Men's Health has this article about Mark Schlereth who was an NFL football player for 12 years and endured a lot of injuries.
He went from 290 to 270 in 6 years by watching his heart rate. Because it's gentle on his knees he uses an elliptical but measuring your heart rate will help you accomplish the goal no matter what cardio you're doing.
He does interval training 3 times a week, sprinting and resting, sprinting and resting.
To start, subtract your age from 220. This is an estimate of your maximum heart rate. So if you're 30, your max heart rate is 190 beats per minute (bpm). Next, calculate both 65 percent and 90 percent of that numberâ€”you'll need to know these to follow the routine.
Attack Your Intervals
1. Warm up by exercising at an easy paceâ€”about 30 percent of your best effort - for 5 minutes.
2. Sprint so your heart rate reaches 90 percent of your max heart rate, and maintain for 60 seconds.
3. Rest until your heart rate returns to 65 percent of your max.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for a total of five sprints.
Monitor Your Slowdowns
After your final sprint, time how long it takes your heart rate to drop 25 bpm. The faster the better: A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that men whose heart rates took longer than 60 seconds to decrease 25 beats had a 2.2 times greater risk of sudden death from a heart attack than those who recovered quicker.
1. A heart-rate monitor gives you direct access to the simplest, most efficient feedback tool you have: your own heart. It can help you train smarter and more scientifically than ever before.
2. Your most important heart rate is your morning heart rate. By monitoring this on a regular basis, you can determine if you are overtraining or when you might be coming down with a cold or other illness.
3. Your aerobic training pulse (ATP) is the pulse at which you should be doing approximately 80 percent of your training. Many runners train too fast most days of the week, which is wasteful and inefficient.
4. With a heart-rate monitor, you can make sure you're training at your ATP. Simply determine your maximum pulse rate (220 minus your age) and multiply it by 0.60 to get your ATP.
5. You can also use a heart-rate monitor to correctly measure the effort of your other harder training days, so you'll run at the right pace when doing tempo runs and max VO2 training.