The treadmill is one of the most efficient pieces of cardio equipment out there. Depending on your fitness level and goals, you can use the treadmill in multiple ways and reap tremendous benefits.
In this post, we will take a look at several great treadmill workouts. Our Personal Trainer, Christian Roberts, has created a progressive program for our Health and Fitness Show followers. Each of these is at a beginner level, but they come in different tiers, meaning that the challenge level varies.
Without further ado, let us dive in…
Treadmill Workouts: 6 Levels Of Progression
The full program is described in our workout section. Please note, you have to be careful and listen to your body to avoid any injuries – better safe than sorry.
1. Walking on the flat (Level 1)
The goal here is to set the treadmill at a pace of fast walking but not jogging. Set a goal of how long you want your workout to be (generally 20 to 30 minutes), and get started. If you have to take a break here and there, do so. Catch your breath, and then continue.
2. Walking up the hill (Level 2)
This is more challenging because you now have to vary the incline level. Here is how: Start with a brisk walking pace (not jogging) and walk for a minute. After that, raise the incline to a level where you feel you can sustain that speed for two minutes. There is no shame in starting more conservatively.
Once the two minutes are up, lower the incline and go for another minute. Keep alternating between the two for twenty to thirty minutes.
3. Aerobic running (Level 3)
This is relatively straightforward: Pick a running pace you can sustain for twenty to thirty minutes. The goal is to finish the entire workout without taking a break or reducing the tempo. It is best to start conservatively and slowly aim to increase the speed over the weeks.
4. On the track (Level 4)
Here is how to do this one: Walk briskly for two minutes >> Run at a safe speed for one minute >> Repeat
Do this for twenty to thirty minutes and call it a day. If you are having trouble running for a minute, lower the speed for the next round.
5. Hill sprints (Level 5)
Pick a quick enough pace for your jog and run on zero incline for two minutes. Once the time is up, increase the angle to a degree where you can maintain the speed and go for another minute. After that, drop the incline again and go for another two minutes. Keep alternating for twenty to thirty minutes.
6. King of the hill (Level 6)
Here is how to pull this off:
- Step 1: Start with a comfortable jog.
- Step 2: Slowly increase the incline to a point where you can jog at the same speed for two minutes.
- Step 3: Reduce the speed and walk at the same incline for another two minutes.
- Step 4: Once another 2 minutes have passed, increase the speed again and jog for another 2 minutes.
- Step 5: Keep alternating between the two.
The Benefits of Treadmill Training
Treadmill training is fantastic for many reasons. First, it offers great variety, and you can work on developing different characteristics. As you saw above, there are many ways to structure your workouts. For example, if you want to build endurance, run with moderate intensity for an extended period. If you are going to develop your anaerobic ability and speed, dash and take regular breaks.
Second, treadmill training is a fantastic way to burn many calories, which is beneficial if you are looking to lose weight or keep yourself from gaining any. For reference, a 180-pound person running for thirty minutes at six mph will burn over 450 calories.
Third, treadmill training is easy to get started with, and you do not need much experience or expertise to have great workouts.
The Vital Importance of Progression
There is one crucial difference between exercising and training: progression. A person who exercises generally does the same thing each time with the intent of adding some activity to their day and keeping themselves healthy.
In contrast, a person who trains does a specific amount of work to do more in the future. This is important because the body likes itself as is and is resistant to change. If we want to improve in any athletic capacity (be it to gain muscle, become more endurant, or something else), we need to force improvements.
In other words, we need to push ourselves past the point of discomfort. In doing so, the body has no other choice but to adapt to the stress to handle it better the next time around.
Consider treadmill training for a moment: If you had not run before and started running for fifteen minutes per day, you will find it challenging at first. You will breathe heavily, sweat a lot, and feel exhausted by the time you are done. But, as time passes, you will find those fifteen minutes increasingly easier. At some point, doing that workout will be effortless.
If you keep things the same forever, the workout will cease to help you improve. You will only hope to burn some extra calories and boost your activity level a bit.
Now, if you start with fifteen minutes but slowly add more time to keep your workouts challenging for months, you will become stronger, more endurant, and more athletic. But to achieve this effect, you need to feel some discomfort along the way.