If you use the elliptical trainer, you are a .

You don’t want to be known as a cardio bunny, do you? Those things make you fat. You look like an idiot. It’s not a natural movement. DEADLIFTS FTW!

The poor elliptical, it’s the second most maligned piece of equipment in the gym, after that hip abductor thing that looks like it belongs in a gynecologist’s office. You need to stop shitting on it.

Please note that’s a metaphor. Although people have pooped themselves while running, so I expect it has also happened on the elliptical, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

Bros a’ plenty will deride a man for using this machine, but there is a reason ellipticals have spread o’er the land like whooping cough in a hippie commune. Sorry didn’t mean to compare the elliptical to a preventable disease. Elliptical = good.

First, some science: I spoke with Reed Ferber, who is an assistant professor of biomechanics at the University of Calgary and director of the Running Injury Clinic to get it.

“The elliptical best mimics the motion of running without the impact,” Ferber told me. “I think it’s good for people who are just getting into running as part of their weekly routine.” As someone who has been through the pain of transforming from non-runner to regular runner, I can appreciate how an elliptical can be used as part of a learn-to-run program to boost cardiovascular fitness without the pounding associated with running. Shin splints are the bane of most new runners.

“It is also fantastic in terms of returning to running,” Ferber said of injured runners. “It allows them to maintain their cardiovascular base without loading the joints.” Speaking of loading, Ferber explained that walking creates a load of approximately 1.2 X body weight. For hard running, it can be up to six times bodyweight. For the elliptical, it’s just barely above a walk in terms of load, coming in at around 1.5 X body weight.

Silvano Vanuso, head of the science department for Technogym, which manufactures a wide variety of fitness equipment including ellipticals, agrees that the device is designed with rehab in mind. “It is absolutely useful when a subject needs to execute a cardiovascular exercise with a low stress (ground reaction force) to knee, hip or lumbar spine.”

As Ferber said, the elliptical is the best device for mimicking the motion of running without actually running. “In terms of the movement itself it is very similar for the knee and the hip, but it’s not very similar for the ankle.” Makes sense, being that your feet don’t leave the device; there is no foot strike. But to best mimic running, don’t hold the handles.

“Holding onto the handles creates too much upright posture,” Ferber said. “A lot of people need their arms to compensate for what’s going on down below, so we encourage people to not hold onto the handles and just let their arms do what they want, and that better mimics the motion of running.” Good to know.

Ferber agrees that he’s seen stigma attached to the elliptical, because it is an awkward looking motion, but he asserts that it is biomechanically sound and beneficial, and not just for runners. It’s a great weight loss aid.

Joshua Danker-Dake is a writer and family man in Tulsa who got the freshman 15 factored by three while in college. He credits buying an elliptical for the home as a key component of his weight loss journey.

“After college I ended up working retail at a big box store for 14 months and got plantar fasciatis from standing all day,” Joshua told me. That meant running was definitely out. In 2005, after getting married, he decided to get in shape, and began using the elliptical for half an hour, six times a week, while watching movies.

Of course, dietary changes happened too, but, “The elliptical definitely was an integral part of the weight loss,” he said.

Lisa Kapsner-Swift, a family woman in Minneapolis is another elliptical weight loss success story.

“When I started at the gym I was about a hundred pounds overweight. I had a torn ACL and so I knew I’d be restricted with what I could do. I did strength training with a trainer, but for the rest of the exercise I got on the elliptical.” She did weights about two hours a week, and the elliptical for six. Yes, diet changes too, and as a result lost 50 pounds in the first eight months. And as Ferber outlined, the elliptical helped her transition to running, which she loved, and she lost another 20 pounds.

“The elliptical played an important role in my weight loss, because it was something I felt capable of doing,” Lisa said. “Early on, being morbidly obese, trying to run made me really sad because I couldn’t do it. It was great transitory exercise, especially being on a torn ACL.”

Both Ferber and Vanuso agree that the elliptical should be treated like any other form of training, and should be used as one part of an overall conditioning program. What’s more, “Be reasonable about how you introduce it,” Ferber said. “You can still get injured on an elliptical if you overstress yourself.”

One thing many like about some ellipticals is the entertainment system. I never got into watching TV while exercising, but I did like the running route feature on some machines that simulates running though exotic geographical locations.

What about caloric burn? It’s not going to be as good as running, but a hard session on the elliptical trainer can get you up to about 75% of fast running in terms of calories burned, without all the pounding. But take those caloric burn numbers on the elliptical with a grain of salt. Ferber says that they’re only about 80% accurate. Silvano Venuso agrees, and is annoyed by how many companies exaggerate the caloric burn rates on their machines, and said his company takes great pride in using a rigorous testing process to ensure their numbers are as accurate as possible.

Regardless, it’s the “calories in” that really matter for weight loss. And whether your goal is general fitness, rehabilitation or weight loss, the elliptical is a piece of equipment with capabilities far beyond that of its reputation.


Follow James on Facebook and Twitter.

James S. Fell, MBA, writes for the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, AskMen, the Guardian, TIME Magazine and many other fine publications. His first book was published by Random House Canada in 2014. He is currently working on his next book, which is about life-changing moments.

Before: 318

After: 150

I’ve been overweight to some degree my entire life. Growing up, I was always an active kid, and despite being heavier I enjoyed playing sports. However, when I began college, I stopped exercising. Not being part of a team created a major disconnect between physical activity and myself. I hated going to the gym and continued eating whatever I felt like, so, naturally, I gained even more weight.

When I moved to New York City after graduating college, things took a really sharp turn. I began eating anything and everything with zero regard for how it made me feel. I was gaining weight but completely dissociated myself from what was going on with my body. I tried every diet out there more than once—fat camp, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig. Plus, I saw a nutritionist and a hypnotist. While many of them worked temporarily, I’d often lose 40 pounds and gain 60 back. These diets were never sustainable for me because I wanted a quick fix, not a lifestyle change.

However, during this time I was far from miserable. I had a normal life, a great job, and lots of friends. I just couldn’t recognize how terrible my habits were.

In early May 2014, I began to feel how unhealthy and overweight I was. There was no big ‘aha’ moment, but rather, little moments that built upon one another. One day I suddenly realized how difficult it was to walk up a flight of stairs from the subway, another I couldn’t sit comfortably when I flew on a plane. These everyday activities were becoming impossible and painful for me. I had no idea what to do. The weight felt beyond my control.

RELATED: How I Learned to Like Running—and Lost 30 Pounds in the Process

The Change

Melanie Buck

That fall, I decided to have weight-loss surgery and I scheduled it for February of 2015. At first, the weight flew off post-surgery, since I was eating on an all-liquid diet for two weeks and then transitioned into a high-protein eating plan. But after about six months, losing weight became something I had to work at. After I lost the first 85 pounds those six months, I began to plateau. At that point, I weighed 230 pounds, and was not ready to stop losing weight.

About seven months after getting weight-loss surgery, I met my friend Katie. She and all her friends seemed so mentally, physically, and spiritually strong and aligned. All I could think was, whatever they’re doing, I want to do it too. It turned out, they’d all met through the spin studio, SWERVE, where the bikes are divided into three teams competing against one another in sprints, hills, and upper-body workouts. After my first class that October, I was hooked.

The Workouts

Melanie Buck

Before finding SWERVE, I was exercising but hadn’t found any workout that I connected with. I started working out two months post-surgery.

Despite the quality of the workouts at that point not being very intense, I was consistently working out a few times a week. I used the cardio machines, like the elliptical or treadmill at the gym or went to a dance cardio class.

When I started SWERVE, I knew I loved it right away, but I started out slowly by going once or twice a week via ClassPass. With time, I started seeing small results—a pound lost, a won sprint, a better score—and that’s what got me addicted. A year after my weight-loss surgery, I had begun pushing past my plateau and was riding almost every day. Around the same time as starting SWERVE, I began lifting with my trainer (who’s also an instructor at SWERVE) once a week and taking a dance cardio class called Intensati through ClassPass once or twice a week

Between February to October, I lost 80 pounds and reached my goal of 150 pounds.

SWERVE is by far my favorite workout. In general, I still ride every day. I had skin removal surgery seven weeks ago, which kept me from being able to stand on the bike or go all out in sprints, so I’m building back up to riding as hard as I used to. My newest goal is to improve my flexibility and balance in my yoga classes.

It’s crazy to have gone from barely working out a few years ago to where I am now, working out every day. I manage it by scheduling my fitness the same way I do everything else. Like my job and class, it’s a commitment.

Check out some of the weirdest weight-loss trends through history:

The Food

Melanie Buck

Before the surgery, I had to go to a nutritionist to learn a new way of eating for about five months. At that point, I had zero concept of what healthy eating was—there, I learned the real differences between carbs, fat, protein, and sugar and what healthy portions really look like. As I mentioned earlier, I was on liquids for about two weeks before shifting to a high-protein diet of lean meat like chicken and fish with a small amount of fruits and vegetables and minimal grains.

After I had my surgery, it was initially hard to eat enough and get the proper amount of nutrients because my stomach was so small; it could barely handle the food I needed. I’d have a chicken breast and feel full almost the entire day. But as the weeks went on, I was able to eat more and more each day. When trying to lose weight, and even today, I think of my meals as protein first, and then I incorporate brown rice, veggies, and fruit. I began consuming more non-protein foods once there was room in my stomach, after about three months.

I’d say my diet was and is healthy 80 percent of the time. I’m eating the same way now as I did when I was trying to lose weight, I’m just able to consume more of my meals now than I was in the beginning. For breakfast, I usually have egg whites with veggies and a piece of whole-wheat toast. A small change is that now, sometimes I add cheese to my eggs depending on where my body is. I fluctuate between 150 and 155 pounds, so if I’m at the top of that range, I tighten the reins. Lunch is usually a salad with chicken, turkey, or falafel. For dinner, I’ll have fish with a salad, veggies, rice, or quinoa. My snacks are usually nut-based—peanuts, almonds, or an apple with peanut butter. Occasionally, I’ll have a post-workout smoothie. I absolutely eat sugar and was eating it throughout my weight loss, but I eat way less than I ever did before. If I’m having a treat, it’s usually ice cream or frozen yogurt. (Kick-start your new, healthy routine with Women’s Health’s 12-Week Total-Body Transformation!)

Sticking With It

Melanie Buck

I found my motivation through always setting goals. Before SWERVE, those goals were to lose weight and fit into certain sizes. A goal for me now might be to ride every day for a month and see what happens to my body. By doing this, I’m always working toward something greater. That’s one of the reasons these classes work so well for me. Even within the span of a single class, I’m setting goals like beating my previous record or winning a sprint. That mentality has echoed in my life.

RELATED: Is Weight Loss Really 80 Percent Diet and 20 Percent Exercise?

The Reward

Melanie Buck

My weight loss has changed everything about my life. I decided to go back to school to get my master’s in counseling for mental health and wellness. I want to help others make changes in their lives, which is what happened for me. I’m becoming an advocate for health and wellness—something I never imagined could happen.

I also met my boyfriend five months ago. After undergoing this transformation, I feel I’m truly ready for a great relationship. Now, I’m a more positive person. I’m happier, more confident, and frankly, nicer. The best part is that I’ve made these changes from a place of love for myself. Exercise and eating right no longer feels like punishment.

My Number One Tip

Melanie Buck

I think it’s essential to figure out why you want to lose weight. For me, weight loss never worked out in the past because it wasn’t about my health. Before, I’d try to lose weight because I wanted to be skinny, my parents thought I should, I wanted to fit in, or wanted to have a guy think I was hot. These were not as meaningful to me as health is. Now if I meet a challenge, I go back to my health. That’s my number one. Whatever that is for you, it’ll be there when you need it and push you forward.

When you are willing to do daily exercise on a recumbent bike for weight loss, some inspiration will help you much to continue your hard workout. However, recumbent bike weight loss success stories can be a great inspiration for you.

I talk to my neighbor who gets success in weight loss riding the recumbent bike for every day. Generally, we take weight loss as a challenge. It is not so easy if you do not have a strong willing. However, some exercises help everybody to lose weight. Among them, recumbent bike riding regularly is also useful.

Recumbent bike weight loss success stories

When you get overweight, you need to get rid of the fats of your body. For this, do regular exercises. The stationary bikes such as a recumbent bike can create a triumphant story of your weight loss. There are different types of bike for weight loss exercises. However, read through to learn about it.

Exercise bike weight loss success stories

The recumbent bike has several types. An exercise recumbent bike is one of them. You can buy an exercise bike for your home or can find it at a gym. However, if you regularly practice exercise bike for 20 minutes with a diet plan, you will see the effective result.

I ask my neighbor that if he is successful in his weight-loss mission. He answered me positive. He told that as the gym was not near to his home, he bought an exercise bike for home. Every day he did some exercises on it. He started walking on it. Then he gradually increased the speed.

It is better to use a treadmill beside your bike. Workout on the treadmill firstly. Then ride on the bike for a few minutes. Do it until you get tired. However, my neighbor is prosperous in loss 70-80lbs within few weeks.

How many calories can you burn on a Recumbent exercise bike?

We know that any exercise helps a human to burn calories. Your recumbent bike also does the same. But calorie burn on an exercise bike depends on several matters. It depends on your body weight, health, food habit, and some other things.

However, a recumbent bike comes with the ability to measure your heart rate, exercise speed, workout time, etc. So, it makes it easier to realize the calorie-burning speed.

However, the number of calorie burn depends on the heart rate. When your heart rate is maximum, the bike helps you to burn maximum calories. If you work on it for 30 minutes, you can lose 200-300 calories. It not only burns calories but also helps you to do the exercise of your knees and joints.

Stationary bike weight loss success stories

Everybody wants a perfectly shaped figure. But it is not easier to maintain a good figure. When you get fatty, it becomes challenging for you to regain an attractive shape. A stationary bike can help you. You can keep it beside other exercises.

I know a woman. She made a strong willing. At first, she avoided smoking and started to take healthy foods. Then she went to the gym for an everyday workout. There she started stationary bike riding. She said that she did not think it worked so effectively. She says “Try and try”. It is one of the recumbent bike weight loss success stories. Check out the reviews for the best deals of the best elliptical under 500.

Is interval training routine helps to weight loss on a stationary recumbent bike?

An interval training routine is necessary to lose weight on a recumbent bike. If you follow a high-intensity training, you can quickly lose your weight. When you ride a recumbent bike without a plan, it will work very slowly. It can make you frustrated. So, follow a routine for your interval training.

This routine is simple but effective. It is better to start at a low speed. Then increase it to the maximum for one or two minutes. After that, slow down for a minute. Do this for 30 minutes a day. However, the high-end features of the recumbent bike will help you in this case. There is an option to set your daily program by automatic adjustment. Monitor your heart rate and exercise time for the effective burn of your fat.

Besides the exercise, it is essential to take care of your diet. Diet affects your weight loss plan very much. Without a healthy diet, your practice can cause minimal calorie loss. So, eat green and colorful vegetables. Avoid junk and fast foods. And drink a lot of water.

Recumbent bike before and after results

People like recumbent exercise bikes very much for their weight-loss projects. It is a perfect choice both for home and a gym. If you can ride on a recumbent bike in the right way, you must get an effective result. You may not find anyone getting a harmful effect on a recumbent bike.

If you are a person with a strong aim and an interval routine, you can quickly lose a good number of calories every day. And after a few weeks, see the result. You must able to lose a minimum of 50lb weight. Some people like a stationary bike rather than a recumbent bike.

Though there is some difference between a recumbent and a stationary bike, it matters a little for weight loss project. Just run the machine properly and control it effectively.

You will find a lot of recumbent bike success stories around you. So, if you have any hesitation in using a recumbent bike, you can involve you knowing the stories and the benefits of a recumbent bike. Every exercise is right for you.

But in our busy lives, we cannot provide much time for an everyday workout. So, if you have a recumbent bike in your home, you can spend 20-30 minutes every day at any time.

Do not miss a single day. By this, gradually lose your weight and have a good shape you desired. Paddling a bike is fun. If you enjoy your workout, it would be easier for you to continue it for a long time.

Elliptical weight loss stories

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