30 Minute Interval Treadmill Workout to Blast Calories

Woman running on treadmill in gym
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If you use cardio machines for your workouts, maybe you've stuck with slower, longer 'fat-burning' workouts thinking you'll burn more fat that way.

While steady-state workouts have their place in any cardio routine, there's something else you can add to the mix. Something that will help you see more results from your workouts...Interval training.

Interval workouts really help your body blast calories and build endurance.

Why? Because you alternate higher intensity intervals (sprinting, hills or speed-walking), where you work hard and burn more calories, with recovery intervals (walking or slow jogging) to let your heart rate come down.

This is a great way to work harder without too much discomfort or risk of injury. You only have to work hard for a short period of time and, in this workout, you get twice as much recovery time between work sets, so you should be rested and ready for each workout.

Precautions

See your doctor if you have any injuries, conditions, or illnesses.

Equipment

A treadmill. 

How To

  • Start with the warm-up, gradually increasing either your speed, incline, or both every 2 minutes so that you get the body warm and ready for higher intensities.
  • Use the first 5 minutes to get up to a moderate pace. This is your baseline pace, or around a Level 5 on this Perceived Exertion Chart.
  • For the next 12 minutes, you'll do four 1-minute work set, which pushes you out of your comfort zone. For the work sets, you can either increase your speed or your incline. You can even increase both...whatever gets you to that level of perceived exertion will work.
  • After each work set, you'll have a full 2 minutes to recover, but it's not a stroll in the park. Stay active and try to stay at your baseline for the recoveries.
  • As the workout progresses, you may need to change your settings to stay within the suggested perceived exertion levels. That's normal, so back off if you're getting too far out of your comfort zone.

    Remember, the speeds and inclines listed are only suggestions, so adjust according to your fitness level. Use the Perceived Exertion Scale to determine how hard you're working.

    TimeIntensity/SpeedInclinePerceived Exertion

    10

    3.0 mph - warm-up

    1%

    Level 3-4

    5

    3.5-5.5 - slow jog or brisk walk

    2%

    Level 5

    1

    5.5+ - fast run OR increase incline to 8+ percent

    3%

    Level 6-7

    2

    3.5-5.5 - slow jog or brisk walk

    1%

    Level 5

    1

    5.6+ fast OR increase incline to 9+ percent

    2%

    Level 6-7
    23.5-5.5 - slow jog or brisk walk1%Level 5

    1

    5.7 + OR increase incline to 10+ percent

    1-2%

    Level 7

    2

    3.5-5.5 - slow jog or brisk walk

    1%

    Level 5
    15.8 + OR increase incline to 12+ percent1-2%Level 7-8
    23.5-5.5 - slow jog or brisk walk0%Level 5
    53.0 - 4.00%Level 3-4

     

    Total Time:  30 Minutes

    Calories Burned:  A 150-lb person can burn 200-300 calories depending on workout settings

    Make sure you end your workout with a cool down and a stretch to let your body come back into balance.

    If you want to burn even more calories, you can also change the duration of the workout, working up to 45 or even 60 minutes, but keep in mind that interval training can be taxing and you don't want to do too many high intensity workouts during the week because that could lead to injury and even overtraining.

    Try having a variety of workouts that challenge you at different levels of exertion and you'll stay balanced and fresh.

    More Interval Training Workout Options

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