Treadmill HIIT Workout for Beginners | A Quick Way to Burn More Calories

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Treadmill HIIT Workout for Beginners | A Quick Way to Burn More Calories

February 5, 2021 Guardian-Elite Fitness Leave a comment

A treadmill can be one those necessary evils for getting in some needed cardio work at the gym or at home. What most don’t like about running on a treadmill is that it can be pretty boring and it can take a long time to get in a decent calorie burn (up to 45-60 minutes or even more depending on your fitness level). A treadmill HIIT workout can solve both of those problems.

  • Treadmill HIIT Workout
  • HIIT on Treadmill for Beginners
  • HIIT Treadmill vs Steady State Treadmill
  • HIIT Treadmill Sprints Benefits
  • How Often Should You Do a HIIT Treadmill Workout?
  • HIIT Treadmill Workout Plan for Weight Loss
  • Does HIIT on a Treadmill Burn Fat?
  • Is HIIT on a Treadmill Effective?
  • How to do HIIT on a Treadmill
  • How Long to do HIIT on a Treadmill?
  • HIIT Treadmill Sprint Speed
  • Treadmill HIIT Workout Plan
  • HIIT Treadmill 5 Minutes
  • Treadmill HIIT 10 Minute
  • 15 Minute Treadmill HIIT
  • 20 Minute HIIT Treadmill
  • 30 Minute Treadmill HIIT
  • Treadmill Incline HIIT Workout
  • Summary

Treadmill HIIT Workout

High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been growing in popularity in the fitness world for quite some time now.

The reason for this is that HIIT training is a very customizable and versatile way to burn calories quickly and even build muscle and strength at the same time. Plus, as an added benefit, HIIT workout are usually only going to last 30-minutes or less.

In fact, HIIT workouts in many different forms have been covered extensively on this blog. Tabata, EMOM, AMRAP are all different variations of a HIIT workout.

Breaking down any HIIT workout to its fundamental principles is simply intervals of very high intensity aerobic activity, followed by another interval of rest. Then repeated until finished.

What can be different for each HIIT workout is the interval time, exercises and overall workout length.

HIIT on Treadmill for Beginners

treadmill hiit workout
Before jumping into a more complicated HIIT workout using different equipment, exercises and interval timing, it’s best to get used to a more simplified version on high intensity training.

HIIT treadmill training for beginners will allow you to ease into what can turn into a challenging , fat burning cardio workout.

The advantage to a HIIT treadmill beginner workout is that the treadmill will stay at a consistent pace that you set, control incline and keep time.

This is an advantage because as opposed to simply running outside, you can control all these aspects while staying in the room.

As a beginner you might wonder why HIIT training is better than normal running on the treadmill. We’ll cover the differences between both and answer some common questions asked when starting a treadmill HIIT workout.

HIIT Treadmill vs Steady State Treadmill

Normally a treadmill workout would consist of stepping onto the treadmill, setting a speed your comfortable with and start running for a pre-determined time or distance.

This type of running is called “stead-state cardio”. Steady state cardio is running or exercising at a relatively consistent speed. This consistent speed is usually at a moderate pace that can be maintained over longer distances.

This type of steady-state cardio can burn fat and calories, but it’s going to take longer for your body to burn the same amount of calories at this slower pace.

You are also training in a different way. Steady-state cardio is going to train a different part of your muscle fibers. These are called your slow-twitch muscle fibers, and they are responsible for muscle endurance.

This is opposed to the thicker muscle building fast-twitch fibers that tend to fatigue more quickly.

A HIIT treadmill workout is the opposite as you could imagine. Typically during the higher intensity intervals, you’ll be at 80% or more of your max heart rate. HIIT workouts alternate between this high intensity and rest intervals.

HIIT workouts will also burn calories and fat, but because of the higher intensity, you will burn even more calories and fat over a shorter period of time.

Another benefit is called the “afterburn effect”. This occurs after a high intensity workout is finished, your body will continue to burn through calories and fat for energy even when you’re not exercising anymore.

For more information on the afterburn effect, check out this post on using HIIT for a fasted cardio workout and the numerous benefits for fat burning.

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HIIT Treadmill Sprints Benefits

treadmill hiit benefits
Treadmill HIIT training uses sprinting instead of steady-state running at a consistent pace, in order to achieve the intensity level required to get your heart rate at 80% or more of it’s max heart rate.

The benefit of this sprinting is that you are not only increasing heart rate and burning fat, but you are building your fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Remember that slower, steady-state cardio is responsible for using slow-twitch muscle fibers that are best for muscle endurance.

Fast-twitch muscle fibers, while fatiguing more quickly, are thicker and used for strength building. Not only will a HIIT workout increase your cardiovascular system, but you’ll be actively building muscle strength at the same time.

How Often Should You Do a HIIT Treadmill Workout?

Given the many benefits of a HIIT treadmill workout, you might want to try this type of workout everyday. This would be a mistake.

How often for a HIIT treadmill workout can depend but typically, you won’t want to be doing a HIIT workout more than 3-4 times in a single week.

For beginners, starting at only two HIIT sessions a week and working your way up is recommended.

HIIT Treadmill Workout Plan for Weight Loss
weight loss plan
A HIIT workout on a treadmill is great for fat loss. In fact, high intensity interval style training can result in 28.5% more fat mass reduction over moderate intensity continuous training, i.e. simply running on a treadmill.

Does HIIT on a Treadmill Burn Fat?

A treadmill HIIT workout for fat loss is definitely superior to normal steady-state cardio for fat loss. But as we eluded to earlier, there is an added bonus to a HIIT workout.

It’s called the “afterburn effect” or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). What this means is that after a hard HIIT workout, your body will need some time to fully return to it’s normal rested state.

So, while you’re driving home in your car, taking a shower or even eating, your body in still returning to this rested state. What this means is that you will still be burning calories even after you’re done working out. Sometimes even for up to 24-48 hours!

Part of the reason why a HIIT workout is so effective at burning calories and fat, is that your heart rate is elevated, and stays elevated throughout the workout.

There is a way to tell if your heart rate is within the correct zone for most efficient fat burning during a HIIT workout.

A HIIT treadmill heart rate should be approximately 80% of your maximum heart rate (100%). Depending on your age, your maximum heart rate will be different.

Below is a table put together showing target heart rate zones for different ages.

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Age Target HR Zone <80% Maximum Heart Rate 100%
20 yrs 100-170 bpm 200 bpm
30 yrs 95-162 bpm 190 bpm
35 yrs 93-157 bpm 185 bpm
40 yrs 90-153 bpm 180 bpm
45 yrs 88-149 bpm 175 bpm
50 yrs 85-145 bpm 170 bpm
55 yrs 83-140 bpm 165 bpm
60 yrs 80-136 bpm 160 bpm
65 yrs 78-132 bpm 155 bpm

Is HIIT on a Treadmill Effective?

A HIIT treadmill workout is effective for many reasons. We’ve mainly talked about the calorie and fat burning effectiveness of a HIIT treadmill workout routine, but there are other benefits too.

Push through a training plateau: Running at the same speed and distance on the treadmill can not only get boring, but can also cause our body to hit a plateau. As our body becomes accustomed to a certain workout routine, it will adapt to the point where the exercise is no longer creating a fitness and weight loss effect we want. A HIIT treadmill workout can “shock” the body (and your metabolism) into gear again.
Promote better sleep: studies have shown that even people with insomnia have found that regular exercise can improve sleep, even reducing time to fall asleep by 55%.
Saves time: You can get a heart pounding, intense workout in as little as 10 minutes of your time. Try that just running on the treadmill like normal. HIIT workouts are a great way to pack a punch in a short amount of time.

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How to do HIIT on a Treadmill

how to do a treadmill HIIT workout
a HIIT workout on the treadmill will consist of a warm up, followed by timed intervals of near all-out sprinting and timed resting intervals.

  • Warm up: For warm up before any HIIT workout, start with 5 minutes of walking or light jogging at a very comfortable pace on the treadmill. During the HIIT treadmill workout, you’ll be running at a very high intensity, so a proper warm up is key to avoiding injuries.
  • Sprint Intervals: Using the target heart zone rate chart above, you will want to be sprinting at a speed on the treadmill that is at least 80% of your maximum heart rate. Most treadmills have a heart rate function to determine your heart rate.
  • Rest Intervals: As soon as the sprint interval is completed, go right into the rest interval. The rest interval should be either walking or slow jogging on the treadmill only for the pre-determined length of time. Typically during a treadmill HIIT workout, you won’t be able to completely recover in time for the next sprint interval to begin.

When transitioning from a sprint to a rest interval, it will take some time to get the treadmill down to a jogging or walking pace. Start the rest interval time as soon as the treadmill belt has slowed to the proper speed.

 

How Long to do HIIT on a Treadmill?

A HIIT treadmill workout time can vary, depending on your own level of fitness. Typically, a person wouldn’t spend more than 45 minutes doing a HIIT treadmill workout, because of the high intensity involved.

Remember, HIIT workouts are designed to be short and very challenging. Below we’ll cover a different HIIT workout for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 minutes.

 

HIIT Treadmill Sprint Speed

treadmill HIIT speed can also vary depending on your fitness level, age and maximum heart rate.

There is no set speed for treadmill HIIT sprints, since 80% heart rate speed for a 20 year old will be different than the 80% heart rate speed for a 50 year old.

Treadmill HIIT Workout Plan

treadmill hiit workout
A treadmill HIIT workout is meant to be short but very challenging. The small time commitment is particularly important for people who want a good fat burning workout, but don’t have a lot of time to spend in the gym everyday working out.

Below we’ll give a HIIT treadmill workout guideline for a 5 minute workout up to 30 minutes. Then ending with a incline HIIT workout that can put anyone to the test.

Each workout will include warm-up time that won’t count toward the overall treadmill HIIT workout time.

Pro Tip: After a very hard sprint, you might not be able to ease your way back down to a job or walk for the rest interval.

If needed, grab a hold of the side rails to move your feet from the treadmill belt to sides the the treadmill while the speed is decreasing. If using this technique, start the rest interval time immediately.

HIIT Treadmill 5 Minutes

Be sure to set the treadmill incline to completely flat or 1% to more closely match outdoor running.*Warm-up time not counted in overall workout time

Number Interval Type Interval Time Target Heart Rate % Treadmill Speed
Warm Up 5 Minutes* N/A 2.0 – 3.0
1 Sprint 30 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
1 Rest 30 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
2 Sprint 30 Seconds 85% 6.5 – 9.0
2 Rest 45 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
3 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
3 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
4 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
4 Rest 45 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0

Total time

5 Minutes

*Warm-up time not counted in overall workout time

Treadmill HIIT 10 Minute

Keep the treadmill incline completely flat or at a 1% incline.

Number Interval Type Interval Time Target Heart Rate % Treadmill Speed
Warm Up 5 Minutes* N/A 2.0 – 3.0
1 Sprint 30 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
1 Rest 30 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
2 Sprint 30 Seconds 85% 6.5 – 9.0
2 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
3 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
3 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
4 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
4 Rest 90 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
5 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
5 Rest 90 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
6 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
6 Rest 30 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
See also  5 Tabata Workouts for Maximum High Intensity Interval Training

Total Time

10 Minutes

*Warm-up time not counted in overall workout time

15 Minute Treadmill HIIT

Number Interval Type Interval Time Target Heart Rate % Treadmill Speed
Warm Up 5 Minutes* N/A 2.0 – 3.0
1 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
1 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
2 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
2 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
3 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
3 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
4 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
4 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
5 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
5 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
6 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
6 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0

Time

15 Minutes

*Warm-up time not counted in overall workout time

20 Minute HIIT Treadmill

Number Interval Type Interval Time Target Heart Rate % Treadmill Speed
Warm Up 5 Minutes* N/A 2.0 – 3.0
1 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
1 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
2 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
2 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
3 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
3 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
4 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
4 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
5 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
5 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
6 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
6 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
7 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
7 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
8 Sprint 60 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
8 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0

Total Time

20 Minutes

*Warm-up time not counted in overall workout time

30 Minute Treadmill HIIT 

Number Interval Type Interval Time Target Heart Rate % Treadmill Speed
Warm Up 5 Minutes* N/A 2.0 – 3.0
1 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
1 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
2 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
2 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
3 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
3 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
4 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
4 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
5 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
5 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
6 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
6 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
7 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
7 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
8 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 7.0 – 10.0
8 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
9 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
9 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
10 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0
10 Rest 120 Seconds Content 2.0 – 3.0
11 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
11 Rest 90 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
12 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0
12 Rest 90 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0

Total Time

30 Minutes

*Warm-up time not counted in overall workout time

Treadmill Incline HIIT Workout

Number Interval Type Interval Time Target Heart Rate % Treadmill Speed Treadmill Incline
Warm Up 5 Minutes* N/A 2.0 – 3.0 0%
1 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0 1%
1 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
2 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0 1%
2 Rest 60 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
3 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0 2%
3 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
4 Sprint 30 Seconds 90% 7.0 – 10.0 2%
4 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
5 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0 4%
5 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0
6 Sprint 60 Seconds 80% 6.5 – 9.0 4%
6 Rest 120 Seconds   2.0 – 3.0

Total Time

15 Minutes

*Warm-up time not counted in overall workout time

Summary
A treadmill HIIT workout can be a very affective way to burn fat and even build a little muscle in a very short amount of time.

Remember to use a treadmill HIIT workout only 3 to 4 times a week. The higher intensity of the workout will be a challenge for your body, so to avoid over-use injury, be sure to give your body plenty of time to recover.

Posted in: Fitness, Lose Weight Filed under: cardio, Fat Burning, HIIT Workouts