Treadmill Interval Workout: Change the Way You Use a Treadmill Forever

treadmill interval workout


My legs felt like jelly.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d think someone was standing behind me sticking a couple of hot pokers into my glutes.  I was so drenched in sweat, I looked as though someone had just dumped a bucket of water on me.  Judging by the look of disgust on the face of the girl running on the treadmill next to me, I knew I was one hot, and probably smelly, mess.

At the same time, I also knew I got through one of the toughest workouts of my life; burning just over 800 calories in one hellacious hour of work.  Screw how I looked and felt.  The satisfaction inside quickly replaced the feelings of exhaustion and muscle fatigue anyways.  I hopped off the treadmill, beaming inside and out, as the girl next to me was still flipping through her US Weekly magazine, barely breaking a sweat as she chugged along at the pace of a slow jog (and I use the word jog loosely).

If you’re an avid Share It Fitness follower, you’ll know how much I hate on static-state cardio, i.e. running at one pace for an entire cardio workout.  I’ve always been a proponent of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) cardio work, as I’ve seen the incredible benefits it has, on people of all fitness abilities, including myself.  That said, there are going to be times you will want to further mix up your routine.  Doing HIIT day-in, day-out is going to get a bit repetitive.  Sure, it’s nice to see your endurance sky-rocket, get that “tight and toned” feeling that a serious cardio workout provides, and feel the post-exercise hunger only a boosted metabolism can provide, but HIIT isn’t the ONLY way to really burn it out during cardio days.  We’re going to diverge from the standard protocol for a minute and give you another way to burn serious calories AS WELL as target the muscles in your legs and glutes.  Burn loads of fat and develop a tight and toned lower body…anyone interested?

The following workout is done completely on a treadmill.  It’s super easy to follow and suitable for all fitness abilities; just be sure to adjust the miles per hour accordingly.  The miles per hour listed below are a guideline for a healthy and fit individual with a solid base of exercise experience.  Simply slow things down if the prescribed routine is too difficult; no shame in that.

Stick with the program, bump the speed and incline when indicated, follow the interval times as closely as possible, and 1 hour later you’ll have burnt almost half a day’s worth of calories AND completely blasted your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

Two quick tips:  I realize it takes several seconds to raise/lower the speed on your treadmill.  I built the time it takes to do this into the workout, which is why you’ll see a 10 second buffer between interval times.  If it takes a few seconds longer to get to the proper speed, don’t sweat it, just do your best.  Lastly, if your treadmill doesn’t have the ability to incline, just extend the previous interval by the time listed for the incline portion.


  • 0-2:00 – Jog at 5 mph
  • 2:10-4:00 – Run at 7.5 mph
  • 4:10-5:00 – Run at 10 mph
  • 5:10-7:00 – Run at 7.5 mph
  • 7:10-8:00 – Lower speed to 1.5 mph, perform walking lunges, always alternating legs
  • 8:10-12:00 – Run at 7.5 mph
  • 12:10-17:00 – Lower speed to 3.5 mph, turn around and run/jog backwards
  • 17:10-20:00 – Turn around and run forwards at 7.5 mph
  • 20:10-21:00 – Lower speed to 1.5 mph, perform walking lunges
  • 21:10-24:00 – Run at 8 mph
  • 24:10-27:00 – Raise incline to 12%, run at 5 mph
  • 27:10-28:00 – With incline at 12%, run/jog backwards at 2.5 mph
  • 28:10-32:00 – Lower incline to 0%, turn around and run at 8 mph
  • 32:10-34:00 – Run at 9 mph
  • 34:10-36:00 – Run at 5.5 mph
  • 36:10-38:00 – Lower speed to 1.5 mph, perform walking lunges
  • 38:00-44:00 – Raise speed to 3.5 mph, turn around and run/jog backwards
  • 44:10-47:00 – Raise incline to 15%, run at 4.5 mph
  • 47:10-48:00 – Step off treadmill and perform as many body weight squats as possible
  • 48:10-51:00 – Get back on treadmill, lower incline to 0%, run at 8 mph
  • 51:10-53:00 – Lower speed to 1.5 mph, perform walking lunges
  • 53:10-55:00 – Run at 9 mph
  • 55:10-57:00 – Raise incline to 20%, run at 4 mph
  • 57:10-60:00 – Lower incline to 0%, run at 9 mph
  • Get off treadmill – Perform 40 squat jumps.


You’re looking at that and thinking…WOW..that looks complicated.  First off, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed.  Yes there are a lot of things going on, but all it involves is pressing a button or two, and turning around here and there.  That’s it.  I’ve used this workout myself, as well as with clients, both real-life and remote.  The positive changes it brings about are outstanding.  If you can make it through this entire routine without having to stop for a break, congratulations.  This thing is killer, and you my friend, are one bad mother.

This workout is going to change how you look at treadmills forever.  Incorporate it into a complete exercise routine on cardio days, but prepare to feel serious muscle soreness the first couple times.  Keep your head down, stick it out, bump speeds and/or times as you progress and get ready to watch your body transform, both inside and out.

Like This Workout Routine?  Want More?

If you want hundreds of other group fitness classes and DVD-style workouts, available OnDemand 24/7, at the touch of a button, sign up for our premium site,  We’re giving away FREE premium memberships for a little while longer, so don’t wait!  In addition to our OnDemand library we feature tons of great recipes, workout plans, live health and fitness professionals ready to assist you, and an interactive social network of other like-minded people.  Simply put, Share It Fitness is the greatest internet training tool available.  Don’t do tomorrow what you can do today…let us help you reach all of your goals NOW!


65 thoughts on “Treadmill Interval Workout: Change the Way You Use a Treadmill Forever”

  1. So doing this tomorrow as substitute for Total Body Blitz Part 3/Week 1 Thursday. Unless you tell me that’s a bad choice, haha (kinda guessing you won’t 🙂 Sounds like just what I need to make HIIT alil more interesting these days, thx.

    1. Ha…You guessed right. I’m in good shape, and this workout KILLS me. Feel free to substitute this in for HIIT days when things get a little stale..definitely don’t feel bad doing this. In fact, I would go as far to say that this workout MAY possibly burn more calories and hit your muscles better than standard HIIT sprinting or cycling…don’t quote me on that though 🙂

      1. WOW. Had to lower the fast sprinting speeds 0.5-1 mph after first 20 minutes to get through this… and I was cursing you around minute 51, lol… but I completed it and it’s awesome. My goal is to do this once a week until I can get through it exactly as written. Guys, this is a phenomenal workout. Thanks Matt!

  2. Have a new baby…I was in the military and a former personal trainer and this blew my mind. But I have to try this in the A.M.!!! Wish me luck!

  3. I loooove this work out! I was able to go as high as 8.5 mph, my legs are shaking! I do cross training, cross fit, insanity, asylum, weights, yoga…but this workout is AWESOME! I am going to include it in my daily routine! Thank you!

  4. Do you have any modifications for this workout for people who can’t run quite that fast?  I’m up for trying fast/hard intervals, but I will probably fall off the treadmill going any faster than 7.5.

    1. I would just recommend lowering the speed. Try reducing all the speeds listed by 25% to start and see how it goes. It’s a bit of trial and error, but find what works for you now and aim to increase your speed over time. Hope that helps.


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    1. Tough question. It really depends on your total fitness plan. If you’re not doing ANYTHING else at all…I’d recommend this 3-4 times a week. If you’re doing some other cardio/lower body lifting, I’d suggest less. What else would you be doing in conjunction with this workout?

      1.  Im planning on doing your other workout plan, total body blitz! Im a professional swimmer but I hate it by now haha and I think my body hates it even more… I want a change and Im looking for something different, something that I can do by myself and learn from it, but I do need a lot of exercise in order for me to feel like Im getting enough as I used to do it when I was swimming.. Ive been doing some treadmill HIIT and some HIIT cycling and I do it on daily basis, or at least 5 times a week, with some weight lifting.. but Im getting bored, that why Im looking for alternatives, and this treadmill workout sounds fun! you think I can do it 3-4 times a week in conjuction with the total body blitz?

      2. Hey Priscilla…

        Glad to hear you’ll be doing our Total Body Blitz…think you’ll really like’s been getting great results. I think doing the treadmill workout 3-4/week in conjunction with the total body blitz workout would be a bit much. This is what I would recommend:

        Follow the Total Body Blitz plan, Monday-Friday. One ONE day, add in some extra work and do the treadmill workout. Since you were/are a professional athlete, I’m less concerned about you overtraining, and think you could handle workouts on Sat/Sun as well. I’d go for the Treadmill workout again on either Sat or Sunday. If you really want a full 7 days of activity, our INTENSE at home cardio workout (link below) is pretty killer…Give that one a try and let me know what you think!


  6. Hi there Matt! I found this workout on Pinterest and LOVE it. I feel like I have conquered the world each time I finish. 
    I have a question–when running backward on the treadmill, what muscles do I focus on? Thanks again for passing along such a great routine.

    1. Hey Kristin! So glad to hear you’re enjoying this workout. You absolutely should feel like you conquered the world after doing this…this treadmill workout is HARD. When you’re running backwards, you’re placing extra stress on the glutes (butt), hamstrings, and calves. Really focus on feeling those muscles work. Sometimes I’ll press down a little harder through my heels when I’m running backwards…I find this helps target the glutes and hamstrings even more!

      Since you like this workout, you should really check out our full site. We just launched at – we feature tons of video OnDemand fitness classes and dvd-style workouts for you to follow along with…of course we have lots of written workouts like this treadmill interval example. Anyhow, thanks again for the comment and hope to see you around the site!


  7. Can’t wait to try this! I’m totally in a slump and my body has completely stopped responding to my steady pace jogging on the tred. What modifications would you recommend if you don’t have a full hour to work out?

    1. Ohh Jennifer…you’re in luck. At Share It Fitness we specialize in helping people break through their plateaus and back on the progress train.

      A couple ideas for you..

      First, you should check out our full site, If you browse our OnDemand library you’ll find hundreds of group fitness classes and DVD-style workouts (15-60 minutes in length). These are a great way to mix up your current routine and find something new to push yourself.

      Additionally, we have loads of workouts featured on our blog that have received glowing reader testimonials…just browse by strength/cardio training and see what appeals to you. Off the top of my head our INTENSE Fat Burner At Home Workout ( would be a great place to start.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask! Thanks for reading our blog and hope to see you around the site.


  8. Holy hell. I tried this out this morning. I definitely had to modify it as running is not my strong suit, but I did the full 60 minutes. You weren’t kidding about how you feel when you’re done. This is a tough routine, and completing it at any level feels incredible. I got lots of comments from passersby at the gym even. Now to find better headphones…

    1. Sounds like you were approaching full on beast mode! 🙂

      People often stop and stare when there’s someone doing something they only wish they could be doing….get used to it and keep up the good work!!

      Hope to see you around our blog and website more often!


  9. This was an AWESOME run, projectile sweat and all! I literally got high-fives from gym-goers who saw me do this. Please, please, please keep posting more of these work-outs! Thank you! I finally found a good fitness blog!:)

    1. haha…projectile sweating – love it! Glad to hear you’re liking our blog! You should check out our full site, for tons of OnDemand video workouts to go along with all the written workouts we feature here. Thanks Emily, hope to see you around!


  10. Ohhh I am so excited to try this! I love new challenges and this looks so exciting! Thanks for posting 🙂

  11. Tried this for the first time today, managed it for the most part, inclines and the last sprint nearly killed me though! Had to take a few pauses but aiming to cut out the extra recovery time. Got quite a lot of odd looks running backwards. Great feeling when I finished though, bring on the next attempt.
    Also my treadmill only went up to 15% so wasn’t sure what to do when it said 20% towards the end…15% felt steep enough 😀

    1. It’s a tough one, that’s for sure. Don’t sweat that 5% incline difference….it won’t make a huge difference. When you’re ready to amp things up and have moved on from this one..check out part II – just as hard, but with a different “flair”.


  12. hi matt:) I have a small problem. My treadmill is an older one so I would have to manually adjust the incline. If I didn’t do incline (because I cant) , about how many calories would I be burning???

    1. Hey Sam – thanks for the comment.

      It’s tough to put an exact number on how many fewer calories you’d burn. The rate at which a person burns calories is dependent on so many internal factors like, body weight, muscle mass, metabolism, genetics, etc. So it’d be tough for me to give you an exact number.

      Based on the (inaccurate) burned calorie count the treadmill displays I think it’s safe to say the flat run burns roughly 25% fewer calories.

      Any other questions feel free to give me a holler.


  13. I am a runner and usually hate the treadmill. After reading this article and seeing the routine, it makes the treadmill look a lot more fun. Not sure about doing it at the gym because when you lower and raise the speed or incline, it beeps every time and I think other treadmillers might get irritated with me. I have a treadmill at home for days when it’s raining and I can’t run outside…will give this a shot. Thank you for the article.

    1. Glad you enjoyed this article, C.C. I’m the same way – usually hate the treadmill. Since I’ve started doing various interval workouts with varying inclines, its totally changed my outlook. Let us know how it goes for you!


  14. Hi,
    So i had a few questions. I realy would like to slim out my thighs, there not very fat, but there big. My upper body is slim and in pretty good shape,i run, but i cant get my legs smaller it seems like. Will thia workout help? Or will it cause my legs to get larger as i gain muscle easily?

    1. Hey Kate –

      My first question to you would be – can you see good muscular definition in your legs when you flex them? How about when they aren’t flexed?

      If not, it sounds like you have a layer of fat (probably not much) that you could still stand to burn off. You sound strong and fit, but it may just be that you need to do a little more work to burn through your stubborn area, which sounds to be your legs.

      Personally, I would use this workout once or twice a week, but mix in some high intensity weight training sessions, i.e. metabolic conditioning. These will do wonders for your fat burn without bulking up your legs the way intense sprints 4+ times a week would.

      Check out The Metcon Challenge or The Super Metabolic Circuit, on the blog, for these type of workouts.

      Of course, if you want something personalized to you and your specific situation, let me know. We’ll soon be offering a customized video fitness plan which provides a different video and text workout to follow along with each day, and I can put you on the pre-sign up list for that.

      Just let me know what you’re thinking and/or if you have any further questions. Thanks for checking us out and hope to keep seeing you around here!


  15. hey! im 16 and I have a month and a half left before school starts. I am 155 pounds and want to be around 120, do you think it is possible for me to reach that weight if I do this workout 4-5 times a week? I mainly want to lose my belly fat and leg fat so should I be doing other exercises along with this workout or will this workout also help my belly fat?

    1. Hey Lucy – first off, I want you to think of things less as “I want to weigh X amount of pounds” and more as, I want to lose body fat, build muscle, and improve my physique. Losing 35 pounds won’t be healthy, or make you look good, if it was strictly muscle mass! Your goal should be to eliminate body fat while building/maintaining your muscle.

      Second, 35 pounds is an awful lot of weight to lose in only a month and a half…especially if you’re still a growing teenager. My suggestion would be to take a good hard look at your diet and eliminate things like sugary drinks, white flours, etc. Exercise is good, and I think you could stand to include this into your routine a couple of times a week, but don’t obsess about it. You’ve got plenty of time to get things tight and toned up..dont put a time table on it!

      Any other questions, let me know!


  16. Guys I did it!!! I’m sooo excited i really didn’t think i could, just beacuse the list looked so daunting. Thanks for putting this up!

  17. Hi,
    im 19 and weigh 146 . Ive been trying to get in more shape and tone up more Do you have a goode diet plan for this as well?

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  19. Hi Matt, I am 47 and have been walking on a treadmill at 3mph for one hour Mon-Fri for the last 6-8 years. This all started as a way to control my HDL levels and keep me off medications. Now that I’m approaching 50 I’d like to lose some weight and I read this article about intervals and I want to slowly work up to doing this but I need a less aggressive routine to start. I just tried jogging 5mph for 2 min and … ouch!) So, any chance you will post or have already posted a way to work towards this? Thanks.

    1. Hey Todd – thanks for your comment.

      One of the best ways of helping our members getting in shape, is via our FitPlan. Workouts are completely geared towards you, i.e. no generic workouts, so they are more appropriate for your current levels. I think you would really benefit from this type of training – check it out here:

      If you’re looking for something else, let me know and I’ll point you in another direction. Thanks!


  20. LOVE this workout. Drenched in sweat, and as a track runner, I love finding great treadmill workouts. Do you have any others like this? Thanks!


  21. So… I am pretty fit (at least I think I am) – I take MMA classes regularly, P90X, Insanity, sprints on the treadmill, hike, run up and down mountains – and this literally kicked my tushy! I could only do half of it. How do you recommend I successfully reach the full 60 minutes? Also, is it bad that I had to take a few seconds of rest on the side rails every so often?

    1. Hey Alison –

      It’s definitely a killer workout and one that took me a while to build up to. Best advice I can give is just stay consistent and gradually force yourself to add a minute here and there, each time out. And of course, there’s no shame in taking rest…you’ll eventually work your way up to this workout…then be ready for Part II 😉


  22. hi um id like to lose some fat from my stomach, arm, and thigh sections, but I didnt really want the fit look.. what can i do? is it possible to have a “thin” appearance and lose fat?

    1. What you are describing isn’t really possible. It also doesn’t sound healthy. Spot toning is impossible, and it would be hard for me to recommend losing muscle/fat to simply achieve a “thin” appearance”.


  23. Wow…it took me like 2 months of doing this once or twice every week and I finally did all of it the night before last! Felt so good! Now I need to see if I can repeat those results in a few days before moving onto the next part. Thanks for posting this! Definitely a boredom buster.

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