May Every Joy & Happiness Be Yours This Christmas Season

In this letter . . .

An Interview with My Daughter

Why You Should Avoid the Elliptical Machine, By Craig Ballantyne (guest columnist)

An Interview with My Daughter

Jennifer (Franklin) Oberth is my daughter who lives in Austria. She has two children and is 44 years old. The following is my interview with her. — Logan Franklin

December, 2008 —

Q. What was your first sport or type of training?

A. That’s easy. I started gymnastics when I was 5 years old. I competed until I was 17, when an injury took me out of it for good.

Read the full interview here.

Why You Should Avoid the Elliptical Machine

By Craig Ballantyne

Elliptical machines are often the only option for people with bad knees. But if your knees are healthy, think twice before using them - for two reasons.

Reason #1. Men's Health magazine warns, "Never trust elliptical machines." And they quote a study which found that elliptical machines overestimated the number of calories burned in a workout by 31 percent.


So if your "elliptical cardio workout" burned 400 calories, the truth is you really burned closer to 300. Reason #2. Men's Health magazine interviewed "Biggest Loser" contestant Ed Brantley, who lost 73 pounds while on the show. Ed had this to say: "I hated the elliptical. It was too easy. I didn't feel like I was doing anything."

I couldn't have said it better myself. But that's EXACTLY why elliptical machines are so popular. They are inferior for fat loss because they fail my "human nature" test.

Put it this way...

Take 100 people and put them in a gym with 100 treadmills and 100 elliptical machines. Tell them they have to exercise for 30 minutes at a hard pace, and they can use either the treadmill or the elliptical. Guess where 90 percent of those folks will be headed?

To the elliptical!

Why? Because it is human nature to take the easy way out. That is why elliptical machines are so busy at the gym. You rarely see anyone doing intervals on a treadmill or bodyweight circuits in the corner.

So if you are stuck at a fat-loss plateau and you've been counting on the elliptical machine to help you, forget it. You can't say you "worked out" if you don't get any real work done. Stick to the bike, the treadmill, or bodyweight exercises.

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, an e-zine dedicated to making money, improving your health and quality of life. For a complimentary subscription, visit

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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to our subscribers. Our purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

Always consult with your physician before making dietary changes or starting an exercise program.

Your comments or questions are always appreciated.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter