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June 14, 2018 0 Comments

The strength-building benefits of undertaking the 'hill repeats' treadmill workout.

The treadmill can sometimes be the daunting machine in the dark corner of the gym that fitness newbies rarely gravitate towards. However, the treadmill has some hidden features which can add great value to any workout plan; namely the incline feature. Many seasoned fitness competitors are now utilising the incline feature as an effective light cardio weight loss tool, and combining this with time interval training. This has the potential to be very effective in weight loss while not over exerting muscles and causing loss of gains


Adjusting The Incline

Many treadmills will allow you to adjust the incline while you are using them, but some require you to make this adjustment before starting your workout. With these treadmills, you'll have to stop to change the incline and it won't be as easy to do an interval workout where the incline changes every few minutes. Fortunately, most modern treadmills have pre-programmed workouts which you can select based on your personal fitness goals and fitness level.


Benefits of Treadmill Hill Workouts

  • You can gain a higher heart rate at lower speeds, this can allow for a much more controlled intensity level.
  • Lower impact on joints due to lower velocity, and therefore good for injury recovery.
  • Uphill incline recruits the postural muscles in new ways and stretches your calves and Achilles tendon. If you're new to inclines, your calves will probably tire and  be sore the next day. You will also work your quadriceps, which are the muscles at the front of your thighs, as well as giving a good workout for the glutes in your buttocks.
  • Try different pre-programmed workouts to mix up workouts.


Treadmill Hill Workout Basics

  • Warm up: Always warm up for five minutes with level walking or with only a slight incline, and always start at a slow speed.
  • Slow is Good: When you're climbing a hill, you will naturally go slower, but your heart rate and breathing will show that you are getting a higher exercise intensity than when at zero incline.
  • Uphill Walking Technique: It’s important to always maintain good posture and ensure you concentrate on the task at hand to ensure form does not deteriorate under fatigue.
  • Ensure you slowly change the intensity levels during the workout.
  • As your fitness level improves you can attempt to increase the treadmill incline level and length of interval training.

 Quick Note: Treadmill hill interval training is an excellent device for strength training, it is a common misconception that the treadmill is purely a weight loss device. This is certainly not the case as if you are able to utilize the features and functions of a well-formulated treadmill workout,  you can quickly turn a boring cardio workout into a strength building routine. This can be great to complement a bodybuilding or weights program. Don’t be scared to try new features of your treadmill, as many modern machines have many built in features besides a TV and iPod dock. You can mix up your training and reinvigorate your treadmill workout with fun and challenging exercises.


Treadmill Threshold Interval Workout

This workout will bring you up to a high intensity during harder and easier intervals.

  • Warm up for 5 minutes at an easy pace.
  • Choose a pace and incline that brings your heart rate to 85 to 92 percent of your max heart rate. Use the heart rate monitor on the treadmill for updated readings.
  • Walk at 85 to 92 percent of maximum heart rate for 8 minutes.
  • Reduce the incline to an easy level for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat for 3 to 4 times.

 Treadmill Interval Workout with Hills

Use incline on the treadmill for an interval training workout. The high-intensity interval will bring you to a vigorous level of exertion, then the recovery interval will let you catch your breath.

  • Intervals can last 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
  • The shorter the interval, the tougher it should be. The difficulty level will increase at a faster rate.
  • Recovery intervals will allow you to catch your breath during the program.
  • Some treadmills have interval programs, but they may not vary both the incline and the speed at the same time.
  • Don’t be afraid to try manual mode, if you are a beginner this can be a good start to get the feel for the motion and technique.
  • End with a five-minute cooldown.
  • Don’t forget your treadmill settings for next time!


Advanced Treadmill Interval training / Treadmill Sprint training

An appropriate warm-up would be 3-5 minutes of light running to slowly increase heart rate.

SPRINTS: 30 seconds on – 30 seconds off

  • 0 – 5 minutes
  • 5 incline,
  • 0 speed

CLIMBING: take two 30 second breaks, if needed

  • 5 – 10
  • 0 incline
  • 0 speed

SPRINTS: 30 seconds on – 30 seconds off

  • 10 – 15
  • 5 incline
  • 0 speed

CLIMBING: take two 30 second breaks, if needed

  • 15 – 30
  • 0 incline
  • 2 speed

COOL DOWN: 3-5 minutes, easy pace


Don’t forget recovery!

Every workout should be ended with a good cool down and consistent stretching to prevent injury. High fluid intake and a high protein meal following your workout is also key to ensuring you maximize the results of your treadmill running and treadmill workout program. A gym treadmill workout can also be a safer option than running on city streets and busy roads; once you master this routine you will never look at the treadmill in the same way again.

Final Note

Don’t forget you should always consult with a qualified fitness/personal trainer if you’re not sure on how to use equipment or to get a personally tailored fitness program based on your physical fitness level. Never underestimate the benefits of a well-balanced program with both cardio and weights, as ignoring cardio completely can be detrimental to your fitness goals and health.