The Treadmill Interval Training Guide

interval training guideA kind of physical training, interval training involves intermittent bursts of work that are high intensity, balanced with periods of recovery at much lower exertion. Any cardiovascular workout can be used to in interval training, including activities like swimming, running or cycling. Today, interval training is growing in popularity – especially amongst runners who often turn to treadmills for their programmability and all-weather use. Two treadmill brands that we highly recommend for interval training are the Sole treadmills and the Horizon treadmills.  Theirs reviews are almost always four to five stars and they can take a beating through the tough intervals you put it through.

As with all forms of rigorous exercise, it is advised that a person be in sufficient physical health before trying their hand at something like interval training. A good course of action before jumping into interval training is to first consult with a doctor to see if one is medically cleared to partake in something as strenuous as interval training. Then, if medical clearance is obtained, one should ease himself or herself into the interval training gradually, as opposed to just abruptly doing it full-power. With time, one will get used to the speed up-and-stop cycle of interval training.

For one’s own physical safety, one should remember a few tips before one starts to partake in interval training. For example, it is important to, just as with other forms of exercise, warm up prior to doing interval training. Warming up can involve anything as simple as just stretching to slightly more complex exercises like light jogging. People who try their hand at interval training should remember to stay hydrated, even though doing interval training on a treadmill at home may tempt some people into believing that they are not at risk of getting dehydrated. Another important safety tip is that any interval training workout should incorporate any changes only in a gradual and slow manner. This has the practical purpose of making sure that one does not hurt muscles in the case of abrupt introductions of change into the workout routine.

To use a treadmill for interval training, one ought to pick a treadmill that features a number pad for the purpose of easily punching in speed selections. Set aside 30 minutes for the treadmill interval training, and divide the 30 minutes into blocks of 6 intervals that each last for 5 minutes. Picking an easy speed on the treadmill, utilize the first block of 5 minutes to simply warm up. The second interval should be used to set the treadmill speed so that one can sprint for at least 1 full minute, non-stop; the last 4 minutes must be used to reduce the speed and cool down again.

The third interval of 5 minutes should be used to repeat the second interval; though the sprint speed can be adjusted this time based on how easy or difficult it was the first time around. The fourth and the fifth intervals should also be patterned after the original, second interval. The sixth interval, which should last from the 25th minute to the 30th minute of the workout, must be used as a time to cool down, meaning that the speed has to be lowered significantly on the treadmill. Finally, after getting off the treadmill, one should stretch, drink some water and rest to properly cool off.

Using a treadmill to get in one’s interval training during the week comes with a plethora of benefits, though interval training can also be pursued outdoors, such as in the case of running or jogging in nature. The benefits of interval training on a treadmill are practical, while the benefits of interval training are scientifically established. For example, a practical benefit of using a treadmill for interval training is that one’s workout schedule will not be impeded or stalled based on inclement weather such as rain or a blizzard, which would be a massive issue if one had to run or jog outside. A scientifically proven benefit of using a treadmill for interval training is that it has been shown to actually burn fat in a faster way than if one would just run or jog at a steady pace continuously. The reason behind this reality is that the mix of fast running and then slower running has been shown to speed up one’s metabolic rate better than running at a continuous pace. As a result, one burns calories much faster, and, as an added bonus, one’s metabolic rate even stays elevated for longer periods of time after the workout has concluded.


For more on interval training, see below for some great resources.


Tips: This interval training article features tips on how to incorporate this workout into one’s routine.

Cycling (PDF): This website features advice on applying interval training to cycling exercise.

Interval Training Tips (PDF): This website features advice on using interval training for an energy development regimen.

Interval Training: Triathlon: This website offers advice on how interval training can help triathletes.

Recreational Activities (PDF): This website features a host of recreational activities that can be helped by interval training.

Explaining Interval Training: This website features a long walkthrough on the concept of interval training.

Thinking Differently: This website features information on using unorthodox means like interval training to shed calories.

Tackling Hills (PDF): This website provides information on how to tackle hills if one does interval training.

What is Interval Training (PDF)?: This website explains the basics behind interval training.

Benefits: This website offers a look at how interval training can improve a workout.

Risk Factors: This website features a glance at how interval training can reduce risk factors in the middle aged set.

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