Finding Your Sweet Spot For HIIT On A Treadmill!

When using a treadmill for HIIT workouts, it may take a little experimenting on your part to find the right settings. Both the speed and incline settings can play important roles in designing a great HIIT workout. Try to find a setting that you can sustain for no more than one minute. For beginners or those new to HIIT training, this may be a 5mph jog with zero incline. For the more conditioned individual, it may be a 10mph run with a bit of an incline.

As you experiment, it’s important to learn what your one minute limit is. After this minute, you should feel pretty wiped-out and have a need to slow things down.

Next, after going all-out for a minute (this is your work interval), go “easy” for one to two minutes (this will be your recovery interval). Again, easy depends on your fitness level … it may be a 2.5 mph walk at zero incline or a 4-5 mph light jog. After the one-two minute recovery interval, you should feel ready to go all-out again.

A good gauge when first starting out is the Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE). An RPE of 1 means very easy, while an RPE of 9-10 means you’re out of breath and cannot speak. For the very fit individual, they should shoot for work intervals that get them up to that 9-10 level. For the HIIT beginner or less conditioned individual, they should shoot for an RPE of 6-7.

An all-out effort (one minute), followed by a recovery interval (one to two minutes), is one cycle. When first starting out, shoot for completing 6-8 cycles. Be sure to warm-up first for about 6-10 minutes and even include a couple of intervals below your max level to get your body acclimated.

𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰 𝗛𝗜𝗜𝗧 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝗗𝗼 𝗢𝗻 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗹

Here is a basic HIIT Treadmill workout that will help get you started:

1. Basic warm-up starting with a brisk walk and work your way up to a light jog — 5-10 minutes
2. Run at 8-10 mph for 30 seconds to 1 minute
3. Walk at 4 mph for 30 seconds to 1 minute
4. Repeat this cycle 10 times for 15-20 minutes total (not including your warm-up)
5. If the work interval isn’t enough of a challenge, add a slight incline to the treadmill
6. Perform a cool-down walk for 5 minutes before stretching and drinking plenty of water

As you build a love-hate relationship with HIIT training, experiment a bit with building your own HIIT workouts. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do to qualify as high intensity interval training. All that matters is that you alternate between 90-100% of your max effort for 30-60 seconds followed by a period of rest that’s just long enough to recover so you’re able to achieve another max effort period of 30-60 seconds. This can be done with a jump rope, treadmill, weights or doing burpees, lunges, squats, etc. The exercise you choose doesn’t matter— it’s all about alternating between periods of high intensity and rest.

HIIT workouts can be done every other day but should not be done daily. Your skeletal muscles need time to recover after HIIT workouts. You can and should do strength training on your off days however. Take at least one day completely off during the week and make sure you eat healthy and stay hydrated throughout the week.

Follow this routine for 3 months and you’ll be amazed at your improved cardiovascular health and physical conditioning.

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