The treadmill can become a boring exercise if your workout never varies from a flat surface, and at a certain point, your body may stop delivering the results you want if you don't push it enough. Men generally have great aerobic capacity and need to push hard on a treadmill to produce the required level of exertion needed increase aerobic fitness. By changing your speed and incline incrementally throughout the workout, a machine once considered boring can keep you engaged in your workout and on the road to your ideal fitness level.
A good warm-up can reduce the risk of injury by slowly increasing your heart rate, which delivers blood to the muscles in your arms and legs. Set your treadmill to a comfortable pace to start, and over the next five minutes, increase your pace to a more strenuous level.
Changes in incline on the treadmill help to target different muscles than are targeted by a run on flat ground. After you’ve finished warming up, increase the incline by four percent and the treadmill’s speed to a place that is comfortable, but slightly difficult. Over the course of the next 20 minutes, increase your incline by two percent every two minutes, reducing the speed as necessary to maintain a comfortable heart rate. When you reach the maximum incline, go back to flat ground and begin the sequence again.
Whether you’re an amateur runner or a professional marathoner, interval workouts can help to push your performance to the next level. If your treadmill lets you program the speed of your intervals, do so. Otherwise be prepared to change the speed manually on your control panel. Set the first interval to a high-intensity pace, like a fast jog or a run, and the second interval to a low-intensity pace, like a jog or a brisk walk. Choose an interval length you find comfortable, between 30 seconds and two minutes, and spend twice as long on the low-intensity interval as you do on the high-intensity interval. Keep in mind that men tend not to push themselves hard in interval workouts, so push yourself harder than you think is needed. Continue this segment of the workout for 25 minutes.
After you’ve finished with 50 minutes of the hour-long workout, spend five minutes cooling down. Like the warm up, the cooldown also prevents injury by bringing your heart rate down to a resting level more slowly than if you jump off the treadmill once the intervals are done. Over the five-minute cooldown, slow down from a run to a slow walk.
Many athletes forget the importance of the stretch after the work on the treadmill is done. After you’ve finished your cooldown, spend five minutes performing static stretches, holding each position for at least 15 seconds. Static stretches include positions like the passive calf stretch and the toe touch.
- Military.com: Treadmills That Train You for Military Fitness Tests
- Instructional Course Lectures: Physiology of Aerobic Fitness/Endurance
- American Coucil on Exercise: Are the Warm-Up and Cool-Down Portions of a Workout Really That Important?
- Fitness: Run Strong! Hill Workouts to Run Stronger and Faster
- STACK: Get Faster this Winter with Treadmill Speed Workouts
- ExRx.net: Other Fitness Tests
- Human Kinetics: Types of Stretches
- American Council on Exercise: 90 Lat Stretch