Treadmill Interval Workout For Weight Loss

Treadmill Interval Workout For Weight Loss

This treadmill interval workout will help you lose weight and get more fit. It is designed to burn fat and improve endurance, while keeping your heart rate in zone 1 (easy) for the majority of the time.

The interval training method is one of the most popular ways to lose weight and improve fitness. The secret lies in changing up your pace during workouts, which helps your body burn more calories in less time. This is also known as high intensity interval training (HIIT).

In this post we’ll show you how to design a treadmill interval workout for weight loss that burns fat and improves cardiovascular fitness.

Treadmill Interval Workout For Weight Loss

Chuttersnap treadmill unsplash

HIIT Treadmill Workouts For Weight Loss

Do you find yourself getting bored in the middle of a run on the treadmill? If so, you might be plateauing and at risk of losing your motivation to exercise.

To keep things interesting, we recommend trying a HIIT treadmill workout. These workouts combine the good ole treadmill with some super-efficient training intervals.

No more steady running for hours on end! HIIT treadmill workouts are designed to keep you challenged throughout, with exercises that will make your legs burn and get your heart pumping.

What does a HIIT treadmill workout look like?

If you’ve ever set foot in a gym, you’re probably already familiar with the dreaded treadmill. The treadmill is one of the most common pieces of gym equipment. Usually, you would just hop on it and run, run, and run until you drop. Even if you choose to listen to your favorite music or podcast while doing so, running on a treadmill gets very boring, very fast. Ready to spice things up? Let us introduce to you our HIIT treadmill workout.

HIIT itself can be defined as short, intense periods of exercise at maximum ability, followed by short periods of rest. The idea behind HIIT treadmill workouts is to skip long treadmill runs in favor of some shorter, more efficient workout sessions. With HIIT treadmill workouts, you will feel the burn while the minutes fly by. Whether you are time-poor or have a full half an hour to spare, adding HIIT elements to your regular treadmill routine will make your next trip to the gym even more challenging. But don’t take our word for it, try it out for yourself.

Man sitting with phone at the gym, next to 8fit bottle

Simple HIIT treadmill workouts to get started

If you’re new to the world of HIIT or just a little rusty, ease into treadmill workouts with these simple routines below. These routines will add variety to your usual treadmill session and keep you engaged during the whole workout, while also being gentle enough to get you started easily. 

The walk-jog-run workout for beginners:

  • Warm up with a brisk walk for 3 minutes
  • Walk (3-4 MPH), jog (5-7 MPH), and run (7-9 MPH) for 1 minute each time
  • Repeat this circuit 4 times
  • Cool down with brisk walking for 1 minute

You’ve done it! This whole workout will just take 15 minutes to complete. If you feel ready, you can also double the number of repeats to get a full 30-minute workout.

The quick 5-minute treadmill interval workout: 

  • Warm up with some light movement before jumping on the treadmill
  • Directly start running at 7 MPH for 1 minute
  • Increase to 7.5 MPH for a 1-minute run
  • And increase again to 8 MPH for another 1-minute run
  • In between each run, walk at 3.5 MPH for 1 minute

How HIIT treadmill workouts can help with weight loss 

Compared to moderately paced exercise, high-intensity training is known to be way more efficient for weight loss. That’s because working out at high intensity will not only make you burn fat while you’re exercising but also afterward. This after-burn effect known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) means that you will continue to burn additional calories even after you’ve stopped training, as your body restores its oxygen levels. That’s some smart sweating just there.

Yes, running is great for weight loss. Problem is, when we use the treadmill, we often run on pilot mode, at one pace, and don’t actually challenge our bodies enough to see a real metabolic boost. Add to that the fact that the body adapts quickly to new routines, you can see why being creative with your treadmill workout is hugely important. If you want to really torch fat, you not only need to push yourself but also keep your body guessing by adding variety to the mix.

HIIT treadmill workouts are great for those looking to burn calories and shed some pounds. This type of training combines the best of intense cardio and strength training, forcing you to push yourself harder and further, and ultimately making your workout more efficient. And, added to your weekly 8fit routines, the treadmill can be a fun way to mix things up.

Here are some of our top treadmill workouts for weight loss:

The 30-minute fat-burning workout:

Here, you’ll proceed to do five 5-minute runs with incline, each followed by 1 minute of recovery walk.

The workout should be divided as follows:

  • 5-minute run at 5 MPH with a 5% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with a 4% incline
  • 5-minute run at 5 MPH with a 4% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with a 3% incline
  • 5-minute run at 6 MPH with a 3% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with a 2% incline
  • 5-minute run at 7 MPH with a 2% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with a 1% incline
  • 5-minute run at 8 MPH with a 1% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with no incline

As always, remember to do a warmup beforehand and follow with a cool-down (check out your 8fit app for tips!).

The pyramid workout: 

Warm up with some brisk walking then proceed with a sprint (8-9 MPH) followed by a recovery walk (3-4 MPH):

  • 30-second sprint followed by a 30-second walk
  • 1-minute sprint  followed by a 1-minute walk
  • 2-minute sprint  followed by a 1-minute walk
  • 3-minute sprint  followed by a 1-minute walk
  • 4-minute sprint  followed by a 1-minute walk
  • 3-minute sprint  followed by a 1-minute walk
  • 2-minute sprint  followed by a 1-minute walk
  • 1-minute sprint  followed by a 1-minute walk
  • 30-second sprint followed by a 1-minute walk

The sprinting workout:

This workout is all about 60-second sprints followed by 60 seconds of walking:

  • First, warm up for 5 minutes with a light jog
  • Walk for 1 minute (3-4 MPH)
  • Sprint for 1 minute (8-9 MPH)
  • Repeat the intervals 6 to 10 times
  • Cool down with 5 minutes of light jogging

Our ultimate treadmill interval workout

HIIT treadmill workouts aren’t just about weight loss. They help with power, endurance, strength, and cardio. Not bad, eh? Here’s our favorite workout for you to enjoy. Next time you see a treadmill at the gym, don’t shy away. Try this variation instead which combines steep inclines and sprint intervals for strength building and extra cardio boost.

  • 3-minute warmup (brisk walk)
  • 5-minute run at 5 MPH with a 5% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with a 4% incline
  • 5-minute run at 6 MPH with a 3% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with a 2% incline
  • 5-minute run at 7 MPH with a 2% incline
  • 1-minute walk at 3.5 MPH with a 1% incline
  • 3-minute sprint (8-9 MPH) with no incline
  • 5-minute cooldown (light jogging)

7 HIIT Treadmill Workouts For Serious Fat Loss – Tips And Tricks

(This post probably contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you through links shared on this website to help keep the information I provide free to you)

I get it: Treadmills don’t always make for the most riveting workout.

But if you are looking for a treadmill workout that won’t bore you to tears but offer some serious fat burning potential, these strategically designed treadmill HIIT workouts will help you burn fat and calories no matter what your time constraints are!

The internet is full of “HIIT treadmill workouts to burn fat” but many don’t have strategic work-to-rest ratios to really maximize your body’s fat-burning potential.

HIIT treadmill workouts offer unparalleled fitness and weight loss-boosting benefits that far exceed those of steady-state cardio.

Walking or running at a constant pace is not the best way to burn fat, which is why HIIT workouts offer better results in less time

In this blog post, you will find 7 beginner-friendly HIIT treadmill workouts to burn fat no matter the time constraints!

Full length profile shot of a young woman running on a treadmill at home

What is High-Intensity Interval Training?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, which means that you’re alternating intense bursts of all-out effort with periods of recovery time.

These workouts are designed to raise your heart rate which means you will burn more calories both during and after the workout than if you were in a steady-state cardio exercise mode such as walking on the treadmill.

By alternating all-out effort with periods of rest, you are creating a greater oxygen deficit in your body which requires more calories to return the body to its natural state even after the workout is over.  

Your body must also work harder to maintain the intensity of the workout and therefore you are building better strength and endurance which will help your body burn more calories both during AND after the workout.

The goal is to push your body past its comfort zone followed by a brief rest to let your body prepare for the next all-out bout of exercise. This reduces the time it takes to burn calories while maximizing results from each interval session.

a graph showing the difference between the metabolic rate of steady state cardio vs High intensity interval training. The red color shows the greater effect HIIT has on burning calories

How Can Treadmill HIIT Workouts Burn Fat?

HIIT workouts are by far superior to steady-state cardio because intervals increase your heart rate and body’s oxygen consumption so that you can burn more calories both during AND after the workout.

By doing this, you’re maximizing results from each interval training session while reducing the amount of time spent working out every week!

Because of the intensity of HIIT workouts, you can burn as many as 450 calories in 30 minutes, while doing a steady-state cardio workout might only yield 200-250.

Combine HIIT with the right diet and that will inevitably lead to fat loss!

Why You Need HIIT In Your Workouts

Adding HIIT workouts to your routine can be the difference between getting results and not.

By including some faster pace intervals, you can improve your body’s ability to take in and utilize oxygen during your workout which yields greater calorie burn.

HIIT workouts also prevent your body from adapting to your workouts which can cause weight loss results to stall.

For example, when you first start a running workout, you may only be able to jog at 5 mph pace for 15 minutes. 

But eventually, your body gets stronger and it adapts to this training speed. 

Once this speed becomes easier, your body becomes more efficient and will burn fewer calories and your weight loss and fitness goals may reach a plateau. 

HIIT workouts help bust through plateaus and it trains your cardiovascular system to become stronger while also building and preserving lean muscle mass.

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What are The Benefits of Treadmill HIIT Workouts?

Research shows HIIT workouts are effective because they are:

  • Time Efficient– When done correctly, HIIT workouts can burn the same amount of calories in 30 minutes vs 60 minutes of steady-state training. 
  • Not Boring– Unless you love running, interval workouts on a treadmill will break up the boredom and help you stay consistent with your workouts.
  • Perfect for Any Fitness Level-If you are new to HIIT training, the treadmill is an excellent tool to help you get started. You can easily customize the intensity to your fitness level and continue to adjust as needed.
  • Improved Consistency- One of the best parts of interval training, specifically HIIT, is the sense of accomplishment after every interval. Completing 10 sprints is much more satisfying than trying to convince yourself not to die of boredom during a 20 minute jog. 
  • Increase Weight Loss in Less Time- Alternating sprints with recovery periods will help you burn more calories faster than steady-state cardio alone.
  • Keeps you laser-focused- When people jump onto a treadmill, they may not be laser-focused on the task at hand and this can really affect results. HIIT training forces you to focus on your workout which means less stress of thinking about your never-ending to-do list!
  • “Me time without guilt”- A benefit that you may not even have considered when it comes to working out? Allowing yourself some “me” time without feeling guilty of taking too much time away from your family.

How Long Should a HIIT Treadmill Workout Be?

The length and intensity of your treadmill HIIT workout will depend on both your fitness level and how much time you have to exercise.

A good, balanced treadmill HIIT workout can range from 4 minutes to 30 minutes. 

This duration is about equivalent to what most people can tolerate before their muscles start to feel fatigued and they need to take some longer rest periods in between sprints.

I have found that if you can go easily go longer than 30 minutes, you probably aren’t pushing yourself hard enough.

Remember, with HIIT workouts, you are trading time for intensity. 

The harder you work, the shorter the workout set. 

How Often Should You Do Treadmill HIIT Workouts For Fat Loss?

If you are simply looking to maintain your weight or are new to HIIT workouts, I suggest starting with 1-2 HIIT treadmill workouts per week to allow your body to adjust.

However, if you feel like your body can tolerate HIIT workouts well, I suggest 2-3 but no more than 4 days a week depending on how much time you have available.

Because HIIT workouts are much more demanding on the body, it is important to allow your body enough time to recover and repair itself.

Can You Do HIIT And Weight Training On The Same Day?


I like adding HIIT treadmill workouts at the end of my weight-lifting sessions so I don’t feel too worn out for the rest of my workout.

If you chose to do treadmill HIIT workouts on the same day as strength training, I recommend doing them AFTER your workout in order to prioritize strength training.

For example, if you’re doing an upper body strength training workout, I like to finish off my workout with 20 minutes of high-intensity intervals on the treadmill.

graph showing an example of a 5 day workout split incorporating HIIT into the workout for fat loss
Example Weekly Workout Schedule With HIIT Training

How “Intense” Should HIIT Workouts Be?

HIIT treadmill workouts are one of the most efficient and effective ways to burn fat, but finding the right intensity can be a bit of trial and error.

Whether you’re a casual jogger or an athlete, you’ll want to experiment with speed and incline settings to find the right balance between difficulty and effectiveness.

I suggest using the Rate of Perceived Exertion to determine your intensity level.

This will help guide you in your intensity level as well as teach you how to tune in and listen to your body.

The Borgs Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a great tool for pregnant mamas too!

The RPE scale is used to measure the intensity of your workouts. 

The numbers below (0-10) relate to how easy or difficult you feel during different activities on the scale.

0 = No effort at all, sitting in bed watching TV.

10 = Hurts really bad and can’t go on much longer.

For the very fit individual, I recommend shooting for work intervals that get up to that 9-10 level. 

If you are new to HIIT or are less a conditioned individual, I recommend shooting for an RPE of 6-7.

If you are a more conditioned athlete, shoot for work intervals that get them up to that 9-10 level. 

Once you become stronger and more conditioned, you will notice that you will need to increase the speed or incline in order to keep challenging your body.

This means you are getting strong, faster, and burning more calories!

How To Maximize Weight Loss With HIIT Workouts on Treadmill

If you hop on your treadmill and consistently do the same workout, at the same intensity, you will eventually hit a plateau and may stop seeing results

Here are some tips to avoid hitting a fitness plateau, and to keep working towards your fitness goals:

  • Vary the speed during your workout: Don’t be afraid to increase your speeds as you progress through the intervals to push yourself hard enough.
  • Add variety to your treadmill workout by varying the speed, incline, and time spent at each max level. This will help your body continue to get stronger and prevent reaching plateaus that could slow your progress.
  • Don’t do HIIT every day- People often underestimate the importance of rest. Rest days give your body an opportunity to repair and get stronger.
  • Challenge yourself- Most people have a hard time pushing themselves hard enough to make their interval training effective. Don’t be afraid to push outside your comfort zone. Your body will eventually adapt better to the workouts.
  • Increase the speed (intensity), incline, or interval duration as you get stronger.
  • Don’t neglect rest periods- This will give your body time to recover and allow you to build up the necessary energy stores that it needs for another effort.

Precautions to HIIT Treadmill Workouts

If you are completely new to exercise, if you are managing a medical condition, or if you are returning to exercise after pregnancy or injury, be sure to check with your healthcare provider.

You may need to follow personalized exercise guidelines and your provider can give you tips for safety. 

Always warm-up for five minutes before you start the actual treadmill workout. 

This will avoid injury from sudden changes in speed and incline that can happen during HIIT workouts. 

For the first few weeks of HIIT training, try to keep your intensity at a 5-7 on the rate of perceived exertion scale.

The Difference Between HIIT and Interval Training

Interval Training is a type of workout in which involves intervals that alternate periods of hard work with easy or restful recovery however the intervals are typically not maximal effort.

In contrast, HIIT workouts are short bursts of all-out, high-intensity exercise followed by periods of low or no activity in structured ratios.

The key difference between Interval Training and HIIT is that HIIT focuses on maximal burst (extremely intense) working periods, while interval training can involve lower to moderate intensities.

The best treadmill workouts to burn fat are workouts with specific work-to-rest ratios to maximize results.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t burn fat and a ton of calories with interval training on a treadmill. But for the sake of the article, we are going to stick to specific HIIT treadmill ratios for fat loss.

Strategic work to rest intervals to maximize fat burning potentialAlternating periods of higher intensity exercise with lower intensity exercise
Can only be sustained for a relatively short period of timeCan be continued for longer periods of time
Intervals involve maximum effortIntervals are not typically all out effort
Higher intensity & low intensityCan include high, moderate and lower intensities.

How To Do HIIT Treadmill Workouts For Fat Loss

First, you need to familiarize yourself with these terms:

  • Work set– For each ‘work set’, you need to increase the intensity by adjusting the settings on your machine. You can do this by adjusting the speed and or the incline of the treadmill. During this set, you want to really challenge yourself. 
  • Rest set- For each ‘rest set’, lower those same settings, or slow down until your heart rate slows down. 
  • An interval timer- I use an interval app on my phone called a “Gymboss Timer”.

Setting your intervals in advance will help you stay on track with your workout, regardless of time constraints. 

If your rest sets are relatively short, you may just want to “hop off” the treadmill after your sprint set. 

To do this, hold onto the handlebars and simply jump your feet to the side of the treadmill. 

This will allow your treadmill to keep running at the same speed and won’t affect your next sprint interval.

What are The Best Treadmill Workouts to Burn Fat?

These HIIT Treadmill workouts for fat loss will help you get stronger which will help your body become more efficient at burning calories for weight loss.

Beginner Fat Burning Treadmill Workout

These three workouts have a 1:3 or 1:2 work ratio. 

This means the rest interval is 2-3 times longer than the work interval.

For these ratios, I recommend practicing jumping to the side of the treadmill to rest as opposed to changing the speed. 

You will lose momentum in your workout if you have to wait for the treadmill to get back to the speed you need.

20 Minute Stamina Builder

Set your interval timer like this:

Work SetTime
Warm- up3-5 Minutes
Sprint20 Seconds
Rest (walk)1 Minute
REPEAT 15 TIMESTotal time: 24 Minutes

24 Minute Power Workout

Set your interval timer like this:

Work SetTime
Warm- up3-5 Minutes
Sprint30 Seconds
Rest (walk)1 Minute
REPEAT 16 TIMESTotal time: 20 Minutes

16 Minute Burnout

Set your interval timer like this:

Work SetTime
Warm- up3-5 Minutes
Sprint40 Seconds
Rest (walk)1:20 Seconds
REPEAT 8 TIMESTotal time: 16 Minutes

Intermediate Fat Burning HIIT Treadmill Workouts

These two workouts have a 1:1 work ratio. This means the works set and the rest set are equal, making them a little more challenging.

Again, I recommend jumping to the sides of the treadmill at the end of the interval so you don’t lower the speed and lose momentum.

24 Minute Beast Mode

Set your interval timer like this:

Work SetTime
Warm- up3-5 Minutes
Sprint1 Minute
Rest (walk)1 Minute
REPEAT 12 TIMESTotal time: 24 Minutes

20 Minute All Or Nothing

This is one of my favorite protocols!

Set your time like this:

Work SetTime
Warm- up3-5 Minutes
Sprint30 Seconds
Rest (walk)30 Seconds
REPEAT 20 TIMESTotal time: 20 Minutes

Advanced Fat Burning HIIT Treadmill Workouts 

These three workouts have a 2:1 work to rest ratio where the work set is twice as long as the rest set.

16 Minute Don’t Quit Workout

This interval training is called “Tabata Training”.

Tabata training is a form of HIIT that lasts only four minutes but has enormous fat-burning potential.

Instructions: complete 3 rounds of the following workout with 1 minute rest in between rounds

Set your interval timer like this:

Work SetTime
Warm- up3-5 Minutes
Sprint20 Seconds
Rest (walk)10 Seconds
REPEAT 8 TIMESTotal time: 4 Minutes

12 Minute Mom Strong Workout

This is the same ratio as the 16 Minute Don’t Quit Workout except the intervals are twice as long.

You got this, mama! Pushing yourself will leave you feeling strong, confident and energized.

Set your interval timer like this:

Work SetTime
Warm- up3-5 Minutes
Sprint20 Seconds
Rest (walk)10 Seconds
REPEAT 8 TIMESTotal time: 4 Minutes

Final Thoughts on HIIT Treadmill Workouts for Fat Loss

As a busy mom, you need HIIT in your life because it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or boring and you can reach your goals faster

The treadmill can even prove useful for an effective HIIT workout that is both challenging and enjoyable.

This article has shown you how easy it is to incorporate this type of exercise into your routine without having to spend hours at the gym nor break from your responsibilities as a mother/wife/worker.

So go ahead! Get started with these simple but highly beneficial exercises today! 

You deserve the feeling of accomplishment they provide along with incredible health benefits like increased energy levels, reduced stress, and improved sleep quality—just some of what awaits you if you give them a try.

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