If you have an elliptical at home, or use one at the gym, you’ve made a great choice in investing in your fitness. Ellipticals provide low-impact, total-body workouts that help you burn calories and tone up so you look and feel better. Plus, they offer significant variety so that you can change your workouts to maintain your motivation and continue experiencing results.
What’s critical, of course, is being consistent with your exercise routine. Whether you use an elliptical, or a treadmill, a bike, or a variety of machines doesn’t matter as much as adherence to a regular regimen. Set a schedule and do your best to stick with it. If you miss a workout, try to make it up. But even if you can’t fit it in, don’t quit altogether. Any workout is better than none at all, so keep at it and ultimately make exercise a habit so it’s part of your weekly routine.
While cross training provides benefits for your body and mind, if your regimen is limited to your home elliptical and a few weights or accessories, don’t worry. Octane Fitness builds valuable variety within its elliptical machines so that you can capitalize on cross training within one machine – which will keep you going over time.
To get the most out of your elliptical workouts, you need to change them periodically. Know your machine and its programs to take advantage of all they offer. Don’t just get on and follow a manual routine for 30 minutes at level 5 for every workout. Although there’s nothing wrong with the manual program, doing the same regimen, day in and day out, can lead to boredom and plateaus.
You’ll reap better results if you incorporate variety and different challenges. This doesn’t mean that you can’t repeat your favorite workouts – or that you can’t use the manual program – but simply mix up what you’re doing and watch how your body responds.
Everybody wants to know what are the best workouts to get the greatest results in the least amount of time. It’s really not that simple with ellipticals, but follow these recommendations for Octane machines to maximize your return. These apply to traditional standing ellipticals, recumbent ellipticals, lateral machines and incline models, and while some specifications may vary, you can find ways to meet the goal of each tip here:
- Know your elliptical machine – Whether it’s your home machine or a favorite model at the gym, get to know the features by reading the manual, playing around with the console or asking questions of the manufacturer or health club staff. Investigate adjustable stride and incline, number of resistance levels and feedback options. Learn about all the programs – even if you simply get on and try a new one each time – so that you have a complete understanding of your options. While moving on the machine, get accustomed to occasionally pressing different buttons on the console to see the effects on your workout.
- Don’t tune out entirely – Certainly, listening to music and watching TV can add distraction and enjoyment to workouts, even keeping you going longer. If you are working hard, there is nothing wrong with being entertained while you exercise. The problem arises when surfing the Internet, changing channels, sending emails or flipping through a magazine become so distracting that you let up on your intensity and the workout becomes secondary. If you aren’t focused on the exercise, your results will be compromised. If you can effectively multi-task and still keep accurately following your elliptical program, then go for it.
- Wear a heart rate monitor – No matter what program you use, Octane ellipticals display your heart rate if you wear a chest strap or utilize the digital contact heart rate sensors on the handlebars, thereby enabling you to easily track your intensity level and make adjustments as necessary to keep you in effective zones. This personalized feedback becomes addictive helps ensure sufficient workout productivity.
- Vary your movement – Most people simply get on an elliptical and pedal forward. Embrace variety by also moving in reverse, resting the arms on the stationary handlebars and isolating your legs, changing your stride length where possible, adding and decreasing resistance levels and speeding up and slowing down throughout your sessions.
- Try Workout Boosters – Octane’s signature Workout Boosters enable efficient cross training at the push of a button, by requiring you to squat, lean back, go in reverse, speed up and more during one-minute intervals every two minutes. What’s great is that these Workout Boosters – such as X-Mode, GluteKicker and ArmBlaster – target various areas of the body, can be added to any program and help the time fly by.
- Set a goal – Fuel your sense of accomplishment by tackling a goal program, such as 350 calories, 10K or ½ marathon. Note your time or distance to accomplish your goal, and try to beat it the next time.
- Use heart rate interactive regimens – Follow preset targets, such as 70 or 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, or set your own target heart rate training zone in steady state or interval training programs. The elliptical automatically adjusts the resistance to ensure that you remain in your zone throughout the session, so there’s no cheating allowed.
- Change your stride – On adjustable stride or incline ellipticals, it is fun to change your stride length and feel the difference that makes in terms of your effort level. SmartStride is an Octane-exclusive feature that replicates walking, jogging and running by analyzing your pace and direction and automatically adjusting your stride length accordingly. Or take on variable stride programs, like Dual Direction, Lateral Interval or PowerWalk, where the machine sets and changes your stride throughout.
- Welcome a challenge – Advanced training programs, like 30:30 Interval and MMA, on Octane’s commercial ellipticals, push you to your limits and boost stamina. These are a great way to measure your progress over time.
- Maximize efficiency – CROSS CiRCUIT® combines cardio intervals on the elliptical with strength-training exercises next to the machine for the ultimate in effectiveness and efficiency. Get cardio and strength in one workout! And you can choose from multiple CROSS CiRCUIT programs, or create your own, based on your goals. Add resistance bands, dumbbells and various accessories to multiply exercise options.
- Train smarter – With Octane’s free SmartLink™ app, you benefit from a virtual personal trainer that guides every workout for personalized results. Simply download the app to your iPad®, iPhone® or select Android™ device, and choose from a variety of 30-, 60- or 90-day workout plans customized to your goals, such as feel better, lose weight, get stronger and improve athletic performance. When you connect your device to the Octane elliptical, the app controls the machine and records all your data so that you can easily track progress.
Plus, you’re in charge the entire time. If you miss a workout or want to add a session, the app adjusts. If you want to change your goals midstream, SmartLink accommodates you. And with SmartLink, you can access more than 35 CROSS CiRCUIT plans and instructional videos for more than 225 exercises. Even more, SmartLink provides motivational tips and workout reminders to keep you going!