One of the most popular pieces of equipment in any gym is a treadmill*, in recent years people have also opted to purchase one for their home use. In my opinion a treadmill should be one tool in your whole training program, not the only one. In my opinion most people are not using them effectively also. Let me be clear walking on a treadmill at the same pace for 30 minutes is not effective at burning fat unless you’re extremely unfit. Below I will outline the most effective way to use a treadmill or any piece of cardio equipment. Basically most people should be Interval training. Why interval training? Because it works – simple as that. Consider what we all have in common:
1) You’re pressed for time
2) You want to reduce your stress levels and
3) You have some degree of fat you want to offload.
Why not adopt the most effective, time-efficient method to reach your goal of being fitter, leaner and healthier? Intervals on the treadmill spare you pounding the joints for ages and hitching yourself on a treadmill for what feels like an eternity. The only time you should be doing long, continuous exercise is for the first 3 weeks of your training journey, this is to prepare the body for the intervals to come. See how you go with this, and start as a beginner!
• Warm up for 5 minutes at an easy pace just to prepare the body, so walk or run easy for 5 minutes (depending on fitness).
• Walk or run hard with an incline for 10 seconds, and then slow right down for 40 to 50 seconds (depending on your fitness levels) to recover.
• Repeat this 8 times.
• Remember it should be difficult but not impossible, so listen to your body.
Initially the basic formula is to have a ratio of one part work to four parts rest i.e. 1:4. As you get fitter that will come down to 1:3 and then 1:2. For sure it’s hard work, but relative to the jogging craze that many pursue without question, it’s far more efficient. Interval Training is shorter, sharper and smarter.
*The Spinning Bike is the safest, lowest impact piece of equipment for this type of training so if you don’t like the treadmill use an exercise bike or spinning bike.