Do you think of treadmill as ‘dreadmill’? Maybe not this time. A HIIT treadmill workout for weight loss might be the perfect routine for you. HIIT or high-intensity interval training is a popular routine for those who want to shed weight while preventing plateaus. Personally, I’m hands down to HIIT when it comes to shedding weight. Given that you do it with the right intensity, you should lose that excess pounds in just a matter of a month or two.
So you don’t have time to hit the gym? But do you have a treadmill? This single equipment is enough to start revolutionizing your weight loss. Here, we will discuss some of the most effective routines you can do plus some tips to avoid injuries and hiccups along the way.
What is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
This includes high-intensity but short sequences of routines to ignite the weight loss engine of the body. The rule of thumb here is to keep it short but intense. Pushing your body to the limits will only kill more muscles than burning fats.
As an unsustainable burst of physical workout, HIIT should also have rests in between. Usually, these resting periods will last for 1-2 minutes before engaging the body back to the strenuous workout. Still, some variations will let rest periods last as long as the work period.
The goal of HIIT workouts is to stir metabolic disturbance that will, in turn, cause the body to burn massive calories within the next 72 hours. Aside from direct weight loss, HIIT exercises also improve metabolism, cardiac health, and reduce insulin resistance.
The best thing about HIIT is you can do it just about anywhere – at home or at the gym. Some routines don’t even need any equipment to get you started. But to make things more exciting and fun, we’re going to do it on a treadmill instead.
If you have a lingering illness or physical incapability, it’s best to seek the help of a personal trainer. This way, your treadmill workouts to lose weight for beginners will be tailor-fit for you.
Is it good for me?
As long as you’re fairly healthy and not experiencing any physical pain, HIIT is possibly great for you. Unlike other exercises, HIIT offers the following unique benefits:
➕More burned calories. In just a short time, HIIT workouts can burn 30% more calories than biking and weight training for the same amount of time. You actually burn more calories while exercising for a shorter period.
➕Fat burner. If you’re trying to lose weight, HIIT is your perfect match. It’s excellent in reducing waist circumference and body fat if done regularly and consistently.
➕Muscle builder. Do you want more mass? HIIT routines are excellent muscle builders on the legs and arms. Also, an increase in muscle mass would be dramatic, especially if you are a less active person.
➕Sustained metabolic rates. Even after you’re done exercising, your metabolic rates will keep on churning. Also, your body uses stored fats instead of carbs as energy during and after the intense workout.
➕Better oxygen consumption. HIIT doesn’t just build muscles; it also keeps your present muscles healthy by improving its muscle consumption. Actually, it gives the same benefit of running or cycling but in a fairly shorter time.
➕Reduced blood sugar. Are you a diabetic person? A HIIT treadmill workout for weight loss can reduce your blood sugar and insulin resistance than any other traditional exercises do.
Doing it in the treadmill
A lot of us loathe the treadmill. There’s no sunshine and repeatedly running on it becomes boring day after day. But if you want to mix things up, you can try a HIIT workout on it. This applies across all seasons and time of the day.
You know what’s the best part about using a treadmill? You see the numbers right in front of you. This is a big morale booster, especially for a reluctant exerciser. Also, this equipment allows you to control your workout without the usual harm outdoors.
However, long treadmill runs can be boring. An hour of pacing hard will start to feel monotonous and uninviting. This is where the treadmill workouts to lose weight for beginners come in.
Remember that HIIT routines are intense. We need to warm up properly to avoid injuries like pulling a muscle or lack of flexibility. As a start, walk at a normal pace on your treadmill for five minutes. You can also do some yoga stretching after or prior to this. Just don’t start running right away. Also, there’s no need to incline at this warm-up point.
After warming up, it’s now time add a little incline to your treadmill while increasing the speed a single notch. Your speed will depend on your suggested physical activity. The rule of thumb here is that you should be walking fast enough that you can no longer hold a conversation even on the phone or in person.
Do this part for the next two minutes. Be prepared the moment you reach the minute mark.
Right after the two-minute intense walking, switch to running right away for one minute. Your pace should be enough to increase your heart rate in notches. If you can still read a magazine at this point, then you should amp the speed a little bit more.
Make sure that your running intensity is way harder than the walking phase earlier. After you’ve finished this, go back to the walking phase. You can repeat this two intervals 10 times before slowing back down to the warm-up phase for recovery. Most of the time, this HIIT treadmill workout for weight loss can be done for 30 minutes.
This can burn you about 320 calories but the results will vary depending on your actual weight, muscle content, and level of fitness. You can burn more, especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle.
In this video, Runtastic Fitness demonstrates Drill 1:
If you prefer a hills-on-hills routine, here’s another drill you can follow. We will utilize the incline of the treadmill here:
Like what we did above, warm up for five minutes at a slow pace. Stretching is a must here since this one will be way intense than the first drill. Since we’re using the incline, your glutes and core will be put to the test.
Once you hit the five-minute mark, incline your treadmill at 2% and speed up your pace at a fast level. Remember, it shouldn’t be too hard but not too moderate. Do this for a whole minute.
At the 6-minute mark, up your incline at 4%. This would be challenging as your legs would have to keep up with the hills. Don’t forget to breathe so your muscles won’t get short of oxygen.
At this point, you’ll increase with another 2% incline. The purpose of this is to push your body to maximize more fats. If you think you can’t go as high as this, you can stop at 4% and try to increase the intensity some other day.
This is the ultimate incline level. Make sure that you’re still on the proper breathing pace and your legs are keeping up with the hills
Once you reach the 9th minute, reduce the speed and incline by 1% for an easy pace. Do this HIIT treadmill workout for weight loss step for the next two minutes.
After that, repeat the part from 2% incline to 8% incline twice. If this is your time first time, you can settle for a single repetition. Still, pushing for the 28-minute while HIIT workout would be best.
Once you’re done with the repetitions, don’t forget to cool down. This is important so your muscles won’t experience a screeching halt in physical activity. Do your five-minute warm-up pace as your cooldown.
Just a quick reminder about Drill 2: Don’t push beyond 8% incline if your body isn’t used to it. Also, HIIT should only be done for a maximum of 45 minutes, with 30 minutes as the most recommendable.
Common treadmill HIIT questions
Is racing someone a good choice?
If you’re doing the HIIT workout at the gym, fight the urge to outpace your neighbor. Remember, you have your own routine. Trying to compete with someone will just leave you with sore legs and unburned fats. This is true especially for treadmill workouts to lose weight for beginners.
Also, racing someone else will just make you frustrated. Besides, losing weight isn’t a competition unless you really want to go there and be petty.
Should I do it daily?
Well, you can run on the treadmill almost every day but it’s not a good idea to do HIIT every single day of the week. Twice a week is the best bet so your muscles will recover and fat burns will initiate. If you want the so-called recovery workout, you can do regular paces but not a full run.
How much incline should I use?
This depends on your abilities and your trainer’s recommended incline. Each person has unique physical make-up. Some can’t go beyond 5% while others can push more than 8%. If you want to follow a workout, say the second drill discussed above, you’ll have to follow the pre-set inclination.
How long should I work out?
HIIT treadmill workout for weight loss drills lasts around 20-45 minutes. Never go beyond 45 minutes. Remember that the name of the game is intensity and not the duration. The actual length of the workout will depend on your fitness goals and the limitation of your workout.
What if I have an injury?
If you’re recovering from an injury, you can tone down the intensity with a milder range of motion but with the same cardio. Take it easy until you are fully prepared to take on a strenuous routine.
The elephant in the room: plateaus
Have you ever heard about weight loss plateaus? It’s when you stopped losing weight even if you still have the excess fats that need burning. When your muscles get used to the intensity of your workout, it will stop burning more calories. This is the reason why intensity is king.
With the help of a personal trainer, you can adjust the intensity of your workout to avoid plateaus. Still, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to take those few minutes of rest in between repetitions.
Tips and reminders when doing treadmill HIITs
Before you do any HIIT routines, take time to read the following points. These are just some tips to keep you safe:
➕Always do warm up
It’s quite tempting to jump into the intensity of working out, but you should allow at least five minutes to heat up your body. This way, your muscles won’t be shocked and your body is introduced to the intensity slowly. When it comes to the treadmill routines we’ve discussed here, warming up can be as simple as pacing for five minutes in a low speed.
Aside from prepping your legs, it will also help to do some stretching before you hop into the treadmill. This is especially true for treadmill workouts to lose weight for beginners.
➕Break your workout in short intervals
It’s never a good thing to do a one-time-big-time workout in 30 minutes. Always break the routines in short intervals. For example, it’s best to run in an 8% inclined treadmill in one minute per repetition than to do it in one shot for five minutes. Overuse injuries may take place if you do this.
As much as you want to keep the intensity, there’s always a right way to do it.
➕Do a full body workout
Running on the treadmill? Move those arms! That way, you can engage your whole body in the process. Also, moving more parts of your body means more calories are being burned.
A HIIT treadmill workout for weight loss is effective in burning fats and building muscle mass. But as much as it’s a weight loss powerhouse, you should do it the right way. Consult a personal trainer if need be.