Low-Intensity Steady State training (LISS for short) isn't for everybody. Even though it's a great way to improve your heart health and get your steps in, some people find the prospect of running or walking for 45 minutes boring! Perhaps it's not boredom that stops people from enjoying LISS training – it may be that you simply don't have enough time. Whatever it is, HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a fantastic alternative that you can implement into your workout routine.
The idea of HIIT is that you alternate between levels of intensity in intervals. That means that your workouts are usually split up into a warm-up and then short alternating intervals of high-intensity and low-intensity workouts. HIIT workouts aim to provide you with an efficient exercise in a short amount of time, so you don't have to get your steps in with a 45-minute run!
This will allow you to push yourself hard for short amounts of time, which means you'll be able to condense your workout time without sacrificing any effort. So if you're looking to add the pressure onto your treadmill routine and work up a sweat quickly, we've got you covered! Here's a few examples of HIIT workouts you can do on a treadmill:
1 on 1 Off Incline Runs
This workout takes less than 30 minutes and is a fantastic way to introduce yourself to the art of HIIT workouts. You’re going to start your routine with a 3 to 5-minute warm-up which will have you starting slow and incrementally increasing your speed as you go. After that, you'll perform 1-minute intervals of a high incline run at a fairly challenging speed – in between each of these intervals will be another 1-minute interval where you walk with no angle at a comfortable pace.
To make the most out of this workout, you should repeat it for around 8-10 rounds – this will allow you to get the intense workout you need in a short time frame with room for breaks from the fast speeds! This is the perfect exercise to try if you’re looking to get started with HIIT methods of treadmill training.
As with the 1-on-1 Off Incline Runs, this workout requires a 3-5 minute warm-up which is intended to prep your body and get your heart rate going. Begin at the speed you usually would, then once your 3-5 minute interval is over, crank that speed up to a 75-80% sprint. Continue doing this for 30 seconds, and then take another 30 seconds where you're at a comfortable walking pace.
You should repeat this workout for ten rounds for maximum efficiency. Much like the 1-on-1 Off Incline Runs, you'll get a worthy workout in a short amount of time – this one only takes 15 minutes, which is perfect for the constantly busy treadmill user!
Tabata is for anyone looking for an intense HIIT workout with plenty of pace changes. The workout revolves around a 4-minute hard blitz with 8 intervals of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off – perfect for those who love a bit of pace action in their workout! Start with a 2-minute warm-up at your regular pace, then do a 20-second flat-out sprint – and when we say sprint, we mean it!
Go as hard as you can for those 20 seconds and take a ten-second break to recuperate – you can use the rails to step off the treadmill deck if it's easiest. Once the 10 seconds is up, get straight back on for a full force 20-second sprint again, and repeat the process for 9 rounds.
This is the perfect HIIT workout for anyone who is super stretched for time. Including the warm-up, this workout only lasts around 6 minutes and will be sure to get you where you need it! You could even use your extra time saved to perform some Tabata burpees or other Tabata-style exercises – that is, after you're rested, of course! Some people love the Tabata technique for the treadmill so much that they even go for another 4 minutes!
Whatever level of training you're at on your treadmill journey, HIIT exercises can be a great way to boost your workouts to the next level. Hopefully, the workout examples listed above can give you a good amount of variety in training for your next time on the treadmill.
Don't like the examples we've been through, or are you looking to switch things up a bit? No problem! You can create your own HIIT routine by following the same principles in the workout: mix up some highs and intensities in whatever way you please, whether it be through manipulating the speed, the incline, or the length. You'll be using the HIIT method efficiently if you're getting a good balance of high-intensity and low-intensity workouts within a set.
Be sure to have fun with the HIIT method, but don't forget to challenge yourself in the process too! With a treadmill at your disposal, you really have the power to push yourself to the max to achieve your fitness goals – using the HIIT method of workouts and other mechanics outlined in this series is a great way to spice up your training and make it fun!