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Advanced Interval Training Treadmill Workout


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Best Interval Training Workout

This interval training treadmill workout below I did with my buddy David Aaron (check out our 30 minute interview: White Collar Job, Professional Athlete Body) who was a wide receiver for the University of Texas AND on the track team. Even with an office job now, he’s still in ridiculous shape. If you’re a newbie to interval training, check out this article where I give you a primer: High Intensity Interval Training: Best Cardio to Burn Fat.

I’m sure you’re probably catching the drift that this workout is ONLY for advanced trainees, but I included some modifications at the end of this article in case you are at a more beginner level.

What I love about this treadmill workout is that it only took about 20-25 minutes, with the most intense part taking 12 minutes. As you can see, it progresses so there is a gradual warm up before the intense interval training on the treadmill kicks into high gear. We also set the incline on the treadmill at 0.5 to lessen the pressure on our knees. Here’s a quick summary with more detail below:

Workout Summary

5 minute stretching

5 minutes jogging (6.5mph)
      1 minute rest + stretching on treadmill

1 minute jogging (7.5mph)
      1 minute rest + stretching on treadmill

30 seconds jogging (8.5 mph)
      1 minute rest + stretching on treadmill

30 seconds jogging (10.5 mph)
      1 minute rest + stretching on treadmill

4 cycles:
2 minutes at 11.5mph
      1 minute rest and stretch

Workout Detail

5 Mins Stretching
Usually David does about 5 minutes of dynamic and static stretching. We were pressed for time, so we didn’t stretch beforehand.

5 minutes (6.5mph)
This was a nice warm up just to get the blood flowing and start prepping our bodies for the intense interval training treadmill workout to come. Sometimes Dave will put it on 7.5mph and run for 30 minutes before doing his interval training workout. Again, he’s in seriously good shape.

Half way into our warm up, Dave started smiling and laughing as he was watching me run. I pressed him as to why he was laughing and he diplomatically shared a quick note about his track workouts in college that you should also know.

Best Interval Training Workout 2

When he was an upper classman, he and his older teammates used to tell the freshman to run “off” of them, not “with” them. In other words, the upper classman were accustomed to the intensity of the workouts, but the freshman would never be able to keep up with them. The point is that he wanted me to try my best and run at my own pace, which I think is good advice for you.

1 Minute Rest + Stretching on Treadmill
After the warm up, we hopped off the treadmill and straddled the sides as the treadmill continued to run for the minute we were resting. There are a handful of stretches that Dave does on the treadmill that are quick, easy, and effective. I’ll put them in another article, but he stretches out his hamstrings, hips, quads, and calves right on the treadmill.

1 Minute at 7.5mph
This was another warm up, but a bit faster to help our bodies acclimate to the faster speed.

1 Minute Rest + Stretching on Treadmill
Yet again, we kept on stretching, which is very important for increasing stride length and preventing muscle strains.

30 seconds jogging at 8.5 mph
We continued to warm up our bodies to get ready for the sprinting about to come. We’re still less than 10 minutes into our workout.

1 Minute Rest + Stretching on Treadmill
Your probably getting the drill by now, but you want to stretch as you are resting.

30 seconds fast jog at 10.5 mph
So now we’re starting to increase the pace a bit and hit a running stride. By this point, we’ve gradually increased the intensity so the pace feels pretty good, not too fast. I started to get worried when I looked over at Dave as he was running and it looked like he was barely trying. I guess it helps being 6’4” and having really long legs. Many treadmills don’t go beyond 10mph, so you’ll have to find one that can.

1 Minute Rest + Stretching on Treadmill
Same old.

- The PAIN begins -

4 cycles
2 minutes at 11.5mph
1 minute rest and stretch
This is a 2 to 1 work to rest ratio, which is just brutal when you’re sprinting. I admit I wasn’t in top cardio shape when I did this workout, so after the first cycle, I could feel my leg and shoulder muscles start to tighten. After the second cycle, I was gasping for air and felt like every muscle in my body was about to cramp up. After the third cycle, the intensity of the lung burn I was experiencing brought me back to my college days when I was an athlete. And after the fourth, I didn’t know where I was. In fact, I had to decrease the speed a tad as the cycles wore on. It was just too fast for too long.

After this interval training workout, we did 9 sets of abs exercises to cap off a solid workout.

Interval Training Modifications

So how do you modify this interval training treadmill workout to make it easier? Well for starters, as David said, run “off” of him, not “with” him. I would subtract 1, or 2 mph from all the cycles above, or whatever amount is necessary. Then, you can decrease the work to rest ratio from 2 to 1, to 1 to 1, or even 1 to 2, again, whatever is necessary for your fitness level. But if you do make the pace easier and rest periods longer, you should probably add a cycle or two. The point is that after this workout, you should not be able to complete any more cycles.

I hope this is helpful for you. If you give it a try, be careful!

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Advanced Interval Training Treadmill Workout, 5.0 out of 5 based on 7 ratings

24 Responses to “Advanced Interval Training Treadmill Workout”

  1. Mary
    September 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    Wow, what an intense workout. I enjoyed the article.

  2. Scott
    September 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    WOW….intense workout. I’ve done this twice so far. I am always ok until I get to the 4 cycles at the end – WHEW! My treadmill only goes to 10mph….I can only do 30-45 seconds on the four cycles (1 to 1 ratio on rest). I’ll get to one minute, and to 2 minutes soon! Looking forward to seeing your post on some “stretching on the treadmill” ideas….Thanks Marc!
    PS: The triathlon was a blast!

    • Marc Perry
      September 26, 2010 at 12:58 am #

      @Scott – Congrats on completing the triathlon. Increasing the work to rest ratio will definitely help your body get to the next level!

  3. lisa summone
    September 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    i love this workout!!!!!!!! Iv been doing 1 to 1 ratio on rest and am pleased with myself i can do 10mph for a whole minute!!!! Iv got very little free time havin four kids, so its great to do such a fab workout it such a short time.

    • Marc Perry
      September 27, 2011 at 10:16 am #

      @lisa summone – very happy you like the workout. 1 minute on 10 speed is impressive!

  4. Doug
    November 30, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Just found your site and looking forward to trying out this workout. Have you done the post on treadmill stretching yet? I’m very interested in that.

  5. Eric
    April 25, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Killer cardio workout…in a good way! My wife and I tried this earlier this week and we found out that we’re not in as good of shape as we’d like to be. I was able to complete the workout as written at the speeds suggested until the four cycles where I had to change the rest ratio to a 1 to 1. My wife was able to complete the workout with me by adjusting the speed about 1 mph lower than suggested and also using a 1 to 1 ratio. Even with that change, it is probably the best treadmill workout we’ve ever had. I highly recommend it.

    • April 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      @Eric – Wow, you are your wife are in exceptional shape! This is a very, very advanced workout and I would put yourself in an elite category, so kudos to you!

  6. May 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    Great site and very helpful articles to get in shapes. I was searching for such sites to get more info to be in shape. Now finally I got that.

    Let me know about my body type firstly :
    I am 5 ft and 6 inch guy with 61 kg of weight. but most of the weight in my body is due to fat and major fat is around the stomach. and I have already started to get body in shape and I have already lost 1 Kg in 15 days.
    can you please guide me to get shape asap and what should I eat to get results soon.

    Thanks

    • May 8, 2012 at 7:24 am #

      @Krishna – I think the first place to start is by checking out my free Get Lean Guide, which you can access right after inputting your email address. There is a ton of great information in there that will set you on the right path.

  7. May 8, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Thanks Marc.
    Let me try those tips and at the same time I need a diet chart as of I know its most imp part of building lean body. can you please suggest on the same.

    • May 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      Krishna Bhatt – Wish I could suggest some muscle building diet plans, but I have none to suggest. The guidelines I provided should help.

  8. Shalin
    June 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Marc ur articles are always ossm….i have a query on fat loss and muscle gain at same time or not regarding article….presently my weight is 89 kgs and height is 5 11. presently i do 1 hour of cardio consisting of 10 mins of treadmill…..5 mins of cycling and 50 mins of aerobics. and another 1 hour of weight training of 2days for each back-bicep….chest tricep and thighs and shoulders…..but its 3 months and i have reduced 8 kgs but body fat is still the same ….plz help ….what should i do……

    • June 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      @Shalin – Not sure I’m following your plan, but it sounds like you do 2 days of cardio for 1 hour each day and 2 days of weight lifting for 1 hour each day. This sounds like a reasonable exercise plan to me. It’s really unusual to lose just muscle without fat, so I would make sure you are using an accurate body fat measurement device – See 5 Ways to Measure Body Fat. If you are using BIA, it’s likely inaccurate. You may be getting ok results. Keep in mind getting leaner is mostly a nutritional challenge. If you have not checked out my free Get Lean Guide, I would read it over.

  9. Shalin
    June 22, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    Thanks a big tym for the advice….i have started this schedule right away from now……but sadly none of the devices or methods for measuring body fat is available in our area….i have already chekd out ur guide…..its superb………u have been an inspiration for people like us……keep doing the good work and plz help us through….cheers…:),,,

  10. zaniah
    August 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    this was a really great article. Im a little confused what ratio means but then again i skimmed it. I will deff read it in its entirety later

  11. Yves
    August 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi Marc, I’ve been training for 2 years and just decided to increase my workout on the treadmill. I’m doing a 2min at 6.4mph and a 20 min at 8.4mph(2-3 times a week)…Combination of running and treadmill 4 to 5 times a week and weight 3 to 4 times a week. Would like to know if doing a 20 min at 8.4mph non stop on the treadmill is as good as the AITT program.

    • August 23, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      @Yves – Not sure. There are a lot of factors at play. I personally do interval training when I use cardio exercises.

      • Yves
        August 23, 2012 at 10:44 am #

        What kind of factors do you need?

      • August 23, 2012 at 10:48 am #

        @Yves – the amount of rest, how fast you are going, total volume of your workouts etc. etc. Check out my Get Lean Guide for more information.

  12. Evelyn
    October 12, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Hi Marc,

    I just came across your site yesterday and haven’t had time to go through all of the articles you have, but wanted to follow up on something you mentioned within this article.
    You wrote,

    “There are a handful of stretches that Dave does on the treadmill that are quick, easy, and effective. I’ll put them in another article, but he stretches out his hamstrings, hips, quads, and calves right on the treadmill.”

    Can you please link me to these stretches? Thank you!

    • October 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      @Evelyn – I can describe them for you, the big few most important one’s he does are a hip stretch where he puts his lower leg across one of the handles and stretches his hips, the he does a hamstring stretch with his leg extended forward, then he does a quad stretch, and a calf stretch at the end of the machine. Don’t have photos/vidoes as of yet, but hope to get those up eventually!

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