How To Do a Treadmill Running Workout

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

The first step to a successful treadmill workout is to become comfortable using the incline button on the treadmill! I mention this as the first point because it will be essential to increasing the intensity of the cardio workout. Ever notice how easy it is to job 5 mph on a flat incline on a treadmill? However, if you increase the incline to just 4%, the workout takes on a new dimension and all the sudden it gets much more difficult than on a 0% incline. The majority of people I see running on a treadmill don't use the incline, they set the speed to 5, 6 or 7 mph and jog confidently thinking they are working hard and doing well. However, the motion of running on a treadmill is actually easier than running outside. For this reason, i always recommend you should spend the majority of the treadmill running workout at a 1.5-2% incline. At this level, it very closely emulates running outside.

Step 2

The actual treadmill workout will consist of 30 min. and no longer. Research has proven that individuals actually loose more weight if they exercise for 30 min. at any one period of time rather than 60 minutes! Now, you can perform more than one 30 min. session in a day, but the point of the matter is not to perform any more than 30 min. at any one time. For rapid fat loss and cardiovascular development, perform one 30 min. cardio session in the morning, and one 30 min. cardio session after your weight workout.

Step 3

A successful treadmill running workout should consist of: 1) 2 min. warm up- begin at a 3.5 mph walk on a 1.5 % incline. 2) Minutes 2-10 should be at a relatively challenging running speed. Depending on your level of fitness, this is usually at 6mph - 8 mph. Push the incline up to 2% at this level. Make sure you are breathing heavily, but not out of breath-we are after fat burning here. 3) Minutes 10-12 are going to be high intensity. Push the speed up to 8 mph and the incline up to 8% and attempt to run this for the entire 2 minutes. 4) 12-15 minutes are going to be a high incline but a slower speed- bringing you to a fast walk- shoot for 8% incline and 3.6 mph. 5) 15-20 minutes we are back to 6-8 mph at a 2% incline- making sure you are taxing your breathing capacities, but never becoming out of breath. 6) 20-22 minutes- incline goes back up to 8% as well as 8 mph. You should be really feeling this in the calves and quads at this point. 7) 22-25 minutes- back to high incline but slower speed- 8% incline and 3.6 mph. 8)25-28 minutes- pick the speed back up to 6-8 mph and a 2% incline- make sure to keep the breathing heavy. 9)28-30 minutes- Cool down- 1% incline and 3.0 mph

Step 4

Notice this is not a typical treadmill running workout- it is engineered to get the most out of a treadmill to closely emulate a successful run outside. I personally found the higher incline work with a faster walk extremely effective for maintain muscle fullness and fat loss, while being easy on my joints. I incorporated this faster incline walk right after a high intensity cardio session for 2 min. to give the body a slight recovery period. However, as you'll notice you will be breathing heavily during the incline walk to keep your body burning fat. The key to this workout is variety- and the results will speak for themselves after performing this at least 3-4 times per week for a few weeks.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Work up to the numbers I outlined if need be, and make sure to bring music or something to listen to while doing treadmill cardio to keep the intensity and motivation high. It's much easier to perform when you have good music to run to. Also, bring a water bottle and feel feel to sip on it during your incline walking minutes.

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Funny or interesting story about this topic...

Treadmills can be a real life saver when it comes to fitness if you live in a colder environment during the winter months. Here in Wisconsin, treadmills are lined and packed by the time January 1st hits. Sometimes it's just unrealistic to get cardiovascular work done outside in the winter. A treadmill is a great tool to keep the lungs worked and keep the fat on the kitchen butter plate and not on your waste. The majority of people see to go the easier route and jog lightly on a level surface or walk on a treadmill. For this reason, many people simply don't see results because they are performing a treadmill running workout incorrectly.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I have been involved in health/fitness and bodybuilding for a number of years both personally and professionally

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