So, you just bought, or have been looking to buy a treadmill. It's no secret that they are fantastic machines, but there are a few things you need to consider to get the most out of yours.
That's why we created this blog post!
For many people, outdoor running doesn't give them the control they need over their workout. Several factors contribute to this. Uneven surfaces, constantly battling the weather, and more. Treadmill workouts provide more control over your running experience, thanks to on-board controls. These include being able to set speed, time and incline settings.
Now, more than ever, is a great time to step up your fitness game with this useful piece of equipment. We have curated the top treadmill workout hacks in one place, so that you can make your machine work for you and crush your goals faster than ever before!
1. Engage in effective treadmill workouts
It's not as simple as pressing start, and running at a comfortable pace for 30 minutes. You need dig a little deeper to get an effective workout in. When done right, this also usually means shorter training periods!
Running at a lower intensity will help preserve energy for stamina and endurance training. This is great for training yourself to run for longer periods of time, like in a marathon. However, running at a faster pace through high intensity interval training will help in burning calories faster. This will help you lose weight more
HIIT treadmill workouts!
We get a lot of questions about how to burn calories quickly using a treadmill. Many peer reviewed studies suggest that HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training) is one of the most effective ways to do so - and we agree!
HIIT treadmill workouts involve high intensity intervals followed by a recovery period. These intervals usually change from an all out effort sprint, to a light jog, to an easy pace like a brisk walk. This will create variations in heart rate, while maintaining a high workout intensity
For the best results in burning calories, we recommend using a treadmill with an incline function. People often get speed and incline confused. You can utilize intervals based on incline online for a great HIIT workout. You'd be surprised how quickly you can reach a maximum heart rate when running up a steep slope
Here's a few examples:
30 second sprint, at 10% incline, followed by 30 seconds jog with no incline. Repeat this process 10 times.
1 minute at a comfortable running pace, followed by 30 seconds sprinting. Repeat this process 10 times.
Walk the hills, run the flats!
If you're looking for a moderate level of intensity, this one is for you. This treadmill workout involves utilizing incline controls to simulate real outdoor running. It will help give you the stamina and endurance necessary to take on longer runs in future.
The benefits of training on an incline include:
improved leg strength
improved aerobic capacity
developed muscle power
all while strengthening the musculoskeletal system.
At a moderate level of intensity, your treadmill workout should look like this:
Start with a warm up, always! Then increase the exercise intensity into a steady pace 2 minute run on flat ground. After this, engage in a 5 minute incline walk. This will get the blood pumping and activate more muscles in the lower body.
Recovery after a treadmill workout
So you've smashed out a huge cardio or strength training session. Before you celebrate all of your hard work, it's time to recover! You can do so with your treadmill. Even a one minute walk or jog at an easy or conversational pace is good enough. The goal here isn't to continue to burn calories or burn fat. It's to bring down your heart rate and bring the challenge to an end.
Be sure to stretch your lower and upper body, as these workouts on a treadmill activate much more than just the legs. A good 10 minute stretching session will get the endorphins pumping, and allow you to recover without soreness. You can use conditioning equipment to speed up this process.
2. Make the most of your treadmill features!
Regardless of the actual workout, you need to make the most of your investment. If your treadmill has a heart rate monitor, you'll be able to effectively track your progress while running. This is particularly important when your workouts are high intensity, especially during HIIT. You'll need to track variations in heart rate throughout your run.
If your treadmill doesn't have incline controls, your HIIT workouts will rely on speed changes. If you don't have a way to track your max heart rate, you'll have to base the length of the intervals on how much of a challenge they are.
If you bought a treadmill that doesn't have of these features, that's okay! It just means you will have to adapt your training a little. But, if you haven't bought yet and want to cover all of your bases, we recommend investing in a treadmill that has all of the following:
Speed and incline controls
A built in heart-rate monitor
Ways to track your fitness levels and 'personal bests' over time
Thankfully, most treadmills on the market today have these features. Our favourite is the NordicTrack S40. It's also compatible with iFIT - which is an absolute game-changer. It allows you to train alongside a certified personal trainer, without the need to set the treadmill. Speed and incline will change automatically based on what the trainer is doing on-screen. Cool, hey!
3. Stay motivated by changing it up!
In order to maintain an effective routine, you need to stay motivated. One downside of a home setup is that most of the time, it doesn't have the same variety as a gym (this doesn't apply to those who have the space and budget for multiple cardio items!). This can mean that if your treadmill is your only form of cardio training, it can get quite boring.
One way to combat that is by alternating workouts and exercise on different days. Don't always do the same HIIT treadmill workout every time you step on the machine. Try different interval patterns, recovery periods and more to keep it fresh.
You could also dial up the pace with additional exercises for more complete cardio session. After some running on your treadmill, feel free to jump off and do some butt kicks or high knees. You'd be surprised at how much this slight variation can help you stay motivated. It'll also target different muscles, make your exercise more exciting and burn more calories in the process.
4. Take care of your machine!
You can image that after hours of running, your treadmill will require maintenance. Most treadmills will require the belt mechanism to be lubricated every now and then. If you don't, you run the risk of the belt slowing down and breaking. You should also clean the machine regularly to avoid build-up of sweat and bacteria. Just don't use any harsh chemicals!
We also recommend checking the motor, power cord and other moving parts regularly to make sure there are no damages. A treadmill is an investment - literally one of the biggest pieces of home fitness equipment you can buy! Don't forget it needs some TLC every now and then.
The bottom line?
It's really important, with any product, that you fully understand its capabilities. This will help to make sure you get the most out of your investment. Make sure you're not wasting any time by focusing on exercises that are proven to be effective. Utilize every feature at your disposal to squeeze as much performance out as possible.
We hope this article has helped hone in on this perspective! After all, we want you to train effectively! If you a specific fitness goal in mind, feel free to reach out to our dedicated sales and customer service team. We can help work with you to pick a product that best suits your individual needs.
We write all of our blog posts as a group - consulting members of our sales, marketing and customer service teams to give you the content that you deserve. At Gym Direct, we know how important it is to stay informed when it comes to the equipment you invest in - so we've made it a top priority to write content periodically to assist you in doing so. Happy training!