Treadmills Are Your Secret Weapon

My man! You think you’re a hamster stuck in life’s wheel, huh? It feels like that sometimes. But! If you want a ‘wheel’ you can control, let me tell you about a hidden gem. It’s like an old trusty friend with a bad reputation but it’s pretty universal in use, (almost) always there for you, and available rain or shine. And, just like any other friendship, regardless of if you are running, strolling, or dancing like a sloth on caffeine – it’s about putting one foot in front of the other and putting in the time. I’m talking about the treadmill, and want to help you out with some workouts for weight loss, or any other goal you may have.

It’s not the sexiest of gym equipment and isn’t the new bright shiny object, but it will help you inch towards your fitness goals. Think of it as a magical road where every session helps send a bag of junk food to oblivion, not that you should use a treadmill, or any exercise, as a negative feedback loop as a punishment for eating trash. That is how eating disorders start, and we don’t like those.

Who uses a Treadmill?

Who uses the treadmill in 2023, you ask? If your mind immediately jumped to gym bunnies, vegans, and females falling somewhere between 15 and 50, then buddy, you need this wake-up call. Treadmills are for everyone – young, old, males, females, athletes, couch potatoes. I use one a few times a week myself for either warmups, short cardio sessions, or cool downs.

Whether you think of running as a frolic or torture, there’s a treadmill speed for you.

Treadmill Workouts: Tailored to Your Goals

Regardless of your goals, there is some sort of workout for you that you can do on a treadmill. Plus, it’s accessible rain or shine. Whether it is 100 degrees outside or in the double digit negatives. Even if you prefer running outside it’s always good to have options, am I right?

Treadmill Workouts for Those Aiming at Weight Loss

Speed Intervals: These Aren’t for the Turtles

High-Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT. Picture running like you’re trying to save a damsel in distress (if helping other people is still allowed in 2023) or running for your life because someone let a lion out of the zoo and it’s chasing you down main street. Then you think you get far enough ahead of the lion or you reach the person who needs saving so you slow down, just to realize you stopped prematurely and need to keep going. Repeat that cycle a few times and you have HIIT.

This whole start-stop-start commotion means your body keeps burning calories during the session and long afterwards. And, a treadmill happens to be a fantastic way to do some HIIT. Set the speed to ‘fast’, do a sprint, grab the handles and step to the sides for a quick breath catching. Repeat.

No need to do the slowdown or speed up that you would on a bike or while running down the road. Instant speed changes and a constant pace.

Frequency and Duration: The Trusty Guideposts

Like many good things in life, consistency is key. Try to find time for these high-intensity workouts a few times a week, aiming around 10-20 minutes each session. Remember, it’s not a race; it’s about sticking with it over time.

Speed intervals are fantastic ways to build up stamina and endurance while absolutely shredding fat stores.

Conditioning Your Body

On/Off Treadmill Circuits: Get Ready to Mix It Up

Whoever said “variety is the spice of life” must’ve had a secret love affair with on/off treadmill circuits. If monotony is your greatest enemy in the workout arena (you know who you are), these circuits are like that spicy plot twist you never saw coming at 11 years old when you found out who Luke Skywalkers dad was.

You saunter into the gym, ready to conquer that workout like a boss. But today, something feels different in the atmosphere. Pushing weight isn’t doing it for you, but you also don’t want to not lift. You want something harder, but still generally stick to the plan you had. Add in the treadmill between sets.

Drop (not literally, that’s annoying) those weights, get on the treadmill and run for the 45s – 1 minute rest period. Go back, lift some weights. Do it all over again, keeping the heart rate up.

Maybe even giant set some stuff in there for a full circuit. Do 2-3 different exercises, run for a minute or so, then go round robin a few times with those movements. You can include anything from bodyweight exercises next to the treadmill to squats across the gym. Just don’t be that guy, pal, who monopolizes too much equipment at 5pm like the high schooler with the broccoli haircut. No one likes those people.

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New to the Arena: Advice for Beginners

Incline Intervals: Your Gentle Introduction

If you are new to treadmill workouts, don’t be afraid to use the incline function. A bit of upslope during your regular walks can go a long way. It’s like gentle hill-training, minus the actual hill. You’d be surprised how effective even a 2-3% incline can be if you are running and aren’t used to it.

Pacing Yourself: The Marathon Method

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Start at your own speed and gradually finetune the intensity as you build endurance and strength. Nobody’s timing you here except yourself. Go at your own pace, don’t overdo it, and make minor improvements each week.

Testing the Waters: The “Can You Sing Challenge”

A good, albeit silly, test to determine if you should up your workout intensity is seeing if you can hold a tune while exercising.

Can’t sing a single note due to huffing and puffing? Keep the pace.

Can belt out a full Taylor Swift song? Push it up slightly.

Able to get that growl out while punching through some old Amon Amarth? You better speed it up yoohoo!

Steady-State Cardio on the Treadmill

Ever tried testing how long you can jog on a treadmill without stopping? It’s kind of like seeing how many grapes you can fit in your mouth as a kid. It’s a lot harder than it looks.

In Steady State Cardio, the idea is to run at a constant pace for as long as you can. It’s not about sprinting and resting. It’s more about doing the tortoise’s slow-and-steady marathon.

Pick a speed and stick with it. If you are new, that speed could very well be a slow jog if you are shooting for a mile or longer. It’s not unheard of to start at 3/4/5 miles per hour and work your way up. Hitting a mile straight without stopping is actually a pretty big achievement in today’s modern western world.

Sure, our ancestors used to run sprints for miles on end to catch their food and Kipchoge can run marathons in just over 2 hours, but we don’t need to do those things. Don’t feel bad if you are just starting out and cannot do either. Very few people can, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Comparison is the death of motivation.

Sometimes slow and steady does win the race. Steady cardio is perfect for burning calories and building your endurance. While you won’t build as many calories overall as you would with HIIT, you build up your ability to go forever. It’s like laying the groundwork to be able to run like the wind… eventually.

Hill Workouts

Ever thought of climbing Mount Everest but got scared off by frostbite and stuff? Well, this is your chance (kind of). Crank that treadmill incline up, and picture yourself doing a rocky hill climb absent the rocks… and the frostbite. And almost any other danger you might encounter on a mountain/hill.

Walking uphill gives your lower body a serious workout. Your legs will thank you (eventually), as you develop strength and stamina. Remember when I said that a 2-3% incline can be incredibly effective if you aren’t use to it? This time I am referring to a 10%+ incline which can be especially brutal.

Some treadmills actually have hill programs built in so they will adjust incline as you move through the pre-programmed course. Those are great to have, but you don’t need one. Just set the treadmill to whatever incline and speed you want, walk for a few mins, and change incline as you desire.

There have been a few times I set it to 15% at a 4mph pace and walked for an hour. I don’t believe my legs worked properly for a day after that. It was glorious. Point being, set it to within your own capabilities, know your body, and adjust as needed. It’s effective, but brutal.

One Size Fits None

Label Me Stumped: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced?

Finding out where you fit in the treadmill hierarchy is kinda like figuring out which Hogwarts house you belong in, but way cooler (also, read another book). Let’s try some observation and self-awareness to figure out where you are:

Beginner: If just gawking at the treadmill makes you huff and puff like the Big Bad Wolf, congrats! You’re a beginner. Time to break in those brand new kicks.

Intermediate: If you’re comfortable on the treadmill, but the thought of a marathon still terrifies you more than a cliffhanger TV series finale, you’ve reached the intermediate zone. If I had to guess, this is where people who can run at least a mile or use inclines with ease live.

Advanced: Advanced users match the tireless energizer bunny on the treadmill. They’re the ones who could run blindfolded and still nail every button with ease.

Treadmill Goals: What’s Your End Game?

Imagine, if you will, your treadmill routine as a mini project. You’ve got an aim, a deadline (in this case, your fitness goals), and a variety of tools (treadmill workout types) to reach that milestone.

Planning to become lighter than your feather-like dreams? High-intensity intervals are sure to be your helping hand. Step onto that treadmill and let your feet blur into a fast-forward dance.

Seeking to powerhouse your stamina? The treadmill’s got you covered. With steady-state cardio, your path to endurance will be as smooth as your newly learned yoga moves.

The key here is crafting a plan and sticking to it. Because, trust me, nothing screams ‘achievement unlocked’ like smashing your fitness goals one treadmill session at a time.”

Listen to Your Body: Speed, Incline, and Duration

Treadmills have an impressive array of buttons. Disappointingly, none transport you directly to your goals or even a secret underground donut shop. What they do regulate, though, is the speed, incline, and duration of your workout – your personal ‘DJ set’ of cardio.

Striking that Goldilocks zone – you know, not too ‘vaporize-you-with-lactic-acid’, not too ‘stroll-in-the-park’ – is sort of like mastering a skateboard trick. Push yourself, but don’t tip over the edge, similar to balancing a burrito in one hand and a large iced coffee in the other on the way back to your desk.

Find your own sweet spot, and toy around with it based on your fitness progression and capabilities. It’s like adjusting the brightness level on your laptop; blazing sunlight might show too much reality, pitch dark might have you mistaking typos for contemporary poetry. No one knows you like you do.

Balanced Act: Maximize Results and Kick Plateaus to the Curb

You know that moment when you’re binge-watching your favorite show, and suddenly, you’ve seen so many episodes that they all start to morph into a never-ending blur? Yeah, that’s what we call a plateau, my dude. It’s not a party you want to attend in the workout world either.

So, let’s avoid those dreaded treadmill reruns and keep those muscles guessing like they’re trying to decode a horoscope (spoiler for all those who read them, they’re fake). Time to diversify those sweat sessions! We’re talking a scrumptious potluck of steady cardio, interval training, and hill workouts to whip your mind and body into tiptop shape.

By swapping it up you’re not only guaranteeing progress, but you’re also keeping things as fresh as the avocado toast millennials all know and love for some reason.

In Conclusion

So, we’ve all had our fair share of treadmill adventures. We’ve just been through quite a few treadmill workouts for weight loss and other goals worth exploring. Let’s recap, in case you fast forwarded to the end:

High-Intensity Intervals: Basically, it’s like casting a spell on the treadmill. You go hard and speedy, then you take a short break. And do it over and over. It’s perfect for those chasing weight loss glory.

The Not-So-Universal Workouts: Treadmills aren’t one size fits all. Remember that time you tried to do your sister’s geometry homework and realized it made zero sense? It’s a bit like that. Whether you’re a treadmill newbie or a veteran, there’s something tailored just for you. You just need to find it.

The Ultimate Mash-up: Commit to a smorgasbord of treadmill workouts – steady-state, interval training, hill sessions – and you’ll become a better version of yourself.

Stop avoiding the treadmill like it’s a landmine! Jump on it and use it. Track your progress, because you’ll be seeing the improvement as time flies by.

They truly cater to anyone who wants to hop on.

Let Us help You Out

At CONDITIONerd we are here to help you achieve better physical and mental health through exercise. Check out the plans we offer to our customers and see if you could benefit from working with our team. And if you have questions, you can always contact a CONDITIONerd team member

Personal trainers, like those found here, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just generally feeling better.

We can get you setup with a periodized workout plan, supplement information, and advice on nutrition to help you reach your goals.

The only thing you need is some motivation and a willingness to change some old habits.

Get into contact with us to find out what membership is right for you. In a CONDITIONerd program, you’ll be surrounded by others who can help you to get where you want to be.

Generally, our clients start to see some pretty awesome changes in 2-3 months’ time, some sooner.

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