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How to Do High Intensity Interval Training on an Elliptical Machine

author image Meaghan Massenat
Meaghan Massenat works as an instructor for Branford Hall Career Institute's Professional Fitness Trainer program. With a Master of Science in exercise physiology from Florida Atlantic University, she is also certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a strength-and-conditioning specialist. Massenat has been writing about health and fitness since 2007, with articles appearing in "Flavor Magazine" and various online publications.
How to Do High Intensity Interval Training on an Elliptical Machine
A woman's feet on an elliptical machine. Photo Credit: Albert Lozano/Hemera/Getty Images

High-Intensity Interval Training, also referred to as HIIT, is a method of working out aerobically that combines moderate intensity training with sprint training. HIIT can efficiently develop your cardiovascular system. The high-low combination allows you to burn more calories than low-intensity cardio sessions. Athletes and untrained individuals alike can benefit from HIIT. You can perform high-intensity interval training on most aerobic equipment, including the elliptical.

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Step 1

Pedal the elliptical machine at a low intensity for five minutes to warm up. Pedal at a speed of roughly three miles per hour at a resistance level of one or two.

Step 2

Increase your intensity by increasing both your speed and resistance level. This is your high-intensity zone; you should be working at an intensity that you can only maintain for 30 seconds.

Step 3

Pedal at a moderate-intensity or recovery zone for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. You should be able to catch your breath during this time.

Step 4

Increase your speed and resistance again to return to your high-intensity zone. If you felt the first sprint was too easy, take the resistance up one or two levels higher this time and sprint faster. Hold the sprint for 30 seconds.

Step 5

Lower your resistance and speed again, for another round of recovery. Pedal at the lower intensity for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Continue to repeat your high-intensity and moderate-intensity zones until you have completed 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 6

Pedal for five minutes at low intensity to bring your heart rate down before stepping off the elliptical.

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