You will not find a more polarizing machine in the gym than the old, yet reliable treadmill. Functional fitness enthusiasts besmirch its good qualities and focus instead on its inability to properly train the body for "real world situations."
Let's focus instead on the virtues of the old fat-melting conveyor belt:
You never have to check the weather or worry about getting run down by soccer moms driving SUV's.
They are everywhere, from tiny hotel gyms to upscale health clubs. Availability is almost never a concern.
When you eventually get off the treadmill, you feel like the Flash. A slow walk feels like you are moving 100 MPH, which is cool.
What you may find though is that given the right program, the treadmill can still dole out a brutal workout on its own. One of my favorites comes from my good friend Rob MacDonald of Gym Jones and is plainly labeled "The Treadmill Drill."
All in all, this workout will take approximately 20 minutes and although it includes a 10 minute "warm-up", we recommend that you stretch and do a bit of dynamic warm-up beforehand as things get intense pretty quickly.
You will also find we have included levels for advanced, intermediate and beginner in regards to speed but we do think incline should match the guidelines below. But as always please scale accordingly and use proper technique when getting on and off the treadmill during the interval portion of the workout.
My favorite way to do this is to stand with both feet on one side of the treadmill, then while holding onto the center bar pedal your dominant foot on the track three times and on the third step, jump on the treadmill, accelerate quickly and let go of the bar.
Let's get started.
Dynamic Warm up: Set a treadmill at a moderate speed with an incline of 0 and run for 8:00. Scale accordingly to your level. Advanced Speed 8.0 | Moderate Speed 7.3 | Beginner Speed 6.6
Rest: 2:00 rest, during which you should set the treadmill to a slightly slower speed and an incline of 15 (i.e. max incline). Scale accordingly to your level. Advanced Speed 7.5 | Moderate Speed 6.8 | Beginner Speed 6.1
Working Set: At the 10:00 mark, run for :45 and rest for :30 by standing with your feet on the sides of treadmill platform. Repeat 6 times
Cool Down: Light jog for 3 minutes at a slow speed and an incline of 2. Scale accordingly to your level. Advanced Speed 6.0 | Moderate Speed 5.0 | Beginner Speed 4.0
Whether you rage against the machine or devote your life to the t-mill (that's what the kids are calling it) we promise that this will push your legs and lungs to the max. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!
Our "Sweat of the Week" is meant to serve as inspiration for your individual goals and fitness regimen. Beginners should make the exercises easier to accommodate lower levels of fitness. The workouts are not for everyone and they will challenge you. Before you undertake any new health program or fitness regimen, we encourage you to discuss your plans with your health care professional, especially if you have not exercised for several years, are over 35, or have other health care concerns.