Top workouts to get the most out of your running machine
“I regret my decision to buy a treadmill. I could have instead bought multiple dumbells and a bench; my muscles would have been in better shape. All I can do on a treadmill is run for 10-15 mins, and then it’s basically useless.”
I came across a similar post in a Reddit community, and I wasn’t surprised. Many starters aren’t sure how to make the most of their treadmill, and they end up cursing their decision to buy one.
Treadmills don’t only offer a complete cardiovascular workout but can be equally helpful in interval training and building muscles for your lower body. A treadmill workout isn’t only restricted to treadmill running for weight loss, but the exercise intensity can be varied to serve your physical needs.
There is a range of treadmill workouts that are ready to be explored and executed. These cardio workouts can help you make the most of your running on the treadmill and burn calories like never before. To get the best results, you need to have a clear understanding of your goal.
Is your goal to improve your strength, i.e., build stamina? or are you looking to lose weight by burning calories? Both of these are different purposes, and if you haven’t thought about it already, I understand why your workouts are boring.
The treadmill offers varying levels of intensity based on your objective; some of the goals would demand an incline level 4 but a conversational pace, while the others might require the testing of your lungs with a high speed and incline.
Treadmill workouts is an exciting topic that has got various possibilities. I am sure that once you have mastered these workouts, even a slow jog would bring better results than the high-speed runs of today.
In this blog, we shall be discussing the best treadmill workouts and their tips that can make your exercise more productive and fun. We shall talk about the incline setting, pace, and timings for each treadmill workout, so you are well-informed to take your fitness level to a new high. Let’s go
The Basic HIIT Treadmill Workout
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, and it involves several sets of varying incline and speed to increase calories burned, build endurance and help your muscle strength.
HIIT workouts are probably the most popular treadmill workout amongst personal trainers. Its effectiveness in burning calories is paralleled by no other workout, and it works for everyone.
The idea of a HIIT workout is to help your body’s metabolism by consistent changes in pace. It consists of several high-intensity intervals, which are divided by sessions of comfortable pace.
It allows the warm-up at a slow pace, i.e., 2mph for about 5 minutes. And then, the workout is taken to high intensity by setting a speed of 9mph. It is a 30 second to a 1-minute session, after which a steady pace of 4mph is set. Again, the interval would last for about 1 minute, then the high-intensity interval arrives.
These consistent variations in pace help in fat loss and improve blood pumping by training your heart at the maximum heart rate.
Here is how you can practice HIIT workout on your treadmill:
- Set the incline level to the lowest; the belt should be flat. For the first 5 minutes, warm up at a speed of 2-3 mph.
- Now, increase the pace to 9-10 mph. Run at the pace for about 30 seconds to 1 minute
- Then, reduce the speed to a comfortable pace of 4-5 mph, walk for about 1 minute.
- Repeat the same sequence about 7-10 times if you are a beginner, but if your body can take it, practice the cycle 10-15 times each session.
- Walk at 2 mph to cool down towards the end.
High-intensity sessions can prove to be a game-changer in burning calories and improving your lower and upper body muscles.
Get Focused Workouts
As I mentioned in my earlier post, attention during your exercise can help burn more calories and improve the overall effectiveness of the cardio workout. The Get Focused workout is another branch of an interval training exercise that deals with consistent changes in pace and incline. Hence, you have your full attention on the workout and can get the best results.
The training method was proposed by Andy Willow, a certified personal trainer, who describes it as a workout that can help you get rid of your phone or TV.
Here is how you can practice the HIIT workout on your treadmill.
- Start your warm-up at a speed of 2 mph, increase it gradually to 3.5 mph. The warm-up should last for about 5 minutes.
- Next, set the pace somewhere between 4-7 mph for 1 minute; you don’t need to jog; just lengthen your stride. A longer stride induces a strain on your lower body and thigh muscles, which improve your endurance.
- Then, for the next 3 minutes, set an easy pace of 3.5 mph with a level 2 or 5% incline.
- For the next 1 minute, set the pace to 4-7 mph with an incline of 5%, again you’ll have to lengthen your stride length to cope with the faster belt.
- Again, we’ll have a 3-minute walk at a comfortable pace, but with an incline of level 3 to 8%.
- After that, repeat the longer strides with the same incline level.
Finally, get into the cool down mode by gradually reducing your speed from 4 mph to 3 mph over a span of 5 minutes.
30-Minute Heart Rate Workout
Next in line is a treat for people who can’t sort hours to spend on the treadmill; they can still enjoy great results by working out for only 30 minutes. The idea is to push your efforts to the maximum heart rate for an interval and then bring it to a minimum. The cycle is repeated about 15-20 times.
Not only is the workout good for burning calories, but it can also improve blood pumping that impacts your metabolism and cardiovascular health overall.
As we are dealing with heart rate directly, your treadmill’s heart rate monitor must be working accurately. You also need to ensure that you have sought the required advice from a certified personal trainer or medical professional.
The maximum heart rate of the body can vary depending on individual health, but a rule of thumb is to subtract your age from 220. For instance, if you are 45 years old, the ideal maximum heart rate would be (220-45) 175.
Let’s start with the method to practice this short but effective workout.
- Start by warming up your body at a steady pace. You need to stretch your muscles by practising high knees and butt kicks (a hill workout program). Then, try an easy jog.
- Now, for high-intensity intervals, set a faster pace and incline that pushes your heart rate to 80% of the maximum for 30 seconds.
- Then, reduce the intensity by slowing speed and lowering incline so that your heart rate comes to about 20% of the maximum heart rate.
- The cycle should be repeated about ten times, after which you would need to set a comfortable pace for an easy jog at about 50% of your heart rate.
- Now repeat the same 80%-20% intensity intervals about ten more times.
- Finally, set an easy pace to cool down, and the workout is completed.
Hill Ladder Treadmill Workouts
Another branch of the HIIT treadmill workouts is the hill ladder workout. As the name suggests, the exercise routine involves higher incline levels that test your upper and lower body alike. Similarly, it involves a longer stride length that increases its effectiveness.
The idea of hill treadmill workout was developed by a bike trainer named Jason Loebig; the purpose of the exercise is to test your body’s strength at varying incline levels and speed. The treadmill workout has many benefits, including improved leg strength, foot drive, speed, and posture.
The workout consists of several high-intensity intervals at a higher speed and elevated incline, divided by recovery periods at a comfortable pace on a flat belt. The exercise has proven to improve the running speed and posture quickly and is a common practice amongst athletes.
- The warm-up includes 30 seconds to 1 minute of several strength drills that include light jog, high knees, butt-kicks, A-skips, and quad pulls.
- Then, to increase the intensity, we would put in the sequence of 10 rounds 30 seconds each to gradually increase the incline.
- Round 1: 2% incline level at five mph
- Round 2: 3% incline level at five mph
- Round 3: 6% incline level at six mph
- Round 4: 8% incline level at six mph
- Round 5: 6% incline level at five mph
- Round 6: 4% incline level at five mph
- Round 7: 2% incline level at five mph
- Round 8: 4% incline level at six mph
- Round 9: 6% incline level at six mph
- Round 10: 8% incline level at 6 mph
- Once the rounds are completed, you will have 90 seconds of a slow-paced walk at two mph.
- Do 30 seconds of a light jog, 4- figure stretch, and calf stretch for the cooldown period.
Endurance Building Workout
Strength training is an integral part of your physical health, and if you are looking to improve your stamina and strengthen your cardio health, the treadmill workout should be your ultimate choice. The workout involves running at a formidable pace for longer intervals.
The goal is to ensure that your body is able to cope with consistent efforts at a steady speed without shooting the heart rate or irregular heavy breathing.
Longer treadmill running intervals make a considerable part of this workout; however, if you’re a beginner, we would start with intervals of about 3 minutes. When you are ready, we can shift them to a period of about 6-7 minutes.
Endurance building workouts would involve several rounds of high-paced running separated by recovery periods. The pattern described below lasts for about 17 minutes and is for starters. As your endurance builds, you should increase the time.
- As usual, we would start the workout with a 5 min warm-up. I would suggest that you distribute the 5 min warm-up into five 1 minute sessions of drills that would stretch your muscles.
- Set the treadmill at eight mph, and run at the pace for about 1 minute
- Then, lower the treadmill to an easy pace of about four mph, keep the same pace for a minute.
- Now, we will set the pact again at eight mph, but the interval should last for about 120 seconds.
- Once the 2 minutes of high pace completes, set the pace to 4 mph again for recovery.
- For the final session, set the speed to 8mph again, and the interval should last for 3 minutes.
- Finally, set the pace to 4 mph for the cooldown and gradually reduce it to 2 mph.
The Lateral Walk Workout
Do you think only treadmill running can help burn calories? Well, the lateral walk workout can burst your bubble. Although the slower speed may pose that it would require fewer efforts, it doesn’t, and in fact, once you start practising, you’d feel that the strength demanded makes it one of the best treadmill workouts.
The workout involves a mix between lateral and forward walking; if you feel that’s easy, you can try flip-flops and crosswalks to make the exercise fun.
A lateral walking workout doesn’t require a high pace; the exercise is practised at a comfortable pace to ensure that you aren’t unbalanced. You must note that your foot is pointed towards the side during the lateral session and not the front. Let’s talk about the process.
- We will start with a 5-minute warm-up. It would be a forward walk, where you’d need to increase your speed from 2 mph to 3.5 mph gradually.
- Then, a two-minute lateral walk at 2.2 mph. Your foot should point 1 minute to the right and the other minute to the left.
- Now, set the speed to 2.4 mph and walk laterally for the next 2 minutes. Again, you should walk one minute toward the right and the other to the left.
- Next, set the speed to 3.5-4.5 mph, and walk forward for about 2 minutes.
- After the 2 minutes of forward-walking, get back to lateral walking for about 4 minutes. The pace should be about 2.8 mph. Again, you should go for 2 minutes to the right and 2 to the left.
- Then, switch to forward walk with a pace of 4.5 and practice it for 2 minutes.
- Next, set the incline to 5% with a speed of 2mph, and walk laterally again for 2 minutes.
- Set the speed to 2.5-3mph for the cooldown and gradually reduce it to 1.5 mph.
We have finally come to the end of the blog. Our blog aimed to ensure that you are well informed of the HIIT treadmill workouts and can practice treadmill running to its utmost benefits. All the workouts mentioned are practised and recommended by personal trainers, so you should be clear on their effectiveness.
I hope the blog helped you gain valuable insights into your workout routine, and that you’ll be able to improve your results with the tips mentioned. If you have any questions feel free to ask us in the comment section, it would be great to hear from you.
Are HIIT workouts suitable for all ages?
According to trainers, everyone with a healthy heart rate should practice HIIT workouts; however, it’s better to consult medical advice if you feel unusual after the workouts.
Does a longer recovery period reduce the effectiveness of exercises?
Yes, they do hurt the overall effectiveness of your exercise. Once your heart rate returns to normal, the calories rate falls, which means you are burning lesser calories overall.
However, if your body can’t run at a high pace consistently, it’s better to lower the pace than to step off the treadmill.