I am an advocate of home exercise with minimal or no equipment but there are people that need the environment of the gym to motivate them. There are also people that have "their machine" with which they can not be without. My wife is one of those people. She loves the elliptical. We have one in our workout area at home. It's her baby. She was doing about an hour of slow, steady-state exercise and was not getting much results until I showed her how to turn her how to slice off 3/4 of her workout time and get real results with high intensity interval training.
Once you try it you'll discover that this training method works extremely well on an elliptical trainer because it's very easy to regulate your intensity level.
To perform high intensity interval training, you exercise at a high intensity for a period of about 30 seconds and follow it by a period of very low resistance or recovery. If you are a novice exerciser, you will want to start with a long recovery period. As you get in better shape you will be able to reduce the duration of the recovery period while your exercise period will become even more intense.
If you like treadmills, you also have a great tool for High Intensity Interval Training workout routine because of the modes or programs available in the machine. For example, you could start your workout with interviews or hill climbing and then reduce the intensity to a walk on the treadmill or a slow stride on the elliptical. You could also raise or lower the intensity of the devices manually, without using their internal programs.
As you get used to working out on your machine, you can experiment with different techniques and intensity levels. You will be able to get more intervals into a 10-20 minute workout routine because your recovery periods will be getting shorter and shorter.
Weight Loss With High Intensity Interval Training
In addition toorter, more efficient workouts, High Intensity Interval Training has a very distinct advantage for weight loss. Let me explain. The greatest factor in weight loss is not duration, it's intensity. Compared to your average workout, HIIT is far more intense over time. For example, if you walk, the intensity of exercise is rather low. You can keep up a walk for a long time but for weight loss the rate is very slow. Sprinting is extremely high intensity but the amount of time that you can end it is very short. The rate of weight loss would be very high but the duration is so short, that there is quite a limit on how effective it is for weight loss. With interval training you have the benefit of the intensity of sprinting with the duration of walking due to the recovery phase. You can burn a very high amount of calories for a short period of time, recover, and repeat it over and over again.