How to Do Interval Training on a Treadmill

Interval training on a treadmill refers to an intense workout with a low intensity recovery time, using an exercise machine, such as a treadmill. According to About.com exercise guide Paige Waehner, the purpose is to build endurance over time and to burn a large amount of calories. It’s important to start slowly, for if you don’t you could risk substantial injury, especially to your muscles.

Doing Interval Training on a Treadmill

There are no directions for how to do interval training on a treadmill that are inscribed in stone. However, this post will focus on some ideas of how to perform the exercises safely, and yet yield results with which you’re likely to be satisfied.

First, look at the settings on your treadmill. Use them to adjust the intensity of your workout. By a simple touch of your control panel, you can change such items as incline, speed, and resistance to correspond to your desired level of workout at any given time. Use this function gradually, as any rapid changes in the speed of your workout can lead to dizziness or light headed. If this ever becomes a problem, see your doctor as you could be suffering from a dangerous, and possibly lethal, situation.

Rest sets are important as well. Use the same controls I have discussed above to restore yourself back during the rest intervals. Fully recover from any signs of fatigue before readjusting any controls on the treadmill to resume more intensive interval training on a treadmill.

Common Myth About Interval Training

It has been thought that a high intensity workout followed by a reduction to only a more moderate exercise pace is beneficial. Instead, you should take full advantage of the rest that the low intensity period provides. This will help you powerfully push forward during those high intensity work times.

Warm Up Times

With interval training on a treadmill, just as with any other exercise, warmups are essential. They are for getting your body–including your muscles–acclimated to a high-intensity exercise session. The more effective your warmup is, the less prone to muscle (or bone) injuries–such as pulled muscles or ligaments–you’ll be. With interval training on a treadmill, a warmup workout may can consist of a five-minute walk at a slower pace. You should do the same at the end of your workout session, when it’s time to cool down.

Suggested Work Out Intervals

Generally, it is recommended that you do a 45-second sprint, followed by a 45-minute walk, repeating these intervals for 20 minutes at a time. However, did you know that you can vary these up without compromising any benefits? You can, for instance, do a 30 seconds fast walk followed by a 30 seconds slow walk, or a 30 second fast walk on the treadmill, followed by a one-minute slow period.

Results Vary

As is the case with any workout, including interval training on a treadmill, the results you personally achieve will be based on your personal effort. You must diligently practice these exercises every day to partake of the results.

Also, you must reduce your portion sizes. As a friend of mine once put it, “You can’t work out two miles, and then eat ten miles.” If you continue to eat all you wish, realize that you may still be consuming more calories than you’re burning. If that is the case, you are likely not to lose the weight.

Final Warning

Always check with your doctor before beginning any significant exercise program, including interval training on a treadmill. Otherwise, you could risk death if your heart is not healthy enough for such a rigorous training program. This is particularly true if you have a history of heart problems or strokes. Also see a doctor if you’ve had trouble breathing, as with lung disorders such as COPD or asthma.

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