And thanks to new research published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, we’ve got a little more knowledge about the ol’ elliptical vs. spin bike debate for the next time we hit the gym. We know that cardio is key to keeping up with your fitness goals. But not all cardio is created equal.
Researchers had 14 participants do the same workout routine on the elliptical and on a cycling trainer—which both use pedaling motions—during two different sweat sessions. While the participants exercised, the researchers tracked their VO2 (a.k.a. oxygen consumption) and heart rate, as well as their perceived exertion and a few other metabolic parameters.
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They found that on the elliptical, the participants’ VO2 max was higher, which means that they were able to do more strenuous activity for a longer period of time. But their overall efficiency was lower, meaning those cardio participants weren’t getting as good of a workout for the amount of energy they were expending. (Want to get in shape, fast? Check out Women’s Health‘s Ignite routine created by Next Fitness Star Nikki Metzger.)
Based on www.cheapreplica.netthese findings, the study authors suggest that cycling might be the better cardio bet—especially if you’re recovering from an injury. The issue is that getting into a habit of low efficiency training (like you’d get on the elliptical) might screw with your performance abilities over time. Still, if you have no interest in quitting the machine, here are four ways to get the most out of your elliptical workout.