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10 Best Treadmill Workouts

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

There you go, a nice mix of treadmill workouts for you to go and reach your fitness goal. It’s time to change up your treadmill running. 

In this article, we are going to share with you 10 quick and effective treadmill workouts, which you can do at home giving you a huge benefit in a very short space of time. Also, we are going to provide you with a couple of tips to follow when doing your treadmill workout routine. Let’s get started.

A man doing some treadmill workouts at the gym
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Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Treadmill

1. Warm Up

First of all, you need to make sure that you’ve thought about the warm-up and the warm-down. When it comes to the warm-up, it doesn’t need to be very long at all. It can even just be a brisk walk, but make sure it’s a minimum of five minutes

If you can run or you want to, then do but just keep it at a nice steady pace. Make sure your muscles are warm, and your heart rate has risen so you’re ready to go straight in with those sessions that we’ve got planned. 

2. Warm Down

The same goes for the warm-down. You want to make sure that you unwind. And you get your heart rate to come back down at a nice gradual pace rather than coming to a dramatic stop. And that will also help you when it comes to your recovery.

3. Bump Your Treadmill Up

It’s a good idea to bump the treadmill up to a 1% incline as that gives you the most realistic and comparable feel to running outside. Ideally, at the start, if you’re new to running on a treadmill, do at least one workout with a 1% incline per week. If you’ve been doing this kind of running for a while, then feel free to make it 2%. But make sure you spread them out nicely and have enough rest in between.

Treadmill Workouts for Beginners

1. Interval Walking for Beginners

Start with a 5-minute warm-up at a speed of 2-2.5 mph. While doing this quick workout, we’re going to be playing with different speeds and intervals. There are 3 sets of intervals in this treadmill workout. And each set is going to get more challenging. Basically, with each set, we’re going to be adding more time to walking. 

Set 1:

  • 30 seconds at a speed of 3 mph;
  • 30 seconds at a speed of 2 mph;
  • 30 seconds at a speed of 3.5 mph;
  • 30 seconds at a speed of 2 mph;
  • 30 seconds at a speed of 4 mph.

Recovery: 60 seconds at a speed of 2 mph.

Set 2:

  • 1 minute at a speed of 3 mph;
  • 30 seconds at a speed of 2 mph;
  • 1 minute at a speed of 3.5 mph;
  • 30 seconds at a speed of 2 mph;
  • 1 minute at a speed of 4 mph.

Recovery: 60 seconds at a speed of 2 mph.

Set 3:

  • 90 seconds at a speed of 3 mph;
  • 30 seconds at a speed of 2 mph;
  • 90 seconds at a speed of 3.5 mph;
  • 30 seconds at a speed of 2 mph;
  • 90 seconds at a speed of 4 mph.

Cool down: 2 minutes at a speed of 2 mph.

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2. The Treadmill Workout for Beginners

The second workout is great for everybody including beginners. You want to start by figuring out a comfortable pace because this is where we’re working from. The interval is going to progress up from that, but the recovery will come back down to that baseline pace.

We’re going to be increasing the intervals by 1 kilometer per hour in pace at a time, all the way up to 10 kilometers per hour more than your baseline. Keep that in mind when you’re thinking about that baseline speed. For example, you might want to start at 5 kilometers per hour and then your top-end interval would be at 15 kph. 

Start with one minute at your baseline speed, then one minute at baseline speed plus 1 kilometer per hour. Back to one minute at your baseline speed, followed by one minute at baseline speed plus 2 kilometers per hour. 

Back to one minute at your baseline speed, then one minute at baseline speed plus 3 kilometers per hour. Then continue in this manner until 20 minutes have elapsed and you have added 10 kilometers per hour to the baseline speed, or as best as you can do. 

3. Interval Run for 20 Minutes

This is a more unusual one, but it’s pretty fun and it can make you feel like a pro. In actual fact, it’s an obsession that the pros quite often do.

Warm up for 5 minutes at 4 mph. Interval set (repeat 10 times): 30 seconds at 7 mph, followed by 90 seconds at 5 mph. Cool down for 5 minutes at 3 mph.

If you are overweight, it’s better to use a rowing machine because of its low impact. 

Treadmill Workouts for Intermediate Runners

Treadmill Workout 1

Onto a classic, the 3-2-1. This is a pretty fun workout. You want to be running at a brisk pace, close to your 5K race pace if possible. Then ideally, you want to be increasing the pace and the intensity a fraction on each of the intervals. 

Starting with three minutes at your 5K race pace or effort, followed by a one-minute recovery pace. Now, two minutes at a 5K race pace plus 0.5 kilometers of an hour, then another minute of recovery pace. Your next one minute at a 5K race pace plus a whole kilometer per hour faster, and then into two minutes recovery pace before repeating the workout once or twice more through.

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Treadmill Workout 2

After a very good warm-up, you want to up the speed on your treadmill once your feet are standing on either side. Up it to something above your 5K pace. It’s going to get your legs moving quickly. 

Once you’re happy with the pace the treadmill’s reached, put your hands back on the rails and you’re going to lower yourself gently onto the treadmill and let your legs pick up and find that pace. You’re going to run at that pace for your set interval. 

Once you’ve finished, hands back on the side, lift your feet up and put them on the side of the treadmill. Keep the belt rolling whilst you take your rest, and then the speed is still ready to go when you come back on. We talk about the ONs being the time when you’re running on the treadmill, and the OFF part of this session when you’re resting. 

Start with five times 30 seconds on followed by 30 seconds off. Put the treadmill back down to a comfortable running speed for three minutes of easy jog, then five times 20 seconds on followed by 40 seconds off. Again, put the treadmill back to a comfortable running speed for three minutes, and finally, back to five times 30 seconds on followed by 30 seconds off. 

Hill Treadmill Workout

Now, let’s try a hill workout on the treadmill. This doubles up as a high-intensity interval workout, as well as working with strength and power. For this, you want to bump your treadmill incline up to 4% to 5% for the efforts. 

We’re going to do three times 10 seconds at 5K race effort and above, followed by a one-minute recovery jog at a 0% incline. Then four times 30 seconds at your 5K race effort, followed by 2 minutes recovery back down at a 0% incline. Then five times 60 seconds at a 10K race effort, around 80% to 85% of your maximum heart rate, followed by three minutes recovery jog at a 0% incline.

Hill Treadmill Workout 2

Following on from the previous hill session, this one is taking it up a little bit higher but it is going to be a little bit slower. Calling it the Mount Everest challenge, as you’re going to be upping the incline on the treadmill until it probably maxes out. The good news though, as the incline increases, the pace will decrease. 

  • Our first starting point, you want to begin with one minute at 10 kilometers per hour and a 1-percent incline;
  • Two minutes at 9.5 kilometers per hour and 2% incline;
  • Three minutes at 9 kilometers per hour, a 3-percent incline;
  • Four minutes, 8.5 kilometers per hour, a 4-percent incline;
  • Five minutes, 8 kilometers per hour, a 5-percent incline;
  • Six minutes at 7.5 kilometers per hour and a 6-percent incline;
  • Seven minutes at 7 kilometers per hour and a 7% incline; 
  • Eight minutes at 6.5 kilometers per hour and an 8% incline; 
  • Nine minutes at just 6 kilometers per hour and then a 9% incline; 
  • Finish off with 10 minutes at just 5.5 kilometers per hour but a 10% incline. 

If your treadmill doesn’t incline as much as that, just bump it up in more 0.5% increments and reduce the speed a little less too. 

Treadmill Workouts for Advanced Runners

1. HIIT Pyramid Treadmill Workout

This pyramid workout is constantly changing so it keeps you motivated and very much engaged. By the way, HIIT is a muscle-sparing type of cardio. This means that you won’t lose muscle while performing HIIT. Of course, feel free to adjust the speeds to suit you.

Warm up for 5 minutes at 5 mph.

Pyramid (repeat this set 3 times):

  • 3 minutes at 6 mph;
  • 3 minutes at 7 mph;
  • 3 minutes at 8 mph;
  • 3 minutes at 7 mph;
  • 3 minutes at 6 mph.

Cool down for 5 minutes at 5 mph at the end!

2. Endurance Run Workout

This cardio workout is for advanced fitness levels. It will help you improve your endurance. You will be working at a steady pace. 

Warm up for 5 minutes at 5 mph. After a very good warm-up, you want to up the faster speed on your treadmill. Run for 45 minutes at your comfortable moderate pace. For example, 6-7 mph. Perform a 5-minute cool-down at a conversational pace.

3. Treadmill Sprints Workout

Start by figuring out a maximum pace because this is the pace of our sprints. The sprints will be followed by recovery intervals. Be sure to do a proper warm-up before you dive into the sprints portion below. 

Warmup: 5 minutes at 5 mph. Run 20 seconds at maximum pace, then perform a 2-minute recovery by walking. Repeat it 12 times! Cool down for 5 minutes at 5 mph at the end!

Best Treadmill Workouts: FAQs

How long is a good workout on a treadmill?

It’s enough to do even a 20-minute workout. For example, a 20-minute HIIT can help you lose fat despite the relatively low time commitment. However, a 40-minute treadmill workout can provide you with more health benefits.

Are 30 minutes on the treadmill a good workout?

A 30-minute workout has a lot of health benefits. If you perform it every day, you will burn fat and lose weight in 1-3 months. But remember to perform a proper warm-up and warm-down. It is often more beneficial than additional creative workouts if you want to reach your long-term fitness goals.

What is the best workout on a treadmill to lose weight?

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can burn a lot of calories in a short period. One research shows that with this high-intensity workout you burn 25-30% more calories than while performing other forms of efficient workouts. Also, your metabolism is higher for hours after exercise. This means that you are burning calories both during your HIIT session and for the rest of the day even when you are resting. 

Is walking on the treadmill 30 minutes a day enough?

Generally, it’s enough to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day. By doing this, you strengthen your muscles and improve your heart and brain health. But remember, regular training is the key to losing weight. It’s better to perform treadmill sessions with a personal trainer 3-4 times per week. 


Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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