What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “treadmill?” Do you conjure up images of a fun, fast-paced workout or do you immediately think of it as the “dreadmill?” The truth is, the treadmill is a great way to get a kick-butt cardio workout, and by adjusting the speed and incline you can create intervals that burn more fat in less time. Forget everything you thought you knew about this tried-and-true machine; the treadmill is the perfect way to get a killer cardio workout today. Read on to learn the benefits of working out on a treadmill and then download our four amazing workouts to beat treadmill boredom.
Benefits of Treadmill Workouts
While strength training is essential to build strong muscles and keep your metabolism revved, you also need cardiovascular exercise. The CDC recommends individuals get at least 150 minutes of heart-pumping cardio each week. You can divide that number up however you like; do five 30-minute cardio sessions per week, three hour-long sessions per week, or do 10 or 20 minutes here are there throughout the day. The treadmill offers just one awesome way to get your cardiovascular exercise in for the week, and there are so many things that make it a viable option for pretty much everyone. Working out on a treadmill…
- Allows you to walk or run no matter the weather
- Helps you train for your first 5 or 10 k
- Allows you to work in intervals by adjusting the speed or incline
- Makes cardio workouts accessible to all fitness levels
- Offers a low-impact alternative to running or walking on pavement
- Helps you track your progress by seeing calories burned, miles logged, and more
Thinking the treadmill still means boredom? Think again. Read on to learn the secret to maximizing your treadmill workouts…it has a little something to do with swapping intervals in place of steady-state cardio.
How Intervals Help Maximize Your Treadmill Workouts
Many people automatically assume that the treadmill equals steady state cardio alone. First of all, there’s nothing wrong with steady-state cardio. Walking or running at a brisk pace is great for your heart. But if you want to lose weight, you do need to incorporate higher intensity intervals in order to jumpstart your weight loss. Intervals require you to up your intensity for short bursts of time in order to get your heart pumping and fat burning, before returning to a lower intensity and repeating the cycle again.
With a treadmill, you can create intervals by adjusting both the speed of the machine and the incline. You can really get your heart pumping when you up your speed and force yourself to work harder than simply going at a comfortable pace. Plus, when you adjust the incline it not only helps you burn more calories but it can help you target different muscles—your glutes and thighs in particular get targeted when you work at an incline. Toning your legs and glutes while you get your cardio on? Yes please!
A Quick Note on Perceived Exertion
Each of the treadmill workouts below is designed for you in terms of your own perceived exertion. What does that mean? Perceived exertion is how hard you feel you’re working. By tuning into how hard you’re working, you differentiate between when something feels easy, comfortably hard, or difficult. Of course, it would be impossible (and inadvisable) to try and stay at a high intensity for a prolonged period of time. This is why intervals are such a smart way to work out. You push yourself, then you come back down to a more comfortable pace, continuing this cycle. These workouts are more than just a walk in the park!
4 Treadmill Workouts To Beat Boredom
Alright, now that you’re hopefully abandoning your preconceived notions about what a treadmill can do, let’s get down to the fun part! These four treadmill workouts were designed to help you bust through a workout rut, challenge you, and help you burn more fat in less time. Whether you’re a walker, jogger, or a runner, these four treadmill workouts will all work for you. Do one of them a few times and then move to the next or mix and match throughout the week to keep your body guessing. Either way, you’ll be glad you did!
PS: We made all of the workouts printable! You can get them by clicking the button below. Just print and take it with you to the gym or your home machine.
20-Minute Speed Intervals Treadmill Workout
This quick workout focuses on changing up your speed, which will give you more of a calorie burn than working on the treadmill at a moderate pace for an hour. You’ll do 4 speed intervals at 1 minute each, with 2 minutes of lighter work in between. You’ll bookend your workout with a 5 minute warm-up and cool down. Your incline will not change, so you don’t have to worry about that in this one.
The “feeling” column is helpful in identifying how hard you should feel you’re working, or your “perceived exertion.” This workout is great for anyone looking to up their calorie burn, or runners who are looking for a little speed work. Hit your stride and have some fun!
30-Minute Hill Climber Treadmill Workout
Get ready to work with inclines in this 30-minute hill-climber workout! This workout provides a 5-minute warm-up and then takes you on a series of speed and incline changes that give you the feeling of hiking on a mountain. Your speed will vary a little in this workout, but the focus is primarily on raising your incline.
The varying heart rate and aerobic/anaerobic combination will torch calories and fat and really increase your fitness level! Not to mention, anytime you raise the incline on your treadmill you target different muscle groups to mix things up and give your glutes and thighs a run for their money. Consider it the next best thing to hiking an exotic mountain somewhere—no plane ticket required.
30-Minute Interval Treadmill Workout
This workout is all about getting a solid 30-minute interval run. It provides you with a fairly steady jog/run combination so you’ll alternate between jogging at a lighter pace and running a little more intensely. This 30-minute workout is great for anyone looking to prepare for a 5k or those of us who want to get some nice cardio exercise in that can help us lose weight. Your incline will stay the same throughout this workout, it’s just the speed that will vary.
The Walker’s Butt-Burner Treadmill Workout
For all of you walkers who want to lose weight, this 15-minute workout takes your typical walk in the park and upgrade it to a calorie burning, butt-building workout. Not only will getting your heart rate up help burn up extra fat, but the incline challenges are a great way to shape up your glutes. You’ll start with a 5 minute warm-up and then walk a steady pace, changing the incline and speed throughout. Remember to use your arms and keep your abs tight as the hill increases; you can even engage your glutes too to boost the toning effects of this workout.
Give these four treadmill workouts a try to beat boredom, mix up your workout routine, and burn more fat in less time. Machines like the treadmill don’t have to be boring or ho-hum; they can actually be the perfect way to use intervals to get fit and lose weight.
P.S. if you’re sick of the treadmill entirely, check out our free 10-Minute Cardio Circuit Workout, no treadmill required!