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Cardio Workouts: Elliptical Trainer, Spin Bike, Treadmill

Are you interested in using and elliptical, spin bike, or treadmill for cardio workouts but not quite sure what to do?

Young fitness instructor gym people spinning cardio workouts

Cardio Workouts

This article is going to provide you with a few short and effective cardio workouts for use with this equipment. I’ve previously talked about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Now I’m going to provide you with a guide to apply this technique to some of your favorite gym equipment.

Elliptical Trainer

An elliptical is like a combination between a treadmill and a stair climber. An elliptical does not place impact pressure on your spine or other joints and can be really effective for getting your heart rate up. You can work your upper body as well as your lower body and can utilize both forward and backwards motions to work your legs from different angles.

Ok, I’m sure you know all of that already. You’re here because you want insight on the settings.

Here’s a short and intense workout. Do it as a standalone cardio, supplemental workout, or double it up and go JohnnyFit!

Total Time: 15 minutes

TimeResistance/LevelPerceived Exertion
3 min4/55
2 min6/66
3 min5/55-6
2 min6/76
5 min2/13-4 (cool down)

Spin Bike

Climb onto a stationary bike, visualize the open road and bike your way to cardio fitness! Try these settings to really burn some calories!

When the resistance level indicates 6-8, choose a setting from 6 to 8. Push yourself!

Total Time: 10 minutes

TimeIntensity/SpeedResistance LevelPerceived Exertion
1 min70-80 RPM54
1 min100-110 RPM6-86
1 min70-80 RPM54
1 min100-110 RPM6-86
1 min70-80 RPM54
1 min100-110 RPM6-86
1 min70-80 RPM54
1 min100-110 RPM6-86
1 min70-80 RPM54
1 min70-80 RPM54


First of all, get all of your laundry off the treadmill!

Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Ok, now let’s address why there was laundry on this thing. It’s probably because other people in the house (not you) are a little unsure of the correct way to use this piece of equipment effectively.

An effective treadmill workout includes a warmup, a shift in intensities, and a cool down. Just jumping on and going at a pace that you wish to maintain can lead to boredom and even worse, injury. Challenging yourself with varying speeds will keep things interesting, get you results, and keep the clothes pile from returning!

This treadmill workout features all of this and will help you burn some calories and lose the goo!

When the setting indicators vary (3.0-4.0, 2-4%, 6-7), choose a setting within that range. Push yourself!

A Total Time 15 minutes

TimeIntensity/SpeedInclinePerceived Exertion
5 min3.0 mph-warmup1%Level 2-3
3 min4.0+3%4-5
1 min4.5+6%5
3 min5.0+2-4%6
1 min4.5+5%5
1 min6.0+2-4%6-7
1 min3.0-4.00%3-4

Don’t forget that the most important part of any fitness program is the nutrition!

2 thoughts on “Cardio Workouts: Elliptical Trainer, Spin Bike, Treadmill”

  1. Another treadmill tip is to do “pickups” throughout your run. This is when – from a comfortable running pace (you can converse) – you speed up to a strenuous pace (almost gasping) for 30 seconds, then back off to the comfortable pace. I don’t know if this would work very well with the 15 minute workout you have set up, but for runs of 30 minutes or longer, it’s a great way to challenge yourself 🙂

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