Gym Cardio Theatre Category:Gyms_and_Health_Clubs

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So, you decided to get serious about getting in shape and you bought a treadmill, huh? And now, it sits in the corner of your living room, looking more like a technologically advanced drying rack than a piece of exercise equipment – right? Maybe you’re not using your new treadmill because you just don’t know what to do with it, or how to make it exciting. After all, when you really think about it, is there anything exciting about walking or running in place while you stare at the same spot of peeling wallpaper for 20 or 30 long minutes? Let’s face it: You need some spice in your treadmill life. Here are six tips for making those treadmill workouts more interesting, thereby motivating you to actually use it.

1. Interval training.

Want to burn some serious fat? Try interval training. In interval training, you vary the speed at which you walk or run. You might start at about 60% of your top speed, then jump after a few minutes to 95% of your top speed, then slow back down to 60% again, and so forth for the duration of your workout. You’ll burn more calories this way than you will be running 30 minutes at 60% of your full speed.

To do interval training, check the settings on your machine – there might already be an interval training setting. If you have a simple, old-school machine, you can create your own interval training changes through song selections: Classic rock might mean 60% speed, then you might throw in some techno to speed things up.

2. Circuit training.

Mix up interval training with some circuit training. Start on your treadmill for five minutes, then hop off and go to push-ups, crunches, lunges, or free weights for one very intense minute. Hop back on the machine and go hard again for five or ten minutes, then back to the push-ups, etc. Circuit training will definitely keep you from getting bored.

3. Television makes everything better.

On the one hand, it’s a little Brave New World creepy when you walk into a gym and hear only the whir of exercise machines while everyone’s eyes are plastered onto television monitors. On the other hand, watching TV or a movie while you work out makes the time go by quickly, and stops you from thinking too much about how tired you’re starting to get.

4. Train with heart.

One of the best ways to make sure that your treadmill workouts are effective is to monitor your heart rate. To hit the fat burning zone, your heart needs to be beating at 70% of its maximum level. To calculate your maximum heart rate, start by subtracting your age from 220. In other words, if you are 30 years old, your maximum heart rate is about 190, with a fat burning zone at 133 to 152. Some machines have heart rate monitors built into them. For those that don’t you can easily track your heart rate by counting your pulse for ten seconds, then multiplying the number you get by six.

One training technique is to try to work in that 70 – 80% zone for as long as you can. Once you get tired, slow down for a few minutes. Then, ratchet it back up to 75 – 85% and see how long you can go at that pace.

5. Take a hike.

Rebecca Rusch won her third straight mountain biking championship in 2009 in a unique, 24-hour solo competition. She also rock climbs, competes in canoe competitions through dangerous straits, and has earned the nickname “Queen of Pain.” She also uses a treadmill, but she likes to keep that challenging, too. She’ll start at 3.5 miles per hour with the belt flat, then increases the incline each minute until the grade hits 5%. For three minutes, she’ll stay at that 5% grade, raising and lowering the belt every two minutes until she’s been going for 25 minutes. For the last five minutes, she decreases both the speed and the incline for a cool down. For someone who trains to go up and down mountains, “hiking” in this way is an excellent training method.

6. Keep mixing it up.

Let’s close with this bit of advice: Keep mixing those workouts up, never allowing yourself to fall too deep into a treadmill workout rut. Once you’re in a rut, you’ll start to burnout, and once you burnout, you’ll give up. Therefore, try out each of the five methods listed above, and keep mixing them up to keep your interest level and motivation level high.

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