Thursday, January 21, 2010

Elliptical Machines Vs. Deadlifts

Deadlifts would crush the elliptical machine - if it was a battle to see which exercise could change your body for the better.

As Men's Health said, (On page 52 of the December, 2008 issue), "Never trust elliptical machines". They quote a study that found elliptical machines over-
estimated the number of calories burned in a workout by 31%.

My buddy Lee Hayward, a Canadian meathead from out on Newfoundland, "I personally take the read outs on all cardio machines with a grain of salt,
but I always felt that the elliptical showed an unusually high number for calories burned compared to the intensity of the workout."

And I agree.

Heck, that same issue of MH quoted a Biggest Loser competitor who said the same thing.

So not surprisingly, my workout today did not include the elliptical, but did include the deadlift...

1A) Deadlifts
1B) Pushups

2A) Rack Pulls
2B) Side Plank

3A) Shrug
3B) 1-leg ball curl

And yes, I know that deadlifts are 1000x's harder than the elliptical, but you must push yourself and get out of your comfort zone.

Of course, you don't have to do deadlifts, but you shouldn't waste your time on the elliptical reading people magazine.

Here's a quote that will challenge you:

"If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I must warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your lives."
– Abraham Maslow


And to finish off...a quick Q'n'A from my Facebook page:

Q:  Is there such a thing as too much TT if I'm not sore? I think I'm becoming addicted to the slaying TT has deliverd to me :)


Yes, be careful...overuse injuries can sneak up.


Training is a stimulus applied with PURPOSE in order to get adaptation. Its not about how much you workout, but the results you get from your workouts.

And if you are new to TT, remember this:

Everyday take baby steps to improvement. Be a little better than yesterday.

Stay strong and safe,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS


scott said...

Hi Craig ... can you please tell me if you have any speaking or training events in California scheduled for this year?

Also, can you please comment on the number of sets and reps you suggest for those of us who just started doing deadlifts?? I just started them this month and I'm definitely making improvements, and so far I've been doing about 5-6 sets of 10-12 reps ... wondering if you agree with that.

Thank you!


Anonymous said...


I do a large variety of movements for energy systems training. While the elliptical is not in my arsenal, I often work in the Versaclimber. It's a large amplitude movement that works a lot of muscle mass in the process, so I figured it was worthwhile in spite of being a "cardio machine."

Do you agree that it can be more productive than most cardio machines provided the effort is there? I separate the Versaclimber and the Concept 2 Rower (maybe a bit more limited relative to the Versaclimber when it comes to those with rectus femoris or psoas length issues and/or lower back tweaks) from the rest of the pack when it comes to machine cardio?

I still use various types of circuits, sled pulling/pushing, strongman medleys, and such for conditioning purposes, but I was wondering if you would throw it on the scrap heap like you might be inclined to do with the elliptical. (That is for those with access to one, which is a stretch since many gyms don't have Versaclimbers or Rowers but have row after row of ellipticals and treadmills)

~Ron McDougal