The Science-Approved 30-Minute Elliptical Workout
Chances are you’ve heard of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It's a cardio training technique that alternates between brief speed and recovery intervals, and it boasts a bunch of benefits. According to research, this type of exercise improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness while torching fat and calories--all in a short time period. But is there a precise HIIT formula for maximum results?
Earlier this year, a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology provided evidence illustrating the effectiveness of a specific HIIT protocol. Developed by researchers from the University of Copenhagen, the 10-20-30 training concept is a running workout which features three to four five-minute blocks of running, each followed by two minutes of rest. Within each five-minute block, study participants completed five consecutive one-minute intervals divided into 30, 30, and 10 seconds of running at low, moderate, and near maximal intensity, respectively. The researchers found that this particular approach to training improved their running performance, as well as overall health.
You can incorporate HIIT training on the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or even without using any equipment at all to spice up your workout routine. To see the science in action, try this modified version of the 10-20-30 training concept the next time you use the elliptical. The exact settings (crossramp and resistance) may vary slightly depending on the model of elliptical that you’re using, or may need to be adjusted based on your current fitness level. I set the crossramp to 11 and followed the resistance recommendations below when performing this particular workout on my usual machine (a Precor EFX576i).
|Time||What to Do||Resistance||RPE*|
|7:00-7:30||Increase speed (jog pace)||4||5|
|7:30-7:50||Increase speed (run pace)||4||7|
|7:50-8:00||Work as hard as you can (sprint pace)||4||9|
|8:00-12:00||Repeat minutes 7:00-8:00 four times||4||5-9|
|12:00-14:00|| Active recovery
|14:00-14:30|| Increase speed (jog pace)
|14:30-14:50|| Increase speed (run pace)
|14:50-15:00|| Work as hard as you can (sprint pace)
|15:00-19:00|| Repeat minutes 7:00-8:00 four times
|19:00-21:00|| Active Recovery
|21:00-21:30|| Increase speed (jog pace)
|21:30-21:50|| Increase speed (run pace)
|21:50-22:00|| Work as hard as you can (sprint pace)
|22:00-26:00|| Repeat minutes 7:00-8:00 four times
*RPE is on a scale of 0-10
Looking for more ways to HIIT it? Check out this tabata-style workout from ACE-certified fitness expert Chris Freytag!
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