Blog Fitness Workouts A Treadmill HIIT Workout That’s Simple And Effective

A Treadmill HIIT Workout That’s Simple And Effective

The sun is shining, a slight breeze in the air— it’s the perfect day for a run outside. But sometimes, life gets in the way and you just can’t make it to the great outdoors. That’s where a treadmill workout comes in handy.


Treadmills are often seen as a necessary evil at the gym— a piece of equipment to be used only when weather or time constraints make running outside impossible. But that’s not the case! 

Treadmills can be a great tool for helping you reach your fitness goals, including weight loss, increased endurance, and improved speed.

One of the best ways to take advantage of all that a treadmill has to offer is to incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your workout routine.

HIIT is a type of exercise that alternates between short bursts of intensity and longer periods of recovery. It also has been shown to be incredibly effective for burning fat and improving cardiovascular health (1).

Not sure how to get started with HIIT on the treadmill? We’ve got you covered. 

Is HIIT On A Treadmill Effective?

The short answer is yes! HIIT on a treadmill can be an incredibly effective workout. 

Below are the proven benefits of this type of workout:

Boosting Metabolic Rate 

Metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories, and HIIT has been shown to boost metabolic rate both during and after exercise (4). 

During HIIT, your body has to work harder to supply oxygen to your muscles, which causes your heart rate to spike and results in an increased calorie burn.

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But! The benefits don’t stop there. After you finish your HIIT workout, your body will continue to burn more calories as it works to repair and recover from the exercise.

Weight Loss 

HIIT is an excellent workout for those aiming to lose weight (2). Not only does it burn a significant number of calories, but it also helps you build lean muscle mass— which boosts your metabolism and helps you burn even more calories throughout the day.

Training Your Anaerobic And Aerobic Systems

HIIT workouts alternate between periods of high-intensity and low-intensity exercise, which means that they effectively train both your anaerobic and aerobic systems. 

Your anaerobic system is responsible for powering short bursts of intense activity, while your aerobic system helps you sustain lower-level exercise for longer periods.

By training both of these systems, you’ll be better equipped to handle any type of physical activity— whether it’s a short sprint or a long-distance run.

Read More: Barbell Workout Plan For Beginners

treadmill hiit workout

Improved Cardiovascular Health

HIIT has been shown to improve cardiovascular health in several ways. First, it helps lower blood pressure and resting heart rate (1). 

It also increases the efficiency with which your heart pumps blood, and helps improve the health of your arteries. All of these effects lead to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke (1).

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Improving Your Running Economy

Running economy is a measure of how efficiently you use oxygen while running, and it’s an important determinant of endurance. HIIT has been shown to improve running economy, which means that you’ll be able to run for a longer time with less effort (3). 

Increasing VO2 Max And Lactate Threshold

VO2 max is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can utilize during exercise, and the lactate threshold is the point at which your muscles start to produce lactic acid. 

HIIT has been shown to increase both of these measures, which means that you’ll be able to exercise at a higher intensity for longer periods before your muscles start to fatigue (3).

Reducing Boredom

Running at a constant speed can quickly get boring. But you’ll never get bored with HIIT because you’re constantly changing up the intensity. This can help you stay motivated to stick with your workout routine and reach your fitness goals.


How To Do HIIT On A Treadmill?

There are endless possibilities when it comes to designing a HIIT treadmill workout, but there are a few rules you must follow:

Start With A Warm-Up

Before you start your HIIT workout, it’s important to warm up your muscles with some light aerobic exercise. This will help reduce your risk of injury and help you get the most out of your workout. 

A good warm-up should last for 5 to 10 minutes and should gradually increase your heart rate.

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Include A Mix Of High-Intensity And Low-Intensity Intervals

The key to HIIT is alternating between periods of high-intensity and low-intensity exercise. 

A good rule of thumb is to start with intervals that are 30 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by a minute of low-intensity exercise. 

As you get more comfortable with HIIT, you can gradually increase the length of your high-intensity intervals.

Make Sure You’re Working At Your Max Effort

HIIT is only effective if you’re working at or near your maximum effort during high-intensity intervals. This means that you should be breathless and your heart rate should be elevated when you’re doing the high-intensity intervals. 

If you’re not sure if you’re working hard enough, try using a heart rate monitor to make sure you’re in the correct zone.

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treadmill hiit workout

Focus On Quality, Not Quantity

When it comes to HIIT, quality is more important than quantity. 

It’s better to do a few well-designed HIIT workouts per week than to try to do too much and end up overtraining or getting injured.

Cool down After Your Workout

After you finish your HIIT workout, it’s important to cool down with some light aerobic exercise. This will help gradually lower your heart rate and help your muscles recover. 

A good cool-down should last for 5 to 10 minutes.

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Sample HIIT Treadmill Workout

Here’s a sample HIIT treadmill workout that you can try:

20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout For Beginners

  • Warm up for 5 minutes at an easy pace.
  • Do 10 sets: 30 seconds hard with 30 seconds easy. You should feel like you’re working at a 7 or 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.
  • Cool down for 5 minutes at an easy pace.

30-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout For Intermediate Runners

  • Warm up for 5 minutes at an easy pace.
  • Do 15 sets: 30 seconds hard with 30 seconds easy.
  • Cool down for 5 minutes at an easy pace.

30-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout For Advanced Runners

  • Warm up for five minutes at an easy pace.
  • Do 16 sets: 45 seconds hard with 30 seconds easy. You should feel like you’re working at a 9 or 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.
  • Cool down for 5 minutes at an easy pace.

20-Minute HIIT Incline Treadmill Workout

  • Warm up for 5 minutes at an easy pace.
  • Do 8 sets: 1 minute at a steep incline (10-12%) with 1 minute of recovery 
  • Cool down for 5 minutes at an easy pace.

Read More: Effective And Simple No Equipment Workout Plan

treadmill hiit workout

Safety Precautions

As with any type of exercise, it’s important to take some safety precautions when doing HIIT on a treadmill. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Start Slow And Gradually Increase The Intensity Of Your Workout

If you’re new to HIIT, it’s important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workout. If you try to do too much too soon, you increase your risk of injury or burnout.

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Don’t Go All Out Every Time

It’s important to have some easy days mixed in with your HIIT workouts. If you go all out every time, you’ll quickly become overtrained and burned out.

Listen To Your Body

If you start to feel pain or fatigue, slow down or stop altogether. It’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard.

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Wear Proper Shoes

Make sure you’re wearing proper shoes that are designed for running or treadmill workouts. Wearing the wrong type of shoes can lead to injuries.

Use A Treadmill That’s In Good Condition

Be sure to use a treadmill that’s in good condition and that you feel comfortable using. If you’re not comfortable with a particular machine, don’t use it.

The Bottom Line

HIIT is a great way to get a quick and effective workout. If you’re new to HIIT, start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. Most importantly, make sure you’re using proper form and technique to avoid injuries.



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. High-intensity exercise and your heart (2021, 
  2. High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss (2011, 
  3. How does high-intensity intermittent training affect recreational endurance runners? Acute and chronic adaptations: A systematic review (2017, 
  4. How high-intensity interval training can reshape metabolism (2022,
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