Getting Started with Elliptical Trainer Interval Training

Alternating between high and low bursts of effort, elliptical trainer interval training is an effective method for losing weight faster than using other settings on your machine.

As you might suspect, there is a difference between the pre-set programs on the machine. You might think that programs for heart rate, weight loss, endurance, and the elliptical trainer interval workouts are much the same, but they do offer different training goals.

What is Interval Training?

Adapted from the concept of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), exercise intervals are very short bursts of intense effort, followed by a recovery period that returns the heart rate and breathing to a lower but still elevated rate, followed by another burst, another rest, and so on.

In this way, the body increases cardiovascular production as well as gets to a level of oxygen deficiency that causes the body to shift to anaerobic energy production. In this state of anaerobic glycolysis, the body burns calories as well as consumes carbohydrates, but it also taps into using subcutaneous fat stores long after the workout ends.

If you don’t have Intervals on your home machine as a workout selection, you can design your own program using either the Manual selection or creating and saving a workout using a Custom mode.

Getting Started

If you are new to elliptical trainer interval training, it is recommended that you start slowly and build up your endurance level before going all out. Start with a 2-minute or 5-minute warm-up. You will want to set the resistance level (if you don’t have an Interval program) at about 4 or 5, with just a slight ramp incline (if available on your machine).

Push yourself to pedal vigorously for one minute, then go back down to a Level 1 resistance and recover for one or two minutes while you catch your breath. Repeat. Continue the intervals for up to 10 or 15 minutes, and close out with a 2-minute or 5-minute warm down period.

As you progress several weeks, increase the intensity on the machine (resistance and incline) but not the total length of the workout. Keep it under 20 minutes. You can experiment with resistance levels and the duration time of the sprints, but always keep the recovery periods of your anaerobic system to no longer than 90 seconds.

Mixing It Up

Ideally, you want to give your body alternative workouts including hill climbs, heart rate control, weight loss programs, and intervals, since a mix of exercises will keep your body “guessing” so it won’t adapt to any regular workout and remain in a plateau where you stop losing fat and your conditioning does not advance.

Use elliptical trainer interval training to get over a stalled period or plateau, and reach your weight loss goals all that much faster. By challenging your aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time, you will make dramatic improvements to your overall conditioning.

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