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TOPIC: RPMs on an Elliptical

 
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April 23, 2013 7:49 PM
Different for men and women? And what's a "good" rate? I know the answer will vary, but my husband and I are somewhat disagreeing. At the moment I'm going 45-60min with an average RPM of 56. My husband is going 30min with an average RPM of 55. We're both (strangely) the same weight right now at 202lbs.
Anyway... I know neither of us is up to our physical best, but he's under the impression that "As a man, [he] should have an average of at least 65 RPM" or he thinks he's doing badly. Personally, I think he's being unreasonable, especially as he's only been at it two days. Am I just completely off here?
  41350058
April 23, 2013 7:56 PM
It doesn't really matter. It's an arbitrary measurement. I would focus more on wattage than anything else, 60 rpms doesn't mean anything since you aren't taking into account resistance. Maybe he set the resistance higher?
  33711423
April 23, 2013 8:00 PM
Your resistance level is the most important part. If you have it set with no resistance you should be able to spin quickly, if you bump it up it gets harder and harder. RPM's would only be an indicator of effort based on how you have it set. There's no set number that is "right".
April 23, 2013 8:02 PM
We've been doing the same "course" on the elliptical. Rises, falls, rises and falls again. *shrug* Maybe it's just because I'm not fit yet that I can't grasp doing more than one revolution per second for half an hour, man or not.
  41350058
April 23, 2013 8:10 PM
As others say, it makes no difference. I usually tell people to find a speed they are comfortable with and then change intensity by increasing resistance.

The work you do is a combination of speed and resistance, so by manipulating either side of the equation you can reach the same workload--same as gearing on a bike.
April 23, 2013 8:19 PM
The resistance goes up and down throughout the "course". I guess I should clarify here that I understand RPM alone doesn't tell much of anything. Tonight he just did the same course at 51 RPM and he feels like he failed because it's so low. I just want to know if it's reasonable to tell him not to push to get to 65 RPM. The man has kind of a weak heart to begin with and I don't want him keeling over on me because he's trying to get to a crazy number.
  41350058
April 23, 2013 8:48 PM
I believe that most good cyclists normally aim for 80-90 RPM's. I don't really classify myself as "good" and I doubt I reach these RPMs out cycling, don't have meters to check.

During my RPM classes we range from 60 (warmup/cooldown, breaks + hill work ie. high resistance), 90 for average work, 110 for racing speed and 130 for short sprints. You may have to decrease resistance to reach these RPMs. Most occasional riders don't reach these RPMs and are often at 60 rpm or less.
April 23, 2013 11:04 PM
From the bit of reading I've done, elliptical and cycling RPMs differ...cycling generally goes faster than elliptical. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I know I shouldn't believe everything I read on the internet :)
  41350058
April 23, 2013 11:08 PM
Your probably right I don't know much about the elliptical, I thought they were the same thing. lol.
Edited by Scott15Fit On April 23, 2013 11:09 PM
April 24, 2013 12:03 AM
Why not get a cheap heart rate monitor (or use the one on the machine if it has one) (They are around £20 in the uk) .. Work in the zone rather by speed, that way, when the resistance is up, you can afford to slow down (but keep your heart rate at a good pace)... and vica verca.. Even if you dont wear it all the time, it can help yo uwork out out what range you need to be working in...

As a general guide, if you work for 20mins, and dont break into a good sweat, you probably arn't working hard enough..... ;-)

As others have said.. the RPM is really a bit of a meaningless number..... Its the effect your excercise is having on your body which is important.
April 24, 2013 12:13 AM
The only difference would be related to height. A persons sex has nothing to do with it. (assuming that resistance and elevation are the same as you stated)

I will say that 55-65 seems pretty low effort. I do a resistance level of 15 on average and i try to keep my RPM above 75 at the least. Of course everyone has different levels of fitness and other factors so i am not trying to say that anything less than what i do is bad. That would be incorrect. However i would still suggest that the average RPM be higher if at all possible. The more effort you can do the better.
April 24, 2013 12:13 AM
RPMs dont really mean much on an elliptical its all in the resistance matter a fact if your resistance is low the faster you go the less you work your muscles because of the momentum. Try increase the resistance and stay at a stable speed i usually do 9 km in 40 mins now HIT when i started i did regular intervals and it took me 60 mins for 8 km.
So slowly increase the resistance and keep a study speed and HRM helps
  38326521
April 24, 2013 11:49 PM
Ok, I got that the RPM is a fairly meaningless number. And I am getting an HRM next month sometime when we can afford it (kind of tight here). I was mainly concerned about my husband pushing too hard to reach a higher number (especially within his first week) when he already has a weak heart. I wanted to be able to tell him he could slow down a little. I worry.
btw, I work up a good sweat by 10min and keep it going the full time...just mentioning that because it was brought up. Sweat in the eyes and soaked clothing are annoyances I'm getting used to at this point. Anyway, thank you for all the responses. :)
  41350058
April 25, 2013 12:09 AM
also- I think all of the machines vary - I recently searched for an interval training program for beginners using an elliptical - and the beginning program wanted my rpms to be in the 120-140 range
when I am going as fast as I can with no resistance I get maybe 75
I average around 60-65 after 3 weeks of doing this and yesterday, at one point, I was at 48 rpms- of course this was the mountain program and intensity level was 19 (only for one minute)- my heart rate was over 150 and I was sweaty as could be - and that was more important to me

good luck- maybe cover up the rpm window of the readout and tell hubby to concentrate on how he feels not how fast he is moving
April 25, 2013 12:19 AM
QUOTE:

Ok, I got that the RPM is a fairly meaningless number. And I am getting an HRM next month sometime when we can afford it (kind of tight here). I was mainly concerned about my husband pushing too hard to reach a higher number (especially within his first week) when he already has a weak heart. I wanted to be able to tell him he could slow down a little. I worry.
btw, I work up a good sweat by 10min and keep it going the full time...just mentioning that because it was brought up. Sweat in the eyes and soaked clothing are annoyances I'm getting used to at this point. Anyway, thank you for all the responses. :)


just tell him if he goes to fast on low resistance he is not working his muscles and gets chicken legs ;)
  38326521
April 25, 2013 12:25 AM
QUOTE:

Ok, I got that the RPM is a fairly meaningless number. And I am getting an HRM next month sometime when we can afford it (kind of tight here). I was mainly concerned about my husband pushing too hard to reach a higher number (especially within his first week) when he already has a weak heart. I wanted to be able to tell him he could slow down a little. I worry.
btw, I work up a good sweat by 10min and keep it going the full time...just mentioning that because it was brought up. Sweat in the eyes and soaked clothing are annoyances I'm getting used to at this point. Anyway, thank you for all the responses. :)


Sweat in the eyesd and soaked clothing are what its all about..... ;-)

Your body is the best indicator of how your workout went...... if you feel you could have done more, you probably could. BTW, I do a hills program on an ellyptical every day, and i only ever look at time / distance . with a fairly hard setting, I try to do 10K distance.... currently in around 47mins........ so thats my personal target, to beat that.....
April 26, 2013 3:39 AM
QUOTE:


Sweat in the eyesd and soaked clothing are what its all about..... ;-)

Your body is the best indicator of how your workout went...... if you feel you could have done more, you probably could. BTW, I do a hills program on an ellyptical every day, and i only ever look at time / distance . with a fairly hard setting, I try to do 10K distance.... currently in around 47mins........ so thats my personal target, to beat that.....


yeah same here i always set my distance i want to do witch i upped last week from 8km to 9km and then see if i get it done in my allowed time of 40 mins now once i feel it going easier i add more distance or higher resistance.
  38326521

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