Hit the fat hard with an HIIT workout.
High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a vigorous exercise regimen that involves short bursts of sprinting followed by short periods of rest or low-intense exercise. Using HIIT with a treadmill is an effective way to benefit from this type of training because it's easy to vary speeds, and inclines if desired. HIIT is a more efficient way to burn fat compared to steady-state exercise as it takes less time and promotes a beneficial after-burn effect. This causes your body to burn calories at an increased rate even after the exercise session ends.
What to Expect
As with any training program, results may vary. However, treadmill HIIT can lead to fast weight loss results; more importantly, fast fat loss results compared to steady-state training at a moderate intensity. A realistic, and attainable, weight loss goal using three 20- to 30-minute HIIT workouts per week is 1 pound per week. You may lose more or less, but this is the average amount of weight loss to expect. Pushing yourself to exercise at near maximal effort will lead to optimal weight loss results. It's worth noting that HIIT promotes fat loss and helps maintain lean muscle mass, whereas steady-state exercise may lead to small decreases in lean muscle mass over time. It's the body fat you're really looking to lose, and losing 1 pound of pure body fat per week will help tighten your waistline fast.
The benefits of HIIT have been well studied, and the research shows its an effective way to lose weight. One study, published in the Journal of Diabetes Research in 2017, found that HIIT cardio just as effective as longer bouts of steady-state cardio for belly fat loss - but allows you to finish your workout much more quickly. If you struggle to schedule in cardio, HIIT could be a great way to get the same benefits in a fraction of the time.
Because HIIT is such a vigorous training program, it's not right for everyone. If you have past or existing cardiovascular problems, talk to your doctor before trying interval training. Additionally, you may decrease your workout intensity during your HIIT workout to keep your heart rate within safe levels as suggested by your doctor. It's also important to be safe on your treadmill when exercising at such a high rate of speed. Always attach the treadmill belt cut-off key to yourself in case you fall. Finally, warm up with a three-to-five minute moderate jog or walk prior to your HIIT workout, and do the same to cool down afterward. Failing to do so could lead to lightheadedness or nausea.
An effective HIIT treadmill workout for beginners takes only five minutes plus a warm-up and cool-down period. Sprint for 30 seconds at near your max speed followed by a 30-second rest period. Repeat this cycle a total of five times. A second HIIT treadmill workout is to utilize the treadmill's ability to increase the deck angle for a more intense workout. Try jogging on an incline for 30 seconds - the steeper, the better - followed by a 60-second brisk walk at a zero incline. Repeat this interval cycle for a total of 12 minutes. Always take at least a day of rest between HIIT sessions because of its vigorous nature. Your body needs rest to maximize fat loss and promote full muscle recovery.