I used to spend 30 - 45 minutes on a treadmill running at a moderate pace. Unless you are running outdoors, treadmill running is quite boring. Since I've added interval training to my cardio workouts, treadmill running is fun and the time goes by faster than ever.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training which consists of a warm-up, a short period of exercise at maximum-intensity, followed by a low-intensity recovery period, then a cool down. You can perform the intervals for about 20 - 30 minutes. Basically during the high-intensity portion you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Benefits of HIIT
One of the biggest benefits of HIIT is its fat burning ability compared to traditional cardio. Your body will continue to burn fat throughout the day. Other benefits include:
- Shorter training time (30 minutes at the most)
- Helps prevent muscle loss
- Reduces boredom
- Less time to burn more calories
- Increase endurance
Here is an example of what I do on a treadmill:
- 5 minute warm-up
- run hard at 6.6 mph for 1 minute
- walk at 3.4 mph for 3 minutes
- repeat interval for about 3 to 4 sets
- 5 - 10 minute cool-down
The video below is a very good example of HIIT on a treadmill:
If you are in good enough shape to try it, give HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on a treadmill a shot and see if you notice the difference. Also notice in the video how Craig points out the importance of bringing the intensity down low enough in order to have the energy to run at a maximum intensity again. Sometimes I do a light jog rather than slowing down to a walk, however, if you've pushed yourself hard enough, you'll want to slow down to a walk for recovery.
Please note: Interval training is not for everyone. Always consult with your doctor before trying any type of interval training.