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Workouts

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

This workout is a great place to begin to develop your aerobic fitness and to train your body to burn fat during your workouts. This workout 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 more challenging workouts in the future. If you have not participated in a regular exercise program before, this is an ideal place to start.

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 beginner fat burning program will help you to achieve the greatest rate of fat burning which will improve over time with the use of fat burning workouts. It works by maintaining a relatively low intensity in order to allow the muscles to obtain plenty of oxygen from the 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 strengthen further through cardio-conditioning training at a later point in your fitness program.

Prior Experience:

Prior Exercise Experience: Sedentary lifestyle or leisure exercise only. Good workout for beginning exercisers.
Medical Clearance: Consult your physician before starting any exercise program.

Workout Detail:

Precor Machine: Any EFX with CrossRamp® technology
Workout Duration: 20 minutes
Frequency: 4 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: Intermediate Fat Burning
Program: Manual
Intensity Level: 65- 75% of predicted HR max. This workout should feel fairly easy (8-10 on the modified Borg scale). Warm up and cool down should always be 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 90 strides per minute with an increase to 150 strides per minute as long as your heart rate is in target range.

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.
      • Write these 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 Zone = 65-75% of Predicted HR max.
Target Muscle Group = Quadriceps and Calves

Keep the ramp incline at a low level. 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 maximal 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 Interval
Target HR Zone = 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. With every 5th workout, it should become easier to stay within your target HR zone at higher stride rates and resistance settings. It's important to have patience to allow your body and your heart to adapt to the exercise.

12-17 Minutes Fat Burning Interval
Target HR Zone = 65-75% of Predicted HR max.
Target Muscle Group = Hamstring and Quadriceps

Lower the ramp to a medium 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. 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.

17-20 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. See how long it takes you to reach the target range. With improvements in your fitness, your HR will lower more quickly with 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 have taken an important step in training your muscles to burn fat more efficiently!

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