Expert Tips to Maximise Your HIIT Training on a Treadmill and Get Super Fit, Super Quick!
In this article we’ll explore how to complete High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on a treadmill. We will cover how to maximise your results from HIIT on a treadmill, learn more about the benefits of HIIT and discuss why you should consider making HIIT treadmill training part of your exercise routine.
After hearing about high intensity interval training (HIIT) over the years I set out to learn more about HIIT and understand if this was something I could benefit from. The promise of great results from short exercise sessions was very alluring for me and pushed me to explore this more.
Knowing how difficult it can be to stick to a training routine the concept of a 10 to 20 minute daily exercise routine sounded too good to be true. Especially when considering only around a third of this routine would be a high intensity activity.
Being very pushed for time and struggling to get out for a run I was keen to explore if and how I could use HIIT to train on a treadmill and get great results. Below you will see what I found with my HIIT training journey.
A Quick Note of Caution
If you have any health concerns or encounter any pain or issues when running or exercising you should always speak with your doctor and take professional advice. For most people HIIT training and running are perfectly safe but always seek professional medical advice if you have health concerns or encounter any problems when exercising.
What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an incredibly powerful tool for increasing fitness and maximising weight loss from exercise. Unfortunately however when it comes to HIIT there many misconceptions.
As the name suggests the idea behind HIIT is to exercise at maximum intensity for short intervals before returning to low or medium intensity exercise for recovery. The reason why HIIT training is so powerful is twofold.
Firstly the high intensity exercise pushes your organs and muscles to the limit and triggers changes in the body such as an increased metabolism and muscle growth. Secondly studies have shown that you benefit from the after-burn effect whereby you continue to burn a high rate of calories both in the recovery portion of the exercise and even after you stop exercising all together.
An important point to note is that the main benefit of HIIT comes from the high intensity intervals. So put simply if you want HIIT training to really work then you had better do the same yourself! The high intensity intervals need to be as close to your maximum capacity as possible.
How to HIIT Train on a Treadmill?
HIIT training on a treadmill is relatively straightforward but there are some important factors to consider, let’s start with the basics. As the name suggests the concept behind HIIT is to exercise at maximum intensity for short intervals before returning to low or medium intensity exercise for recovery.
A good starting HIIT treadmill routine for beginners is to warm up with a brisk walk for five minutes, followed by one minute of high intensity running, which is then followed by two minutes of brisk walking. Repeat the one minute running and two minute walking intervals for a total of five times for a 20 minute workout routine.
Don’t overdo it especially at the start of your exercise plans. Best to start slower and to build up so if you haven’t exercised for some time or if you are new to HIIT training on a treadmill then start slow and find your limits. If you go flying and sprain your ankle then you can’t repeat your training tomorrow! So the key is not to get hurt.
Next, don’t do HIIT training on a treadmill every day, three sessions a week is plenty. If you do want to treadmill train on the days in between your HIIT treadmill sessions then run and walk on these days. The point is not to overdo it so you are less likely to get injured and more likely to stick to your daily routine.
What’s the Best HIIT Treadmill Training workout?
The great thing with HIIT treadmill training is you can experiment and create specific workouts that work best for you. What these should all have in common is multiple short periods of high intensity running followed by longer periods of low to medium intensity activity.
The power of HIIT training is only achieved when you have both a period of intense exercise and a period of recovery. So don’t get carried away and turn it into either a sprint or a walk, the power of HIIT is in the contrast of the intervals.
The high intensity interval pushes the body to the limit whilst the recovery period sustains many of the benefits of this whilst allowing you to shortly push your body back to that limit again. Remember that you continue to burn a much higher rate of calories in a low to medium intensity run when this follows a high intensity run.
How Intense should High Intensity Interval be?
The benefit of HIIT training comes from pushing your body to its limit so typically the high intensity interval should be as close as possible to your perceived maximum exertion. A good way of assessing this is using the Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE).
The Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale runs from 1 to 10, with 1 being very easy (maybe a slow walk) and 10 being very difficult (such as sprinting at your full speed). When you are comfortable with HIIT try and keep your high intensity intervals at a RPE of around a 9/10.
If you are new to HIIT training then start with a RPE maybe 7/8 to reduce the risk of injury and help you get a feel for your own limits and what you are comfortable with.
There are lots of things you should consider with running in general such as warming up effectively and staying hydrated. After reading this article I would recommend you review How to Get Fit With Running
Why HIIT Train on a Treadmill?
Well why not… The reason I love to HIIT train on a treadmill is because it’s so quick and easy. I can jump on the treadmill for 20 minutes each day in my own home and achieve the most amazing results. This convenience means that I can keep HIIT training in my daily routine even when things don’t go to plan.
This approach is in stark contrast to all that I had come to loath about exercise, such as being in a gym for what felt like forever, the impact on my day and feeling that whatever I did was never enough.
HIIT training on a treadmill can take many forms but for me it’s about convenience and getting the maximum health benefit from the minimum time commitment. Because I am only committing 20 minutes each day it’s easy to stick with HIIT and its much better to do 20 minutes every day than a couple of hours sporadically.
More importantly using HIIT training to create a more manageable daily exercise routine has made exercise enjoyable again for me, rather than something that I dread and thus put off doing.
Please feel free to share or comment on this article with your own HIIT training tips, also comment to let me know what your own running & health goals are and how you are doing with these!
Please remember if you have any health concerns or encounter any pain or issues when running or exercising you should always speak with your doctor and take professional advice. For most people HIIT training and running are perfectly safe but always seek professional medical advice if you have health concerns or encounter any problems when exercising.
Wishing you and all those you love health, wealth and happiness!