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Here's How Long You Should Elliptical for Weight Loss

An expert shares the ideal pace and length of time you should elliptical if you want to lose weight.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Elliptical workouts have gained immense popularity among my clients over recent years—and for good reason. Not only are they low-impact and easy on the joints, but they also provide an effective cardiovascular workout for weight loss. I often remind my clients that the duration and intensity of their elliptical workouts play a significant role in achieving weight-loss goals. So I'm here to break down the benefits of working out on the elliptical, along with how long and fast you should elliptical for weight loss.

By incorporating regular elliptical sessions into your fitness routine and varying your workout intensity, you can maximize calorie burn and effectively shed unwanted pounds. Remember to listen to your body and adjust the workout intensity as needed. Consistency, calorie deficit, and adequate protein intake are all key to seeing results. Aim to incorporate this elliptical routine into your weekly exercise regimen, track your calories, and increase your protein intake for optimal weight-loss benefits.

Keep reading to learn all about how long and fast you should elliptical for weight loss, along with the benefits of this workout machine. And when you're finished, be sure to check out the 6 Best Pilates Exercises to Improve Your Balance & Coordination.

The benefits of working out on an elliptical for weight loss:

fit man on elliptical, concept of cardio exercises to stay fit as you age

Before delving into the specifics of how long and fast to elliptical for weight loss, it's crucial to understand the benefits of incorporating this exercise into your routine.

1. It's a low-impact workout. Elliptical trainers offer a smooth, fluid motion that reduces stress on the joints, making them suitable for individuals of all fitness levels, including those with joint issues or injuries.

2. It burns calories. Elliptical workouts engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, resulting in a higher calorie burn compared to traditional cardio exercises like walking or cycling.

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3. It's versatile. Most elliptical machines come with adjustable resistance levels and incline settings, allowing you to customize your workout intensity to match your fitness goals.

4. It boosts your cardiovascular health. Regular elliptical workouts improve cardiovascular endurance, leading to a healthier heart and improved overall fitness.

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How fast should you elliptical for weight loss?

Woman Exercising on Elliptical Cross Trainer

The ideal elliptical workout pace for weight loss varies from person to person based on factors such as fitness level, age, and individual goals. However, a general guideline is to aim for a moderate to high-intensity workout.

1. Moderate intensity: Maintain a steady pace where you can comfortably carry on a conversation but still feel challenged. This intensity level allows you to sustain the workout for a longer duration, resulting in increased calorie burn.

2. High intensity: Incorporating intervals of high-intensity effort followed by periods of rest or lower intensity can maximize calorie expenditure and boost metabolism post-workout. Alternate between periods of increased resistance or speed and recovery intervals to keep the body guessing and prevent plateauing.

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A sample elliptical routine for weight loss:

Here's an elliptical workout routine designed to help you achieve your weight-loss goals. The entire routine should take 30 minutes.

1. Warm Up (5 minutes)

Start with a five-minute warm-up at a comfortable pace to prepare your muscles and joints for the workout ahead.

2. Interval Training (20 minutes)

  • Interval 1 (5 minutes): Increase resistance or incline to a challenging level, and pedal at a high intensity for one minute.
  • Recovery (2 minutes): Lower the resistance, and pedal at a moderate pace for two minutes to recover.
  • Interval 2 (5 minutes): Repeat interval 1.
  • Recovery (2 minutes): Repeat the recovery phase.
  • Interval 3 (5 minutes): Repeat interval 1.
  • Cool-down (3 minutes): Gradually decrease the resistance, and pedal at an easy pace for three minutes to cool down.

3. Cool Down (5 minutes)

Finish your workout with a five-minute cooldown, gradually decreasing the intensity until your heart rate returns to normal.

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler
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