Sync Fitness Blog

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workout: Treadmill Style

Do you want to burn calories like crazy??

You may have heard the new craze in cardio – HIIT. It stands for High Intensity Interval Training and everyone is talking about it. The idea behind HIIT is that you can do a shorter cardio workout with brief high intensity intervals and burn more calories that in a longer, steady state cardio session. With HIIT workouts, the after burn is crazy. After burn is the calories you burn following your workout while your body is still recovering from the workout. With steady state cardio, your heart rate and oxygen consumption returns to normal range more quickly than with HIIT, therefore minimizing the after burn effect. With HIIT, your heart rate and metabolism remain elevated/stimulated for a longer period of time (24-48 hours in some cases!!) This is because the high intensity bouts make you really push the limits of your anaerobic threshold – that feeling when you’re DYING for a little oxygen. After a HIIT session you consume significantly more oxygen to return your body to it’s pre-exercise physiological state. This is called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption.) EPOC is where it’s at!!! If you can increase your EPOC (your oxygen consumption post workout) it’s like you’re still working out when you’re not!

Here’s a sample study:
A 132 lb person burned about 228 calories in 30 minutes of light jogging (working at 70% of their max heart rate). That person recovered quickly and burned very few additional calories following their exercise session. BUT, that same person doing 30 minutes of HIIT burned 298 calories in their 30 minute session followed by an ADDITIONAL 200+ calories in the following 24 hours. Talk about more bang for your buck!!! The HIIT program of this particular study included 20 seconds working at 90% of your max heart rate followed by 40 seconds working at 70% of your max heart rate. For this person they were running at 9 miles per hour (that’s super fast!!) during their work phase and 5 miles per hour in their recovery phase. HIIT can be done on any scale. So anyone can train this way. You have to work at your level to make it work to your advantage.

Last week on a gray day in Seattle (Lord knows we have lots of those) I decided to hit the treadmill rather than running in the drizzle. I just couldn’t take another run in the rain. Here is the HIIT format I followed for my treadmill workout. Keep in mind, this worked for me at my current level of fitness. This may need to be altered up or down depending on YOUR current level of fitness. Also, this can be done on any cardio equipment. Don’t feel limited to the treadmill! If you’d like to know how to scale this for you, shoot me an email!

Here’s the minute by minute breakdown:

0:00 – 4:00 Warm Up 6.0 mph
4:00 – 6:00 Warm Up 6.5 mph
6:00 – 8:00 7.0 mph
8:00 – 9:00 Recover*
9:00 – 11:00 7.5 mph
11:00 – 12:00 Recover*
12:00 – 13:00 8.0 mph
13:00 – 14:00 Recover*
14:00 – 15:00 8.5 mph
15:00 – 16:00 Recover*
16:00 – 18:00 7.5 mph
18:00 – 19:00 Recover*
19:00 – 21:00 8.0 mph
21:00 – 22:00 Recover*
22:00 – 23:00 8.5 mph
23:00 – 24:00 Recover*
24:00 – 25:00 9.0 mph
25:00 – 26:00 Recover*
26:00 – 28:00 8.0 mph
28:00 – 29:00 Recover*
29:00 – 29:30 9.0 mph
29:30 – 30:00 8.5 mph
30:00 – 30:30 8.0 mph
30:30 – 32:30 Recover
32:30 – 35:00 Walk 4.0 mph

* I recovered at 6.5 mph which was a comfortable jog for me. This let my heart rate recover and I felt energized and ready for the next push each time. Choose a recovery pace that allows you to really recover and feel ready to push yourself again. I have many of my personal training clients walk their recovery. If you don’t recover enough, you won’t be able to really dig deep and push your pace.
** I did longer work phases then rest phases a number of times. When first starting out, you may want to make the work/push phase the same amount as the recovery. For example, 1:00 hard/1:00 easy or :30 hard/:30 easy.

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#1 - 2011 Predictions | Sync Fitness Says:


[…] it (as they fling sweat and spit all over the room!) I also do HIIT workouts on my own regularly. Here is a treadmill session I did posted earlier this year. This post also gives you more info on why HIIT kicks serious […]

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