Bored of Your Treadmill?
Learn 5 Ways to STEPUP Your Workout!
That treadmill sits there in your living room, your garage, or even your bedroom and stares at you. It remembers the feel of your feet and the times you shared together. Now, it’s holding laundry, random exercise equipment, and those Christmas decorations you’ve yet to put back in the garage.
Enough is enough. It’s time to rekindle your relationship with your home treadmill. It’s time to dust off the keypad, lace up your shoes, and find that excitement to train again.
Let’s say this though. It’s not your fault you slowed down in the first place. Running, especially when focused only time or distance, can be especially boring or inconvenient. It’s hard to pound out five miles on a treadmill when you could be doing a thousand other things. It’s hard to push yourself when you can see your bed, your couch, or even the carpeted floor staring back at you.
What you need is variety. Not just for the sake of mixing things up and turning your workouts into a grab-bag a fitness. Rather, your goal here is vary the challenge, the “feel’ of the workout, and in doing so, discovering results and progress you hadn’t yet thought possible.
Try these 5 workouts to boost your progress, reignite your metabolism, and put that treadmill back to work –
- Incline Walk
Walking on an incline may be one of the best overall cardiovascular exercises in the world. The elevation brings the glutes, hamstrings, and calves into the equation that flat ground just can’t match. The emphasis on walking allows almost anyone the chance to train this way due to the low impact on joints and reduced emphasis on aerobic power.
Set the treadmill to an incline that makes you question yourself at first (10% is a great starting point). Set the speed to just faster than a normal pace and aim to walk for at least fifteen to twenty minutes. Emphasize your breathing patterns, how your foot strikes the belt, and keeping your posture upright throughout.
- Gradual Incline or Decline Jog
The benefits of incline are only increased once you take your speed up a notch. Set the treadmill to a comfortable jogging speed and keep the elevation flat. Every minute on the minute – increase the incline by 1%. With every increase in elevation will come a boost in cardiac output, and that will put you further into your zone for creating positive change.
Keep pushing until you can’t maintain the pace and need to rest. The inverse of this would be to begin the workout at the highest elevation you can handle, which leads to lowering the incline every minute. This way would have you working harder at the beginning of the session and slowly coming back to your comfort level by the end.
Utilize both methods, or create a pyramid (up and down in the same workout) for a challenge like no other. Complete these runs as sets, thus one set would equate to one “trip” up or down the treadmill.
- Interval Sprint to Stop
It isn’t much of a secret anymore that intervals are the way to go to boost fat loss. Set the treadmill to a comfortable incline of 3-4% to better simulate flat ground and loosen up with a five-minute jog. Then, once you feel ready to go – sprint for 20 seconds and rest for 40. The key here is to go all out in that 20 seconds, not “jog faster”. You are pushing yourself to the edge of your running ability and giving yourself double the rest in order to recover.
Manipulate your intervals as you need (30/30), (20/60), etc. However, do your best to avoid negative rest (AKA – when you have less rest than you have work intervals). You will begin to diminish the effect of the intervals and instead begin training more of a blended cardio.
- Incremental Walk-Jog-Sprint
A simple manipulation of the interval is to go through the 3 phases of the human gait for a specific amount of time. Each changeover is matched with a decrease in time spent in that phase. For example, you’d walk for two minutes, jog for a minute, and sprint for 20 seconds only to return to your two-minute walk for recovery.
This method is known as a graded interval which builds in a transition phase for the brain and body. The metabolism stays firing long after the workout is over.
- Bodyweight Circuit and Sprint (Jog)
The ultimate workout will be to challenge your muscles with bodyweight exercises such as pushups, pull ups, squats, lunges, and planks – only to jump on the treadmill and finish your set with a sprint, jog, or walk if necessary. This circuit will challenge all parts of the body, incorporate muscles that don’t get as much attention on a treadmill, and provide a level of overall fitness that most other arrangements can’t match.
A great starting point is 10 repetitions of 5 exercises in a row topped with a 20 second sprint, a 1 minute jog, or a 2-minute walk. Everything can be modified up or down as needed, but the key is to push yourself to your next level!
The treadmill is so much more than an expensive piece of furniture. It is a tool for success, and one that you’ll be glad you rediscovered.