Elliptical Machines : Swingers Discussion 112095
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TOPIC: Elliptical Machines
Created by: The_Deviants
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FL's nailed it.

I'm no pro, but I took a course for personal fitness along with basic consumer nutrition - they told us the same thing about exercise machines... the muscle memory kicks in and the routine becomes less efficient. For fat-burning, the first ten minutes or so (varies from person to person) is glycogen (carbs) usage. When the body sees this isn't short term, it will switch to burning fat so that your sugar level wont drop too low. I was told that the difference in efficiency isn't THAT BIG of a deal, but you should add some variation and resistances to the workout. Try swimming a few times... that uses every muscle.

Rochester NY
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Ellipticals and other machines that provide a framework for aerobic exercise ("cardio") can be programmed for a variety of resistances and challenges. They will burn calories (that's what the aero is about in aerobic) and can be set to provide sufficient resistance to increase muscle.

No machine "selectively" burns fat. Glycogen is typically the initial fuel that is used, and then fat is burned somewhat later after glycogen stores are reduced.There are data to suggest that doing "sprints" or more conventionally "interval training" will provide periods in which glycogen is less efficiently mobilized and therefore fat is burned. But the typical "fat burning" setting on ellipticals is a misnomer.

What happens after a month on any machine doing the same routine is that you will develop some muscle "memory" and the workout becomes a little less efficient at either burning fat or developing muscle--your body has adapted to that specific workout.

Advice #1--check with your doctor and a qualified personal trainer for reliable advice about exercise physiology.

Advice #2--"Mix up" cour workouts to create muscle "confusion" and stay out of the rut.

Advice #3--If okay with your doctor and you want to focus on fat burning, interval training often produces surprisingly effective results for the time invested.

Advice #4--Target heart rate is age-dependent. Target is often described as a percent of maximum. Maximum is often estimated as 220-age(in years). Intervals that get you to 90+% of maximum for 30 seconds alternating with a recovery--but still active--period of one minute have been fairly effective as a training regimen. Again, check with your doc.

Hope this helps.


Atlanta GA
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I am doing between 45-60 min 5x a week on an elliptical machine. I do it to help burn extra calories and keep my heartrate at a sustained level for a set duration. (right now I am keeping it at about 150 for the set time)

I have a friend who is trying to tell me that after about 30 days (approximate) of using the elliptical that the fat burning it does is greatly lessened and you start to increase muscle instead.

So for weight loss you should do it 30 days on and 30 days off.

I know once you hit a certain level you dont lose anymore weight unless you change up your routine and/or diet, but at the same time if you take away the cardio and calorie burning isnt that doing you more harm?

Murfreesboro TN
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TOPIC: Elliptical Machines