This week’s review goes out to my favorite new form of cross-training, the ElliptiGO– an elliptical machine on steroids (not really, but it is on wheels) which allows runners and exercise enthusiasts alike to “run without impact” in our natural environment-the great outdoors! Here are 5 reasons why you should give the ElliptiGO a “Go!”
Check out this short clip to see it in action!! (Let’s GO for a Ride!)
1. The Fun Zone
You’ve probably heard people talk training in terms of zones such as aerobic, anaerobic or VO2 max, but when it comes to the ElliptiGO, I’ve found that only one training zone really exists…and thats the “fun zone.” Cross training has never been something I particularly enjoy, but with the ElliptiGO I just can’t get enough! Being able to experience the great outdoors, the wind in my hair, whizzing down my favorite roads and trails at up to 20mph all while getting in a heck of a workout makes this machine an easy favorite.
2. Endless New “Trails”
I love trail running, and typically avoid concrete as much as possible, but with the ElliptiGO I’ve learned to embrace the roads. It’s amazing how many new training routes I’ve discovered. From bike lanes to paved paths or country roads, I’ve now quadrupled my training route options! As far as riding on dirt trails, I find the ElliptiGO does just fine as long as they’re pretty compact and free of rocks.
3. Heart Rate Heaven
I’ve never been one to log my heart rate excessively, but with the ElliptiGO, monitoring your HR is the best way to measure effort (after all, the sub-4 miles I log on rides won’t be put in any record books!) After keeping track for over a month now, my average HR on the ElliptiGO is typically 30-50 BPM higher than my average during any other form of cross-training (swimming, biking, stationary elliptical, aqua jogging or rowing). Some of this is due to my pain being irritated by other machines, so I could never “push” as hard, but speaking with other ElliptiGO enthusiasts I’ve heard similar stories of the ElliptiGO being the Queen of all workout machines!
4. Feelin’ Like I’m “On Top of the World ‘Eh”
I’ve heard people joke that anyone who wears Hoka One-One shoes must have some insecurity about being short (hence the reason their wearing shoes with an extra inch or two of foam.) Of course, there are actually technological benefits to the ultra-cushioned Hoka One-One shoes, and there are also several intriguing benefits of being higher off the ground while riding an ElliptiGO. For example, when you pass pedestrians on foot or bike you actually do feel like you’re on top of the world. You have better views of the scenery in comparison to running. The extra hight is also extremely beneficial when you come across a snake on trail. You never have to worry about accidentally stepping on those scary, slithering serpents since you’ve got an extra 12-20″ between them and your toes! Another safety benefit of being higher-up is better visibility to other pedestrians, cars, or cyclists.
5. The Roller Coaster Effect
Last but not least, the ElliptiGO makes hills an incredibly challenging, yet manageable workout. When riding uphill, its best to shift into a low gear just like cycling. However, unlike cycling I find I’m able to maintain good posture while exerting more effort (whereas on a bike I have to lean forward and hike my butt up to climb hills). Once you reach the top and you’re gasping for air you get to experience the real fun–the down hill! I’m not going to lie, it is a blast getting to coast down the hills at high-speeds (speeds I’ll never reach while running). You might be thinking that having to coast downhill is a negative aspect when it comes to training. However, I look at it as a positive since anyone coming off injury probably can’t handle running down steep grades and therefore can’t run hill repeats. Also, since you can get flying on the downhills, you can actually get back to the bottom of the hill in less recovery time than if you were jogging. Plus you get the added bonus of feeling like you’re on a roller coaster as you hold on tight to the handle bars and fly down the hills! *Just make sure you wear your helmet 🙂 WHHEEEEE!!!
I ride the ElliptiGO 8C, (8speed) which is one of three different models available. You can test-ride ElliptiGo’s at most running stores, including the Colorado Running Company which I ride by almost daily.