Fasted cardio with treadmill intervals

Treadmill intervals are a great way to burn calories and for weight loss.

You’ll never have to run for hours on end, especially indoors, unless you want to. Interval workouts are designed to challenge you while making your legs burn and get your heart pumping.

woman running on treadmill

The treadmill is one of the most common pieces of gym equipment and can be found in nearly every gym. For most, you hop on it and run until you drop or you crank up the incline and take it for a walk. 

Regardless of which type of workout you choose, a treadmill workout can get boring, very fast even if you choose to listen to you music or watch something on Netflix.

HIIT treadmill workouts

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an exercise method that alternates between short bursts of all out effort and low-intensity recovery intervals.

The idea is simple:

  • During your high-intensity period, you’re pushing yourself as hard as you can.
  • During your low-intensity periods, you’re trying to catch your breath in preparation for the next sprint.

The idea behind High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts on a treadmill is to skip long treadmill runs for shorter, more efficient workout sessions. With HIIT treadmill workouts, you will feel the burn while the minutes fly by.

The workouts are designed to raise your heart rate which means you will burn more calories both during and after the workout than if you were walking on the treadmill for steady-state exercise.

What are the benefits of treadmill HIIT workouts?

Research shows HIIT workouts are beneficial because they are:

  • Efficient: HIIT workouts can burn the same amount of calories in 30 minutes versus 60 minutes of steady-state exercise. 
  • Not boring: Unless you love running on the treadmill, interval workouts on a treadmill can break up the monotony and help you stay consistent with your workout routine and fat loss.
  • Perfect for any fitness level: If you are new to high-intensity intervals, the treadmill is an excellent cardio machine to help you get started. You can adjust the intensity to your fitness level.
  • Increase weight loss in less time: Alternating sprints with recovery periods will help you burn more calories at a faster rate than steady-state cardio alone.
  • Metabolic rate higher for longer: Due to the intensity of the workout, HIIT can elevate your metabolism for hours after exercise. This results in burning additional calories even after you have finished exercising.

Here’s one way to do it:

  • Do a 5-minute warm-up at a slow pace, followed by 10 minutes of alternating: 1 minute fast and 1 minute easy intervals.
  • Add a cooldown when done.

Fasted cardio to kick start the day

I am glad that my apartment complex has a gym that isn’t too far from my front door with a treadmill, bike and elliptical machine. It makes speed intervals and incline sprints a little less of a hassle.

There’s no need to defrost and warm up my car to make my way to the YMCA for an interval session. Heck, all I have to do is roll out of bed, go to the bathroom, throw on my socks and sneakers, then head out the door. 

I can almost roll out the bed and to the door because I sleep in my workout clothes.

Incline treadmill intervals sprints

I love and hate getting on the treadmill. Seriously.

Morning cardio is bearable with the help of a Netflix series. I am now watching anything in a series since I finally finished 13 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. Believe it or not, but I had never watched it until I was in prep last season.

I warm up at a nice steady pace for about 5 minutes at a slight incline to get my body warmed up. After the warm up, I increase the incline and the speed.

Call me crazy but it’s 30 seconds sprinting and then dropping down the speed or hopping onto the rails for 30 seconds. Twenty rounds is a killer.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Warm up at a nice steady pace for about 5 minutes at a slight incline to warm up the body.
  • Increase the incline and speed for working interval for desired time
  • Reduce to slower speed for rest period for desired time
  • Repeat working intervals and recovery intervals
  • Cool down

How to incorporate intervals into your workout

Adjust the speed

The main method is adjusting the speed. Find a slower speed at an easy pace that allows for an effective way to recover and pick a higher speed for your working interval that allows for short bursts of maximum intensity.

Adjust the incline

Adjusting the gradient of the treadmill is a good way to provide options to your interval sets. A 1-percent incline is similar to walking on flat ground or surface. When you increase the incline, it’s increasing the incline percentage and muscles you emphasize, not the difficulty.

Adjust the running and rest intervals

Your recovery time can be as short as half of your working interval or longer. Shorter rest creates more intensity.

How often should you do treadmill intervals for weight loss?

If you are looking to lose weight, research shows incorporating 2-3 HIIT treadmill workouts per week will have a great impact and allow your body time to recover properly.

Do you include fasted cardio into your mix?

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