Last week I promised to post a killer interval workout, and since many of you use a treadmill for your cardio, I decided to give you what you need – a treadmill interval workout. This interval workout will work with or without a treadmill, though. You can do it in the pool, or on the elliptical, a bike, the Nordic Track (which is what I have) or with no equipment at all. All you need is about 200 meters of good running ground (a track is your best bet) and you’re all good.
But first, what’s this interval training thing all about?
Today, what we’re talking about doing is a sprint workout – a type of interval workout that alternates between bouts of high intensity effort and low intensity recovery time. Sprint workouts are more time efficient, meaning you get more fitness bang for you time investment, and research is showing that this type of treadmill interval workout will beat steady state cardio as an effective exercise choice hands down.
If you’re still not convinced, consider this: sprinters look hot.
Warmup: 5- 10 minutes. Move your body easily through the motions of your activity. If it’s running, do a super easy jog, if you’re on the bike, pedal easily, etc. Just move your muscles through the full range of motion you will doing so they get warm.
Sprint: 30 seconds. Your first sprint should be done at about 60 % of your maximum intensity. Feel your body. If anything feels tight or hurts, go back to your warmup for a few more minutes, then start over.
Recover: Walk for 1 minute. (If you’re cycling – reduce speed etc., swimming – tread water, etc.)
Sprint: 30 seconds. Move up to 80% of your maximum intensity.
Recover: Walk for 1 minute.
Sprint: 30 seconds. Move up to 100% of your maximum intensity. Go all out. This is the intensity you will be using for the remainder of your sprints in this workout.
Recover: Walk for 1 minute. Notice your heart rate and breathing slow down. You should be able to talk without gasping. If you need more time (2 to 3 minutes) to get your heart rate and breathing down, feel free to extend your recovery period accordingly.
Sprint: 30 seconds. 100% max intensity.
Repeat Sprint/Walk intervals 4 more times – for a total of 8 Sprint/Walk Intervals per workout.
Cool Down: 5 minutes. Walk for 2 minutes – swing your arms, get your breath back. Then do easy stretching of all your muscles for 3 minutes.
This workout can be done – warmup through cool down – in about 25 minutes, so it’s great when you’re short on time or just looking for some quick high intensity training.
If you’re a beginner, go ahead and replace the word Sprint with Jog. Jog during your sprint time and walk during the recovery. Build up to faster jog/run sprints over time.
If you’re looking to push yourself, extend the workout so that you are completing 10 intervals (8 of which are sprinted at 100% max intensity).
For a printable version of the Treadmill Interval Workout that includes treadmill setting advice and time frames, click the link below.
Give it a try and let me know what you think. And if you have a favorite interval or sprint workout, please share it below.