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High Intensity Treadmill Training

author image Paul J. Fabritz
Paul J. Fabritz is the founder of PJF Performance LLC, a fitness company based in Tempe, Ariz. Fabritz specializes in athletic performance enhancement, and is certified through the NSCA-CPT, ACE and FMS.
High Intensity Treadmill Training
Sprinting on the treadmill burns more calories than jogging. Photo Credit Mike Watson Images/moodboard/Getty Images

If you want to lose body at. look no further than high intensity treadmill training. In a study published in the July 1994 issue of "Metabolism," researchers at Laval University in Canada showed that participants who trained at a high intensity for 15 weeks lost nine times more body fat than participants who performed 20 weeks of low intensity aerobic training. Learn how to implement the most effective high intensity treadmill techniques to maximize your fat loss results.

Treadmill Structured Intervals

One simple way to implement HIIT is to perform sprint intervals on a treadmill. Advanced athletes may use a sprint to walk ratio of 1:1-- which means you will sprint and walk for equal proportions of time; for example, 60 seconds of sprinting then walking for 60 seconds. Chances are good that you're not Usain Bolt, so a sprint to walk ratio of 1:3 is a healthy starting point for beginners, according to certified strength and conditioning specialist Marc Perry. After a full warm-up, begin by running at about 70 to 85 percent of your maximum speed. This pace should be close to an all-out sprint, but leave a little bit of gas in the tank. Maintain this high-intensity for 45 seconds before slowing down to about 40 percent of maximum speed -- walking pace -- for two and a half minutes. Repeat this cycle four to 10 times. Perform this workout two to four days per week.

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Treadmill Fartlek Training

Fartlek, which means "speed-play" in Swedish, is a form of interval training that utilizes several different tempos. Unlike structured intervals, fartlek training is very intuitive and relies on "feel" instead of time frames. After a warm-up, begin with a light jog and gradually increase your speed until you're approaching a sprint pace. Maintain a high intensity -- 70 to 85 percent of maximum speed -- for as long as you can, then decrease the speed to a fast walk. Let your body recover and begin playing around with your speed. Alternate between walking, jogging and sprinting in a random fashion. Fartlek workouts typically last 20 to 45 minutes. You can performed them two to five days per week.

Treadmill Inclined Intervals

Using treadmill inclined intervals is an effective way to burn fat. After a warm-up, gradually increase the grade of the treadmill until it reaches 5 percent. Perform structured sprint intervals according to your current fitness levels -- 60 second sprint, 60 second walk for fit individuals -- 45 second sprint, two and a half minute walk for lower fitness levels. Do four to 10 cycles, and complete two to four workouts per week.

Tips and Warnings

High intensity treadmill training isn't for those who've been warned by their doctor to avoid intense exercise. Consult your doctor before beginning any form of high-intensity training. Begin each workout with a 10 minute warm-up consisting of light walking and jogging, jumping jacks and dynamic stretches. An effective dynamic stretch for the hamstrings is 30 seconds of frankenstein walks -- keep legs straight and slowly lift them out in front of your body one at a time. Stretch the quadriceps by doing 30 seconds of butt-kickers -- jog in a straight line while bending one knee at a time to touch your heel to your gluteals. Stretch the gluteal muscles by performing 30 seconds of high-knees -- jog in a straight line while lifting one knee at a time as if you were trying to touch your knee to your chest.

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