How to Do HIIT Treadmill Workouts
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a mode of interval training designed to deliver maximal fitness gains in a short period of time. This method is useful when time is limited. HIIT is also a good exercise method for weight loss.
The actual time spent in training is about 20 minutes. However, adequate warm-up and cool-down time should also be incorporated into the routine. HIIT uses short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by recovery periods. These intervals are alternated until the session is completed.
Things You’ll Need
- Appropriate running shoes
- Water bottle
6 Steps to Do HIIT Treadmill Workouts
1. Complete an adequate warm-up of at least 10 minutes.
You should start with a slow walk or jog pace and gradually increase speed to a moderate pace. Don’t go too fast during the warm-up. Your goal is to have warm muscles and a quick heartbeat in anticipation of the exercise to come.
2. Increase the treadmill speed to enter the first interval phase.
Based on your initial fitness level, the speed may be a fast walk, run, or sprint. The speed should be at a high intensity level you know you can’t stay at for too long. Try to run for at least a minute. If unable to go a minute, go for as long as you can.
3. Slow the treadmill down to the pace you used in the warm-up.
Complete a minute of recovery. The recovery time may be extended based on your fitness level, but try to keep it the same as for the high-intensity interval.
4. Increase the treadmill speed again to enter the next interval phase.
Run for the same amount of time as for the first high-intensity interval.
5. Reduce speed again and enter recovery phase for the same amount of time as all previous phases.
These basic steps are repeated until a 20-minute workout has been achieved. You can do longer workouts as your fitness level increases.
6. Complete a 10 minute cool-down to allow the heart to recover and prevent blood from pooling in the legs.
Drink plenty of water while cooling down to restore water loss.
Tips and Warnings
- HIIT, by definition, is a high-intensity form of exercise. Beginners should start with moderate-level exercises and gradually increase intensity as fitness improves.
- HIIT should be modified often to prevent your body from adapting to the same workout. This will keep you from plateauing. The interval times may be lengthened, recovery times shortened or total exercise time increased. You can also perform HIIT with other exercise modes such as cycling, elliptical training or running on a track.
- This type of exercise should be done on nonconsecutive days with at least 24 to 48 hours of rest in between sessions.
- Start with two sessions per week and add in another HIIT training session when you feel you are ready for the extra workload.
- HIIT is geared toward moderately fit to fit individuals. If you are new to exercise, spend four to six weeks doing moderate-intensity exercise to prepare your body for HIIT training.
- HIIT is also contraindicated in some individuals with known complications. Consult your physician prior to beginning a HIIT program.
- Interval training tends to take a toll on running shoes. Replace your shoes with new ones after about 300 miles of running or six months of training.
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