How Long On Elliptical To See Results? (It Depends On Goals)

How long on elliptical to see results? The truth is that it varies from person to person. Each person has unique weight loss and muscle-building goals as well as different starting points (different muscle and fat composition).

To see results using the elliptical machine, you will need to consistently workout for several months, incorporate other workout machines depending on your goals, and have a healthy diet.

30 min Exercise On Elliptical Machine per day

Exercising for 30 minutes per day on an elliptical machine will help you lose weight and build muscle slowly. At this rate, you will need to wait several months to see considerable results.

With this program, you will burn an additional approximately 4500 calories over the course of the month. This means you will likely lose 2-3 lbs over the course of the month as long as all other variables remain constant. 

1 Hour Exercise On Elliptical Machine per day 

Once you have completed 1 hour of exercise on the elliptical machine per day for a period, you should see fat loss results. With this program, you will burn an additional approximately 9000 calories over the course of the month. This means you will likely lose 4-6 lbs over the course of the month as long as all other variables remain constant.

1 Month (30 days) Exercise On Elliptical Machine

After one month of exercise on the elliptical machine, you should notice that your clothes fit better. You should have lost 1-5 lbs of fat and gained 1-2 pounds of muscle (depending on the resistance levels that you used). Your overall aesthetic and results will be based on your frame, weight, and body composition, as well as the workout program you chose.

Healthy Weight Loss

The elliptical machine helps exercisers with healthy weight loss rather than starvation-induced weight loss.

You can eat great food and still lose weight.

By keeping your diet the same and increasing the calories that you burn, you will begin to lose weight and drop pounds.

How Long On Elliptical To See Results?

Healthy weight loss means no more than 1-2 pounds should be lost each week. The goal is to slowly lose weight over time, and daily elliptical workouts will help make this possible.

Reducing Belly Fat

Belly fat can be one of the most stubborn places to lose fat. It can be frustrating to reduce belly fat because it's impossible to spot reduce fat. This means that when you lose fat, your body pulls the fat from all over your body (rather than from one specific location). You need to lose fat overall in order to reduce your belly fat.

The elliptical can help you reduce belly fat by reducing your overall fat content. Belly fat tends to be one of the last fat areas to "go," and you might not see results until you are several months into your workout. Depending on your body composition and the type of workout program you choose, it may take anywhere from one month to six months to see the fat disappear from your belly. 

If you're main focus is reducing belly fat, check out our detailed guide on what exercise machine burns the most belly fat.

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Building Muscle & Strength

In order to build muscle and strength, you need to start by increasing your resistance on the elliptical machine. The greater your resistance, the more likely you are to build muscle and increase your strength. We recommend starting with long steady-state cardio at a specific resistance level (range 4-10) and gradually increasing the resistance over time.

We also recommend using interval training (30 seconds at resistance 10-20 and then 1 minute at resistance level 2-3) as a way to not only get your heart rate up but let you work out at higher resistance levels. 

Related Article - Does Elliptical Build Muscle?

Correcting Posture & Balance

Within the first week of using the elliptical regularly, you will notice that your posture and balance begin to improve. This is typically one of the first improvements that people notice.

Your muscles acclimate to the new upright posture that you use while working out on the elliptical, and you'll notice that you seem to stand up straighter throughout the day. Balance improves because you are using each side of the body individually.

people exercising on ellipticals in a gym

How Often Should I Exercise On An Elliptical To Get The Best Results?

This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on your current body composition and the type of workout program that you select.

Working out on the elliptical with a healthy diet will lead to the best results. We recommend exercising 45 to 60 minutes, five days each week for the best results. However, if you are also performing weight lifting exercises, you may want to tone it down to 15 to 20 minutes, four to five days each week.  

Make sure that you measure your body composition each week as well as weigh yourself to see if your body is changing. Be aware of how much you exercise by logging all of your workouts. You can use a workout journal or a phone app to track your workouts (distance, time, and intensity).

This way, you can make sure that you slowly begin to increase the difficulty of your workout. Increasing the difficulty of your workout over time will lead to the best results.

women using elliptical machines

How To Maximize Elliptical Workouts (For Best Results)

There are a couple of different tips that you can use to maximize your elliptical machine workouts. If you want to reach your fitness goals, try the following workouts and create a mix of all three.

  1. 1
    HIIT Workouts 
    HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and can help you torch calories by raising your heart rate but giving you time to recover so that you can continue working out long-term. To perform a HIIT workout on the elliptical, start with a 1 minute steady state at 2-3-4. Then move into a level 8-9+ for 20 seconds. Now move back down to the 2-3-4 level for another minute. Repeat.
  2. 2
    LIIT Workouts 
    LIIT stands for low-intensity interval training and can be used effectively in an elliptical workout program. LIIT is gentler on the body and typically can be performed for a longer duration than HIIT. LIIT is less tiring but still gets your heart rate going more than steady-state cardio does. To perform a LIIT workout on the elliptical, start with a 2-3 minute steady state at level 1-2-3. Then move into a level 5-6 for 90 seconds. Now move back down to the 1-2-3 level for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat.
  3. 3
    Endurance Training Workouts 
    The best way to perform an endurance training workout on the elliptical is to choose a level that won’t break you down too much. For example, you don’t want to try to complete a 45 minute or 60 minute endurance training workout at a level 10+ (unless you are already at that training level). Endurance is about maintaining a steady pace for an extended period of time. These workouts should be steady-state cardio at a comfortable level. This may be a level 1 if you are new to elliptical workouts but could be more of a level 4-5 if you are more experienced. It should feel easy and gentle, but not like walking (think of the cardiac experience as jogging instead of running or sprinting).
man exercising on elliptical machine

Frequently Asked Elliptical Training Questions 

Is the elliptical better than walking? 

An average person who weighs 160lbs. can burn approximately 360 calories on the elliptical compared to 310 calories burned walking. This means that the elliptical burns slightly more calories than walking. The elliptical also allows you to adjust the resistance level and create a muscle-building workout, which you cannot do with walking.

How long does it take to burn 500 calories on an elliptical? 

The time it takes to burn 500 calories on an elliptical is dependent on your weight, your resistance level, and your speed. It typically takes between 35 minutes and 60 minutes to burn 500 calories on an elliptical. This Calories Burned Calculator will use weight, intensity level, and the duration of your workout to determine how many calories you burned.

How many days a week should I do elliptical? 

The number of days a week you should use the elliptical should be based on your specific workout program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that you spend 150 minutes per week, at a minimum, performing a moderate-intensity exercise. The elliptical machine can qualify as a moderate-intensity workout exercise.

Where can I find some ‘before and after’ elliptical inspiration? 

Instagram is the best place to find "before and after" elliptical inspiration. Many individuals post their workouts and weight loss or muscle-building workouts as inspiration. You can find before and after photos as well as workout recommendations.


Conclusion

It typically takes anywhere from one month to six months to see results with consistent elliptical use. These results will depend on diet, the intensity of your workout, and other machines used in your fitness program.

Most results will show up slowly over time and with incremental body changes. We recommend measuring your body to be able to track these changes, as well as measuring your workouts to ensure you are progressing at a fitness level. 

Are you ready to start seeing results from elliptical training? Before you go, jump over to our guide on the best ellipticals under $500.

Last Updated on September 6, 2022