Starting a Treadmill Workout

Starting a Treadmill Workout Program

treadmill workout program

Starting a Treadmill Workout Program

Regardless of whether you are just starting your first exercise program, have been exercising regularly for a while, or are a competitive athlete, it is important to know some simple, yet crucial aspects of starting a treadmill workout program. You can have a workout program using a treadmill exclusively, or use it to cross train with other forms of exercise. Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to do before getting started.

Before Starting a Treadmill Workout

Prior to getting on the treadmill there are a few things you can do to ensure a safe, effective and comfortable workout. First off, make sure you wear under garments and clothes that are comfortable to prevent chafing and other wardrobe malfunctions that could negatively affect your workout. Dress appropriately for the temperature of the room or risk lowering your workout efficiency.

Proper running shoes are another important aspect of your attire. Optimal running for you may require motion control shoes so make sure you talk to a professional about your gait before starting a treadmill workout program. At the very least a good pair of running shoes should do the trick.

Make sure you bring a bottle of water or your favorite sports drink as well to replenish the water you lose in your sweat. Last but not least, if you plan to listen to music, make sure you have your music player set up properly so it does not interfere with your workout in any way.

Start your Treadmill Workout

Stand on the treadmill belt before you start the program. Enter all your information (some treadmills may ask for age, weight, height, etc.) including the program you wish to use. Even though warm-ups are often included in the treadmill console workout programs, you may wish to use the ‘quick start’ feature and get a few extra minutes of low intensity walking in to loosen up.

After your warm-up it is time to begin the primary workout. You can set the speed and incline to your desire or use a program to change the incline and determine workout intensity. Remember, as with all cardio exercises, your heart rate is the determining factor of your exercise intensity. At first, try to use a level of a program that you know you can easily complete. This will allow you to make consistent progress each and every treadmill workout.

Treadmill Interval Program

Treadmill Interval Program

Programs on treadmills usually control the incline to modify the intensity, leaving the speed adjustments up to you. Other programs modify the intensity (incline) based on your heart rate. These heart rate programs are best used with a wireless heart rate monitor as holding on to the handles for the duration of the workout is not desirable.

Benefits of Using a Set Program

  • Burn more calories on average
  • Set a baseline in which to progress from
  • Get more accurate calorie readout
  • More options for changing up workouts

How to make the Most out of your time on the Treadmill

When it comes to exercising on treadmills there are essentially 2 types of people; Those who like to run/jog and those who don’t like to run/jog. The good news is you can burn just as many calories walking (at an incline) as you can sprinting (on a flat surface) on treadmills. If you don’t like running or jogging on treadmills, simply set a high incline and walk at a brisk pace. For example, walking at 3.5 miles per hour on a 15% incline will burn just as many calories as sprinting 8 miles per hour on a flat surface {not exact figures, just to show example}.

If you decide to take the walking at an incline approach when you’re starting a treadmill workout make sure you DO NOT support your weight with the handle bar. Holding treadmill handles defeats the purpose of the incline and has other negatives. You can use the handlebars for the heart rate monitors or for balance and safety but don’t use them to pull your body weight up.

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Author Profile: Mike Behnken

Mike Behnken is a personal trainer who holds multiple NASM certifications and a MS in Exercise Science. Mike loves fitness, travel, and photography among many other interests.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.
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