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TOPIC: Why can't I last 5 minutes on an elliptical!

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March 12, 2011 2:25 AM
I begged my husband for an elliptical, and finally he got me one. but now I cant even stay on there for 5 minutes before my legs are in pain and I get off. I hear everyone doing 20 minutes to an hour on those things. How do you manage?!

I'm sure I'm supposed to just push through the pain, but maybe I'm just doing something wrong!

I need advice!
March 12, 2011 2:28 AM
Be sure you stretch and work your way up, add two minutes every time you step on. Your body needs time to adjust ;)

Good luck!
March 12, 2011 2:29 AM
When I started about 3 weeks ago I couldn't do more than 5 minutes either, now I do between 20 and 30 minutes. It will get easier over time just keep at it.
March 12, 2011 2:30 AM
you're not in shape... increase the time spent on elliptical for 1 min every day and in few weeks you'll be able to do 20 min. you should push trough the pain but don't force yourself too much... and be sure not to injure your knees.
March 12, 2011 2:35 AM
When I first got my exercise bike, I couldn't do two minutes and if I did any more, I felt like I was going to die lol. :) Now I am doing 20-30 minutes with sprints as well, and it doesn't hurt anywhere near as much as it did. I honestly think its more of a time and getting fit thing, and you just have to get used to it. Like the other posters have said, just increase it by 30 seconds or a minute each day, you'll find it will build up. :) Don't lose faith! You can do it! :)
March 12, 2011 2:36 AM
The first 5 minutes of any continues exercise is were energy from the muscles not so much energy from burning fat is used so you really need to go through the pain barrier. I hve always found the first 5 mins the hardest but do come through it and am regularly doing 30 min runs and 30 mins on either elliptical or bike and that's after over hours weights. My advice may sound daft but works for me. DON'T THINK ABOUT THE PAIN. I use music to distract me.

oh yer and do start on easiest level and increase over the first 5 mins.
March 12, 2011 2:37 AM
Thank you for posting this! I too feel pain from about the 2nd minute and push to get to 5! But I have only tried it 3 times and they were spread out. I'd really like to know if you progress to more time.

Please let me know :)
March 12, 2011 2:38 AM
It's something you build up to, It's the same with all exercise. Keep going you be fine. :)
March 12, 2011 2:39 AM
I could barely do five minutes when i started, within a month I was upto 30 minutes. You just have to keep doing it and try to do an extra minute a day if you can! It will get easier and before you know it you'll be doing it for alot longer. It is an awesome workout and burns alot of calories, but you have to work for them. Good luck!!
March 12, 2011 2:40 AM
i cant do it either..yet i can run 2 miles on a treadmill no problem
March 12, 2011 2:43 AM
Some ellipticals just kill my knees and I can not do more than a couple minutes.
March 12, 2011 2:43 AM
I hated that thing when I started using it, and couldn't last as well. I just built it up over time.

you will get there in the end
March 12, 2011 2:45 AM
Home elliptical trainers are usless compared to the ones in the gym. I can easy to 1/2 hour on the ones in the gym, we have one at home right now my friend brought as she is staying with me and I can't do more than five minutes on it.
March 12, 2011 2:58 AM
We all start somewhere. When I started Couch to 5 K last year, I couldn't run a minute without gasping for breath. Now I can run for half an hour. Just keep working it. Watch your knees though. If your knees are hurting, there might be something wrong with your positioning.
March 12, 2011 3:01 AM
I dont know if this will help, but everytime i use the eliptiacal I watch the tv's that are all around the gym, sometimes even without the sound to just guess what they are saying, but I always have my ipod with me. In other works try distracting yourself from the actual workout.
March 12, 2011 3:09 AM
I think the first 5 minutes on the elliptical are the hardest, once I get past that, then the rest of my time is easier... I start slow and then pick up speed. I agree with others though... build up your time each time you do it. That is what I did.
March 12, 2011 3:29 AM
Thanks everyone! I'll keep adding a minute every time I go on. Maybe I'll try once every hour or so to boost my endurance. I feel much less discouraged now :D I appreciate it!
March 12, 2011 3:33 AM
What kind of pain is it? If it is muscle, then, yes, you need to build your endurance. But if it is joint pain, you should see the doctor for advice.

I have to wear knee braces for some mashines in my gym: stairclimber, treadmill. But elliptical seems the most gentle for my knees.
March 12, 2011 3:50 AM
If you have a resistance setting on it set it to the lowest at first. Then just build up your time slowly...its not a race,

Also what Sunny Sashka said...if its joint pain see your Dr
March 12, 2011 5:06 AM
The elliptical is was my favorite, I wish I still had one.

I remember when I first got it I didn't make it one minute. I felt like I was going to die. It took me a few months to work up to an hour.

Here be what I done;
First, stretch. Arms, legs, back, everything.
Second, put Sponge Bob in the DVD player.
Fourth, get water bottle.
Fiveith, go to bathroom.
Sixth, quit stalling and get on the durn thing.
Then go for it while trying to find a comfortable pace. When my legs started to hurt I would reverse direction for a minute. If I couldn't do that, I would get off and stretch again. Sometimes I would do a few squats, or maybe give my thighs a deep massage.
Then get back on. I would try not to stay off for more than 3 minutes because if i did the timer would reset. I just continually did this until I was able to stay on.

When my elliptical finally crapped out I was easily doing an hour, some time more. But it always took around 10 minutes to get my wind, after that it was smooth sailing!

I hope you have success, you will feel so much better. That tortuous machine is the best ever!
March 12, 2011 5:20 AM
When I first got my Nordictrack elliptical, I couldn't even do 5 minutes either but as I kept getting on, I kept adding more time and getting better, now I can do up to 40 minutes or more but I tend to get bored rather quickly so usually do only 30 minutes each time but don't despair, it takes time to get back in shape. Even when I first start walkng and adding running, I was so out of breathe but the more I do it, the longer I can push through a run now. It just takes time, not to worry it will happen!
March 12, 2011 5:41 AM
When I started on the elliptical, I could do about 5 minutes. Now I can go forever.
The first 12 minutes are the hardest for me. Once you get past the leg and feet pain, you can do anything.
Also, try adding a minute every day. I say "anyone can do anything for 1 minute"
Go for 5 minutes forward then take a break by going backward for 1 minute. It's an entire different set of muscles.

You can do it!!!!!
March 12, 2011 5:43 AM
Same thing here, couldn't do 5 minutes. It's been a little over a month now and I can easily do 90 mins. I slowly added time and also discovered that if I just push through the pain, it goes away. Once you show yourself that you can do it, it gets easier.
August 9, 2014 5:57 AM
I so relate to this!! I use to do one hour on the elliptical without using the arms handles! That was 8 years ago. Had a workout related injury at 47 and my life changed drastically. At 55 and some weight gain I want to get back on the horse. I tried the elliptical yesterday and literally couldn't do 3 minutes!!!! My legs were screaming and my lung capacity was severely compromised. So disappointing!!!
August 9, 2014 6:05 AM
Can someone describe this "pain"? I can easily do 3-4 miles on the treadmill, brisk walking @ 4mph, but I get on the elliptical, and within minutes, my knee joints are burning!!

I avoid the elliptical and stairmaster b/c they are so hard on my knees and stick to walking/C25K and strength training, but sometimes think I am missing something in my routine and could benefit from the elliptical. Or is cardio (for endurance/fitness) just cardio regardless of the machine?

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