SparkPeople Blogs  •  fitness  •  cardio

The 500-Calorie Treadmill Workout

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It's no secret that I'm not a huge fan of the treadmill. I love to run, hike and even walk with my pup, but I do it all outdoors all year round. Rain, snow, wind, heat—almost nothing can keep me from my outdoor workouts. For me, a treadmill is a "last resort" when I have no other option to get outside.
But I know that not everyone is as gung-ho about outdoor exercise as I am. Many people hate running in the cold or the heat. (Nothing wrong with that.) Others have no other option to work out, especially if they have to be at home with kids or don't live in a safe neighborhood for walking or running. And still some prefer the slightly cushioned surface of a treadmill, which takes away some of the impact of running, making it easier on the joints and even the spinal discs.
Whatever your reason, we've all turned to the treadmill from time to time. And the best way to prevent boredom and get great results from your treadmill workout is to incorporate intervals. Here's a simple workout I developed to help you torch calories with your trusty treadmill.
The plan is really simple. Be sure to warm up for about 3-5 minutes (I suggest a 3 to 3.5 mph pace and 0% incline) and to cool down the same way when it is over.
(Be sure to "pin" this for future reference, too!)

Here are a few of the great benefits from this simple interval workout.
  • Burn 100 calories* every 10 minutes. (Note that the calories burned for this workout are based on an average-weight woman of 150 pounds. People who weigh more will burn more; people who weigh less will burn fewer calories.) Each time you complete the set of intervals listed, you're torching 100 calories. If you're not up for the full 50-minute workout, start with just one or two sets of intervals. You'll burn 100 calories per set—not too shabby!
  • Intervals maximize fat burning. You'll walk and run and even push yourself to a high-intensity level with that 7 mph "sprint". This will help you burn more calories during your workout—and continue to burn them even after it's over. Learn more about why intervals rock.
  • Incline boosts. If you are not changing the incline on your treadmill when you work out, you are really missing out on one of its greatest features. That incline will push your heart rate higher and challenge you aerobically—and it's what helps you burn more calories in less time.
  • The walk-run combo works. You don't have to be a "runner" to follow this program. It's got enough variety with small bits of running and walking to work for a variety of fitness levels. Use it as a general guide; you can always increase or decrease the intensity to suit your goals and current level.
Give it a try and tell me what you think. I hope the time flies by and you really get a great workout with this one. After all, that's the whole point!
Do you have a go-to treadmill workout? What are your favorite ways to maximize your results when using the treadmill?

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EO4WELLNESS 12/5/2018
Fun. Thanks. Report
NELLJONES 10/24/2018
I can't abide a treadmill in my house, I don't have a special room for exercise equipment. Treadmills don't fit the decor of the house. Report
KHALIA2 10/7/2018
I don't do the treadmill. I love to walk. Report
SHOAPIE 8/27/2018
I need to try intervals. Report
SPINECCO 8/25/2018
I really enjoy Interval workouts. Must try on my next gym visit. Report
PASQUALE51 8/25/2018
I use the the elliptical and do intervals. Great workout and less strain on my old knees. Report
RODRIGUEZ41508 8/25/2018
To maximize my time on the treadmill, I add the INCLINE to burn more calories! Report
1CRAZYDOG 8/25/2018
I basically use my treadmill when the weather is inclement. Otherwise I prefer outdoors! Even in winter. Report
1CRAZYDOG 8/25/2018
I basically use my treadmill when the weather is inclement. Otherwise I prefer outdoors! Even in winter. Report
1CRAZYDOG 8/25/2018
I basically use my treadmill when the weather is inclement. Otherwise I prefer outdoors! Even in winter. Report
BABY_GIRL69 5/29/2018
If I can mix and match between dreadmill & other workouts this could work but the dreadmill is not my favorite piece of equipment. Report
RUBYREDSTAR19 2/12/2018
Learning to love the treadmill...just while I wait for spring to come! Report
HIIT posted next to my treadmill. Thanks! Report
Awesome! Report
This looks ambitious for me, but I suppose I can aspire to it. Report
Treadmill has never been a strong consideration because of balance issues. Report
What about people who are only able to do 3.5 mph as tge top speed? This is great for already active people only. Report
Sounds doable. I have back issues, so hopefully this does not aggravate it with the incline. Report
I use an interval training method on the treadmill, and I love it! I begin at 5% incline and 1.8 mph and increase incline at every 6-minute interval until I hit 10%, then I increase the speed until I reach 2-2.3 mph. I burn an average of 475 calories in an hour. Yesterday I hit 513 calories! I love the treadmill because it is easy on the joints and my balance. Ramp it up, add music, and have a great workout! Report
I can barely do the 3. Maybe some day. Report
This workout is a really big, huge sweat!! Report
This is a great workout on the treadmill for me! Report
I can barely run 6.6 much less faster. I don't think this routine would be for me. Report
I love this workout! Report
This is a great workout! Report
This is a great idea. I'm not a fan of the treadmill but I did enjoy getting my heart rate up with the random mode til I hurt my knee. I do the elliptical, and hope to get back to my treadmill program soon. Report
This sounds like a great routine. I actually like the treadmill as I can work out to my music and adapt the routine to fit my goals that day. Also love walking outside and now with our dog, get out EVERY day. Report
I only wish I could do 6mph for 3 minutes! Report
I love intervals on the treadmill for calorie burn. After 1 set, try jumping off and doing strength training, like planks, pushups, squats, tricept dips, etc, for 1 minute, then hop back on for another set.

ps, I keep a copy of this workout on my treadmill! Report
I have a treadmill but rarely get on it even though I love how I feel when I make it part of my routine. I doubt I could keep up with this walk but I could do a modified version of it and that would be good for me. Report
I LOVE the Mount Rainier trail on my treadmill~Burns 325 cals/.hr and has highs and lows for incline~all walking ~{highest is 11} so it varies the workout PLUS it shows the beautiful mountain itself and all the outdoor grandeur!!! Report
sounds fun Report
Thank you for this treadmill workout. I love treadmill I used to walk 5 mins at 5mph at 1% incline and then 40min at 8.3mph at 1% incline and again cooldown 5 mins at 5mph at 0% incline. That burns only 400kcal.
So I am thinking to try this workout on the weekend and let you know!
Thanks a lot ! Report
It still only burns 423 calories, your machinery is off. Report
This early in my fitness journey 3 mph is my max speed and it leaves me panting, sweating and foaming at the mouth. Hubby and I have a gym schedule and every other visit is cardio for me so I spend the time on the treadmill doing an interval that I can safely manage and then to the bicycle once I catch my breath. One day I will be where I can go faster and I hope to actually run one day. Report
Going to have to have to try this at the gym next time! Report
This is a really excellent base for starting speed/incline intervals!! I love this and have used it as-is several times, then modified it up (faster) and also down (slower) depending on my mood. It's fairly easy to do- the idea is walk with a bit of resistance, jog with just a tad, run, then recover with an incline to keep you pushing. I'd encourage anyone who saw the printed numbers to modify it for their fitness levels!!! Report
Gonna try this! Maybe just one interval at a time. I have a neuroma in my left foot that I am trying to heal so gonna take it slow. Report
Darn, it really only burns 423 calories!! Report
My trainer has me on a 15 minute HIIT cardio routine. Twice a week...NOT BEFORE Leg or Back day, I do a 5 minute warm up. At 5 minutes, I start a 5 minute HIIT....15 seconds at intense pace. Then a 45 second cool down. Repeat until the timer hits 10 basically, I'm sprinting for a total of 45 seconds. This has helped increase my cardio VO2 immensely! I'm also dropping pounds of FAT...NOT Muscle!
I'm now recommending this to my own clients, after several sessions!
LOVE HIIT cardio!! It can also be done on other cardio machines!! Report
Intervals are great... but 4 mph is faster than my run at the moment... maybe someday. Report
Hey Nicole, great article! Treadmills can definitely become a little boring sometimes... I wrote an article recently on how to up your treadmill game, I'd love if you checked it out!
/ Report
I did a great interval last week. I did one minute intervals, starting at 5 MPH, then 7, then 5.1, then 7.1, etc (add .1 MPH each time). I ended up at 6.4 MPH and 8.4 MPH for the top speed. I found it much better than a couple of fixed speeds.
I will try that but how do you add this to the tracker? Is it in there as one workout? Report
I have an easier workout I began to start jogging 5K again after a 10 year hiatus for health problems. I jog 30 seconds then walk for 1 minute. The jog is only as fast as feels comfortable. Just barely faster than my fast walk. The walk is as fast as you walk if late for an appointment. A short workout is 2 miles – about 43 minutes. A long workout is 3 miles – about 57 minutes. I progressed up to 1 minute jog 1 minute walk but stopped losing weight. I will continue this interval workout 2-3 times a week to see if I can reach my goal. I started this workout at 203lbs. I'm down to 188. Report
I wish these treadmill interval workouts could be adjusted for those who cannot walk 4 mph and also not interested in running. Many of us have spine issues that prohibit us from such impact. Report
Thanks for the workout. I enjoy walking outside, but this will be a nice change. Report
Just joined the gym. Gonna give this a try, modified until I can build I'll tho it. Thanks. Report
Good lord that 10 degree incline is a killer!!! I can barely walk that, but hopefully the more I do it, the stronger I'll get! Report
Really good workout. Changed up my normal Tuesday run routine. Thanks for sharing! I'll be doing it again soon! Report