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Is doing cardio on the elliptical pointless?

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  • #16
    I have yet to see anybody at the gym with the treadmill cranked up to a high angle actually walking the way you would if you were walking up a steep mountain. They all hang on to the front of the machine and lean back so they are effectively walking level. It's the silliest thing I've ever seen.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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    • #17
      Of all the fixed machines at the gym I find the elipitcal one of the hardest on the joints.
      A treadmill or a spin bike would probably be better choices.
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      • #18
        Originally posted by Dirlot View Post
        Of all the fixed machines at the gym I find the elipitcal one of the hardest on the joints.
        A treadmill or a spin bike would probably be better choices.
        Yeah, in general I agree with this. I, however, own an elliptical that I like and doesn't stress the joints. (my physical therapist like it too). It's made by Octane Fitness Octane q35e Elliptical CrossTrainer | Octane Fitness q35 Series | Fitness Superstore

        The movement is more like a stepper and the elliptical movement adjusts to the person's stride length.
        Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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        • #19
          I think ellipticals are fine if your using them for your "move frequently at a slow pace" portion of the pyramid.

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          • #20
            The thing that drove me away from ellipticals a long time ago was that even with the elliptical motion of the pedals, it doesn't feel right at all. I feel like doing too much elliptical would screw up body mechanics for real movement like running and walking.

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            • #21
              I get that ellipticals (and pretty much any machine) have some value but seriously, what's the point?
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              • #22
                Originally posted by Coach Palfrey View Post
                I get that ellipticals (and pretty much any machine) have some value but seriously, what's the point?
                +1. Several years ago, I got a rowing ergometer. Could get a great workout. Could do serious intervals and sprints. Used to totally wreck myself (in a good way) with the output. And that never ending view of the wall in front of me drove me absolutely batty. I am good for 15-20 minutes in an indoor workout and then am done. I much much prefer to be outdoors. Even today at 1F. Planning ice skating and hill sprints for this afternoon.

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                • #23
                  I'd say the only real value of one is if you can't get outside for whatever reason (weather) and are still trying to get in some low-level cardio and moving at a slow/moderate rate of speed. But that's about all I can think of.

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                  • #24
                    Is the weather really that bad all the time? I have walked outside in the cold, in rain, in high winds where I have been knocked around by wind. I don't live where there is snow and ice. I have walked on ice when visiting my mom and it seemed quite dangerous, but I have some Kathoola microspikes that I think would have worked fine in such non-wilderness conditions. So with a decent jacket, microspikes and a non-hazardous day weatherwise, why not just walk outside?
                    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Forever Young View Post
                      That line of thought is so CW. Yes it can be a tool for that. The truth is though that what is constantly referred to as "cardio" is really not. It is aerobic exercise because it is carried out at a low enough intensity to be done for long duration. High intensity exercise such as brief, very intense weight training is far more taxing to the cardio vascular system, thus a far better workout for it. Sprint type intervals are far more taxing than any steady state training, thus much more productive. The heart is a muscle like any other in this regard. Would you strengthen your muscles better moving very light weights for hours a week or much heavier weights a few times a week?

                      I'm not saying that aerobic work is useless. Its good to move and be active. There are benefits. But real cardio training is training that is intense and brief in duration. Brief because you really couldn't do more.
                      Exactly. "Cardio" is a made up slang term. Cardio means your heart is working. Your heart doesnt know the difference between running or lifting weights, all it knows is that it needs to pump faster. Unless your specifically training for a marathon ect.. and working on specialized skills, theres no difference between different excersizes.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                        Is the weather really that bad all the time? I have walked outside in the cold, in rain, in high winds where I have been knocked around by wind. I don't live where there is snow and ice. I have walked on ice when visiting my mom and it seemed quite dangerous, but I have some Kathoola microspikes that I think would have worked fine in such non-wilderness conditions. So with a decent jacket, microspikes and a non-hazardous day weatherwise, why not just walk outside?
                        Well, when it hits the -30 range here, I tend to avoid being outside for some crazy reason. Oh, wait, right, that whole "exposed skin freezes in seconds" thing sort of puts me off.

                        However, the gym I use has an indoor walking/running track, and I'd rather use that than a machine any day. The only cardio-type machines I use are the bikes for tabata intervals or the rower for rowing sprints.

                        Also, if you like to walk, I know at least here that many shopping malls open up well before the stores open so that people can mall walk. It's not the ideal (I hate malls) but it's another option for the depths of winter.
                        “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                        Owly's Journal

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Owly View Post
                          Well, when it hits the -30 range here, I tend to avoid being outside for some crazy reason. Oh, wait, right, that whole "exposed skin freezes in seconds" thing sort of puts me off.
                          Ll, it is really all about the clothes. I remember a week I spent in Inuvik one winter. Whenever the temp warmed to -30C, I would go out for a run.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Kingofturtles View Post
                            Exactly. "Cardio" is a made up slang term. Cardio means your heart is working. Your heart doesnt know the difference between running or lifting weights, all it knows is that it needs to pump faster. Unless your specifically training for a marathon ect.. and working on specialized skills, theres no difference between different excersizes.
                            Then why did you say earlier that an elliptical is worthless? Your body has no idea it is on elliptical if you work hard enough. Right?
                            Just sprint your ass off until you can't go any further, rest, repeat. Doesn't matter what kind of exercise you are doing or if you are outside or inside on a machine.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by OneDeltaTenTango View Post
                              Ll, it is really all about the clothes. I remember a week I spent in Inuvik one winter. Whenever the temp warmed to -30C, I would go out for a run.
                              I've lived here pretty much my whole life, and the older I get the more I hate the cold. I am willing to run outdoors down to about -20, but beyond that, I'm happy there's an indoor track. I have all the gear, but I still hate winter. If it wasn't for having all my friends and family and liking my community here, I'd move south in a heartbeat.
                              “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                              Owly's Journal

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Owly View Post
                                I've lived here pretty much my whole life, and the older I get the more I hate the cold. I am willing to run outdoors down to about -20, but beyond that, I'm happy there's an indoor track. I have all the gear, but I still hate winter. If it wasn't for having all my friends and family and liking my community here, I'd move south in a heartbeat.
                                I hear you. My tolerance has gone down over the years (for cold and many other things!) but I still love the wilds and the glory of winter.

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