4 Other Gazelle Workouts

Muscular Endurance * Muscle Building * Toning * HIIT
Depending on what type of Gazelle you own, you can create up to seven different workouts. Depending on your fitness goals, you can combine different routines during one workout. For example, you can start with 10 to 15 minutes of muscle building, then finish with 15 to 20 minutes of cardio. Starting with strength first helps you burn glycogen stores, then burn fat better when you start your cardio routine.

If you own an older Gazelle model that provides resistance, you can create the following workouts: beginner, intermediate and advanced cardio, muscle-building, toning, muscular endurance and sprint or interval training.

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Whichever type of workout you choose to use on a Gazelle, follow the same basic workout format each time. Before you begin using a Gazelle, read our article on how a Gazelle works and what it does so you can create the best fat-burning or muscle-building workouts for you. To prevent boredom and increase your muscle use and calorie burn, use a variety of Gazelle moves to create patterns during your workouts. 

In addition to the workouts below, consider purchasing a Tony Little workout DVD. You’ll see the moves demonstrated and can exercise along at our own pace, following a workout led by a fitness instructor to music. When you get to the Amazon site, type, “Tony Little Workout DVD” into the search box to see a complete list of available Gazelle workout DVDs.

#1 Muscular Endurance Circuit-Training Workout

If you’re an athlete, you can build muscular endurance for sports if you have a Gazelle with resistance. The Gazelle must provide enough resistance that it’s challenging to perform a move for 60 seconds.

Start by warming up with a regular stride at a moderate intensity, varying how much arm and leg effort you use, leaning backwards slightly for 15 to 30 seconds, standing on your toes and moving your elbows in and out.

Once you have warmed up, create a circuit-training workout consisting of timed sets of exercises, or sets based on a specific number of reps. For example, to work your calves, stand on your toes and stride with medium-to-long strides for 60 seconds. Take a quick, 15- to 30-second break before starting a different exercise. Alternately, perform 10 to 12 strides if your resistance setting makes it a challenge to finish the last few reps.

This is not a muscle-building workout, so you should not be so fatigued after a set that you need more than 30 seconds to recover before starting the next exercise. Keep the circuit going for 30 minutes, repeating each Gazelle move two to three times during the workout, but not in succession. Change your moves after each 60-second exercise.

After you finish the main portion of your workout, spend two minutes slowing down your speed until your breathing returns to normal. After your breathing is back to normal, get off the Gazelle and perform a thorough stretch.

#2 “Toning”/Body-Shaping Workout

To create the best toning workout on a Gazelle, you’ll need an older model with resistance. You can build some muscle on the new Gazelles that don’t have resistance, but not as effectively. To tone on a newer Gazelle, you’ll need to use your arms to move the machine while you let your legs relax, and vice versa, to make your muscles in specific areas work harder.

By the way, it’s actually not possible to “tone” your muscles – the wobbly flab you feel under your arms is fat, not loose muscle. Muscle tone refers to the state of your muscles during tension, but the word “tone” somehow got picked up by fitness bunnies who now use it incorrectly.

If you want a lean shape, you need to burn fat and build muscle in specific areas. While you can’t burn fat in specific areas (your body burns fat evenly throughout your body during cardio workouts), you can spot-target muscle building. So, combining cardio exercise with strength training will help you get that leaner and tighter look you want.

Once you have warmed up, create a circuit-training cardio workout, similar to a muscular-endurance workout, that consists of timed sets of exercises, or sets based on a specific number of reps. A toning workout on a Gazelle should burn calories with more muscular effort, rather than speed, so don’t worry if you’re not exercising at a fast jogging or running pace. As long as your heart rate stays in your aerobic target range, you’re good to go.

The trick is to find a resistance setting that challenges your muscles without fatiguing you to failure, or making you stop every few minutes to recover. For example, to work your calves, stand on your toes and stride with medium-to-long strides for 60 seconds. Take a quick, 15- to 30-second break before starting a different exercise. Alternately, perform 10 to 12 strides if your resistance setting makes it a challenge to finish the last few reps.

This is not a muscle-building workout, so you should not be so fatigued after a set that you need more than 30 seconds to recover before starting the next exercise.

Don’t worry about bulking up – most women don’t have the testosterone to build massive muscles. If you ever think you’re getting too big in one area, simply stop exercising there (but you’re probably imagining it).

Where to buy a new Gazelle.

#3 Muscle-Building Workout

While it’s not possible for a serious bodybuilder to build muscle on a Gazelle, many people can build muscle on Gazelle models with resistance by performing high-rep workouts. How much muscle you can build depends on your starting strength and your fatigue time. If you can easily continue to perform an exercise for more than 90 seconds, you won’t damage your muscles enough to bulk up. If you fatigue to failure within 90 seconds, you’re good to go. Even if you can continue beyond 90 seconds, if it hurts to do so, you’ll get some (just not maximal) muscle-building benefit.

Set the resistance level to the highest setting and begin performing slow reps, using muscular effort to resist the machine on the way forward and backward. Don’t let the machine move with momentum – you must move it with your muscles.

Warm up off the machine with jogging in place, arm swings and circles, butt kicks and jumping jacks for two or more minutes. Don’t static stretch or you’ll decrease your power for up to 15 minutes.

Once you’re warmed up, create a workout that has you performing three to five sets of the same exercise, with each set followed by approximately three minutes of recovery. For example, perform reps of an exercise for 90 seconds, or to failure, then recover for three minutes. Repeat the same exercise and recover again. Perform three to five sets of this exercise, then take a five-minute break before starting a different exercise.

#4 High-Intensity Interval Training Workout

Working at high speeds for short periods burns more calories per minute, trains your anaerobic energy systems, helps athletes train their fast-twitch muscle fibers and helps you improve your ability to recover after intense activity, such as a point or play during sports. This is different than aerobic exercise, which trains slow-twitch muscle fibers, burns a different mix of fat and glycogen than you do when you play sports, and doesn’t train you to recover after high-intensity bursts.

You create sprint-training workouts (also known as high-intensity interval training) on a Gazelle by using less resistance and more speed.

Don’t try this type or workout without talking to a doctor. Even if you can do aerobic exercise for 30 minutes or more doesn’t mean you can sprint at close to your maximum heart rate over and over again.

Once you have warmed up, create an interval, or sprint, moving the machine at an intensity that gets you working between 80% to 90% of your maximum heart rate. Do this for 30 seconds if you are a beginner, followed by 60 seconds to two minutes of recovery at a walking – not jogging – speed. Repeat this pattern for five minutes if you are new to sprint training. As you build cardio strength and stamina, increase the duration of your intervals, adding 15 seconds to each interval. Top athletes don’t do intervals for more than two minutes.

If you want to create a 30-minute interval-training workout, experiment with heart rates and interval durations that let you continue to exercise longer. For example, you can reduce your heart rate and create three-minute intervals. Alternately, you can use a high heart rate to create short intervals, but take longer breaks between each.

You can also create intervals by raising your heart rate with more muscular effort, rather than speed of your movements, by raising the resistance setting on your Gazelle. This will help you build muscle and burn more calories after your workout, but might cause muscle fatigue. If your goal is primarily to burn calories, improve your heart function and learn to recover quickly after activity, use less resistance and more intensity.

NOTE: Cool down and stretch after each workout.

***Where to buy a new Gazelle

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Additional Resources

Mayo Clinic: Are Elliptical Machines Better than Treadmills for Basic Eerobic Workouts?

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