Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Elliptical Trainer. I don't get it.

People like the elliptical. I don't get it. In fact, it seems the elliptical is the most ridiculous piece of equipment at the gym.

Someone please explain the elliptical to me. It is, in fact, called the Elliptical Trainer. Yet, I have yet to understand what you are training for. The treadmill trains you to run. The stair climber trains you to climb stairs. The stationary bike trains you to ride a bike. Weights train you to lift heavy stuff.

Q: So, what does the Elliptical Trainer train you to do?
A: To ride a very small bicycle standing up, while holding ski poles.


If the circular motion of the elliptical is supposed to be easier on your joints, then the bike seems to be a fitting piece of exercise equipment. Then these poles that you are supposed to move back and forth like in a skiing motion . . . what are those for? Because your legs are stronger than your arms, the poles just push your arms back and forth. Perhaps they are for stability? You mind as well train yourself not to hang on to anything at all - this engages your core. Otherwise you end up hanging on for dear life, or perhaps pulling an arm out of the socket.

Why is there always one really cute girl on the elliptical who is bouncing  up and down on that thing with her pony tail in full swing? You know who I'm talking about. You can tell her resistance is set on zero because her body is floundering up and down out of control. If she had resistance, she would be pushing, not bouncing. She looks around to see if anyone notices her. Well, I notice, and I am probably sneering. She bounces around for 30 minutes, then goes to the locker room to shower off the two beads of sweat on her back. Sometimes I feel like telling her she just wasted 30 minutes. Then again - maybe better than nothing?

(I have been so tempted to take a video of her in action. I am worried this is probably illegal.)

The Elliptical Trainer: At no time in your life will someone hand you a little bike with ski poles and say - "Go!"

Thank you.


  1. Someone just made a very valid point about using it when she was injured. Good point. Other than that, it's a pointless machine.

  2. I do think it's better than nothing, but yeah ... if I'm going to make the effort to go to the gym I'm going to use something that actually forces me to exert energy. Not the elliptical.