Even though there is no absolute answer on what exercise machine is best for burning off fat, research by the University of Wisconsin shows that, when it comes down to burning calories and improving the heart rate, both the elliptical machine and the treadmill are on the same level. It seems that these are two great machines to burn fat. The reason it cannot be proven that one is better than the other is that it is dependant on external factors, not simply the machine itself.
The Decision Depends on Many Factors
It’s quite difficult to measure which one of the machines burns more fat or calories since there are a lot of factor involved in the weight loss process. These include duration, intensity, the inclination of the treadmill, the resistance on the elliptical machine, etc. Basically you can take out of the equation the duration, but you can’t do that in an objective way with the other factors. You can measure on the actual machine how many calories you have burned, but you can’t really measure the intensity and the other factors.
That’s is the reason you can find people that really believe that the treadmill is the better one, because they can achieve better results than working out on the elliptical. You can also find other people who will tell you the same thing about the elliptical machine being the better one.
Pros and Cons of the Two Machines
Maybe there are people that are looking to buy one of these machines so that they can do their weight loss workout at home, and are wondering which one to choose – even knowing now that from a fat burning consideration they are pretty the same. In that case I will tell you some other benefits of these two.
Even though these machines are safe, if correctly used, there is a higher risk of injury on the treadmill and a more impact on joints. An advantage on the elliptical is that you can work the arms a bit and do not need electricity. It seems that the treadmill has no benefits over the elliptical, but that is just not true. If you are not consciously controlling your intensity level, you will tend to train at a higher level on the treadmill and you can also reach higher intensity levels. While on the elliptical it is not impossible, you have the possibility of slowing down, and my experience tells me that slowing down the pace a bit is quite likely to happen.
Although is true that these machines have some advantages one over the other, there is no real evidence that one of them burns more fat than the other. My personal thoughts? I prefer the treadmill because you can’t slow down once you have started, you have to keep up the pace. That is not the case with the elliptical machine which, on the other hand, is a lot more comfortable because there is no impact to the body and the time seems to pass faster.
Thus it’s difficult to choose which one of them you want to use for training at home – they are both very good, they burn fat, and they work, It all comes down to your personal preferences. If I have to judge based on my personal experience, I have had better results with the treadmill both on a fat burning and on a cardiovascular performance, But as I said before, maybe when I was training on the elliptical I was doing it at a lower intensity, I naturally tend to train with less intensity on the elliptical and have to be concentrate to match the same pace as on the treadmill.
Even though I prefer the treadmill over the elliptical machine, I’m really a believer in variety. Because of that, when I was training following the traditional way of doing cardio (instead of the high intensity interval training I do now), I divided my cardio routine in two parts, with 15-20 minutes of running on the treadmill followed by a minute of rest and then another session of 15-20 minutes on the elliptical. It is my opinion that this combined treadmill and elliptical workout gave the results I wanted faster.
So if you do not want to buy one of these machines and you just want to know which one will help you better at the gym, just make your own routine involving both. It will make your workout less monotonous and you will reach your goals faster than if you use the same exercise machine all the time. If you’re looking for a machine to workout at home, bear in mind that you don’t really need them to have a good workout. If you want to find out how to get a good workout without any equipment check out this post.