How To Do HIIT On Treadmills For Beginners (Plus 3 Easy Workouts)

How To Do HIIT On Treadmills For Beginners

Have you ever felt that running on the treadmill can be boring? You’re not alone. Many find the idea of constantly jogging on a treadmill monotonous, often leaving their cardio sessions unfulfilled.

Enter the realm of HIIT treadmill workouts. By incorporating interval training and switching between high-intensity bursts and rest periods, these workouts have revolutionized how many view their treadmill sessions.

The benefits of HIIT treadmill exercises aren’t just psychological but also physiological. From blasting more calories in less time to boosting endurance and elevating your fitness level, especially if you have a busy lifestyle, the HIIT treadmill workout is a game-changer.

Imagine ending each treadmill session feeling accomplished, having burned calories at a rate you never thought possible, and in shorter durations. With HIIT workouts, you can break the monotony. Whether you’re a beginner new to HIIT or someone seeking the ultimate HIIT challenge, there’s a treadmill routine tailored just for you.

These workouts don’t just offer intense cardio but also combine elements like strength training to give you a well-rounded fitness experience. And did we mention? You can modify the speeds, inclines, and intervals throughout the workout, making each session feel fresh and challenging.

Ready to elevate your treadmill game? Dive into our comprehensive guide on how to do HIIT on treadmills. From beginner workouts to advanced treadmill HIIT routines, we’ve got you covered. Let’s redefine a treadmill workout and transform that once-boring cardio session into a fitness revelation!

What is A HIIT Treadmill Workout?

A HIIT treadmill workout refers to a specific type of cardiovascular exercise performed on a treadmill, where one combines elements of high-intensity bursts with less intense recovery periods.

This interval training technique alternates between pushing the body to its limits for short durations (often 30 seconds to 1 minute) followed by rest or lower-intensity periods. The aim?

To achieve maximum heart rate during those bursts, thereby burning more calories and improving both endurance and overall fitness level in a shorter span. Incorporating sprints, jogs, and varying the incline during these intervals makes the treadmill an incredibly effective tool for HIIT.

Whether you’re jogging on a treadmill as a beginner or ramping up the speed for a brisk walk, this dynamic workout ensures every treadmill session is anything but monotonous.

The beauty of the HIIT workout on a treadmill lies in its adaptability; you can adjust the intensity of your workout, making it suitable for both newbies and seasoned treadmill users.

Reasons You Need to Know How To Do HIIT on Treadmills

We live in a fast-paced world, and finding time for extended cardio sessions can be challenging. Traditional running on the treadmill might give you the essential cardio, but it might not be the most time-efficient. Enter the realm of HIIT treadmill workouts, a solution for those seeking impactful results without spending hours on the treadmill.

  • Burn More Calories: With HIIT treadmill workouts, you can burn calories more acceleratedly than regular treadmill jogging.
  • Improve Endurance: Interval training pushes your body, helping to increase stamina and cardiovascular endurance.
  • Break Monotony: The treadmill can be boring, but with HIIT, each session is fresh, incorporating varying intervals, inclines, and speeds.
  • Adaptable to Fitness Level: Whether you’re new to HIIT or a seasoned pro, these workouts can be tailored to match your current fitness state.
  • Strength and Cardio Combo: It’s not just about cardio. Incorporate elements like strength training to get a holistic workout experience.
  • Efficient Workouts: Short on time? Even a 30-minute workout can be impactful when you’re performing HIIT.

The HIIT treadmill workout is your golden ticket for those keen on reaping the manifold benefits of cardiovascular exercise without dedicating endless hours.

With our methods, you will get familiar with this revolutionary approach and find ways to make each session count, turning that treadmill from a monotonous machine into a dynamic fitness partner.

What’s better is when you have the top treadmill desks, you can get your workout done while you work!

Step-by-Step Instructions to Master Your HIIT Treadmill Workout

Unleashing the power of HIIT on your treadmill isn’t about randomly increasing and decreasing speeds. It’s an art, a crafted blend of intervals, inclines, and intensities. Whether you’re a HIIT beginner or looking to refine your routine, our unique process promises an optimized treadmill HIIT workout experience.

  1. Warm-Up Walk: Begin with a few minutes of easy walking on the treadmill. This preps your body for the intense workout ahead.
  2. Incline Introduction: Set the treadmill to a comfortable incline, usually between 1% to 3%. This simulates outdoor running conditions.
  3. The First Sprint: Increase the speed for a 30-second sprint to get your heart pumping.
  4. Jogging Junction: Slow down to a jogging speed for one to two minutes. This acts as your recovery phase.
  5. Brisk Burst: Ramp up the treadmill speed again, aiming for a brisk walk or jog for 30 seconds.
  6. Incline Insights: Repeat the sprint and jog on an Incline throughout the workout. Remember, interval training is the core of a HIIT treadmill workout.
  7. Speedy Intervals: Gradually increase the speed for an added challenge, helping you burn more calories.
  8. Cool Down Cruise: After your HIIT series, reduce the speed and allow a 5-minute cooldown. This helps bring your heart rate back to normal.

With these steps under your belt, you’re all set to delve deeper into the nuances of HIIT treadmill workouts. Whether it’s about maximizing calorie burn or enhancing endurance, our comprehensive tutorial up next will ensure you’re equipped to extract the best out of every treadmill session. Let’s turn that mundane cardio routine into an exhilarating fitness journey!

Warm-Up Walk

Before diving into the heart-pumping intensity of a HIIT treadmill workout, it’s essential to ensure your body is adequately prepped. The Warm-Up Walk serves this purpose.

Begin by stepping onto your treadmill and selecting a comfortable walking speed, usually between 2 to 3 mph. This isn’t about burning calories or challenging yourself; it’s about getting the blood flowing and muscles warmed up.

Spend around 5 to 10 minutes in this phase. This slow start also helps set the right mindset, transitioning you from a resting state to a workout mode.

Remember, jumping directly into a HIIT workout without a proper warm-up can lead to injuries and isn’t recommended, especially if running on the treadmill is your main workout.

Incline Introduction

Once you’re warmed up and ready to progress, it’s time for the Incline Introduction. Here’s where the treadmill truly shines as an adaptable workout tool.

Adjusting the incline simulates the natural challenges of outdoor running, such as uphill stretches. Start by setting your treadmill to a slight incline, typically between 1% to 3%. This introduces resistance, promotes better running form, and reduces the risk of shin splints.

If you’re new to HIIT, this step ensures you’re not just focusing on speed but also incorporating resistance, vital for muscle building and calorie burning. As you become more accustomed to the workout, you can experiment with higher inclines to intensify the challenge.

Remember, a balanced HIIT treadmill workout isn’t just about speed; the incline enhances overall workout efficacy.

The First Sprint

Jumpstarting your cardio session is essential, and the First Sprint aims to elevate your heart rate while preparing your body for alternating intervals. Boost your treadmill’s speed to a challenging yet manageable level.

Picture this as a sprint where your feet move briskly, but you’re not pushing to your absolute max—true high-intensity interval training in action. Hold onto this pace for about 30 seconds.

As you embark on this HIIT workout on the treadmill, remember to maintain a good posture with shoulders relaxed, core engaged, and arms in a natural swing. 

These short, high-intensity bursts enhance endurance, burn fat, and significantly increase the workout’s overall calorie burn.

Jogging Junction

Following the vigor of the sprint, it’s essential to have a phase that stabilizes your heart rate, and the Jogging Junction provides just that. Ease the treadmill’s speed to a gentle jog, faster than your warm-up walk but resembling a brisk walk or a light jog.

This pace should be maintained for one to two minutes. Including these less intense recovery moments is the essence of interval training.

It’s the pause your body needs to prevent early exhaustion and prepare for the next intense burst. And if you ever find jogging on a treadmill a tad dull, some visualization or lively music might be the perfect remedy.

Brisk Burst

Ensuring the body doesn’t go cold between intervals is vital, and the Brisk Burst plays this part. Ramp up the treadmill speed to a point between your jogging and sprinting pace.

Faster than the Jogging Junction but not as intense as your first sprint, this pace should be held between 30 seconds to 1 minute. Introducing the Brisk Burst in your treadmill HIIT workout ensures a smoother transition between workout phases.

So, even when the intensity drops a tad, your energy shouldn’t. To get the ultimate HIIT experience on a treadmill, a consistent effort throughout each phase is key.

Incline Insights

In this step, you’ll harness the power of your treadmill’s incline feature to intensify your HIIT treadmill workout.

Elevating the treadmill incline stimulates the experience of running uphill, making your muscles work harder and pushing your cardio efforts further. Start by setting the incline to a moderate level that feels challenging but not overwhelming.

As you do this, it’s essential to note that you’ll need to adjust your speed slightly to accommodate the added difficulty of the incline.

Maintaining a brisk walk or a steady jog is ideal during this phase. This incline will mimic strength training, engaging different muscle groups, increasing calorie burn, and enhancing overall endurance.

Speedy Intervals

Now that you’ve grasped using incline, it’s time to merge speed with interval training to elevate your cardio game.

For this step, you’ll alternate between sprints and jogging on the treadmill at set intervals. Begin by setting your treadmill to a challenging speed, ideally your max sprint speed, for a 30-second sprint. Follow this up with a 1-minute moderate jog to recover.

These HIIT running workouts are designed to push your cardiovascular system to its limits in short bursts, giving you an efficient workout in less time. Remember, consistency in speed during sprint and recovery times is key to getting the most out of this step.

Cool Down Cruise

After the intense exercises, it’s crucial to gradually bring your body back to a resting state. The Cool Down Cruise is a phase in which you slowly decrease the treadmill’s speed to a light, brisk walk or even a slow-paced one.

The idea here is to allow your heart rate to decrease steadily and your muscles to relax after rigorous interval training. Spend around one to two minutes in this phase.

This step doesn’t just mark the end of your HIIT treadmill workout; it also ensures that you transition out of your workout safely, reducing the risk of muscle soreness and injury.

3 Easy HIIT Treadmill Workouts To Get You Started

Jumping into HIIT treadmill workouts can feel daunting, especially if you’re new to interval training. But fear not! We’ve crafted three straightforward routines that are perfect for beginners.

Let’s start with these tailor-made sessions to elevate your cardio game, burn calories, and increase endurance. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

1. Beginner’s Boost:

  • Warm-up: Start with 5 minutes of easy running on the treadmill at a comfortable speed. Think of this phase as a light jog or brisk walk to get your body into the groove.
  • Main Set: After warming up, increase the speed to a sprint for 30 seconds. This won’t be your max sprint, but it should feel challenging. After the sprint, bring the speed down to a jog or brisk walk for 1 minute. This pattern is your core HIIT workout. Repeat this cycle 5 times.
  • Incline Twist: For the sixth repetition, introduce an incline. Set the treadmill incline to a moderate level and maintain the jogging speed. This engages different muscle groups and makes the workout more challenging.
  • Cool Down: Finish with 5 minutes of a brisk walk, gradually decreasing the speed allowing your heart rate to return to normal.

2. Speed Seeker:

  • Warm-up: A simple 5-minute jog or brisk walk will suffice.
  • Main Set: This workout is all about playing with speeds. Start by setting a speed you feel is fast but sustainable for 1 minute. After that, increase the speed slightly for another 30 seconds. Then, reduce the speed to a comfortable jog or walk for 1 minute to recover. This speed interval training is designed to push your limits. Repeat this cycle 6 times.
  • Cool Down: As before, allow your body to relax with a 5-minute gentle walk, reducing the speed gradually.

3. Incline Explorer:

  • Warm-up: Start with a brisk walk for 5 minutes, preparing your body for the adventure ahead.
  • Main Set: Here, the focus is on incline variations. Set the treadmill to a moderate incline and maintain a jog for 1 minute. After this, reduce the incline and increase the speed for a 30-second sprint. Then, revert to the moderate incline and slow down to a jog or walk for 1 minute. This combination of incline and speed ensures a well-rounded HIIT treadmill workout. Execute this cycle 5 times.
  • Cool Down: Wind down with 5 minutes of easy walking, letting your body recover, and your heart rate settle.

With these workouts at your disposal, running on the treadmill will be far from boring. They’re designed to keep things exciting and ensure you get the most efficient workout in the shortest time. Dive in and get started!

Key Considerations For Successfully Tackling HIIT Treadmill Workouts

When diving into HIIT treadmill workouts, there’s more to consider than just the basic steps. Firstly, understanding your fitness level is crucial.

While the goal is to push boundaries with high-intensity intervals, knowing your limits is essential to avoid potential injuries.

Ensuring you use a high-quality treadmill lubricant for maintenance also helps you prevent mishaps and injuries.

Running on the treadmill offers a controlled environment, making it a great way to measure and monitor your progress.

Secondly, always keep an eye on your heart rate. High-intensity interval training is all about getting your heart pumping, but you don’t want to overstrain.

Investing in a heart rate monitor can help keep track and ensure you’re within a safe and effective range. Remember, cardio workouts aim to improve endurance and heart health, so listen to your body!

Lastly, running on the treadmill can sometimes feel monotonous, especially if you’re used to outdoor runs. Mix things up with varying speeds, inclines, and even some of your favorite tunes.

Keeping things fresh and engaging is key to making sure the treadmill doesn’t become boring and you stay motivated throughout your workout journey.

Taking it to the Next Level: How to Amplify Your HIIT Treadmill Workouts

Once you’ve mastered the beginner’s realm of HIIT treadmill workouts, you might feel the itch to challenge yourself further. The beauty of interval training is its scalability.

One way to raise the stakes is by shortening your rest periods. Instead of jogging or walking for a full minute, try bringing it down to 30 seconds. This ups the ante, pushing your body to recover faster, thus intensifying the cardio benefits.

Another game-changer is to blend strength training into your treadmill sessions. Imagine hopping off the treadmill after a high-intensity sprint and doing a quick set of push-ups or squats before jumping back on. T

his combination turns your workout into a comprehensive fitness regimen, targeting both your cardiovascular system and muscle groups.

Lastly, embrace the incline. Many treadmills offer a variety of incline settings. Gradually increasing this can simulate uphill running, adding an extra layer of challenge to your sessions.

This makes running on the treadmill feel closer to an outdoor trail and engages different muscles, ensuring a balanced and full-bodied workout. Go on, conquer those virtual hills, and elevate your fitness journey!

Alternatives to HIIT Treadmill Workouts

While HIIT treadmill workouts are excellent for cardiovascular exercise and fat-burning, they’re not the only game in town. Interval training can be adapted to various settings.

One of the most popular alternatives is HIIT cycling workouts. Just like with the treadmill, cycling allows you to engage in bursts of high intensity followed by less intense recovery, all while giving your joints a break from the impact of running.

Another versatile option is strength training combined with HIIT, often termed circuit training. This method incorporates short, intense exercises like burpees, kettlebell swings, or jump squats, followed by a brisk walk or active recovery.

The beauty of this approach is that it doesn’t need any specialized equipment and can be customized based on your fitness level.

Lastly, for those who find that running on the treadmill can be boring, outdoor sprint sessions might be the way to go. Engaging with nature, tackling different terrains, and breathing in fresh air can be refreshing.

You can still apply the principles of high intensity and recovery, whether you’re sprinting in a park or doing interval runs up a hill. Whatever the alternative, the key is to keep challenging your body and enjoy the process!

Conclusion and My Experience With HIIT Treadmill Workouts

And there we have it, a comprehensive guide to conquering HIIT treadmill workouts. From understanding the basics to exploring alternatives and pushing boundaries, the potential to boost your fitness journey is immense. My venture into the realm of interval training on the treadmill was transformative.

The results? Improved endurance, a stronger cardiovascular system, and a renewed sense of motivation with every session. What truly elevates this method is its adaptability; it caters to beginners and seasoned fitness enthusiasts.

Running on the treadmill might have its critics, but it’s a workout powerhouse with the right approach. If you’ve ever felt the treadmill is a boring companion, I hope this guide has shown you its dynamic potential. I’ve walked (and sprinted) in your shoes, and if there’s one thing I can assure you, it’s this: 

Embrace the intensity, stay consistent, and the results will speak for themselves. Dive in, challenge yourself, and let the treadmill be your ally in achieving those fitness goals!


What is a beginner’s guide to doing HIIT on a treadmill?

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on a treadmill involves alternating between high and low-intensity exercises. A good start for beginners is to warm-up with a brisk walk or light jog for 5-10 minutes.

Then, move into your interval training: sprint at a challenging pace for 30 seconds to 1 minute, followed by a recovery period of 1-2 minutes at a slower pace.

Repeat these intervals for 20-30 minutes. Always wrap up with a 5-minute cool-down at a slow pace.

How can a beginner maximize the benefits of HIIT treadmill workouts?

To maximize the benefits of HIIT treadmill workouts, beginners might need to embrace treadmill running as an exercise that can improve endurance, burn calories, and boost overall fitness.

It’s also recommended to gradually increase the intensity of the workout as the fitness level increases.

What are some tips for HIIT beginners on treadmills?

HIIT beginners should start slow, ensure they properly warm-up before workouts and cool down after, maintain a regular workout schedule, mix in strength training, and listen to their body to prevent overexertion.

Working with a personal trainer who can guide and ensure proper form is also helpful.

Why is a treadmill a great HIIT workout tool?

The treadmill is a great way to perform high intensity interval training (HIIT) due to its ability to adjust the speed and incline, enabling you to add variety and challenge to your workouts.

It’s also an especially effective tool for HIIT as it precisely controls the workout’s intensity.

How does interval training work in a HIIT treadmill workout?

In a HIIT treadmill workout, interval training involves alternating between high-intensity running or sprinting and low-intensity walking or jogging.

For instance, you may run at 6 mph for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds to 1 minute of recovery at a slower pace.

This pattern is repeated several times throughout the workout.

How can HIIT treadmill workouts help to burn calories?

HIIT treadmill workouts are effective in burning calories due to the nature of high intensity interval training.

During the workouts, the heart rate is elevated to around 70-90% of its max, which increases the metabolic rate both during and after the workout.

This leads to a higher calorie burn.

What is the best HIIT treadmill workout for beginners?

A practical HIIT treadmill workout for beginners may include a five-minute warm-up at a comfortable pace, followed by a 30-second sprint at a challenging speed.

This is then followed by a one to two-minute period of recovery at a slow pace. This cycle can be repeated 5-10 times, followed by a five-minute cool down.

What should be the sprint speed in a HIIT treadmill workout for a beginner?

The sprint speed during a HIIT treadmill workout varies from person to person and depends on individual fitness levels.

A beginner may start with a sprint speed that is challenging but manageable, such as running at 5-6 mph for 30 seconds to a minute.

The speed can be slowly increased as endurance and fitness improve.

How to modify a HIIT treadmill workout according to fitness level?

You can modify a HIIT treadmill workout according to your fitness level by adjusting the sprint speed and incline as well as the length of the recovery period.

As your endurance improves, you can increase the speed and incline during the high-intensity interval and decrease the length of the recovery period for a greater challenge.

How can incline be utilized in a HIIT treadmill workout for beginners?

In a HIIT treadmill workout for beginners, the incline can be used to increase the intensity of the workout.

After a warm-up, beginners can start with a low to moderate incline during the high intensity interval, which can increase the heart rate and help burn more calories.

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