14 May 2007

Maximum Workouts

Elliptical trainers can burn calories more efficiently then most other fitness equipment. This is due to the fact they work the upper and lower body simultaneously. This results in the heart rate climbing more quickly. Consequently it requires less time to burn comparable calories on other machines.

With an elliptical trainer the energy expended is optimized. As the legs are being worked, the back, shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps are also working - making it possible to burn more calories in less time.

But don't start thinking that an elliptical trainer is one of those miracle machines that you see on infomercials. To burn calories you must commit to extended workouts at a reasonably resistance level.

It should be noted studies have shown that working out on an elliptical can trick the body into believing it is working easier than it actually is. That is due to the fact that you are exercising so many muscle groups at once. Therefore, as you're burning more calories in less time on an elliptical trainer, your body feels as though it doesn't have to work as hard to achieve its goals. This phenomenon is known as the "Rate of Perceived Exertion."

Resistance = Calorie Burn

Regardless, if you are not applying resistance to your muscles, you are not getting an adequate burn. It is the resistance that builds your muscles and gets your heart pumping. It is the resistance level that ultimately determines the amount of calories you will burn.

You can control the resistance level either manually, or with other then budget ellipticals, through the various programs. In particular, "Interval Programs" can optimize your calorie burn. By alternating between a high exertion level and periods of recovery you can get the most productive workout in the least amount of time. In fact, in health clubs the hottest trends in exercising and weight loss is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This new form of "aerobic" exercising allows the user to burn calories faster.

Before you begin any new exercise program it is important to check with your doctor, and to get a feel for your exertion level. This is particularly true with individuals who have not exercised in quite some time. You want to burn calories, but you do not want to burn yourself out.