HIIT Treadmill workout: how it works

4 June 2019

Fitness

Do you enjoy working out on the treadmill and wonder what it may be like to try a HIIT treadmill workout, but are unsure of exactly how it works? HIIT is a popular style of training that is not limited to any particular exercises or setting.

A HIIT treadmill workout is an intense workout in which you can do any single or combination of the following: focus on classic running, add in hand weights to an already tough routine, and bump up your incline and/or speed settings on the treadmill. Let’s go on to learn more about HIIT, and then get into how HIIT treadmill workouts work and some examples.

What is HIIT?

HIIT, high intensity interval training, is a type of training that requires intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods. HIIT has become a popular way to burn fat and get an effective workout in in a short amount of time. For those who are on the go or even for those who like to push their bodies to their maximum, HIIT is a great training style.

A treadmill interval workout is a specific HIIT workout that can be targeted for speed progression, strength-building, speed endurance, etc.. It offers people the ability to mix up their workout routine and kick their runs into high gear, improve their breathing while running, strengthen their legs, improve their sprints specifically, improve their form, and build their tolerance for hills and the outdoor elements.

Many also do treadmill interval workouts for weight loss specifically, as well as a metabolism boost, even if they are not ‘expert’ or condition runners.

If you don’t have the opportunity or the time to make it to the gym for an extended period of time or to an exercise class, a HIIT cardio workout on the treadmill is a great way to get an effective workout and really work up a sweat in very little time. You can pop into the gym for 20 minutes tops, or if you have a treadmill at home, you can pencil in a routine wherever it works best for you in your day.

Now, remember the HIIT treadmill is intense. Before starting with a HIIT treadmill workout, one must first learn what his max is. Your max will be your ‘sprint speed’ during your treadmill interval workout, which is the intense burst of exercise piece of a HIIT workout. You should be comfortable at your sprint speed for 15-30 seconds on a treadmill before moving forward with a HIIT workout. If not, there are plenty of other HIIT and standard workouts that you can begin with and eventually work your way up a HIIT treadmill workout.

If you are comfortable at your sprint speed for 15-30 seconds, finalize what your max is. Then, pick a slow pace for the ‘recovery’ period of your workout, known as your recovery speed. Your numbers may, for example, be sprint at 8.0 and recover/walk at 3.0.

Now, let’s go on to learn some examples of HIIT treadmill workouts.

Always warm-up first

Before any HIIT treadmill workout, even for a simple treadmill interval workout, it is crucial to begin with a 2-3 minute warm up. You want your body to shift into movement/exercise mode and give your muscles time to warm up. This will also help to avoid injury, and since HIIT is such an intense way to workout, the warm-up period is non-negotiable.

HIIT cardio treadmill workout

  • 3-5 minute warm up and comfortably reach your ‘recovery speed’
  • Run for 15-30 seconds at your ‘sprint speed’
  • Raise that heart rate to about 85-90% of your max. At your max, you shouldn’t be able to maintain your sprint speed for much longer than this.
  • Recover for 60-90 seconds

Repeat circuit 8 times

5 minute cool down at ‘recovery speed’ or a little below it

HIIT coordination treadmill workout

  • 5 minute warm up at your ‘recovery speed’

Circuit: 1 minute each exercise

  • Side-to-side shuffle (1 min left leg lead, 1 min right leg lead)
  • Skips
  • Walking lunges
  • Jog

Increase your incline each circuit.

5 minute cool down at ‘recovery speed’ or a little below it

HIIT full body treadmill workout

  • 5 minute warm up: slowly work up to your ‘recovery speed’
  • Walk at recovery speed while performing 5-8 reps of exercises with 2 lb hand weight: overhead press, upright rows, lateral raises
  • Walk at recovery speed without dumbbell.

Repeat circuit three times

5 minute cool down

As you reduce your treadmill speeds, it is recommended to move off the treadmill so you don’t have to get stuck on the in-between speed. This will give you a pure chance to recover and pick back up at your max speed, and also reduce your chance of getting hurt. As with any exercise regimen, speak with your doctor first to be sure it is the right for you. High intensity exercise puts a different strain on your body and makes it work to its maximum performance, so you want to be sure that you are physically able to perform the workouts first. This will ensure you avoid pushing your body farther than it can go and reduce your chances of injury.

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