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Interval Workout For Elliptical With Decreasing Recovery Periods

Cardio Workout: Elliptical Intervals Shrinking Recovery

By now, we all hopefully know that interval training rocks. Whether you're running, rowing, or swimming, playing with speed has multiple benefits. One way to push the interval envelope is to decrease the rest time between your bouts of sprinting. Shortening the recovery period pushes your anaerobic threshold and strengthens your cardiovascular system. Plus, it's fun to mix it up once in a while.

Our latest elliptical workout is 30 minutes of calorie-burning interval fun. Keep reading to check it out.

Time Resistance SPM* Notes
00:00-3:00
5
120-130 Warm up
03:00-6:00
7
130 Warm up
06:00-06:45
7
180-190 RPE** 7
06:45-8:15
7
130-140 Recover
08:15-9:00
8
190-200 RPE 8
9:00-10:30
7
130-140 Recover
10:30-11:15
8
200-210 RPE 8
11:15-12:45
6
130-140 Recover
12:45-13:30
8
200-210 RPE 9
13:30-14:30
6
130-140 Recover
14:30-15:15
8
200-210 RPE 9
15:15-16:15
6
130-140 Recover
16:15-17:00
8
200-210 RPE 9
17:00-17:45
6
130-140 Recover
17:45-18:30
8
190-200 RPE 9
18:30-19:00
5
120-130 Recover
19:00-19:30
8
190-200 RPE 9-10
19:30-20:00
5
120-130 Recover
20:00-20:30
8
190-200 RPE 9-10
20:30-21:00
5
130-140 Recover
21:00-21:30
8
190-200 RPE 9-10
21:30-22:00
5
130-140 Recover
22:00-22:30
8
190-200 RPE 9-10
22:30-24:30
5
130-140 Recover
24:30-27:00
7
120-130 Backwards
27:00-30:00
5
120-130 No hands

*SPM = Strides Per Minute
**RPE = Rate of Perceived Exertion

We suggest setting the incline of the machine to around 20 percent. As always, if this is too easy or too hard, change the amount of resistance and/or your strides per minute. For a machine that uses RPM (revolutions per minute), simply halve the number listed for SPM. If your machine uses MPH (miles per hour), use the rate of perceived exertion chart. The recovery periods feel like a jog measuring between four and five RPE, and the sprints between eight and 10 RPE.

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If this workout doesn't float your boat, check out our other cardio plans.

Here is a printable version to take to the gym.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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Jake-F Jake-F 3 years
Looks like a great program. It's good to see HIIT on the elliptical becoming more popular- such a great way to do HIIT and so much more effective than going through the motions like most people do on the machines.
ElmaATF ElmaATF 5 years
Our ellipticals Show RPM, not SPM. How would I calculate this? Or are they the same?
valentix valentix 7 years
ditto to filmgirl81. I did an elliptical interval yesterday and couldn't go past 165~170 spm. if I went upwards to 200 I'd probably fall off! It's funny because my elliptical was on incline 10 and resistance of 8~13. I would think the lower the resistance, the more likely you'd be falling off if you go that fast! nonetheless, intervals are awesome. I was huffing and puffing!
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 7 years
I tried this today with little success. I cannot go faster than 165 spm on the elliptical, and I was probably the fastest person on the machines. I think I'll have to adjust this. And level 8 seems a bit too low as well. I think it depends on the machine. Our ellipticals are brand new.
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