try it out tuesday: walking off fat treadmill workout
- The Workout: Walk Off Fat Workout from Shape Magazine
- Type of Workout: Cardio intervals
- Muscle Groups Worked: Cardio
- Equipment Required: Treadmill, track or outdoor walking space; timing device
- The Nitty-Gritty: Three different intensity levels (easy, moderate and brisk) are alternated for 5-10 minute increments during a 60 minute walking workout. The goal is to cut down on treadmill boredom and turn walking into a hardcore workout.
We have a sorely underutilized treadmill live in our basement. I know a lot of folks love the treadmill, but I’m definitely not one of them. No matter how much TV, music or good magazine I have, it seems like within 10 minutes of stepping on the belt, I’m totally over it. So I’m always on the look out for ways to spice up a treadmill walking workout.
I was skeptical that I could hit the 350-400 calorie burn they advertised, but was pleasantly surprise that it happened (and more). I really like using the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) scale. It helped me push myself without totally wearing myself down.
- Calories Burned: 429 calories
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Next Day Soreness: 1/5 (0=no soreness, 5=holy crap nuggets, I can’t walk)
- Easy peasy. It definitely doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to walk fast for a few minutes, then walk slow for a few minutes. The fact that this wasn’t a hard-to-follow workout let me zone out and catch up on some TV while I worked.
- Low impact. As I mentioned this morning, I’ve been struggling with some knee pain, and even when I was huffing and puffing at a “brisk” pace, my knees felt fine. I think this would be a good option for folks looking for a sweaty, low-impact workout.
- Free and available. This workout can be done pretty much anywhere. A treadmill makes it easier to keep on top of speeds and times, but these intervals can be easily done around a school track or around the neighborhood. Making this an excellent option for folks who don’t have a gym membership or access to a treadmill.
- Adaptability to different fitness levels. The great thing about the RPE scale is that it is totally adaptable to the individual. You determine how hard you are working and how hard to push yourself. You can also choose a different route or increase your treadmill incline to make it more difficult.
- Less boring that steady-state treadmill work. I couldn’t even fathom a world where I could walk or run on a treadmill for a full 60 minutes at one speed without wanting to fling myself off the end of the belt. The mixing up of speeds and times really helped keep me interested.
- It’s still boring. Whatcha gonna do? I was still bored. Even with some good TV and the intervals, I still found myself itching to get the thing over with. Better than steady state? Yes, sir. But it certainly isn’t going to be what I want to do for funsies on a Friday night.
- Not speedy. 60 minutes is a hefty chunk of time to devote to the treadmill. There is a 30 minute option in the same workout, but I feel like the length of time is part of what makes this a successful, sweaty workout.
- No strength component. My favorite workouts are the ones that combine strength and cardio—and this ain’t one. Sure, you do a little bit of lower body toning (and if you keep your core engaged, core toning) by walking at a brisk pace, but to do some serious strength work, you’ll need to add a separate strength routine.
The Final Word
Overall, I think this workout is a good one for days when you want to do something active, but maybe aren’t 100% committed to going all crazypants in the gym. Bring a book, magazine, music or your tablet. You’ll need the entertainment.