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Advanced Level Fat Burning and Aerobic Base 1 Building - Elliptical Trainer

This workout allows you to continue to develop your aerobic fitness and continues to challenge your muscle metabolism to burn higher percentages of fat during your workouts. The intermediate level fat burning workouts helped to solidify a base which will be further cultivated during this phase. This workout still emphasizes lower levels of intensity to achieve maximum fat burning. A benefit of doing this workout is that you will begin to build a base of aerobic fitness and endurance which will enable you to take on cardio and weight loss workouts in the future.

This workout requires the use of an elliptical trainer with an adjustable ramp (incline). Ellipticals provide an excellent aerobic workout without the impact associated with running or walking. It has been found that users have a lower rate of perceived exertion on the elliptical as compared to other forms of exercise. The elliptical trainer provides a whole body workout when you use a hands-free approach, similar to walking, jogging or running depending on the stride frequency (slower or faster leg motion). Additionally, the adjustable ramp allows you to target various muscle groups to begin to condition your muscles, tendons and joints along with your fat burning metabolism.

The advanced fat burning program will help you to achieve even greater rates of fat burning which, with the training you will have completed thus far, will carry over into higher intensity workouts in the future. It works by maintaining a relatively low intensity in order to allow the muscles to obtain plenty of oxygen from increased circulation for optimal fat burning.

In addition to increasing fat burning in the muscles, this workout also serves as a foundation for the aerobic base that you will develop further through cardio-conditioning training at a later point in your fitness program.

Prior Experience:

Prior Exercise Experience:2 weeks of beginner level fat burning workouts and 2 weeks of intermediate level fat burning workouts either on the elliptical or the treadmill.
Medical Clearance: Consult your physician before starting or advancing any exercise program.

Workout Detail:

Precor Machine:Any EFX with CrossRamp® technology
Workout Duration: 30 minutes
Frequency: 4-5 days per week.
Number of Weeks until Advancement from this Phase: Completion of 2 weeks of consistent workouts 4 days per week.
Next Recommended Workout Type: Beginning cardio workouts; you will have completed the fat burning phase, and your muscles will continue to burn high rates of fat during the cardio workouts.
Program: Manual
Intensity Level: 65-80% of predicted HR max. This workout should feel fairly easy (9-11 on the modified Borg scale). Warm-up and cool down are always between 55-65% of predicted HR max.
Resistance: Varies depending on individual heart rate response. Heavier people will be able to get to higher resistance levels due to the effect of gravity while lighter people will need to stay at the lowest settings in order to keep their heart rate in the target range.
Strides per minute: Minimum of 120 strides per minute with an to increase to 150 strides per minute as long as your heart rate is in target range. The upper range of the stride rate for the fat burning boost interval is 160 strides per minute.

Pre-Workout Tips:

  • Incorporate a general flexibility program as part of your regular exercise routine. If you plan to stretch prior to your workout, it's best to warm up your muscles first with 3-5 minutes of brisk walking.
  • Begin the workout adequately hydrated. Consume 8-12 ounces of water or sports drink within 1 hour prior to the workout.
  • Begin the workout properly nourished. Consume a meal or snack containing carbohydrates and protein 1 hour prior to the workout.
  • Do not work out if you are sick, injured or have a fever.
  • Use the handrail grips to see your target heart rate or purchase a HR belt which allows you to see your HR during the workout.
  • Calculate your target HR range:
    • Calculate your predicted HR max: [220 - your age = _________ ]
    • Calculate the four following HR's:
      • Warm-up / cool down low limit:Multiply your predicted HR max by 0.55 to get your low limit HR for the warm up.
      • Warm-up / cool down high limit:Multiply your predicted HR max by 0.65 to get your upper limit HR for the warm up.
      • Fat burning low limit:Same as your warm up high limit.
      • Fat burning high limit:Multiply your predicted HR max by 0.75 to get your upper limit HR for the fat burning intervals.
      • Cardio low limit:Same as fat burning high limit.
      • Cardio high limit:Multiply your predicted HR max by 0.85 to get your upper limit HR for the cardio intervals.
      • Write these 4 separate values on a piece of paper to refer to during your workout.

0-3 Minutes Warm Up
HR Target Zone = 55-65% of Predicted HR max

Begin moving comfortably, finding a stride rate that allows you to reach your target zone without having to increase the resistance much. Try not to increase the resistance unless you are tolerating a stride rate of 130 and staying in your target zone. Increase the ramp to level 3 to simulate walking or jogging. Try letting go of the handlebars and stabilizing your body by engaging your trunk and abdominal muscles. Use the bars for balance and to check your heart rate as needed.

3-7 Minutes Fat Burning Interval
Target HR range = 65-75% of Predicted HR max.
Target Muscle Group = Quadriceps and Calves

Keep the ramp incline low. Begin increasing your strides per minute to keep your HR in the 65-75% range. If you are up to 130 strides per minute, you may increase the resistance setting to bring your HR to 65-75% of the predicted maximum HR. Your breathing should be comfortable and you should be able to converse without shortness of breath. If you are having breathing difficulty, slow down until you are comfortable.

7-12 Minutes Fat Burning Boost Interval
Target HR range = 75-80% of Predicted HR max.
Target Muscle Group = Variable

Choose a ramp setting that is comfortable. Continue to aim for a minimum of 130 strides per minute. Do not increase the resistance unless you are able to stay in your HR range at 130 strides per minute. Allow your stride rate to increase to a maximum of 160 strides per minute as long as you remain in the target range.

12-17 Minutes Fat Burning Interval
Target HR range 65-75% of Predicted HR max. BACK-PEDAL
Target Muscle Group = Quadriceps and Shins

Keep the ramp at a moderately low level. Try back-pedaling, keeping your stride rate at 100-130 per minute until you are proficient in pedaling backwards. Use your abdominal, back and pelvic muscles to stabilize along with your gluts. When you are really good at this, try letting go of the hand grips to engage your core stabilizing muscles even more! Do not increase the resistance unless you are able to stay in your HR range at 130 strides per minute. With practice, the target stride rate range is 130-150 strides per minute. If you can only stay in your target ranges by working at lower stride rates, that's fine. Just remember to keep the resistance as low as possible until you are able to increase your stride rate to the minimum requirement. It may take days or weeks to achieve this fitness improvement.

17-22 Minutes Fat Burning Boost Interval
Target HR range = 75-80% of Predicted HR max.
Target Muscle Group = Variable

Choose a ramp setting that is comfortable. Continue to aim for a minimum of 130 strides per minute. Do not increase the resistance unless you are able to stay in your HR range at 130 strides per minute. Allow your stride rate to increase to a maximum of 160 strides per minute as long as you remain in the target range.

22-27 Minutes Fat Burning Interval
Target HR range = 65-75% of Predicted HR max.
Target Muscle Group = Gluteal

Raise the ramp to a moderately high level. Continue to aim for a minimum of 130 strides per minute. Do not increase the resistance unless you are able to stay in your HR range at 130 strides per minute. If you are able to maintain 150 strides per minute in your target range, increase the resistance rather than the stride rate.

27-30 Minutes Cool Down
HR Target Zone = 55-65% of Predicted HR max.

Lower the ramp and the resistance to 1. Reduce your stride frequency to bring your HR to the target range. Note how long it takes you to reach the target range. With improvements in your fitness, your HR will lower more quickly with a reduction in exercise intensity. Continue the cool down until your HR has remained in the target range for a minimum of 1 minute.

Congratulations! You are completing the fat burning phase of exercise training!

Program developed in conjunction with Emily Cooper M.D. from Seattle Performance Medicine.