Effective Elliptical Training

I previously hated the elliptical with a passion.  Hated it. I thought it was for lazy people who wanted to watch TV or read US Weekly while they “worked out.” I also admit that during the few times I did hop on the elliptical I monotonously went through the motions like every other drone in the gym. No wonder I dreaded it. After being banged up a bit from putting in too many miles, I was dreadfully stuck on the elliptical day in and day out. It was then I realized the key to an effective (and non-resentful) elliptical workout is intervals. Once I found that out it was a game changer for me.  Seeing the elliptical is non-weight bearing, our bodies don’t have to work as hard to perform the exercise. We also recover more quickly from the elliptical than we do from running.  Thus, we need to bust our butts with high-intensity, heart racing interval work on the elliptical that will make the time (and your heart rate) fly.




Truth be told, it’s not only possible to maintain, but even improve your fitness by cross training through the obnoxiousness injury brings. Here are 3 elliptical workouts that will improve your aerobic capacity, and maintain your sanity.



1) 15 minute warm-up


15 x 1 minute HARD, 1 minute easy


15 minute cool-down


Total = 60 minutes


2) 15 minute warm-up


5 minutes HARD, 5 minutes easy


4 minutes HARD, 4 minutes easy


3 minutes HARD, 3 minutes easy


2 minutes HARD, 2 minutes easy


1 minute HARD, 1 minute easy


15 minute cool-down


Total = 60 minutes


3) 15 minute warm-up

Increase resistance level by 1 every 5 minutes until 45 minutes is reached. The entire workout your goal is to maintain the same speed while the resistanceincreases.


15 minute cool-down


Total = 60 minutes


This is a Kirk DeWindt Personal Training Article



Extreme Couch Workout

If you’re laying on the couch and thinking “I should really get up and head to the gym” major props to you. Getting off the couch is definitely a good start, but not so fast!  Let’s enjoy the comfort of your own home, and turn your couch into a muscle building, butt-busting piece of workout equipment. Let’s get in a well-rounded and effective workout… all from your couch. All you need is a yourself, a couch, two milk jugs (or something comparable), and a get it done attitude! Here are 5 exercises that will work virtually every muscle in your body, leaving your “I didn’t make it to the gym today” ego in tact!


1) Plank w/ Reverse Fly


With feet up on the couch, hold your body up in the ‘push up’ position. While holding your body up with one arm, grab the milk jug with your free hand and go through the reverse fly motion. Goal is 3 sets of 12 reps each side.

Muscled worked: Core, Back, Chest, Front and Rear Deltoids (shoulders).

Twin Cities Live (TCL)

2) Lunge Pass Through


With one foot up on the couch, hold the lunge position at 90 degrees. Grab your milk jug, and pass it through your legs raising it up over your head keeping your arms as straight as possible. Goal is 10 pass-throughs on each leg- going the opposite direction with your pass-through when you switch legs.


Muscles worked: Glutes, Quads, Deltoids, Core

3) Plyometric Push-Up Pop-Ups


Your hands are on one arm rest, your feet are on the other. Explode through the push-up motion and have both your feet and hands leave the arm rests of the couch. Clap your hands-mid air with time to land properly back on the arm rests. Goal is 3 sets of push ups to failure.


Muscles worked: Chest, Triceps, Core

Twin Cities Live (TCL)

4) V-Sit Curls


Sitting on the edge of the couch (either on the cushions or arm rest) lift your legs up off the ground so you’re sitting in a balanced position. Grab your milk jugs and curl both at the same time while holding the v-sit position. Goal should be 3 sets of 15-20


Muscles worked: Biceps, Core


5) Dead Lift


Yep. Simply lift your couch. In a proper squat position, grab the underside of the couch and drive upwards with your legs- keeping your back in a straight, stable position. To add resistance have your mom, dog, or girlfriend(s) sit on the couch. Goal is 3 sets of 12 reps.


Muscles worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Core