50-Min Pyramid Elliptical Workout

Hey everybody, let’s go spend 50 minutes on the elliptical!

50 min pyramid elliptical workout On Christmas Day I came to the realization that I needed to take some time off of running. After running here and there in December and not feeling so awesome about my performance I concluded that my legs/hip flexors still needed some rest and recovery time after my injury and the Philadelphia Marathon.

30 days without running means that I spent a lot of time on the elliptical for my cardio. I have come a long way from my elliptical-bashing mindset when I wrote this post (<- that workout btw, do it). In fact, I have grown to be quite fond of it.

Two things that help pass the time on the elliptical:

  1. Changing up the resistance
  2. Podcasts

I’ll talk about the first point first (because that makes sense). Changing the resistance up and down helps keep the elliptical interesting. When elliptical-ing you are inside and stationary, not running outside turning corners, going over bridges, etc. Switching the resistance makes things feel different and therefore, more exciting. Plus, this gives you a better workout than steady state cardio.

We are going to do some intervals in a pyramid fashion, meaning that the intervals will increase in duration (2 to 3 to 4 to 5 minutes) and then decrease (5 to 4 to 3 to 2 minutes). Also, while we increase and decrease the time we are going to move the resistance up and down (10 to 13 to 15 to 17 to 15 to 13 to 10).

Here is the workout in a pretty little image:

50 min pyramid elliptical workout

You will want to exert the about the same amount of effort on the high resistances as you do on the low resistances. When you increase the resistance up to 15, you will be working pretty hard, but you will probably be going at a slower mph. Really use your legs (especially those glutes!) to push through. When the resistance is low you’ll easily be able to go faster. Take the first 30-45 seconds to recover a bit from the high resistance then kick it into gear and start moving. There is no need to sprint here, just make sure to keep your heart rate up!

Now onto my second point, podcasts. I just discovered how wonderful they are. It all started when my sister-in-law convinced me to listen to Serial and mentioned that it was great to listen to during workouts. Life changing advice. Since elliptical-ing my way through Serial I have been exploring other podcasts like This American Life, Pop Culture Happy Hour,  Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! (which I have always been a fan of), and brushing up on my German with Coffee Break German.

To clarify, podcasts are great for those longer, not speed focused workout sessions. I wouldn’t listen to a podcasts while doing rounds of sprints or anything. Fast-paced music is necessary for those. But when pushing through high resistances at a slow and steady pace, it is fun to listen to a story and learn things! #multitasking

One downside: I know I look like a weirdo when I spontaneously burst out laughing while chugging along on the elliptical. But I just can’t help it, Peter Sagal makes me giggle!

So, put on your favorite podcast and hit the elliptical for this 50-minute pyramid workout. It’ll be fun.

Btw, my forced break from running is now over. I went out for a run on Saturday, which was a gorgeous 35 degree afternoon. I was way overdressed (there were people in shorts and t-shirts). I didn’t wear my GPS watch, because I wanted to concentrate on how my body felt rather than worry about my pace, but based on my knowledge of the lake routes I probably hit about 5.5 miles. It felt so great! I’m excited to introduce running back into my workout regime.

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