A Treadmill workout for weight loss The simplest yet most effective method
The idea that if you exercise hard enough you will instantly start losing weight has been around for years. Sadly it’s not that easy to just make a treadmill workout for weight loss. Losing weight comes from creating and maintaining a calorie deficit. How you make that deficit happen does, and does not, matter to certain extent.
Let’s take that seemingly contradictory statement one part at a time, though it really comes down to your near term and longer term goals. There are thousands of articles that make this all seem very complicated when it really doesn’t have to be.
Especially when you are getting started!
How you create the deficit does not matter…
If you are just starting out and need to make the weight come off, and down the road is of less concern right now… How you create a calorie deficit really doesn’t matter as much as just making sure it happens by diet and or exercise. Keep it simple. Maintain a deficit however you can. It does not need to be complicated at all.
How you create the deficit does matter…
For long term results you want to give some thought to not just creating the deficit by restricting calories. But also how you can increase the amount of calories your body needs by exercising more (obviously) and also by adding more muscle that needs to be supplied with energy. This can get all kinds of complicated and really comes down to preference like keto diet, intermittent fasting, powerlifting, or bodyweight exercise. Pick something that works for you and stick with it.
All that aside a good workout plan can go a long way to help you maintain a calorie deficit. Just remember you can’t outrun a bad diet.
Which workout plan is best for weight loss? When it comes to weight loss one style of exercise has been shown through various studies (like this one in Nature https://www.nature.com/articles/0803781) to be more effective.
H.I.I.T. – High Intensity Interval Training
The difference between HIIT and more traditional steady state training is that in the latter you get to a certain exertion level and stay there for the majority of your routine. With HIIT you alternate a short burst of maximum exertion with a short rest and recovery time through the routine.
I have personally coached people using both styles and see far more results using HIIT in our kickboxing and competition training classes. another great thing about a HIIT workout is that it can be done in far less time than a traditional workouts HIIT workout can be 10 or 20 minutes where it’s regular work though it is usually 45 minutes to an hour.
A simple beginner HIIT workout would look something like this
- Start out with slow 5 min warm up of brisk walking.
- Then crank up the speed on the treadmill until you’re running as fast as you can for 20 seconds follow that with 90 seconds of slow to medium pace walking to recover.
- Repeat that pattern of 20 seconds Max speed running the 90 seconds of recovery four more times.
- Do a 5 minute cooldown walk.
That’s the entirety of the HIIT workout and it takes a whole 20 minutes!
I personally I like to add a 15 to 20 minutes run at the end. That’s just my personal preference because I like to get my 5K everyday.
A more advanced HIIT workout would be much the same but with longer sprint times and shorter recovery times.
- Warm up for 5 minutes
- Sprint for 1 minute recover for 1 minutes
- Repeat the sprint and recover four more times
- Cool down.
The real trick with HIIT workouts is to make sure that when you’re doing your sprint that it is 80% to 100% of what you can give at that time. Don’t worry if your max output on the third fourth and fifth rounds of the HIIT workout our overall much slower and low paced than your first ones were, because you will get tired as you do this and you will slow down a little bit so if you’re running at, for example, 10miles an hour in the beginning and at the end you’re only doing 5 that’s fine as long as it is as much as you can do in that time.
The key is you really push yourself during each sprint.
Weight Loss Pitfalls
What a lot of people tend to do is overestimate just how many calories they are burning in a workout. Below I’m going to link a calorie calculator that you can use to get a rough estimate of how much you’ve actually burned just by putting in how far you went according to your treadmill and how long it took you.
Use that as a rough guideline but you need to make sure that you’re also tracking how many calories you’re eating in a day by using a food log or and app like MyFitnessPal or Bitesnap. So you KNOW if you are running a calorie deficit instead of guessing if you are.
Another common trap many people fall into, including myself, is rewarding yourself with a high calorie food item after a run because “ you earned it”. problem side is you can wait for us all the calories you just burned and more with a couple slices of pizza or a chocolate bar or chips. effectively wiping out all of the potential gains you got, as far as weight loss, from all that hard work you just put in.
I have had a lot of students train with me over the years and my central mantra has always been to keep things simple. Too often, and we are all prone to do this, we start trying to do the best possible thing we have seen some pro athlete or celebrity talk about. And end up doing something far to complex and difficult to maintain long term.
Did you know The Rock Dwayne Johnson brings his gym with him when he travels?
Just to be clear that is NOT realistic for 99.9999% of the world.
Start slow and just do something you can keep doing every day for the rest of your life. It will be far easier to add more things later when you are ready than to try to do it all day 1.
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