Many of us look at a treadmill and think of it as a pretty basic machine when it comes to fitness. You can use it to run, or you can use it to walk! However, this piece of equipment can be utilised for far more than your basic walk or run workout. In fact, it’s one of the best places to go for a great HIIT workout! So, we have put together a great treadmill HIIT workout that you can use the next time you lace up your trainers.
This HIIT treadmill workout can also be done while running outdoors. Though, you’ll need to keep track of your pace without the ease of a treadmill tracking system.
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A Treadmill HIIT Workout To Help Crush Your Fitness Goals
Before we move forward, we wanted to give a quick reminder about what a HIIT workout is.
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. This is when you combine periods of intense exercise with a slower-paced period of recovery, continuing until you’re reached your limit (or close to it.)
The benefits of HIIT workouts are seemingly endless. Not only do they get your blood pumping and maximize your energy, but they can also be great for reducing fat, burning calories, and making the best use of your limited time.
1. The Warm-Up
The essential step in any HIIT workout is to spend a little bit of time warming up. This will get your body in the right mindset to do an intense workout, as well as get your muscles warmed up and ready to go!
Our way to warm up before your treadmill HIIT workout is to spend five minutes walking at a brisk pace. For this workout, you can walk at a pace of between 5-6kph (kilometres per hour), depending on your current level of fitness. Keep it at a low incline as to not exert too much energy before the workout begins.
2. Run With Intensity
Once you’re all warmed up, it’s time to jump into the high-intensity part of the HIIT workout!
This is going to be your first burst. Boost that pace up to thirteen kph and run for 60 seconds.
Starting at a lower level of fitness? That’s great! You can start your HIIT journey at a slower pace as you get used to the form of exercise and gradually become more fit.
For beginners, we recommend starting at a pace of around ten kph. This can be adjusted as needed. You may also want to try going at the recommended pace but for shorter periods of time, like 30 seconds.
Once you’ve completed your first burst in the treadmill HIIT workout, it’s time to give your muscles a chance to recover.
Spend 120 seconds in a recovery pace. This should be slightly faster than your initial warm-up, but still a significant decrease from your burst pace. 6-7 kph is a good place to fall.
Many beginners in HIIT workouts struggle to complete a proper recovery period. You may feel motivated enough to keep going at your burst pace and think that it’s beneficial. This is a common mistake in people who utilise HIIT.
The recovery period is equally as important as the HIIT period. It helps get you ready for another burst of energy, provides your muscles with some rest, and helps you spend more time on your feet.
Failing to complete the recovery period will mean you’ll feel tired quicker during the rest of your workout. You may also struggle to maintain a higher heart rate, and will feel yourself sweating and gasping for air quicker down the road in your workout.
You will go through the above steps (minus the warm-up) for the remainder of your workout. We recommend aiming for seven cycles. Though, if you can’t maintain this exercise for that long, take the number down a few notches and make seven your first goal!
As you feel more comfortable using this HIIT treadmill workout, you can consider playing around with the numbers. Speed up during both your recovery and burst pace, or try adding to the incline.
Benefits of running at an incline include:
- You get more resistance training, which helps build muscles in your legs
- It will help you improve your overall speed when running on less steep surfaces
- You’ll burn more calories
- It helps prepare your muscles to be less susceptible to injuries
- It helps you prepare for outdoor running
- It helps strengthen your upper body
5. Cool Down
Did you just complete your seventh cycle and start getting excited to hop off of that treadmill and relax? You’re almost there!
It’s important to spend a few minutes cooling down after your workout. Five minutes of walking at a slow, conversational pace are best. This gives you time to drink some water, bring your body back down to a more natural space, and to evaluate your workout!
Your cool down speed should be slower than your warm-up speed. You may also want to stretch after your workout.
Don’t skip your cool down step! The benefits of cooling down include:
- It gives your heart rate a chance to normalise
- It helps relax your body
- It helps your breathing slow down
- It helps to promote recovery and prevent injury
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There are so many benefits to doing a treadmill HIIT workout. Whether you want to work on your general fitness levels, lose weight, burn fat, or just get moving, this workout will help you on your journey! Not only will it help with these things, but it will also help prevent the oh-so-common treadmill boredom. So, turn on that machine and get to running!