The elliptical trainer is one of the most popular cardio machines at the gym because it is low impact and works the legs, glutes, hamstrings and even the upper body if you don’t hold onto the railings and instead work your arms back and forth.  But many exercisers will stride along without paying attention to intensity…reading a magazine!  We know you have done it!  J

Don’t read a magazine! Monitor your intensity this way:

Most elliptical machines at your gym will have not only a “Resistance” and “Crossramp” measurement, but also something called “Strides per Minute (SPM).”  SPM is a measure of how fast your legs are moving and it is a great way to monitor your intensity.  For example, many of the elliptical workouts in MGT dictate a certain resistance, but leave the SPM up to you.  However, if you are at Level 15 Resistance, but your legs are barely moving, it may not be the amount of intensity needed to generate great results.  For your higher resistances (10 and above), aim for above 140 SPM, while your lower resistances can allow for SPMs as high as 200.  On your recovery segment, move as slow as you like, but remember, during your hard intervals, a tough resistance + a challenging SPM = great results!

Below is a great NEW elliptical workout, not featured in any of the My Gym Trainer books.  As you move through the different resistances, focus on your strides-per-minute (SPM) and do your best to maintain your perceived exertion between 8-9 (on a scale of 1-10) on the tough intervals.  During the rest periods, go at whatever speed you want and recover slowly so that you can push just as hard on the next bout.