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TOPIC: elliptical vs. treadmill

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June 29, 2011 12:35 PM
Does the elliptical burn more calories than the treadmill???

So I used the elliptical for the first time yesterday and I did around 30 minutes of the hill plus program on level 10 and burned around 350 calories. I usually do 30 minutes of the stairmaster (fatburner on level 10) or the treadmill (jog: 5mph for 4 min, run: 7mph for 1 min) and only burn around 250 calories, but I feel much more tired after these workouts than the elliptical. I still felt tired and sweated from the elliptical, but not nearly as much as the stairmaster and treadmill. So is the elliptical accurate? I don't have a hrm and haven't been able to get one since I'm on a tight budget, so I have no way to see how accurate the machines are.

Any advice would be wonderful! Thanks :)
June 29, 2011 12:38 PM
I find I burn MORE on the elliptical in 45 minutes at a setting of 8-12 than i do on a full HOUR of the treadmill set at 4.5 mph, incline of 9. someone said to me the elliptical is more of a 'complete' workout...neither here nor there for me as I hate the gym!
June 29, 2011 12:39 PM
Elliptical FTW!!

and it has a lower impact on your joints.
June 29, 2011 12:39 PM
Are these calories burned from the machine or a HRM, it seems the treadmill would have the potential to burn more calories.

You could be just dealing with two machines doing two different calculations
June 29, 2011 12:39 PM
I've been told that if it asks your weight/age, then it is accurate. I burn more calories on the elliptical too so that's always my choice. flowerforyou
Edited by BabyDuchess On June 29, 2011 12:40 PM
June 29, 2011 12:40 PM
As long as your using the moving arms as well....then yes the elliptical does burn more due to using more muscles then the treadmill or stairclimber
June 29, 2011 12:41 PM
As long as the elliptical asks for your weight before you start - it is pretty accurate. I burn more and feel i can go longer also - I think part of it is there is less impact, like swimming, so it doesn't seem as tiring on your body. is a free chart - but I don't think it shows much for levels on the machines or inclines. If you use an incline on the treadmill you will burn more in the same amount of time :)
June 29, 2011 12:41 PM

Does the elliptical burn more calories than the treadmill???

June 29, 2011 12:42 PM
They did a test on the Dr. Oz show and it showed the treadmill as burning more calories. I suggest going to his site and it should show the
June 29, 2011 12:43 PM

Elliptical FTW!!

and it has a lower impact on your joints.

nonsense, the eliptical is a different workout completely, its like saying cycling has less impact on your joints than jogging on a treadmill.
June 29, 2011 12:44 PM
the elliptical says I burn more calories than the treadmill .... both machines have HRM on the handles which I have purposely held the entire time to check accuracy.

FYI - even at level 1 I can still burn more doing 30 minutes elliptical than I can doing 30 minutes alternating jogging / walking fast on the treadmill
June 29, 2011 12:44 PM
Don't go by what the machine says. It's more than likely not accurate. You need an HRM to really get a true burned calorie count. As for the elliptical, I've heard that its good for people with injuries because it's low impact, but it doesn't work certain major muscles, like the hip flexor, that need to be worked. I've read that if you use the elliptical for long periods of time then try to walk or run on a road or treadmill, you can injure yourself because you did not work those muscles on the elliptical. Make sense? It's on WebMD somewhere in an article i read a while back.
June 29, 2011 12:46 PM
Just to debunk this myth, I use a Precor elliptical at my gym that asks for age and weight. I always thought it was accurate too. Then one day I got on one where some of the buttons were broken so I was not able to enter my age or weight. It still gave me my usual calorie count even without knowing age/weight. I then got a Polar FT-7 and that gave me a reading that was actually 30 calories more than what the machine said. So, all that to say, I wouldn't consider the machines to be completely accurate, even if they ask for age/weight.
June 29, 2011 12:48 PM
the elliptical burns more, i love this machine!!!
June 29, 2011 12:52 PM
While I do burn more calories on the elliptical then I do on the treadmill, I find that my belly fat (which is my most stubborn spot) seems to be more affected when I do intervals on the treadmill vs intervals on the elliptical. Just a personal observation though...
June 29, 2011 12:58 PM
Thank you for the responses! :) I think I might try out the elliptical more, since it does make my joints feel better. I usually have difficulty walking after the treadmill because my ankle hurts tons :(. Would anyone be able to recommend a good, but cheap hrm? I'm on a budget >.<.
June 29, 2011 1:02 PM
With HRMs you get what you pay for. If I were you I'd save up for a Polar FT-4. I think they can be had for $60-$80 if you shop around. Also, if you're going to run more, go to a running store where they watch you run and fit you with a proper shoe. That will take away a lot of the aches and pains with running.
June 29, 2011 1:06 PM
If you are following how MFP works and are eating at a caloric deficit and eating back your exercise calories, then it is irrelevant which one burns more. You should be exercising to achieve a fitness/performance goal, not just to burn calories, in which case the treadmill would be better because it translate to a functional movement pattern.
Edited by End6ame On June 29, 2011 1:08 PM
June 29, 2011 1:14 PM
elliptical vs. treadmill is like comparing apples vs. oranges. They are different types of cardio workouts and are both good for you. As for which one burns more depends on the intensity level you can maintain for each. I can burn way more calories per hour running 7 mph than I could using the elliptical for an hour. But if your body is used to using the elliptical, you can probably maintain a higher intensity level for a longer period of time and burn more calories compared to the treadmill if you couldn't maintain as high of an intensity level for as long.
June 29, 2011 1:17 PM

Elliptical FTW!!

and it has a lower impact on your joints.

Totally the reason why I use the elliptical, I have weakish knees and the treadmill or high impact aerobics etc kill my joints, the cross trainer is a saint. I burn masses of calories and don't get the pain afterwards
June 29, 2011 1:20 PM
I used to run on the treadmill, but then switched to the elliptical a few months back and discovered the same thing! There was less impact on my joints and I didn't feel like my legs got hit by a truck afterwards. And the fact that I burned more calroies was a HUGE bonus. The elliptical I use does ask for age, weight, etc. I sweat like mad, especially since I use it with high intensity. In 20 minutes I burn on average 270 calories. I do believe much has to do with using the moving arms. You are now putting more of your body into the workout. And it periodically reads my heart rate while I hold the swinging arms. So I tend to believe that it is pretty accurate.

Elliptical vs. Treadmill...Elliptical wins!
June 29, 2011 1:20 PM
I do an hour on the treadmill every saturday and burn 450-500 calories. It only takes me 40 minutes on the elliptical to hit 500.

With that said, if someone challenged me to burn as many calories as I could in 5-10 minutes, i would pick the treadmill. Throw the incline up to level 15 and set the MPH in the 2.5-3.0 range. That calorie monitor starts turning over like a slot machine. I have gotten close to 20 cals/minute doing that. But I can't keep it up very long.

And that's what she said.


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