hiit treadmill workout

HIIT Treadmill Workout: How To, Muscles Worked, and More

A HIIT treadmill workout routine is the best way to burn calories, lose weight, and stay fit. I’ve used my flat treadmill for under bed for some time, and in my experience, using one without a workout plan can become pretty boring. Not only that, your weight loss goal will soon start turning out like a game of chance.

Conversely, with a good HIIT workout plan, your treadmill workouts will start giving you noticeable results much faster, motivating you to stay in your workout regime.

What Is Treadmill HIIT?

hiit treadmill workouts

High-Intensity Interval Training is a new way of efficiently working out. HIIT workouts take your training to a new intense and fun-filled level. It kills the boredom and lets you explode into short and powerful combinations of exercises.

How to Do High-Intensity Intervals, Overview

A training session consists of a warm-up followed by a high-intensity interval session alternated with a less intense recovery session. The recovery periods should be half the intensity of the explosive session. Aim at a 2:1 intensity ratio between the exercises. To prepare your body for the fluctuating intensity levels ahead, you will need to warm-up as you step on your treadmill. This may take about 10 minutes.

Treadmill Workouts for Beginners

The treadmill is the go-to equipment for most beginner fitness level enthusiasts. I also started here before adding a HIIT trainer. While a traditional treadmill spot running routine may be easy, treadmill HIIT workouts will be more intense and shorter with the promise of better results.

20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout for Beginners

Phase Exercise Speed (mph) Duration 
Warm up Jogging 3 – 4 2 minutes
High intensity Running 5 – 6 1 minute
Low intensity Light jogging 1 – 2.5 30 seconds
High intensity Sprinting 6.5 –  9 3 minutes
Moderate intensity Fast walking 2 1 minute
High intensity Running 5 – 6 4 minutes
Low intensity Light jogging 1 – 2 30 seconds
High intensity Sprinting 6.5 – 9 3 minutes
Low intensity Walking 1 – 2 90 seconds
High intensity Running 5 – 6 2 minutes
Cool down Walking 1 – 2 2 minutes

A 20-minute HIIT treadmill workout is a great way for beginners to train on their running machine. If you’ve read our reviews on the best slim treadmill or decline treadmill, any of those machines will be perfect for this routine. When you’ve perfected this beginner workout, you can up your game with the following.

30-Minute Treadmill HIIT Workout 

Exercise Speed (mph) Incline percentage Duration
Jogging 3 – 4 0% 2 minutes
Running 5 – 6 5% 3 minutes
Light jogging 1 – 2.5 3% 30 seconds
Sprinting 6.5 –  9 10% 3 minutes
Fast walking 2 3% 1 minute
Running 5 – 6 7% 4 minutes
Walking 1 – 2 5% 90 seconds
Sprinting 6.5 – 9 10% 3 minutes
Walking 1 – 2 5% 2 minutes
Running 5 – 6 7% 3 minutes
Light jogging 1 – 2 3% 30 seconds
Running 5 – 6 5% 3 minutes
Walking 1 – 2 0% 4 minutes

HIIT Treadmill Workout for Weight Loss

Bursting into high-intensity exercise followed by a recovery period creates a high-calorie burning environment which helps you lose weight significantly.

Even after the training session, your body continues to metabolize fats into energy as the body tries to regain normalcy. That’s another reason why high-intensity interval training is a very effective way of losing weight.

45-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout

Exercise Speed (mph) Incline percentage Duration
Jogging 3 – 4 0% 2 minutes
Running 5 – 6 5% 5 – 6 minutes
Light jogging 1 – 2.5 3% 1 minute
Sprinting 6.5 –  9 10% 4 minutes
Fast walking 2 3% 1 minute
Running 5 – 6 7% 4 minutes
Light jogging 1 – 2 5% 2 minutes
Sprinting 6.5 – 9 10% 4 minutes
Walking 1 – 2 5% 2 minutes
Running 5 – 6 7% 4 minutes
Walking 1 – 2 3% 1 minute
Running 5 – 6 5% 5 minutes
Walking 1 – 2 3% 1 minute
Sprinting 6.5 – 9 10% 3 minutes
Light jogging 1 – 2.5 3% 1 minute
Running 5 – 6 5% 2 – 3 minutes
Walking 1 – 2 0% 2 minutes

5 Tips for Beginners

hiit workout on the treadmill

  • Take it one step at a time. Whether you want to lose 50 pounds on a treadmill or 100 pounds, you need to take one step at a time. This is going to involve high-impact sets of exercise that need you to be psychologically and physically prepared for. Start with a lighter setting on your treadmill and make gradual progress.
  • Find your comfort zone. Find the right settings on the treadmill that do not overly strain you. You should train at least 3 times a week.
  • Listen to your body. Do not ignore muscle soreness, strains or pain in your joints.
  • Maintain Proper Form. Focus on maintaining a proper form throughout your training to avoid injuries and other postural complications.

10 Benefits of Doing HIIT Workout on a Treadmill

  1. Burns fats faster
  2. Builds muscles
  3. Improves blood circulation
  4. Improves cardiovascular fitness 
  5. Increases metabolism
  6. Works whole body
  7. Improves oxygen consumption
  8. Helps manage heart rate
  9. Saves time
  10. Improves flexibility

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid During Training

  1. Skipping warm up and cool downs
  2. Not eating an hour before the session
  3. Doing long sessions
  4. Using the wrong form 
  5. Resting too long
  6. Over-exercising
  7. Not reaching max potentials

Related Post:  Can Running Barefoot on a Treadmill Cause Injuries? 


incline treadmill mistakes

1. How far should you go in the intensity phase?

Many treadmill brands in the market come with preset workout programs and a personal trainer. You can either select from the options or customize your workouts. To attain high intensity in treadmill workouts, you can increase your pace, set a higher incline, or do both. The best way to gauge your intensity is to monitor your heart rate.

Try to achieve 85 – 90% of your max heart rate and sustain this intensity for a period not exceeding 40 seconds. Different people will achieve this heart rate using different speed and incline.

2. How long should a HIIT treadmill workout session last?

The length of the training session depends on your personal goal, fitness, and the intensity involved. A HIIT workout can be as short as 10 minutes or last up to 30 minutes.

Whatever the length, you’ll have to warm-up well before you think of intensely engaging your muscles and finish with a cooling down that includes stretching.

3. Do you need to run when doing HIIT treadmill workouts?

Must everyone run on the treadmill? The answer is a simple “No”. While you may need to sprint, someone else will only need a power walk to achieve the same fitness goals. Overall, there is no written rule on elevating your heart rate. You can choose either walking or running.

4. Is HIIT on a treadmill effective?

HIIT workouts on a treadmill is one of the most effective ways of training. The best thing about using the treadmill is that every aspect of your training is measured, such as distance, time, heart rate, and running speed.

5. Does HIIT treadmill burn fat?

Yes, it’s a very good fat crusher. The bursts of explosive intensity in this exercise burns fats much faster to provide energy to the muscles. The bonus comes long after you’ve cooled down, and that’s when your body continues burning fats. In the intense phases, optimize your workout by using the treadmill incline and decline features.

6. How many calories do you burn in a HIIT treadmill workout?

Powering your body to the limit with these high-intensity exercises is estimated to burn up to 10 calories per minute. This means that a 30-minute HIIT treadmill workout can burn 300 calories (approx).

7. Is it better to do HIIT in the morning or evening?

It doesn’t matter whether you do high-intensity interval training exercises in the morning, evening, or any time of the day. What’s more important is that you pick a workout time that you can consistently maintain and stick to for better results.