My HIIT Incline Treadmill Workout
There's no doubt about it, incline sprints on the treadmill suck, but there's no denying whether you're looking to increase your cardio endurance or burn calories they're effective as can be.
"SJ, why should we opt to do HIIT instead of regular prolonged cardio?"
- It’s quick and efficient, 20 minutes~ is all you need to get in an intensive workout
- It’s been proven to burn more calories than time wasting steady state cardio
- Quick bursts of cardio (in the form of HIIT) will build explosive power and retain muscle mass
The Tabata HIIT Incline Treadmill Routine
Incase you’re not familiar with the Tabata protocol a round of Tabata is comprised of a 4 minute block of time broken up into intervals of 20 seconds of all out effort (in this case incline treadmill sprints) followed by a brief 10 second rest interval. There’s 8 rounds in 1 block of Tabata and I recommend performing 2 – 3 rounds per workout based upon your current fitness level, it’s amazing how much effort you can exert in 4 minutes when the Tabata protocol is followed strictly.
- Warm up with a 5 minute light jog on flat treadmill
- 8 rounds of 20 second sprint on a 10 degree incline (10 seconds rest between rounds)
- Cool down with a 5 minute light jog on flat treadmill
Incline Deadmill Interval Sprints
The deadmill sprint involves sprinting (getting the belt moving on the treadmill) while the treadmill is turned off or unplugged while on an incline. The amount of effort and exertion required to get the treadmill moving without any assistance will have your heart rate (and calories burned) soaring almost instantly.
Start off with the beginner routine to gauge your performance and increase to the advanced routine or adjust the incline from there.
- 8 rounds of 15 second deadmill sprint on a 10 degree incline (30 seconds rest between rounds)
- 12 rounds of 30 second deadmill sprint on a 10 degree incline (20 seconds rest between rounds)
30 Second Ascending Treadmill Sprint Waves
Begin with your treadmill on an 5 degree incline.
Sprint for 30 seconds, all out effort.
Jump off to the side of the treadmill and add 1 degree of incline.
Continue to sprint and increase the incline for 10 rounds (so you'll be finishing off on a 15 degree incline).
Maintain the same speed as the incline increases, no lowering.
Don't Guess... Time Your Intervals!
When it comes to HIIT training, and specifically in this case Tabata it’s key that you time your intervals correctly, if you’re trying to guess your sprint and rest periods or squinting to look at the analogue clock in the corner of the gym you’re probably not hitting the right work and rest periods.
Having messed around with a physical timer (which was unreliable) and a digital watch I came to the conclusion that the best means of measuring my intervals was an iPhone app called ‘Seconds’ this app lets me create and adjust rounds, duration of rest/sprint time and give each round a different name so I know what round I’m on and which exercise/rest period I have to hit next – all guesswork is eliminated so you can give your workout 100% effort and focus without worrying about the clock.
How Often Should You Perform HIIT?
There’s no definitive answer as to how often you should be performing HIIT training, this comes down to your goals, your diet and how quickly you’re able to recover from previous sessions.
I recommend between 2 and 4 sessions per week. In the beginning of my cutting phase I focus on losing fat through a calorie deficit with cardio once or twice per week, as fat loss begins to slow down (meaning the deficit my body is in is no longer large enough to promote fat loss) I increase the frequency of my intervals to 3 or 4 times per week at which point I place a larger emphasis on my recovery techniques such as foam rolling and contrast showering to pump blood and nutrients to the muscles.