Many people all over the world begin exercise programs with the goal of improving their health and fitness levels. The vast majority of these people also want to lose weight as part of their fitness goals. After all, who does not want to shed a few pounds and a few inches? However, there is a group of people who face an even greater challenge in their fitness and weight loss goals. These are individuals who are classified as obese.
Before we go any further, it's important to define what "obese" really means because unfortunately, the word is often thrown around carelessly and has acquitted the status of an insult in many situations. Very simply, it is a medical classification to categorize people who are 20% or more above their "ideal" weight. The real problem is that the ideal weight is often taken from height and weight charts that were concocted for the life insurance industry back after WWII. By these guidelines many elite athletes and body builders would be classified as obese!
Rather than going by a medical classification, it's much more direct and accurate just go by actual body weight when selecting an elliptical trainer. At the end of the day, an elliptical trainer does not care if you're height and weight proportionate or you're severely outside these guidelines. What matters is your actual body weight and if it can be safely supported by the elliptical trainer.
Unfortunately, some manufacturers of elliptical trainers grossly overstate the maximum weight capacity for their elliptical machines. There are way too many $ 300 elliptical trainers that claim they can accomodate 250 lbs, but wobble like crazy with a 125 lb user.
What you need to consider is if you're 250 lbs and greater, then you're going to need a heavy and solidly constructed elliptical trainer. Trainers that can safely support this load are generally in the commercial class of elliptical trainers. These are elliptical machines that can carry over 300 lbs. This becomes even more critical if you will be using your elliptical trainer aggressively. And by this, I mean at a high RPM as when engaging in high intensity interval training (HIIT).
A 250 – 300 lb trainee pounding away at over 70 RPM will put an incredible amount of stress on the frame and moving components of an elliptical trainer. A regular maintenance program for an elliptical trainer is recommended for all owners. It's vital for heavier users. Be sure to inspect the welds and bolts for any signs of stress or looseness and repair as necessary.
Elliptical trainers are great fitness machines for trainees of all shapes and sizes. In fact, they are a terrific option for very heavy individuals who can not safely use treadmills because of knee problems. There are elliptical trainers out there that can meet the needs of everyone.