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Thread: Is doing cardio on the elliptical pointless?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Is doing cardio on the elliptical pointless?

    I am so used to conventional wisdom that you have to do 45 minutes of cardio in order to burn calories and get in shape. I have always been a huge runner until I got an injury that has prevented me from running.

    So in the meantime I have been doing the mountain climber elliptical 5-6 times a week 45 minutes, but honestly have not noticed ANY change in my body composition.

    I know mark talks about steady cardio, but I haven't exercised in two months due to an injury so I thought doing cardio would start to help me get in shape.

    Should I be doing weight training/resistance training instead?

    i'm 5'6 112 pounds, a little skinny/fat right now. Am not necessarily looking to lose weight, but would like lower fat percentage, more definition in stomach and arms.

  2. #2
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    You can't add muscle without giving it a reason to grow. The only reason it will grow is if you ask more of it than you did before. Just hopping up and down on an elliptical doesn't really ask it for more. It just gives it what it's always gotten and then it adapts and nothing happens.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  3. #3
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    Muscle will shrink if you chronically restrict calories because it's high maintenance.

    Exercising will give your body a reason to maintain muscle provided you are not on a low calorie diet.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  4. #4
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    I'd say the way you are doing it is pointless. I use ellyptical a lot for cardio because it is easy on my knees and lower back, but I do it at a high intensity for 15-20 minutes. When I was losing weight when I first started the primal lifestyle, sprint intervals on the ellyptical helped me drop 60 pounds. Intensity is the key.

    On the other hand, yes, you do need strength training as well. Combining the two is a very powerful prescription for fat loss.
    "Suffer no guilt yee who wield this in the name of Crom"
    Quote on the Father's Sword

  5. #5
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    Jun 2012
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    I do Sprint 8 on a recumbent bike and I feel like it does wonders. I agree 100% with the comment above. High intensity, low volume is the key to all exercise whether it is "cardio" or strength training.

  6. #6
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    The eliptical is one of the most useless things in the gym. I hate people going on that thing trying to lose fat. Mite as well go sit on the sitdown recumbant bike and go at a snails pace while you read your kindle.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingofturtles View Post
    The eliptical is one of the most useless things in the gym. I hate people going on that thing trying to lose fat. Mite as well go sit on the sitdown recumbant bike and go at a snails pace while you read your kindle.
    An elliptical is just a tool. It can be a great tool if you use it correctly. Same for a bike, recumbent bike, treadmill, stair stepper or any other piece of equipment.

  8. #8
    Try some moderate barbell complexes to keep your HR up

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingofturtles View Post
    The eliptical is one of the most useless things in the gym. I hate people going on that thing trying to lose fat. Mite as well go sit on the sitdown recumbant bike and go at a snails pace while you read your kindle.
    I don't know, and am far from an expert but,
    I couldn't run sprint last winter due to planteurs factitus, sore as hell heel,

    I was able to sprint the elliptical though,
    set a 20 minute hill program and did 30 seconds on each "hill", then recovery on the letoff, repeat.
    this was a higher end commercial unit, but you ought to be able to set a base model to a discomfort level and sprint too.
    couple people told me they thought I was gonna tear the machine apart or lift off during the sprint
    it's how you use the tool

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilc11 View Post
    I don't know, and am far from an expert but,
    I couldn't run sprint last winter due to planteurs factitus, sore as hell heel,

    I was able to sprint the elliptical though,
    set a 20 minute hill program and did 30 seconds on each "hill", then recovery on the letoff, repeat.
    this was a higher end commercial unit, but you ought to be able to set a base model to a discomfort level and sprint too.
    couple people told me they thought I was gonna tear the machine apart or lift off during the sprint
    it's how you use the tool
    And if I read the OP's subject question,,,,,
    is cardio worthless ??

    If it's cardio you're after, the elip is just another tool.

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