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  1. #1
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    comparison bicycle and elliptical

    i'm finally up and at it again after a bout with sciatica, whew! what a mess that was...

    anyway, the weather's too nasty for me to wanna ride outside... i have an elliptical, how do you think they compare to riding?

    i go 20 to 30 minutes twice a day, i feel it, but i'm not really all that tired... its not like pumping up hills...

    maybe i need a more expensive one? this is just one of the kmart ones... nothing special on it, nothing like the ones at the gym... i can't think of the brand they have right now, but its great... can control resistance, and all that stuff...

  2. #2
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    If nothing else, it's better than nothing.
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    Senior Moment Member jagraham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mad mike View Post
    i go 20 to 30 minutes twice a day, i feel it, but i'm not really all that tired... its not like pumping up hills...

    maybe i need a more expensive one? this is just one of the kmart ones...

    Perhaps you could try some ankle weights? They're not terribly expensive and you might be able to keep using your KMart model a little longer.

    Judy

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    Senior Member snaproll's Avatar
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    comparison bicycle and elliptical

    (new guy here - first post)

    I use an elliptical a couple of times a week now that it's colder. I do a hard 10 minutes on the elliptical and then some barbell work - presses, curls, rows - then back on the elliptical for another 10 minutes - then back to the barbells. I usually throw in some ab work as well. I try to do this for an hour and fell like a get a good cardio workout as well as some strength training. It also breaks up the monotony of 60 minutes on an elliptical.

    I usually consider the elliptical workout a "BTN" workout - better than nothing.

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    i'll keep on ellipticalling, maybe up the temp some... right now, i'm trying to stay between 55 & 60 rpms... and it appears to me that it takes two steps to complete a revolution.... seems fast to me, but maybe its slow in comparison to what everyone else does...

    as an old marching band guy and teacher, that seems to me to be about the 120 bpm tempo we used to try to maintain on the parade route, which i think i remember was almost 3.5 mph... ??? a fair speed to me..

    my wife, walks a lot for exercise says she thinks thats a pretty good speed... so i'll keep it up until the weather fairs up a bit...

    i know i'm working up a pretty good sweat

  6. #6
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    You can also do interval training on an elliptical. Go hard for 3 minutes then reduce your speed (cadence if you wish) for 3 minutes and then hard again. I do 3:20 at 230 cadence (115 bike cadence) at a full ramp height and 6 on the resistance, then I reduce it to 180 minimum (90 bike cadence) for 3:20 and I do that for 50 minutes and then stretch my quads for 10 minutes. The calories burned is around 1575 per the machine.

    Change what you do and the resistance levels and your cadence. If you wear a heart rate monitor (great training tool), you can see what you are doing, and how much harder you will have to work to get the same heart rates in a few weeks.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572 View Post
    You can also do interval training on an elliptical. Go hard for 3 minutes then reduce your speed (cadence if you wish) for 3 minutes and then hard again. I do 3:20 at 230 cadence (115 bike cadence) at a full ramp height and 6 on the resistance, then I reduce it to 180 minimum (90 bike cadence) for 3:20 and I do that for 50 minutes and then stretch my quads for 10 minutes. The calories burned is around 1575 per the machine.

    Change what you do and the resistance levels and your cadence. If you wear a heart rate monitor (great training tool), you can see what you are doing, and how much harder you will have to work to get the same heart rates in a few weeks.
    what is the brand of the elliptical you have? i would like that...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572 View Post
    You can also do interval training on an elliptical. Go hard for 3 minutes then reduce your speed (cadence if you wish) for 3 minutes and then hard again. I do 3:20 at 230 cadence (115 bike cadence) at a full ramp height and 6 on the resistance, then I reduce it to 180 minimum (90 bike cadence) for 3:20 and I do that for 50 minutes and then stretch my quads for 10 minutes. The calories burned is around 1575 per the machine.

    Change what you do and the resistance levels and your cadence. If you wear a heart rate monitor (great training tool), you can see what you are doing, and how much harder you will have to work to get the same heart rates in a few weeks.
    i think i'm doing something similar, but using a different method... i've taken a laptop bak to my workout room and have logged onto a web radio station and i'm attempting to keep up with the tempo of the tunes they play... since its an oldies station, most of the stuff is about 120 bpm... but i get to slow down a little during the id breaks and while the dj is talking

    i thought about a disco station, i saw some of those... i may try that

    thanks!

  9. #9
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    The elliptical is a Precor EFX544 (I think).

    I gained a lot of weight this week, so I worked myself a little harder today and burned 1650 calories per the machine in 50 minutes. It was more of the 230 - 250 range of cadence, which they call strides. I did 3:20 at the 180 range, but then it was never the same after that. I was pushing my heart rate harder and not watching the time as much.
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  10. #10
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    on my 2nd session today, i cranked the tension on mine down until i couldn't move the wheel, then i eased it back just until i could... wow!!! i went 33 minutes at almost the 3.5 mph pace i'd been using and it was more realistic... like riding my bike...

    the little computer showed the usual 400 caloric burn though... i'm sure there was more...

    i'm looking at trainers right now... i wasn't aware there was such a thing until i saw it in another thread...

    a talk with the lbs owner later in the week will help, i'm sure...

    seey'all! and happy new year to all!

  11. #11
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    I love elliptical workouts! When the weather got nasty, and I stopped being able to commute I joined the local YMCA and now spend my lunch "hours" (I get a little liberal with my hours, mind you ) at the Y destroying myself on the elliptical . I use a "cross-training" program on the Percor.. something and it works great! I burn quite a few calories and always feel great afterward. I alternate that with spin bike "rides" every other day, and the caloric burn seems to be near each other. Depends on the day, honestly, according to my HRM. I tend to push myself harder on the spin bikes, but generally "feel" more destroyed from the elliptical. If that makes sense?

  12. #12
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mad mike View Post
    on my 2nd session today, i cranked the tension on mine down until i couldn't move the wheel, then i eased it back just until i could... wow!!! i went 33 minutes at almost the 3.5 mph pace i'd been using and it was more realistic... like riding my bike...

    the little computer showed the usual 400 caloric burn though... i'm sure there was more...

    i'm looking at trainers right now... i wasn't aware there was such a thing until i saw it in another thread...
    !
    I went with a set of rollers, rather than a trainer, because on a trainer you just sit on the bike and pedal. On the rollers you have to keep your balance and ride similar to what you would do on the street. I also bought mine used off of a craigslist ad that I posted. You wouldn't believe how many people own them, but never use them. Same thing for trainers.
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  13. #13
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    The complex we just moved into has a couple of elliptical machines in the gym, and I'm starting back up on my well-rounded exercise routine again. I've got my 22-25 miles r/t rolling hilly commute 4 days a week, and I'm adding dumbell and Nautilus weights back in 2-3 times a week, and time on either the elliptical or the rowing machine.
    I have a family history of knee problems, so I need to be careful with my exercise. No running, no deep bending, so the elliptical seems like a good, low-impact option. I spent 15 minutes on it last night after doing some lifting, and I think I'm going to enjoy it. It's an odd feeling, walking but never lifting your feet from those platforms. Slightly disorienting at first, I think. After a couple minutes, I was adjusted to the feeling and I turned up the resistance to where it felt like walking up a very slight hill, and bumped my cadence up to 70-75.

    Question: Do most of you who use elliptical trainers hold the stationary handholds, the "ski pole" handholds that move with the foot platforms, or just free-balance without using your hands?
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  14. #14
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post

    Question: Do most of you who use elliptical trainers hold the stationary handholds, the "ski pole" handholds that move with the foot platforms, or just free-balance without using your hands?
    It depends upon what I am doing. If I am going for a high cadence to increase my heart rate to zone 4, I am holding on to the stationary grips and getting my strides to 230 or above (bike cadence would be 115 or higher), but if I am doing a 180 stride (90 cadence) I will do it like I was walking and not hold on to anything. I rarely use the moving poles as I really didn't like the way they feel. I currently only use an elliptical that doesn't have the moving poles, so it is more comfortable for me without.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member snaproll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Question: Do most of you who use elliptical trainers hold the stationary handholds, the "ski pole" handholds that move with the foot platforms, or just free-balance without using your hands?
    I keep a pretty high cadence when I use the elliptical, so I usually hold on to the fixed handholds. If I'm going backwards at a slower pace I might go without any hands, but I never use the "ski poles".

  16. #16
    NadaKid wayne pattee's Avatar
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    I have a couple of cheap machines set up in a spare bedroom for when there's not enough snow to XC ski or too nasty to ride bike.


  17. #17
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    I don't know, but I did some time on an elliptical yesterday. (first effort on one.) I found some muscles in my legs that biking on the stationary hasn't.
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