The 3 best HITT workouts for the treadmill

The 3 best HIIT workouts for the treadmill

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Boost fitness and burn kilojoules with personal trainer Andrew Cate’s 3 favourite high intensity interval training workouts, on the treadmill.

1. Jump on, jump off intervals

This interval training protocol is based on running as fast as you possibly can for ever decreasing intervals.

Use a 2 percent incline, and go for a short jog to warm up. Then set the treadmill speed to a fast pace, and take note of this speed so you can gradually increase it as your fitness improves over the weeks and months ahead.

After each running interval, quickly grab the handles and jump onto the side rails so the treadmill is still moving, but you are at complete rest. You may want to wear the safety waist clip for this one.

  • 5 minutes - Warm up with a slow jog at a speed where your heart rate gets above 100 beats per minute.
  • 50 seconds – Sprint as fast as you can
  • 10 seconds – Rest. Without adjusting the treadmill speed, grab the hands and jump your feet onto the side rails.
  • 45 seconds – Sprint
  • 15 seconds – Rest.
  • 40 seconds – Sprint
  • 20 seconds – Rest.
  • 35 seconds – Sprint
  • 25 seconds – Rest.
  • 30 seconds – Sprint
  • 30 seconds – Rest.

Note - Take a few minutes to stretch and catch your breath, and then repeat 3 – 8 times depending on your fitness and on the time you have available.

2. The hill program

Hill training should be a regular feature of your running routine. It’s intense and challenging, and can help to boost results.

Treadmills almost always come with pre-set programs of varying difficulty, which simulate undulating terrain.

Alternating between hills and flats is a great way to add interest and variety, which is vital if you are to overcome one of the most common problems with treadmill training – boredom.

The different angles will also work your body in different ways. So experiment with the different programs and hill courses on the treadmill you are using. 

5 minutes – Depending on the program, warm up at a comfortable pace to increase your heart rate.

20 – 40 minutes – Set the interval or hill program on your treadmill for the time you have available. Look for a program that alternates between hills and flats so there are periods of high intensity alternating with rest periods.

3. The body weight treadmill circuit

This interval workout offers the best of both worlds, alternating between cardio and body weight exercises to boost fitness and strength. Intersperse fast runs with body weight exercises on some nearby floor space.
  • 5 minutes - Warm up with a slow jog at a speed where you start to breathe a little faster and feel warm.
  • 60 seconds – Run at a fairly fast pace on the treadmill.
  • 20 seconds – Bring the treadmill back to walking speed and catch your breath
  • 40 seconds – Push ups. Hop off the treadmill and do as many push ups as you can while maintaining good technique.
  • Repeat for 6-8 rounds using different body weight exercises such as lunges, squat jumps, cycle kick sit ups, bench dips, planking, bridge ups, horizontal pull ups and superman’s.
  • 3 minutes - Cool down by walking slowly and breathing deeply
  • 3 minutes – Make sure to stretch the muscles groups targeted in your body weight exercises, such as the chest, back, buttocks, thigh and calf muscles.