But, it’s also the most popular.
And I understand why.
Listen, it’s not your fault that you use it.
After all, it’s easy on your brain, and you like that because of your crazy, busy, stressful life. Heck, this piece of equipment let’s you turn OFF your brain and practically sleepwalk your way through a so-called workout.
(Which is why you won’t get results, of course.)
The equipment, of course, is the elliptical machine.
You step on, turn on the TV attached to it, and zone out as you rhythmically pump back and forth.
And again, THAT is the problem. It’s a waste of time.
Yesterday in the gym at the Stamford Marriott hotel, ALL of the elliptical machines were in use at 5:30am. And everyone on the machines was struggling with two things:
a) Love Handles and b) not sweating, despite the fact they were on the machine for over 30 minutes!
Those good folks would be much better off with a bodyweight circuit workout. But even then most people – and worse, trainers! – make the mistake of choosing terrible exercises. Yesterday afternoon Women’s Health magazine contacted me to review a popular online high-intensity bodyweight workout.
Most of the exercises from the circuit were terrible choices – such as the crunch (damaging to the spine and certainly not HIGH-intensity), and bench dips (damaging to the shoulder joint).
So another issue with bad workouts is with exercise selection.
But with the right exercises, you can do an amazing workout in 4 minutes that is equivalent to 30 minutes of slow cardio.
That would require 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.
The key is to choose total body exercises, not isolation exercises like the ones listed above.
Here’s a better workout.
Craig’s High-Intensity Circuit (CHIC) <= Bally the Dog approved
Do all exercises for 20 seconds and rest 10 seconds between each
a) Total Body Extension
b) Pushups (use the hardest version you can do – spiderman pushups for advanced, pushups for intermediate, and kneeling for beginner)
c & d) Lunge (20 seconds on one side, rest 10, then 20 on other side)
e) TRX Bodyweight Row (if possible, if not, then jumping jacks)
f) Cross-body Mountain Climbers or Mountain Climbers
g) Bodyweight Squat
h) Close-grip Pushups or Kneeling Close-Grip Pushups
8 exercises of 20-10 = 4 minutes.
Those 4 minutes are a much BETTER use of your time than 30 minutes on a silly elliptical machine.
You can do the CHIC circuit as little as for one round or for as many as 5 rounds. Just one circuit will boost fitness as much as 30 minutes of slow cardio.
So that is a much, much better way to train.
Stop the elliptical insanity,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS – I heard Bally the Dog sent you an email yesterday…
…that sneaky lil’ STINKER!
Always sneaking into my email.