TG and I both had a goal to lose a bit of weight in the new year, and to that end we splurged and purchased an eliptical trainer just under 3 weeks ago. It’s always a bit difficult during the winter to keep in shape, and while I tried to make a good go of it last year with running when I could and mixing in some intermittent situps and pushups, I ultimately lost most of my motivation and went a bit soft.

This has been a strange winter, though, in terms of weather, and the last three weekends have been nice enough to where I’ve been able to get out and rollerblade either once or twice, already netting myself 50 total miles for the year in that department. During the week, it’s not as feasible for me to get out and rollerblade (as it’s already pretty much dark when I get home), so the eliptical trainer has actually worked out just about perfectly. At first, I was adamant about using it every single night (starting at 30 minutes), but I’ve missed a few nights since then and now average every other night.

A typical workout for me is now about 38 minutes with the step mode on (meaning the degree of tension changes about every 1.5 minutes, ranging from a difficulty of between 4 and 6 out of a maximum of 8), and in that time I’ve been managing to burn between 650 and 730 calories (per session). I’m a little leary of believing all the numbers on the machine, as it has a pulse rate counter that nearly always seems a bit high or low, but calories seems to be the best benchmark for me to use in terms of weighing one nights workout against the next. The other factor in this is that the calories burned actually depends on your weight that you enter before starting. If you enter a higher weight, you burn more calories, so I’ve stuck with 194.

Interestingly enough, the night before I started working out, I weighed myself at 189 without any clothes on, and lately my weight has fluctuated between 194 and 196. I’m hoping that this is due to gaining some muscle definition and leaning up a little bit, but I also know that I’ve been consuming more food (and calories) since I started working out since I’ve been burning more of them off.

That said, just over two weeks is far too little time to judge a workout program at all. I will say that I feel noticeably better in general, barely even raising my breathing level if I run up three flights of stairs at work or sprinting to the bus stop in the morning so I don’t miss my ride. I’ll have to see what happens after a month or two with the same routine, though, and I’m going to have to find a few more good workout albums, because I’ve started to repeat some of them already…