HIIT on a Treadmill Made Easier (But Still Challenging)

July 26, 2016
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High intensity interval training (HIIT) on a treadmill may not initially seem like a good idea considering that it’s most commonly used for steady state training. But when done right in terms of intensity, frequency, and duration, you will find that it’s just as effective and efficient in boosting your metabolic rate as HIIT in spin classes, Tabata, and Boot Camp. Plus, you can find treadmills in virtually all commercial gyms including LA Fitness so that you can start immediately.

Finding Your Sweet Spot

Each individual has a sweet spot for HIIT conditioning regardless of the equipment used – or the lack thereof, as is the case in bodyweight exercises, running, and walking programs. You have to experiment in terms of finding the right settings especially in speed and incline, which are crucial to the success of HIIT.

Your goal. A setting for the speed and include that you will be able to sustain for 60 seconds. If you are beginner to HIIT, your sweet spot may be a 5 mile per hour job with zero incline. As you gain more endurance, strength and stamina, you can increase it to a 10 mile per hour run with a slight incline.  

Going Easy

When you have gone all out or 60 seconds, known as your work interval, you should go easy for 60-120 seconds (i.e., 1-2 minutes) for your recovery interval. Keep in mind that what may be easy will depend on your current fitness level, which means it may be a 2.5 mile per hour walk at zero incline on your first week and then 1 4 mile per hour light job on your second week.

One cycle consists of a work interval followed by a recovery interval. You should ideally aim for 6 to 8 cycles on your first few sessions and then aim higher. You must also always perform warm-up and cool-down exercises to reduce the risks for injuries, especially as HIIT can be dangerous to the uninitiated.  

Here’ a sample HIIT treadmill workout that you can do as a beginner:

  • Perform 5 minutes of stretching off the treadmill
  • Start with a brisk walk progressing into a light jog for 10 minutes
  • Run for 30 to 60 seconds at 3.5 miles per hour
  • Repeat for 7 more times to make up 8 cycles
  • Perform a cool-down 5-minute walk
  • Stretch and drink plenty of water afterwards

If you find the work interval to be too easy, you may add an incline.  

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