Getting the right elliptical for your body and budget!

5 Myths about Elliptical Trainers Exposed

(Last Updated On: July 11, 2018)

Don’t Belief the ‘Fake News’ About Elliptical Trainers

Here at Fitness-Equipment-Source, we are passionate about educating people on the benefits of modern elliptical trainers.

So, let us help you out by debunking these 5 classic myths about elliptical trainers!

Myth #1 – Ellipticals are too easy

ProForm Endurance 520 E

ProForm Endurance 520 E – This is the lowest priced machine you’ll find on our recommended list.

Many people assume that a workout on an elliptical is not as effective as one on a treadmill, but this simply isn’t the case.

This study from the University of Nebraska shows that “when subjects exercise at the same RPE (rate of perceived exertion) on TM or EL, oxygen consumption and energy expenditure are similar in spite of a higher heart rate on the EL.”

The study shows us that “during cross training or noncompetition-specific exercise, an elliptical device is an acceptable alternative to a treadmill.”

This data also gives us another way to look at an elliptical workout. If you are maintaining the same heart rate on both the treadmill and the elliptical, the RPE on an elliptical will actually be lower.

In other words, you’re getting the same benefits, but it “feels” easier!

This doesn’t mean that every workout on an elliptical has to be strenuous or push you to your limit. You can certainly do an easy workout if you choose. The key to getting the workout you want is to switch things up.

You can push yourself with higher intensity intervals, motivational training programs, or by varying the incline and speed. All of these things will keep your heart pumping.

Myth #2 – Ellipticals are too boring

Any workout can become boring and ineffective if you let it. Slogging through a long jog on the treadmill, or doing rep after rep on the bench press will get old over time.

To keep this from happening on an elliptical, challenge yourself with varied intensity.

Here is an elliptical workout to try that’s far from boring –

Elliptical Resistance Workout

5 minute warm-up to begin

Interval 1 (5 minutes): 

20 sec sprint; 10 sec jog. Repeat for 4 minutes (8x)

1 min Recover

Interval 2 (11 minutes): 

30 sec sprint; 30 sec jog. Increase incline 1 level each sprint. Repeat for 5 minutes (5x)

1 min Recover

Interval 3 (10 minutes):

1 min run, 1 min jog. Repeat for 10 min (10x)

Finish with a 5 minute cool down.


With the motivational programming available on many ellipticals, you don’t even need to come up with your own workout if you don’t feel like it. There are pre-programmed workouts, and even virtual coaches, that tell you exactly what to do while pushing you to keep moving from start to finish.

Myth #3 – Ellipticals are too complicated

Console on the ProForm Hybrid Trainer

Console on the ProForm Hybrid Trainer

Ellipticals have become more advanced in recent years, but this doesn’t mean that they’re too complicated to use. In fact, the advancements and features can make your workout easier. You now have everything you could need or want right at your fingertips.

New programming allows you to access virtual training programs, track your progress and goals through your online accounts, sync and share your stats at the touch of a button with apps like MyFitnessPal and AppleHealth, and even wirelessly monitor your heart rate.

As with operating anything new, figuring out all of the features on your elliptical is simply a matter of using them. When you choose a model that has the features you care about the most, you’ll be using them all the time and be an expert before you know it.

Myth #4 – Ellipticals are too bulky

smartstrider495_folding2Many people believe that an elliptical will take up too much space in their home, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Ellipticals come in all shapes and sizes, so your home doesn’t need to keep you from having a great workout any time. Even those living in smaller homes can find a model that suits their every need.

Your elliptical won’t feel like a space hog when you’re using it and seeing results. Don’t be one of the many people that buy a machine and lets it turn into an expensive clothing rack that just sits in the corner.

Put your elliptical in a location where you will want to work out. Maybe you prefer having a window view or you would like to turn on Netflix and be entertained while you sweat. Decide what works for you and place your elliptical strategically to get what you need.

Progress is also a powerful motivator. Make a plan and then track your workouts so you can see yourself getting better. Investing in fitness apps like iFit, ViaFit, and Sole Fitness will push you on those tough days. You’ll get the most out of your investment and continue seeing your gains every day.

Myth #5 – Ellipticals are only good for injury recovery

It is true that ellipticals are great for injury recovery. They are perfect for getting in your rehab after an injury, and helping you maintain your hard-earned fitness levels during the time you can’t be out pounding the pavement. But an elliptical can benefit anyone, no matter their fitness level or goal.

For many people looking to stay in shape, pain isn’t a temporary by-product of an injury. For those with chronic back pain, an elliptical is a fantastic way to stay healthy.

Serious athletes can also reap the benefits of an elliptical. Introducing an elliptical into your regimen creates a new and dynamic level of training when you are preparing for a marathon. It also allows you to preserve your joints by providing a cross-training alternative to the stress and strain of constant running.

Plus, the unpredictability of training outdoors becomes a non-issue, since an elliptical allows you to train from home.

As you can see, the excuses for not using an elliptical are just that, excuses.

Don’t let them hold you back from getting a great workout! Try out an elliptical and see the benefits for yourself.


Comparison of energy expenditure on a treadmill vs. an elliptical device at a self-selected exercise intensity. Brown GA1, Cook CM, Krueger RD, Heelan KA.; 2010

3 Elliptical HIIT Workouts That Won’t Bore You to Death. Samantha Lafave; 2017

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