A cross trainer or an elliptical trainer as it is otherwise known is one of the most common fitness equipment both in the gym and at home. It is mainly low-impact cardiovascular equipment making it a perfect option if you want to lose weight.
So to answer the question, a cross trainer is good for weight loss. It is designed to mimic cross country skiing, climbing a staircase, and running without the risk of hurting your joints. Many athletes or beginners are advised to use a cross trainer first before venturing into high-intensity workouts as it strengthens and tones your muscles thus preparing them for harder tasks.
According to professional fitness trainers, you can lose an average of 9 calories a minute on a cross-trainer if you have the right routine. This figure can either be higher or lower depending on the intensity of your workout.
Like most gym equipment, you need to do your research on how a cross-trainer works and the most common hacks in order to reap the maximum benefits. Below are a few of the main ones.
Weight loss is a journey that is unique to everyone. It is imperative to try out various routines until you find one that your body responds to and then build your stamina to be able to sustain the said routine.
However, there are a few universal tips that have been proven to work for the majority of the population. Here are some of them to get you started;
1.Keep your body guessing
Many people begin to see results hence end up sticking to the same routine day in day out. In as much as it seems tempting, you will notice that it reaches a point where you stop seeing any viable results as your body will stop responding as it will view your workout as routine hence not burn any fat.
As you progress, try and increase the resistance level with one step every week and vary the incline angles ever so often. This way, your body will always keep guessing and your stamina will improve.
Alternatively, you can alternate your elliptical workouts with other equipment. Remember a cross trainer is a low-impact equipment hence will not give you a defined body like lifting weights would.
2. Warm up is imperative
Before hopping on to a cross trainer, ensure you warm up your joints and muscles. This way, you evade the risk of causing any undue shock to your body.
This especially goes to those people who are recovering from an injury or are suffering from any joint-related disease such as arthritis. Remember, hurting your muscles will take you back a few steps on your fitness journey as your body will focus on repairing the injury fast instead of burning calories.
As warm up, try to stretch, jog or even do a short sprint.
3. Use the HIIT technique
HIIT is basically means high intensity interval training. It is where you train at a high intensity for a short period of time before taking a break and starting again.
Research has it that your body is more likely to withstand short intervals of high-intensity workouts as opposed to a long session of the same. The HIIT technique has proven to be very effective in losing weight if at all you are only using one piece of equipment- this makes it perfect for those with brittle or recovering muscles.
So if you want to lose 1 kilo, you will need to do at least 10 hours of HIIT on your elliptical. In order to achieve this, you can either do 1 hour a day twice a week for a month or do 20 minutes of intense sessions a day for a month. Both will result in the same 8300 kcal calorie burn.
4.Follow the set guidelines
Over time, professional fitness enthusiasts have conducted various studies in order to provide consumers with an overview of the most successful routines accompanied by how many calories you will lose. It will be reckless not to use this extensive research to your advantage.
One instance is where the American heart association advises that you need at least 30 minutes daily of moderate to low-intensity workout in order to have perfect cardiovascular health whilst still burning the excess fat.
For example, if you weigh 155 pounds, you will be able to burn at least 335 calories if you follow the set schedule. This coupled with a healthy diet will easily get you closer to your weight goals in no time.
5.Diet plays a huge role
As the saying goes, you cannot outwork a bad diet. No matter how intense you work out, if you continue eating whatever you please and not taking account of the calories, your body will remain the same.
What will happen is, you will tend to work off the calories you ate the previous day instead of actually working of actually burning the fat in the calories that you have stored.
According to the Mayo clinic, try cutting off at least 500 calories a day from your current diet and this will contribute greatly to your weight loss journey with or without a workout routine.
You can do this by swapping your fatty meat to lean meat, creamy dairy to low fat, or even vegetarian dairy products, opting for vegetables as opposed to grain, and lastly, reducing the amount of cooking fat and sugar used in preparing your meals.
This may sound like small feats but they actually contribute greatly to your overall weight.
6.Focus mostly on your fat burning zone
We all have a certain heart rate level where if we achieve it, we tend to lose weight fast. By identifying this rate, you will find that you achieve your calorie burn goals a little faster hence giving you the motivation to continue pursuing your goals.
In order to decipher your fat-burning zone, you will need a cross-trainer with a heart rate sensor or a fitness watch that can tell you the same. Your heart rate is basically how many times your heart can beat per minute.
Basically, your maximum heart rate can be calculated when you minus 220 from your age. Let’s say you are 25; your maximum heart rate will be (220 – 25). In turn, your fat-burning zone is 70% of your maximum heart rate.
So, during your workout sessions, you will need to ensure you are above the fat burning zone in order for you to get the most out of your fitness efforts.
As the title of this article suggests, I assume a lot of you are here because they want to lose weight with the help of a cross-trainer. However, there are very many other benefits you will be getting from this machine. Here are a few of them;
A cross trainer is one of the best low intensity machines that is designed to help you burn calories and strengthen your muscles. The best part about the elliptical is, you will not put a lot of pressure on your muscles and joints hence making it viable for use with those recovering from accidents or those with brittle joints.
The fact that most come with a resistance lever allows you to crank up the intensity of your workout over time hence giving you space to grow at your own pace.