try it out tuesday: walking off fat treadmill workout

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 in Fitness

The Basics

  • 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.

The Results

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)

The Pros

  • 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.

The Cons

  • 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.

Have you tried out any new workouts lately? How’d they go?

9 Comments

  1. Ooh this looks interesting! I’ve been doing something similar but definitely not as “organized” with running on the treadmill -although I must stress that I’m such a slow runner, I might as well be walking. ;) I too find the treadmill incredibly dreadful! I’ve recently discovered Friday Night Lights on Netflix, and I have to admit it’s been getting me through my workout sessions. Going to try these intervals tonight.

    • FNL=totally amazing!

  2. I am looking for something like this but for the stationary bike. Maybe I can just adapt this and shirten it a bit? If it stops raining one day I might give this a try in the woods. I really enjoy walking outdoors.

  3. I was really dreading having to move indoors when it got dark and icy (I live in Spokane, WA.) I’ve never liked the treadmill. But listening to audiobooks helps a bit; at least it passes the time and I want to find out what happens next. Also, at my YMCA I can look down at the swimmers in the pool and try to place bets on who’s going to do the quickest laps!

  4. Haha —> “it’s still boring” … the unfortunate thing about treadmills! As much as we try and make it fun, it just never is! ;) maybe one day all of our offices will be like this http://content.usatoday.com/communities/popcandy/post/2009/08/guest-blogger-welcome-to-my-jetsons-like-office-space/1#.ULUXoNPjltQ
    and then we don’t have to worry about treadmill-ing on non-work hours. heheh!
    Thanks for the review. I always wonder if people actually do those things!

  5. As someone who’s turned to the treadmill to do intervals lately (no parking near my local track and construction has made it too dangerous to run), I have to say, the worst part is the warm-up. The intervals themselves fly by, though. Looks like a great workout for someone who dislikes running or can’t run for various reasons. My dad does something similar by adjusting the incline.

  6. As someone who’s turned to the treadmill to do intervals lately (no parking near my local track and construction has made it too dangerous to run), I have to say, the worst part is the warm-up. The intervals themselves fly by, though. Looks like a great workout for someone who dislikes running or can’t run for various reasons. My dad does something similar by adjusting the incline.

    Also, as an aside, your bleu cheese buffalo cauliflower bake is in my oven right now for dinner. Definitely one of my favorites.

  7. I’m with you! I only do the treadmill if it’s pouring down rain and I’m itching for a walk. But I can honestly say that like you, within 10 minutes I’m ready to be done. I think it has to do with the walking and going no where. But I do think that this is something I might try around a track somewhere.

  8. Can I just say, GO YOU, for working out for an hour – on the treadmill no less!! I’m happy if I make it 20 minutes, lol. You have definitely inspired me to go the “extra mile”! :)

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