Interval training on a treadmill couldn’t be easier. It is actually the only way I prefer to use a treadmill these days. I had learned intervals years ago and how beneficial it is to include interval training in my workouts. You may notice that it has caught on much more over the years, particularly for use with bodyweight exercises. Even popular home-fitness programs like Insanity and Les Mills Combat (MMA workout) utilize interval training for it’s fat and calorie burning benefits.
How is Interval Training Beneficial?
Interval training is also referred to as HIIT (high intensity interval training.) What makes intervals so popular is because you can have an effective workout in the least amount of time. Studies have shown that you can achieve more progress with interval training 3 times per week than with long steady state cardio routines such as jogging for an hour. Unlike steady-state cardio workouts, you burn more calories with HIIT due to the high intensity. This high intensity causes your body’s repair cycle to work more so you end up burning more fat and calories long after your workout is done. Not bad for 15 – 30 minutes of working out, right?
Keep in mind that interval training isn’t for everyone. It is fast paced and is supposed to get the heart rate up into the anaerobic zone. It is intense and you should be out of breath while exercising. If you can carry on a conversation while you’re doing it, you’re probably not doing it correctly.
No equipment is needed and you’ll notice with most interval routines, fitness equipment is rarely used. The focus is on the high-intensity so it deals with a lot of fast-paced bodyweight movements such as jumping, quick sprints, jump squats or lunges, running in place, etc. Another huge plus that many bodybuilders enjoy is that interval training preserves muscle mass. Steady state cardio sessions can cause muscle loss. The more muscle you can keep, the more fat you can burn.
How to Use a Treadmill for Interval Training
You can get the most out of your treadmill workout by including intervals. First, it’s a good idea to warm-up with some fast-paced walking. Once you feel warmed-up, you can perform a routine like the following (adjust for your fitness level):
- Light jog for 2 – 3 minutes
- Increase speed and run for 1 minute
- Light jog or fast-paced walk for 2 – 3 minutes
- Repeat each round 4 – 5 times
You can change it up however you wish. The key is to go all out for about a minute and then slow it down (resting phase) before kicking it up again. You can utilize this same type of interval on other cardio machines like ellipticals, stationary bicycles, or rowing machines.
HIIT is a great way to stay in shape and won’t leave you feeling bored. You won’t be spending a ton of time working out which leaves more time for you to do with as you like. How do you like intervals?
Check out Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training program. He is a big interval training user and his workouts are short, sweet, and to the point.