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3 Elliptical Workouts & An Elliptical Workout Playlist

Tired of your usual 60 minutes at Level 5 on the elliptical? We are too! Here, three new elliptical workouts for you to try so you can mix up your workout without having to say goodbye to your beloved machine. Plus, a workout pla list to keep your legs pumping when you just can’t stand to watch any more trashy VH1 reality shows on the gym TV! The elliptical is one of the best machines in the cardio repertoire. It’s fun and it’s easy on your joints and body. But not only does the same workout get tiring over time, but your muscles get less and less benefit without variety. Change ensures that your muscles break down and rebuild stronger, heightening your fitness level. Her Campus caught up with Harvard University Assistant Cross Country coach, Amy Gozstyla to find out more about dynamic elliptical workouts.

The Interval Workout In the running world, a workout like this would be called a “Fartlek,” Swedish for “speed play.” Interval training brings variety to your slow and fast twitch muscles, as well as your aerobic fitness level. “An interval workout will help strengthen your lungs and heart—building better cardiovascular fitness. This is also known as aerobic training,” says Gozstyla. “The more aerobic training that you attain, the longer you can keep your heart rate up. This develops stronger muscles which allow you to burn more calories and work out more efficiently.” Mentally, intervals help break the session into smaller goals making time go by more quickly. Start with a 10-minute warm-up at an easy to moderate pace. 20 minutes of interval training: 1 minute at top “sprint” speed at high resistance, followed by 1-minute easy recovery. Repeat this pattern for 20 minutes. Followed with a 10 minute cool-down. To make it tougher, add more minutes to the sprint section, and less time in recovery. Try to build up to recovering for only half the time of your sprint.

The Circuit Training Circuit Training “Allows you to combine your strength training with your cardio in one shot. This will also bring more variety to your muscles,” continues Gozstyla. Try rotating between time on the elliptical and a core routine. Start with a 10-minute warm-up at an easy to moderate pace. Follow with 10 minutes at a hard, steady pace. Hop off the machine, and knock out 10-15 push-ups and 20-25 crunches or sit-ups and a 20 second plank-hold. Repeat the pattern four times. Finish with a 10-minute cool-down.

The Triathlon While the elliptical may be the most fun machine in the cardio room, it isn’t the only one around. You don’t have to tear yourself away completely from your fave machine, but you do need to add variety to your workouts in order to build up your cardio fitness. Trying other machines will bring this variety. Workout Time: 60 minutes. 20 minutes on the Stairmaster, followed by 20 minutes on the recumbent/stationary bike, finish with 20 minutes on the elliptical. Try not to spend too much time transitioning between the three machines.

Workout Playlist:
1. She Wolf – Shakira
2. Summer Nights – Rascal Flatts
3. Something kind of Oooh – Girls Aloud
4. P.Y.T. – Michael Jackson
5.Good Girls Go Bad – Cobra Starship
6. I’m Not Over – Carolina Liar
7. A Dios Le Pido – Juanes
8. Spaceman – The Killers
9. Explosive – Bond
10. Fire Burning – Sean Kingston
11. Evacuate the Dance Floor – Cascada
12. Working for the Weekend – Loverboy
13. Electric Feel – MGMT
14. Waking up in Vegas – Katy Perry
15. Baba O’Riley – The Who

Sources: Amy Gozstyla, Harvard University Assistant Track and Cross Country Coach Meghan Houser, Harvard University Varsity Cross Country Athlete

A self-proclaimed sports fanatic, Hilary May, Harvard class of 2011, is a History Concentrator native of Newport Beach, CA. Hilary is a member of the varsity track and cross-country teams for the Harvard Crimson, specializing in the middle distances. After a sensational internship at ESPN last summer, she hopes for a career in on-air TV sports broadcasting. At HerCampus Magazine, Hilary wants to shed light on the athletic world to both jocks and gym-goers alike. When she isn't training, studying, or cheering on the Crimson, Hilary enjoys surfing, stand-up paddling, going to the beach, and eating Mexican food.