Cross trainer: How effective is cross trainer for weight loss


The cross trainer is one of the most popular fitness equipment in the World. Easier than a treadmill, and you don’t have to leave the house: ideal, you would think. And indeed there are thousands of people toiling on this thing every day, hoping to lose an extra kilo.

But does a cross trainer really make weight loss so much easier? Or are there any catches in the grass and are you actually just wasting your time on such a thing? In today’s blog we list the pros and cons of the cross trainer. We also discuss how you can perform a cross trainer training as effectively as possible to lose weight!

Advantages of the cross trainer

Naturally, the cross trainer has the necessary advantages, otherwise it would never have become so popular. We will briefly mention the two most important below:

1. The cross trainer trains the whole body

Many fitness equipments only target a specific part of the body. On a regular treadmill, for example, your arms remain considerably underexposed. That is not only a shame about your time, it also burns fewer calories. A shame, of course, if your primary goal is to lose weight.

With a cross trainer, your arms are also forced to move. That way you can burn several hundred calories relatively quickly with the help of this device.

2. Load joints

The cross trainer has a second advantage over outdoor running and the treadmill: the load on your joints . On a cross trainer, the footrests move in the circular movement that your legs make. So your feet don’t come off the ‘floor’ – and don’t come back with a bang every time.

That mainly saves a lot of strain on your hips and knees. Especially if you often suffer from your joints, this is a good way to prevent injuries.

The fat burning zone

A third point that is sometimes mentioned as an advantage is that you can easily get into the ‘ fat burning zone ‘ with the cross trainer. That would be nice if there was such a thing as such a zone! Unfortunately, this is typically such a myth that is the result of misinterpreted numbers… It is true that with a moderate heart rate you burn relatively more fat compared to carbohydrates.

In absolute numbers, however, you will lose more calories if you go for a really intensive heart rate! And that means that you can really lose more weight just by working harder. The cross trainer does not put you in a kind of magical state where you lose more fat with less work.

The downside to cardio

A second reason that the fat burning zone is nonsense is that afterburning is not taken into account. The harder the workout, the higher the after-burn is in principle. After all, your body still uses energy to recover after training. It is therefore better to go for a more intensive training.

However, cardio in general has the disadvantage that the after burn never really gets high. There is never serious muscle damage during training sessions where you do not primarily strain yourself intensively! And that also means no long-term effect on your metabolism.

Cross trainer lose weight

What does that mean for weight loss with the cross trainer? Very simple: it is possible, but there are also more effective ways. The problem with that cross trainer, as with all cardio, is that you mainly burn calories during the training itself. Granted, there are a few hundred – but grab a generous handful of nuts as a snack, and the same amount of calories will be on it.

Especially when you keep in mind that you have to burn 7,777 calories to lose a kilo, you will understand why all those hours on the cross trainer actually don’t contribute that much. You just spend a lot of time for relatively poor results.

Prefer strength training!

For that reason, we would always recommend that you opt for strength training earlier. That has a very big advantage over cardio: those new muscles are also there when you are not training. And muscle, unlike fat, increases the speed at which your metabolism works. This means that strength training does not only burn calories during your workout.

There’s also the after burn – your muscles need to recover. And then you use more and more energy throughout the day, because you also keep those muscles busy at rest. That is a triple result for every training!

Interval training cross trainer                       

Does that mean that a cross trainer is never useful? Not at all: it’s definitely better than no training at all, for example. And if it helps you to start exercising, we can only applaud it. Still, it’s just a bit of a waste of your time to toil for hours on that thing.

If you still want to use it, we recommend interval training to save time! With that you alternate high and low effort, so that you burn more calories in a short time. See also: the benefits of HIIT training.

Cross trainer interval schedule

What would such an interval training schedule look like on the cross trainer? There is no standard protocol for that. Start slowly and try to increase the intensity slightly. You can make it as heavy at the same time as you want.

Ideally, plan your workout on a rest day in or after your strength training. This way you have enough energy to train with weights.

Example cross trainer training schedule:


  • 2 minutes at a leisurely pace
  • 30 seconds maximum
  • You repeat this until it takes 15 to 20 minutes


  • 90 seconds at a leisurely pace
  • 30 seconds maximum
  • You repeat this until it takes 15 to 20 minutes


  • 1 minute at a slow pace
  • 30 to 45 seconds maximum
  • You repeat this until it takes 15 to 20 minutes

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