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Running vs elliptical - how do I convince hubby both are cardio?

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  • Chenoachem
    Chenoachem Posts: 1,758 Member
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    First off, the number of calories being burnt per time are going be dependant on a persons body condition. So what it is for one will be different for another.

    Second, both are cardio. However, an elliptical and a treadmill will both help you pace your self so you are able to push at a constant effort. The thing most people do when they are new to running on a track, road, trail, whatever is that they go out full speed ahead. It takes a lot of running hours to find your comfortable sustainable pace. One thing to use as a check is to see if you can hold a conversation. If not, you are pushing too hard for a long run.

    Most runners will separate their types of workouts into categories: short, speed, hills and long runs. Short runs are usually at a conversational pace for a short distance as a recovery. Speed runs are working on increasing pace and other benefits where you typically do short burst of really high HR and then back off to a slow job to recover. Hills are hill and long runs should increase endurance by using a conversation pace over longer distances.

    There are many websites and programs setup to help some decide which runs, how far and how fast they should be running. A program like smartcoach http://rw.runnersworld.com/smartcoach/ will setup a personalised program based on your goals.

    Lastly, I have many knee problems and have had surgery in the past. However, I am able to run. I can do it because of cross training with weights, cycling and swimming.

    Relax and have fun with it. If running works for you two and you can motivate each other, there is nothing wrong with it. You just have to slow down, experiment and see how to pick up those miles again.

    :smiley:
  • awesomejdad
    awesomejdad Posts: 493 Member
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    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Get him to do some HIIT on the elliptical. 20 seconds high speed, 20 seconds easy for 5-10 minutes. You decide and stand there and keep him accountable. After he's done that, ask him again :P

    Can HIIT training really be done on an elliptical? I mean real, get your calorie burn for 4 hours after your done, HIIT training? This is a real question by the way. I just thought that the elliptical can't really be done at true high intensity to get the right after burn effect.

    Yes you can do HIIT on an elliptical, alternating maximal effort bursts and recovery periods.
    Don't get carried away but the thoughts of afterburn (EPOC) from HIIT though - the effect is tiny. A small percentage of a very short duration exercise isn't worth even considering IMHO.


    Thank you, however what does IMHO stand for?

    In My Humble Opinion or In My Honest Opinion.

    FYI - Lyle McDonald did an interesting piece on the EPOC effects of steady state cardio and HIIT and off the top of my head I recall the figures given were 7% and 14% respectively.
    But as HIIT is short duration and steady state is typically longer duration there's not much to choose between the two.


    I just want to burn as many calories as I can without having to spend a lot of time doing cardio. The only home equipment I have, for cardio, is an elliptical. I guess I will have to try it with HIIT. I like to keep the resistance really high (like 15-19 out of 20 on my machine) and I just never can go fast enough to feel like I am sprinting or something. I am not really sure how to do it on the elliptical but I guess I will go for 30 seconds high and 1 minute steady and see how that goes. Thanks for answering.

    And to the OP. Yes the elliptical is cardio!

    If your goal is maximum burn in shortest time don't do HIIT - keep it at the highest intensity you can sustain for the duration you choose. For me that's averaging about 85% of max heart rate for an hour.
    A lot of the calorie counts people through around for HIIT are hopelessly inflated as people don't understand HRMs can't effectively estimate calorie burns for HIIT.

    That is a very good point. Heart monitors are for steady state. I can't believe I never put that together till now. The numbers people give as estimates can't be accurate really. I like to do 30 to 45 minutes on the elliptical. I guess I will just keep pushing hard like I already am but maybe go a bit lower intensity sometimes and higher RPM. Kind of change it up sometimes. Thanks.
  • Mr_Knight
    Mr_Knight Posts: 9,532 Member
    edited January 2015
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    sijomial wrote: »
    Mr_Knight wrote: »
    my hubby says that ellipticals are not cardio and I say they are b/c it gets your HR up. Am I wrong? if not, how else can I explain it to him?

    It is cardio but it is about half as efficient at burning calories as running. And you're experiencing this with your observation that you can do about 45 minutes on the elliptical but only 20 running. It's not just a "conditioning" thing - the elliptical is just physically easier than running.

    PS Cut your elliptical burn estimate in half, it is vastly over-estimated.

    Which takes more effort and burns most calories depends on the running speed and the resistance set on the elliptical.

    For the same level of fitness and same level of perceived exertion, elliptical burns a bit more than half of what running burns.
    600 cals/hour is perfectly attainable by someone with a good fitness level.

    The OP stated they can't run for 20 minutes straight without their insides being "on fire", so this isn't a situation involving a "good fitness level".

  • jdhcm2006
    jdhcm2006 Posts: 2,254 Member
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    Mr_Knight wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Mr_Knight wrote: »
    my hubby says that ellipticals are not cardio and I say they are b/c it gets your HR up. Am I wrong? if not, how else can I explain it to him?

    It is cardio but it is about half as efficient at burning calories as running. And you're experiencing this with your observation that you can do about 45 minutes on the elliptical but only 20 running. It's not just a "conditioning" thing - the elliptical is just physically easier than running.

    PS Cut your elliptical burn estimate in half, it is vastly over-estimated.

    Which takes more effort and burns most calories depends on the running speed and the resistance set on the elliptical.

    For the same level of fitness and same level of perceived exertion, elliptical burns a bit more than half of what running burns.
    600 cals/hour is perfectly attainable by someone with a good fitness level.

    The OP stated they can't run for 20 minutes straight without their insides being "on fire", so this isn't a situation involving a "good fitness level".

    You can't necessarily judge her fitness level on how good a runner she is. Clearly running isn't her thing; therefore, she doesn't train for it, which means it's a weak link for her. That doesn't mean that she isn't fit. It just means she's not a runner.

    And in all honesty, I would bet money that she's overexerting herself by running too fast. If the OP wants to run, she needs to slow it down.
  • smashley_mashley
    smashley_mashley Posts: 589 Member
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    herrspoons wrote: »
    They are cardio. Not sure about 600 Kcal per hour though.
    Mr_Knight wrote: »
    PS Cut your elliptical burn estimate in half, it is vastly over-estimated.
    My hubby is 7'2" and about 270lbs (he is not wide in the middle just tall) and we both track calories via HR. b/c of his height we take everything with a grain of salt but we find using the HR is as close as we can get. As for over-estimating, I try not to eat back my exercise calories as my intake is just above BMR and they are there for a cushion if I need it. I am still under TDEE.



  • smashley_mashley
    smashley_mashley Posts: 589 Member
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    jdhcm2006 wrote: »
    Mr_Knight wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Mr_Knight wrote: »
    my hubby says that ellipticals are not cardio and I say they are b/c it gets your HR up. Am I wrong? if not, how else can I explain it to him?

    It is cardio but it is about half as efficient at burning calories as running. And you're experiencing this with your observation that you can do about 45 minutes on the elliptical but only 20 running. It's not just a "conditioning" thing - the elliptical is just physically easier than running.

    PS Cut your elliptical burn estimate in half, it is vastly over-estimated.

    Which takes more effort and burns most calories depends on the running speed and the resistance set on the elliptical.

    For the same level of fitness and same level of perceived exertion, elliptical burns a bit more than half of what running burns.
    600 cals/hour is perfectly attainable by someone with a good fitness level.

    The OP stated they can't run for 20 minutes straight without their insides being "on fire", so this isn't a situation involving a "good fitness level".

    You can't necessarily judge her fitness level on how good a runner she is. Clearly running isn't her thing; therefore, she doesn't train for it, which means it's a weak link for her. That doesn't mean that she isn't fit. It just means she's not a runner.

    And in all honesty, I would bet money that she's overexerting herself by running too fast. If the OP wants to run, she needs to slow it down.

    Running is definitely not my thing - never has been as I hated running laps going back all the way to elementary school. My hubby has been more into sports and we play lots in the summer (tennis, golf, biking, throwing the football around). Winters are tough b/c there are not a lot of fun ways to keep active that are cheap as it is so cold/snowy out.

    but thanks to everyone for affirming what I already knew!!
  • sea_food_man
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    herrspoons wrote: »
    They are cardio. Not sure about 600 Kcal per hour though.
    Mr_Knight wrote: »
    PS Cut your elliptical burn estimate in half, it is vastly over-estimated.
    My hubby is 7'2" and about 270lbs (he is not wide in the middle just tall) and we both track calories via HR. b/c of his height we take everything with a grain of salt but we find using the HR is as close as we can get. As for over-estimating, I try not to eat back my exercise calories as my intake is just above BMR and they are there for a cushion if I need it. I am still under TDEE.



    7'2".....holy smoke
  • Runningmischka
    Runningmischka Posts: 386 Member
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    If you like it, keep doing it. Trying to convince your husband that elliptical is cardio is sort of like saying the sky is blue, and water is wet, and puppies are cute :) You get the idea. Do what makes you happy, not anyone else.
  • LoneWolfRunner
    LoneWolfRunner Posts: 1,160 Member
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    The elliptical is to cardio what Walmart is to grocery shopping.
  • FromHereOnOut
    FromHereOnOut Posts: 3,237 Member
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    I think trying to run WITH a 7'2" man is your problem!
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,525 Member
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    Ask him if he knows what 'cardio' is short for... Because honestly this is a no brained.

    If he seriously can't tell you cardio = cardiovascular then he better be hung and rich. Because well. I'm sorry for the loss. (brain cells that is)
  • LoneWolfRunner
    LoneWolfRunner Posts: 1,160 Member
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    I'm not sure in which context you used the word "hung", but I guess either way she wins.
  • fatcity66
    fatcity66 Posts: 1,544 Member
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    I'm not sure in which context you used the word "hung", but I guess either way she wins.

    What other context is there?
  • LoneWolfRunner
    LoneWolfRunner Posts: 1,160 Member
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    Hung as in what you are thinking and hung as in strung up in the gallows.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
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    The elliptical is to cardio what Walmart is to grocery shopping.

    If you can't get a good cardio workout on an elliptical, you're doing it wrong (or you might be doing it on the wrong elliptical).
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,950 Member
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    The elliptical is to cardio what Walmart is to grocery shopping.
    Large, efficient, and an industry standard?
  • flatlndr
    flatlndr Posts: 713 Member
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    Boy, I really do hope that elliptical is cardio ... otherwise the 30 minutes I just did at 90% max heart rate (plus 5 mins each of warm-up and cool-down) was a complete waste of my time.