Many studies show that good treadmill workouts improve heart health and strengthen muscles. Also, these cardio machines are quite versatile, thus increasing their popularity and approval among fitness enthusiasts. At the same time, they're considered the best aerobic workout machines for weight loss and fat burning.
Although most people know about all these benefits, they don't know which treadmill workout will help them meet their goals, especially when it comes to using the machine to lose some kilos.
Well, that's about to change! This article will take you through the best treadmill workouts for weight loss. As a result, choosing the perfect workout to help you meet your goals will become such an easy thing to do. In addition, I'll show you some treadmill workout tips that will make your weight loss journey more efficient.
Without further ado, let's get right into it!
Best Treadmill Workout for Weight Loss
➊ HIIT Treadmill Workout
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is one of the most effective treadmill workouts for losing weight. Some studies, including a 2017 research, even suggest that a HIIT workout session burns more calories compared to long, continuous training. Moreover, researchers claim that the body burns calories even after the HIIT workout is over.
By definition, HIIT refers to a form of workout that alternates periods of high-intensity training and short recovery periods. As a result, it boosts heart rate, which will help you to burn calories in a short period. Furthermore, as the body tries to get back to rest after a HIIT routine, it will metabolize body fat to release energy.
Another benefit of HIIT workouts is that their intensity promotes their repair cycle. As a result, you'll end up burning more calories compared to longer, intense exercises. In addition, the training will reduce your appetite, thanks to its ability to reduce your body's ghrelin level. Ghrelin is the fat-gaining hormone that boosts your appetite.
Now, let's look at the best HIIT for weight loss to do on a treadmill;
- Walk on the treadmill slowly (2mph) with 0% incline for 5 minutes to warm up.
- Run for 30 seconds at 9-10 mph, followed by a 1-min walk at 3-4 mph
- Repeat the above step 5 - 10 times
- Towards the end of your exercise, cool down by walking at 2mph for 5 min.
For a more progressive High-Intensity Interval Training, increase the incline & speed or add more time to each high-intensity workout session. Ensure the rest intervals are at least 2 times longer than high-intensity intervals. The HIIT treadmill workout for weight loss requires a 2:1 Rest to work ratio.
➋ 20-Min Beginner Treadmill Interval Workout
This workout can be tough, especially since it mimics an outdoor run. Moreover, the incline grade varies from a level surface to a steep hill. Nonetheless, it's a good treadmill workout for weight loss.
In general, this workout alternates raising the heart rate and dropping it back down during recovery periods. If you're a beginner, I recommend starting this workout with a slight or no incline. Afterward, you can slightly increase the incline & speed in 2-min intervals while exercising.
As the name suggests, this exercise takes 20 minutes to complete, and you can perform it 3 to 4 times a week. And to get a noticeable outcome, you need to do it for at least 3 to 4 weeks. More importantly, during cool-down and warm-up sessions, the target heartbeat should be 55 - 65% of the max heart rate. However, the target heartbeat should be 65 -75% of the max heart rate during the actual workout.
With that in that mind, here is you can perform this workout;
- Set the machine incline at 0% and speed at 1mph, then walk/ brisk run on the machine for 2 minutes to warm up.
- For the next 16 minutes, alternate between 1-minute fast running sessions and 1-minute easy/ recovery intervals. Typically, fast intervals should be done at 7-9mph, while easy intervals should be performed at 5- 6 mph. However, you should keep the incline grade at 1.5%.
- For the last 2 minutes, set the treadmill speed to 2.3 mph and incline at 0.5%, then walk at a slow pace to cool down.
➌ 30-Min Treadmill Workout
The 30-min treadmill workout is another great exercise for weight loss. In addition, it involves a combination of speed, incline, and endurance training. So, if you have got enough time for an intense workout session, it's such a good option. Even better, it's perfect for beginners and more advanced trainers.
Your target heartbeat may increase up to 80- 90% of the max heart rate with this workout. Fortunately, this is considered the most efficient point for weight loss.
Here is what this 30-min treadmill workout for weight loss entails;
- Set the incline at 1% and walk on the running belt for 2 minutes at 2mph to warm up. Still, as part of the warm-up, increase the incline to 1.5% and brisk-walk on the machine at 3- 3.5mph for 1 minute.
- Increase the incline to 3% and run for 8 minutes at 5 -6 mph. Repeat the process for another 8 minutes, with the incline level set to 4% and speed at 6- 6.5 mph. Afterward, increase the incline to 5% and 6.5 - 7 mph speed. Now, run for another 8 minutes.
- Similar to any other treadmill workout, cool down after your training session. In this case, the exercise will involve brisk walking on the treadmill on a 1% incline and 3- 3.5 mph speed for 3 minutes.
➍ Treadmill Incline Workout Weight Loss
Treadmill workouts for weight loss can become boring if you train at the same incline grade and constant speed through the workout. However, you can prevent that by including incline and speed workouts in your routine.
Cardio treadmill workouts that involve varying speeds and inclines have other benefits apart from keeping your workout interesting. For example, they help to reduce body fat within a short period. But, more importantly, changing the treadmill incline simulates outdoor hill running. As a result, it will help you build more muscles in certain areas, including glutes and butts.
On top of that, this workout will dramatically increase your heart rate due to the change in workout intensity. Even better, it builds endurance during the longer workout sessions.
With that out of our way, follow these steps to perform treadmill incline workout for weight loss;
- Keeping the incline level at 0%, walk for 5 minutes at a slow speed to warm up.
- Next, speed-walk for 1 minute without changing the machine's incline.
- After that, increase the incline by 1% every minute while working out until you reach an 8 to 10% incline.
- Now repeat the above step, but this time do it in reverse. Simply put, reduce its incline by 1% every minute while running on the treadmill until you reach a 0-1% incline.
- To cool down, walk for 5 min at a comfortable speed as you come towards the end of the exercise.
➎ Treadmill Walking Workout for Beginners
The good thing about treadmill training is that it doesn't always have to be complicated to be effective. Instead, even a simple activity like treadmill walking will help you lose weight. Besides, it is considered the best treadmill workout for fat loss, especially for beginners. If done properly, treadmill walking can help you burn around 300 -400 calories, based on your weight & speed.
All in all, if you're starting your weight loss journey, you can kick things off with this 30-min treadmill walking routine;
- First, set the incline at 0-1%, and walk at a comfortable pace (1-3 mph) for 5 minutes.
- After warming up, increase your speed to a brisk walk pace that brings the heart rate up to 60 -70% of the max heart rate. Also, raise the incline level to 1-2%, and walk at a steady treadmill training pace for as long as possible.
- Lastly, reduce the treadmill speed to 1.5 -2 mph and walk 5 minutes to cool down.
➏ 10-Minute Treadmill Workout
Training on a treadmill for 10 minutes isn't enough to help you maintain your body weight or improve your overall fitness level. Also, it may not burn enough calories that will impact your weight loss, especially on its own. However, any workout is generally better than no exercise at all. More importantly, it's the best treadmill workout when you have a small amount of time to exercise.
The best part? This 10-min treadmill workout requires intervals to increase the workout intensity. So, you can rest assured that you'll get the most out of the exercise, even if it only takes 10 minutes.
To perform this treadmill training routine, follow these steps;
- Since you only have 10 minutes, warming up will be part of the training routine. So, start running at a consistent pace at 0% incline for at least 2 minutes.
- Next, slowly increase the incline to a low setting & run for 3 -4 minutes. Afterward, continue to increase the incline to a medium and high setting until you reach the top of a moderate hill.
- Now, slowly reduce the incline and increase the pace to sprint down the hill.
- Lastly, end your treadmill workout by running with a 0% incline at a slow pace for 1 minute.
➐ Flat Stomach Treadmill Workout for Weight Loss
2 types of fats can be causing the flab around the tummy; visceral and subcutaneous. Visceral body fat is found deep inside the belly, while subcutaneous is right under your skin. Whichever the case, you can maintain or achieve a flat stomach through treadmill workouts combined with a healthy diet.
That is because treadmill workouts tone/ strengthen your muscles and reduce body fat. Also, treadmills provide a full-body workout and speed up your metabolism. Consequently, the body continues to burn calories after the exercise, melting that fat right off the belly.
• How to use a treadmill to lose belly fat
Before you start the flat stomach treadmill workout, it's always good to warm up. So, don't hop on your treadmill and start running right away. Instead, start by walking at a comfortable pace for 5 -10 minutes until your body feels comfortable doing more intense exercise.
Afterward, increase the speed until you get to a brisk pace. At that speed, you can comfortably have a conversation for 10 - 20 sec at a time.
Continue training at this intensity for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can up your training with other workout options like interval training to prevent extreme boredom.
Finish your exercise with a 5-min walk at an easy pace.
➑ Treadmill Workout for Obese Beginners
As mentioned earlier, the treadmill supports different workout options based on weight and preferred speed. This particular workout is the best exercise for obese beginners at home. So, if you want to lose weight, look for the best treadmill and get ready to start your fitness journey with the following routine;
- Like any other cardio workout for weight, start by walking for 5 minutes to warm up. However, ensure the speed is set at 2.5 - 3 mph and the incline level at 2%.
- Raise the incline to 4% and walk for 5 minutes, keeping the speed at 2.5 - 3 mph.
- Next, reduce the machine's incline to 2%, and walk for 5 minutes at 2.8 - 3.3 mph.
- Raise the incline to 4% and walk for 5 minutes, keeping the speed at 2.8 - 3.3 mph.
- Reduce the treadmill's incline to 2%, and walk for another 5 minutes at 3 - 3.5 mph.
- Raise the incline to 4% and walk for 5 minutes, keeping the 3 - 3.5 mph speed.
- Cooldown by walking at a comfortable pace for the last 5 min.
This workout is very effective, especially if you continue increasing the speed while alternating between different incline levels. For starters, 2.5 to 3 mph is the perfect treadmill speed range to start your workout. However, as time goes by, you can continue increasing the speed at the start of your workout.
4 Treadmill Weight Loss Tips That Help to Burn Calories Faster
➼ Determine your fat-burning zone
Performing a treadmill workout at your fat-burning will help you lose weight faster. By definition, the fat-burning zone in treadmill training refers to the heart rate where the body burns the most calories/ minute.
Generally, the average fat-burning zone is about 70%. However, this number tends to vary from one individual to another, depending on factors like fitness level, age, sex, etc. For example, some people get into the fat-burning zone at 80% of their max heart rate, while others reach the zone at 55%.
Therefore, to determine the fat-burning zone, you must first estimate the max heart rate. As you know, maximum heart rate refers to the highest number of heartbeats during 1 min of a workout.
On the bright side, there are general formulas that you can use to calculate the fat-burning zone yourself. Alternatively, you can consult your physician or personal trainer. They'll help you determine the perfect heart rate and speed that will help you lose weight on the treadmill fast. Even better, some treadmill models calculate your fat-burning zone and your target heart rate automatically. Besides, all you need to do is enter your weight and age in the console.
➼ Switch up your workout routine
Doing the same fat-burning treadmill workouts repeatedly will not provide the desired results. Not to mention that it will make treadmill training boring over time. More notably, repeating the same routine can be stressful on the joints, thus increasing your risk of overuse injury.
For these reasons, it's important to switch things up by performing different workouts each time for optimal results. For example, you can run at a slower speed for 1 hour on some days and run at a faster pace on other days. Similarly, you can add hills and intervals to your treadmill routine to lose weight, as I'll describe below.
➼ Add incline to your routine
Adding hills/ inclines is a great way to make your treadmill training more challenging. As a result, it will force your body to work hardener, helping it burn more calories. At the same time, it will activate more muscles, hence building more lean muscle mass. Interestingly, muscles tend to burn more calories than body fat, helping you lose weight faster.
➼ Interval training
Interval training refers to when you vary your treadmill running speed through the workout. This may involve performing short sprints, followed by running sessions at a slower pace. A good example of treadmill interval training is running hard for 2 minutes and then reducing your pace for the next 3 minutes.
Generally, interval training allows a faster workout, making it one of the best ways to lose unwanted pounds. Best of all, there are many interval intensities to choose from, depending on where you are on your weight loss journey.
Using a treadmill for cardio workouts is a great way of losing weight and calories. And as you've seen, there are several treadmill workouts to lose weight you can try.
But if you're still uncertain about the ideal workout that will suit your needs, consult a certified personal trainer/ physician. That way, the trainer will help you establish the best-customized treadmill workout programs for your weight loss journey.
More importantly, make sure you try out different treadmills workouts instead of sticking to a single routine. Doing so will provide optimal results in supporting weight loss and boosting your overall health.
① Is treadmill training good for burning belly fat?
Using a treadmill is an excellent technique for burning belly fat. And if you train on the machine regularly, it will help you get rid of the deep belly fat (visceral fat) for good. So, even if you gain some weight in the future, treadmill training will not allow visceral fat to return.
② What are the best treadmill speeds for beginners in a treadmill weight loss plan?
A walking speed of 2 - 4 mph is a good speed range for most beginners when training on a treadmill. Alternatively, you can jog at a speed of around 4 - 6 mph.
③ Can treadmill walking help you lose weight?
Several benefits, including weight loss, accompany treadmill walking for 300 min a week. You need to walk 40-45 minutes on the treadmill every day to reach this goal. Surprisingly, this can help you burn around 1 kilo every week
④ Does incline treadmill training ensure faster weight loss?
Incline training burns more calories than exercising at no incline since it simulates a hilly area. Therefore, it will help you lose weight faster, even without changing the treadmill speed.