How Long On a Cross Trainer to Lose Weight? A Complete Guide to Calorie Burning


Cross trainers are a fantastic piece of exercise equipment. They are designed to help you build muscle, increase your cardiovascular fitness, and lose weight. But how long on a cross trainer to lose weight? This all-too-common question begs to be asked.

So, do you need to spend hours a day on the cross trainer to shed a few stones? Or can you visit it irregularly and still get results? In this guide that seeks to answer the question of how long on a cross trainer to lose weight, you’ll finally get the answer you have been looking for!

how long on a cross trainer to lose weight

How Long On a Cross Trainer to Lose Weight

Before we get started and figure out how long on a cross trainer to lose weight for the individual user, we thought we’d give you a quick reminder about what a cross trainer is!

These machines, sometimes referred to as “elliptical trainers” or “x-trainers” are pieces of stationary exercise equipment. They mimic movements that include walking, running, and climbing. Additionally, many offer simultaneous arm workouts with moving arm extensions.

One of the reasons for their popularity is that they are safe ways to work out. They offer what is called a “low impact” exercise, meaning that it will not put unnecessary stress on your joints. This is beneficial for people recovering from injuries, or those who have joint problems.

Benefits of the cross trainer include far more than just weight loss. Here are some of the various other benefits that you may find from using one regularly:

  • You’ll get a full-body workout
  • You will build strength
  • You’ll improve balance and coordination
  • You will be able to get a full workout from the comfort of your own home

Burning Calories on the Cross Trainer

Reports have found that users can burn as many as 500 calories in a 30-minute workout on the cross trainer. That’s quite a lot!

For some, this number may sound impressive. But how does that translate to weight loss? When it comes to shedding stones, you have to take your calorie consumption and calories burned into consideration.

Most healthy adults will need to consume between 1600 to 2400 calories per day. The reason for the high range includes things like activity level, starting weight, age, and sex.

Assuming that you are eating a stable number of calories and are not gaining weight, you are doing exactly what you need to maintain your current weight. If this is you, you’ll typically have to start cutting between 500 and 1000 calories per day to lose 0.5 kilograms (or one pound) per week.

These 500-1000 calories can be cut from a combination of diet change and exercise. It’s often recommended to utilize both, working towards an overall healthier lifestyle rather than just jumping in to an intense workout regimen.

500 calories per 30 minutes is considered the high end of calories lost on a cross trainer. Assuming that you are burning less than 500 calories with each workout, you can make up the difference by cutting out high-calorie food from your diet.

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Maximising Calories Burned

Even if you aren’t burning 500 calories, most cross trainer workouts will have you burning more than 250 calories per session. Though, there are a few tips to ensure that you’re maximising your calories burned.

Heart rate has a lot to do with weight loss. It has been found that your fat-burning heart rate, where weight loss is the easiest, is about 70% of your maximum heart rate.

An easy way to calculate your maximum heart rate is to take your age and subtract it from 220. So, if you’re 40 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 180 beats per minute. 70% of this is 126. An average heart rate of 126 would be ideal for burning calories if you’re 40.

Many cross trainers allow you to put your hands on handlebars and calculate your heart rate. Using products like Smart Watches and heart rate straps are also convenient ways of ensuring that you’re exercising at a rate that will optimise your calories burned.

Many cross trainers have different settings on the machine. Some are designed to increase your strength, while others look to give you a recovery-friendly workout. The “fat-burning” setting is one that is designed to help you burn plenty of calories. Picking this category means less guesswork for you to do during your workout, and is a great place to start.

The posture and body form that you keep while using the cross trainer also has an impact. Ensure that you are engaging your core. You’ll also want to be using the handlebars to maximize arm movement.

How Often You Should Cross Train

Answering how long on a cross trainer to lose weight is, ultimately, about the duration and frequency of when you use the cross trainer.

When it comes to the duration of your workout, 30-minute sessions are ideal. This gives your body plenty of time to spend in the fat burning zone, and will help you get your recommended daily amount of exercise. But how many days per week should you be doing this?

It’s tempting to use your cross trainer as many as six to seven times in a week, but this is too much. You’ll find yourself feeling burned out and unmotivated after only a few weeks of exercise.

You’ll want to incorporate days of rest or recovery from your usual exercise routine. To do this, you’ll want to keep your cross trainer usage at around four to five days per week. However, if you have other methods of exercise that you do regularly, like using the treadmill or weight lifting, you can sub out cross-training days for these other activities.

So, how long on a cross trainer to lose weight? Our standard is spending 30 minutes on the cross trainer for four or five days each week. Though, you’ll want to ensure that you’re burning calories in the right way. This includes monitoring your heart rate and burning enough calories to make a difference!