under your conditions (since my weekly run actually is 5 miles) is doing the 5 miles once a week, and three elliptical workouts of 45 minutes. Except for when my knee is grieving me, I don't have much problem with 5 miles, and I'll occasionally run more or do a harder run. You also might try adding some jump rope to your routine-it's a little easier on the joints than running, but simulates the impact internally pretty well-get you through that stitch in the side thing....

Running wise and cardio wise, though, the treadmill is a better bang for the buck....
 
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Lynne

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We've got an elliptical at home, and I've used the ones at the lab's wellness centers for years. I really like them-when I'm out of town, it's the first thing I look for in a gym. It's great cardio conditioning, and really helpful for those of us with knee issues.

That said though, I'll second what's already been said here. It's great for cardio, but not going to be best for conditioning you to run.What I do is limit my actual running to once or twice a week, and do the elliptical 3 times a week for a little more time than my runs, with the highest settings I can maintain my running pace with. This can make for some long elliptical workouts, though.....what this means for me under your conditions (since my weekly run actually is 5 miles) is doing the 5 miles once a week, and three elliptical workouts of 45 minutes. Except for when my knee is grieving me, I don't have much problem with 5 miles, and I'll occasionally run more or do a harder run. You also might try adding some jump rope to your routine-it's a little easier on the joints than running, but simulates the impact internally pretty well-get you through that stitch in the side thing....

Running wise and cardio wise, though, the treadmill is a better bang for the buck....
I might see if I can get outdoors some. The other day it was 17 outside with ice on the road. Today, it's in the 40's and sand trucks have been going by all day. February will probably be terrible but where there is a will there is a way. I love walking/running at the local high school which is only a 1/4 mile away. Unfortunately, the track is under snow all winter.

I hadn't thought about this until just now. What the heck do you wear on your feet to run through snow and mud? We will be running through snow and mud in March.
 

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We got an elliptical trainer for a family Christmas present. We bought a Sole E25 and I'm excited about using it.

We'd thought about a treadmill but decided against one because of the impact on joints (and bouncing the timber floors in this old house).

As a red belt, I have to run 5 miles twice a year. At black belt, it will be 7 miles twice a year.

Can an elliptical condition me to run 5 miles?

What has been your experience with elliptical trainers as far as weight loss, toning, cardio conditioning, or anything else?

they seem faily versatile and and are good at not beating on your knees.
 

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I've had one for 5 and a half years, which for a few years I used faithfully 3-5 times a week. My main goal was cardio conditioning, and the elliptical was good for that in the absence of other options, esp. when the weather was bad outside. Certainly it saved my joints because running on pavement would have been my alternative cardio exercise.

However, I discovered that the elliptical didn't help much when it came to martial arts conditioning; sparring tends to be a start and stop thing, sudden bursts, side to side, etc.

ETA: and regarding weight loss, sorry to say, it didn't help me at all. I wasn't able to lose any weight until I dropped carbs from my diet.
 

arnisador

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I really like the elliptical trainer, but while it certainly improves your cardio I don't know if it's the best training for what you want! It's sure easier on my poor knees.
 
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Lynne

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I've had one for 5 and a half years, which for a few years I used faithfully 3-5 times a week. My main goal was cardio conditioning, and the elliptical was good for that in the absence of other options, esp. when the weather was bad outside. Certainly it saved my joints because running on pavement would have been my alternative cardio exercise.

However, I discovered that the elliptical didn't help much when it came to martial arts conditioning; sparring tends to be a start and stop thing, sudden bursts, side to side, etc.

ETA: and regarding weight loss, sorry to say, it didn't help me at all. I wasn't able to lose any weight until I dropped carbs from my diet.
I wonder if doing interval training on the elliptical would be more ideal for sparring? I didn't purchase one with automatic incline, but it's a snap to raise the height.
 
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Lynne

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I've had one for 5 and a half years, which for a few years I used faithfully 3-5 times a week. My main goal was cardio conditioning, and the elliptical was good for that in the absence of other options, esp. when the weather was bad outside. Certainly it saved my joints because running on pavement would have been my alternative cardio exercise.

However, I discovered that the elliptical didn't help much when it came to martial arts conditioning; sparring tends to be a start and stop thing, sudden bursts, side to side, etc.

ETA: and regarding weight loss, sorry to say, it didn't help me at all. I wasn't able to lose any weight until I dropped carbs from my diet.

I believe exercise can be overrated when it comes to fat loss unless you do at least two hours or more a day. Then appetite increases.

I have considered dropping carbs from my diet but not sure I can live the rest of my life without carbs. I guess I'm concerned about the initial drop in energy but most people say they feel better than ever after they get over the low-carb flu. I've even considered zero carbs for the supposed health benefits.
 
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Lynne

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I really like the elliptical trainer, but while it certainly improves your cardio I don't know if it's the best training for what you want! It's sure easier on my poor knees.
I used the trainer twice yesterday and it was like floating on air. I loved it. No knee pain, shin pain, or foot pain.

I only used it 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. But I had the resistance up to 15 out of 20 (just for 6 minutes) in the morning and up to 20 in the evening for a few minutes. I was sweating buckets and ready to cool down before the 20 minutes ended, lol. The perceived exertion I felt was similar to when we do 3 minute sparring rounds in class, then run laps, and spar again. It was intense.

The time flew by versus riding an Airdyne bike. Someone said they can use an elliptical and read at the same time (I read that when doing research one ellipticals). I don't know if I believe that.
 

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We have an elliptical and did a great deal of research first. The real reason that we bought this one was because of how similar it is to running, the movement is different from most of the other ellipticals that I have tried.

I have tried many ellipticals and use them frequently at the gym and at home and while they are not as good as actually running outside to improve running, they give you the tools that you need to make leaps and bounds with your outside running. With a varied incline and resistance program, they do a great job at building your leg muscles as well as improving your cardio. Those are the biggest building blocks to running....so then you just have to go outside and adjust to gravity and impact. For me at least, using the elliptical allows me to make large jumps in my outside running without actually running outside as often, although the outside running is still required. Try to find an indoor track! That's what I do!
 

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Someone said they can use an elliptical and read at the same time (I read that when doing research one ellipticals). I don't know if I believe that.

It's totally true, though it depends on the machine. Yours should have a place to rest a book or magazine-it usually covers up the time, and then it really goes by pretty well (though I usually just watch the news.....)
 

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Shuto

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I love the idea of getting cardio training without impacting my joints and I prefer the motion of an eliptical over a x-country ski motion. I also like the idea that I can build up quad strength since ours has a height adjustment. I would think that a bicycle machine would have similar benefits but I find them too boring for some reason.

I make an elliptical part of my regular training and I highly recommend them to others.
 
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Lynne

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It's totally true, though it depends on the machine. Yours should have a place to rest a book or magazine-it usually covers up the time, and then it really goes by pretty well (though I usually just watch the news.....)
There is a small ledge where I could place a book or magazine. Covering up the time is always a good thing. When I ride my Airdyne, I throw a towel across the timer so I can't see it.
 
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Lynne

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I love the idea of getting cardio training without impacting my joints and I prefer the motion of an eliptical over a x-country ski motion. I also like the idea that I can build up quad strength since ours has a height adjustment. I would think that a bicycle machine would have similar benefits but I find them too boring for some reason.

I make an elliptical part of my regular training and I highly recommend them to others.
For me, a stationary bike is very boring and the time drags by. Also, I think the elliptical may build at least some bone density where the bikes do not.
 
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Lynne

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We have an elliptical and did a great deal of research first. The real reason that we bought this one was because of how similar it is to running, the movement is different from most of the other ellipticals that I have tried.

I have tried many ellipticals and use them frequently at the gym and at home and while they are not as good as actually running outside to improve running, they give you the tools that you need to make leaps and bounds with your outside running. With a varied incline and resistance program, they do a great job at building your leg muscles as well as improving your cardio. Those are the biggest building blocks to running....so then you just have to go outside and adjust to gravity and impact. For me at least, using the elliptical allows me to make large jumps in my outside running without actually running outside as often, although the outside running is still required. Try to find an indoor track! That's what I do!
All good information. Thank you, Craig.

I'd like to find an indoor track. Actually, our dojang has a full gym with treadmills. But you know, that means joining a gym that is 25 miles away. Which means not getting to the gym. The real problem is we only have one car to share family-wise. I'll do my best during the March run but can be in good shape for the fall run (running outdoors late spring and summer).

Oh, this treadmill has an incline but it's manual. However, it's easy to adjust. You just jump off and pull a lever upward. So, one wouldn't really reduce their heart rate by jumping on and off.
 

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I want to answer your orignal question. Yes and no, the eliptical will help you with conditioning, but it does not transfer over to running. What you are looking for is called specificity. Specificity is the principle of training that states that sports training should be relevant and appropriate to the sport for which the individual is training in order to produce a training effect.
The Specificity Principle simply states that training must go from highly general training to highly specific training. The principle of Specificity also implies that to become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill. To be a good cyclist, you must cycle. The point to take away is that a runner should train by running and a swimmer should train by swimming.


I like the eliptical, it is great for my clients that have knee, ankle, or hip problems. I use it in place of treadmills for warming them up for workouts. And it can be a great exercise, but it will not directly help with running.
 

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I really dont like ellipticals all that much. They dont provide that great of a workout.

Running is much better in my opinion. Its really not bad for your joints like everyone says. The more running you do, the more your knees get used to the motions they are not used to. People prefer ellipticals because they are easier and most of them tell you how many calories you have burned. When those calories things are usually off 100-200 up or down. Usually down.

High intensity interval trianing is where its really at if you want to be a cardio machine. Its especially good for sparring. Sparring is anaerobic anyway not aerobic.
 

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