Posted by: Frustrated 2 | 2008/09/02

Orbitrek workout

Hi there

I am currently on weight watchers and I am very diligent about what I eat.

I also work out at least 4 times per week 45 min per session on my orbitrek at home as well as doing 100 each sit ups and pelvic lifts, 50 tricep dips and 10 girly push ups (i am a girl after all) Sometimes I add a 30 - 45 minute work out on the Saturday and a 30 - 45 minute work out on the Sunday as well. (I started off doing 20 min, then went to 30 and now to 45)

Now Alot of people say that the orbitrek is not as beneficial as skipping or jogging or whatever but let me tell you - everyone who comes over to my house and tries it even for 5 minutes at the pace I work out is out of breath!

My fiance has noticed that I am much firmer and my bum is definately smaller etc and I am much fitter than I used to be but the weight on the scale is not budging and I am not losing any dress sizes! It is very frustrating!

What am I doing wrong? I am on medication for Depression and for my underactive thyroid which I heard can affect this - but there must be something I can do!

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Our expert says:
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Hi Frustrated

You're not doing anything wrong. There are a number of things that can affect this - the medication is one of them, and that might unfortunately be a ceiling that you can't avoid. It's worth actually discussing that with a doctor, because there may well be alternatives that don't affect weight. It can be a mission impossible if medication stands in your way. The underactive thyroid is another factor, though if that is being treated appropriately, then you should be able to see some change.

Having said that, you are seeing some change, and certainly feeling it because you feel much better and you are fitter. That represents progress. Changes in appearance are equally important.

And of course, it's actually not that unusual to gain weight through exercise, and there are a few factors that can cause this. One is your current weight. It seems that there is an ideal body weight for each person, and the body is so clever that it knows just how to keep you there. So, it may be that you just have no weight to lose, and so from that point of view, you are better of going for toning and improved fitness and not worrying about the scale.
The second is diet - often people subconsciously increase the energy intake when training harder. Let's say you train harder and use a few hundred more calories a day - you have a little more to eat or drink, and it means that the balance is still there as if you didn't train harder. I am not saying you should count calories, I think that is risky and hazardous at best, but I would say be aware of what you are eating. The other thing that often happens, is that because you are now exercising every day, you might take it a little easier during the rest of the day. In otherwords, you may be a little less active outside of the gym, either because you are subconsciously trying to save energy, or because you are actually very tired from training and don't get around as much. Either way, you are likely to use less energy, and that may even cancel out the effect of training.

Finally, any form of training will increase muscle mass. People seem to have a conception that weight training causes muscle mass to rise, and cardio training burns fat. While this is largely true, you must remember that there is considerable overlap. So, let's say you are cycling, this means that if you are cycling along at 90 revs per minute this basically means that you are doing 90 contractions of the muscle per minute. Do this for 10 minutes and you have 900 muscle contractions, and so even though the force per contraction is low, you will still build some muscle. What i am saying is that even though you are not doing only weight training, it's still feasible that you will gain some muscle by doing cardio.

Very importantly though, this is nothing to worry about. In fact, it's a good thing, and I guess the bottom line is that you must really focus on how fit you are, how you are feeling and perhaps how you are looking, rather than on the scale. Even aiming for centimeters can be misleading, especially early on, because it takes much longer and can be a little bit of a futile and very frustrating goal. So my advice is really to go for fitness - try to get faster and fitter on those cardio sessions and the results will take care of themselves.

Keep up the good work, remember that it takes time, but have faith that you are on the right track! Just have a look at the medication angle so that you're not blocking your own progress with the training.


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