I see people all the time slogging away on the treadmill at the gym
Walk, walk, walk …
Lot of ’em are obviously overweight, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with walking on a treadmill
But I always want to tell them that there’s so much more they can do.
Walking is fine
But there are two important ways to get more bang for your buck, so to speak, when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape.
- Strength training and interval training.
Twenty minutes, 30 minutes on a treadmill is terrific, but you also need to throw in another 30 minutes of strength training. Go lift some weights. Either free weights (dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells) or a few weight machines.
Some say the strength training should come first, then the cardio work. Depleting glycogen stores from the muscles and all this other stuff. For most of us, it doesn’t need to be that scientific, in my opinion.
If 30 minutes on the treadmill is going to wear you out and leave no energy for some strength training, then, sure, I’d hit the weights section first.
When you think weightlifting, we’re not talking about getting all muscled up. That’s not something that happens like magic. I’ll never forget when I first joined a gym back in the day and went to a GNC store to get some supplements. I walk in and the guy greets me and asks if he can help me find anything. I told him my situation and I said, “But I don’t want to get TOO big.”
Like a little working out was going to turn me into Arnold Schwarzenegger Jr. or something.
Luckily, the guy didn’t laugh out loud. He just nodded and showed me some items.
For most of us, the purpose of doing some weight training is simply to move better and feel better. Keep those muscles and bones strong and healthy, with a side benefit of helping the body burn more calories throughout the day by adding some lean muscle to the equation.
Interval training is simply a way to make your cardio workout time more efficient and effective. Here’s an example:
Instead of just walking 30 minutes on the treadmill, try varying the intensity. Let’s say you’re walking at 3.0 mph, which is a little slow pace for me, but just an example. I usually warm up at 3.5.
So you start out at 3.0. There’s also an adjustment for the slope of the treadmill. Go ahead and crank that grade up to 1.0. That helps provide a little more resistance.
Now, go about four or five minutes like that, then raise that slope to 1.5 and increase the speed a few notches.
From 3.5 and 1.0, I’ll probably crank ‘er up to 3.7 or 3.8 and 2.0. Go like that for a minute and then pull it back down to 1.0 and 3.5. A minute later, go back up, this time to 4.0 and 3.0 for a minute.
Of if you start out at 2.5 mph and a 1.0 grade, try going up to 2.7 and 1.5 for a minute. Back down to 2.5 and 1.0 for a minute or two. Then up to 2.8 and 2.0. Like that.
Now, it’s starting to get a little challenging, which is good. You want to get a little out of breath. Not so much that you can’t carry on a conversation, but you should be huffing and puffing a little bit.
Keep alternating like this for about 28 or 29 minutes, then use the last minute or two or three to walk at your original pace, to cool down and settle your breathing.
Strength training and interval training.