How To Do HIIT On A Treadmill

High-Intensity Interval Training is widely considered to be one of the most time-efficient ways of improving cardiovascular fitness and burning calories. There are many ways of getting a good HIIT workout, from outdoor sprints to circuit training to cycling, but can you really have an effective HIIT workout on a treadmill?

The short answer is that it depends on the equipment and the type of HIIT workout you’re looking for. If you have a motorised treadmill that’s fairly slow to change speed and incline then it’s probably going to be difficult to have an effective 40sec/20sec HIIT session – however that kind of treadmill will probably work fine for a 1 min/2 min split.

Other more responsive electric treadmills and manual treadmills should be able to get up to speed much more effectively, giving you a little more flexibility with your intervals.

A standard HIIT workout will involve a warm-up period at the start followed by 5-8 cycles of intense work followed by a recovery period. In this example, we’ll use a 1minute intense interval followed by 2 minutes of recovery, where the intense minute involves you working as hard as you can sensibly can.


  • Warm-up – speedwalk or light jog for 3-5 minutes
  • Interval – 1 minute of high-intensity running followed by 2 minutes of walking/light jogging
  • Repeat the interval the desired number of times
  • Cooldown – 3-5 minute walk


You can obviously tailor your intervals based on your current fitness levels and the type of treadmill you’re using. If you find it’s just not working out the way you’d intended you can always head outside and do some sprint/jog intervals to let you have total control over time and intensity.

HIIT on a treadmill is a great way to improve your fitness levels and burn plenty of calories in a shorter space of time than a normal jog.


  • Updated May 26, 2020
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