HiiT Treadmill Workout Guide

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is great when used in conjunction with running.

However, some of us are confined to using the gym due to limitations in time and ability to run outside, so many people looking into getting started with HIIT want to know how to use HIIT on the treadmill.

Hiit treadmill guide


HIIT Treadmill Guide

A disclaimer before I get started.

If you can, I’d highly advise you to opt for running outside on a track rather than using the treadmill for HIIT.

This goes doubly if this will be your first running HIIT session.

The reason that I’m saying this is that although the treadmill is just as effective, it can be cumbersome and worse than that, it can be dangerous.

It can be harder to gauge your “maximum output” (the fastest you can run) on a treadmill, so setting the speed can be quite hazardous if done run, and you could end up hurting yourself.

On the track, you will only as fast as… well, as fast as you can go, so there is less risk of injury by running on a track on your own terms.

However, I realize that this is not an option for everybody, and so that is why this post was made.

So getting started…



As you’ve hopefully read in our guide to what HIIT is, you should be keeping your workout ratio somewhere betwen 2:1 or 3:1.

What this means is that your instense session should be twice or three times as long as your cool down session.

One example that I actively use is the 2-minute model, which goes as follows:

  1. Intense 30 seconds of jump rope
  2. 30 seconds of Up Downs
  3. 30 seconds of high knees
  4. 30 seconds of resting

You can find more examples in our example HIIT workout routine guide.

This same template applied for the treadmill as well, except that you probably will not want to switch up exercises, and instead you should be doing 1-2 minutes of sprinting with a half-amount of rest time.

If you are just getting started, keep it simple:

  1. 1 minute of intense sprinting
  2. 30 seconds of rest



Before you do any workout, but especially before a HIIT workout, you need to be properly prepared, and the most important element of that is warming up.

This can be critical for any intensity level, but if you are going to put your body through high intensity training, you are opening yourself up to serious injury if you do not stretch and warm up pre- and post-workout.

Using The Treadmill

After a good warm-up, it’s time to begin.

Since you’ve already stretched and hopefully started with a good jog, now you need to test what your maximum speed on the treadmill will be.

Generally speaking, the highest level will suit most people if the setting stops as “10″, but you should test which level is most comfortable for you to run your fastest.

You need to be able to keep pace, but it should be a challenge: you are trying to run as fast as you can go as if you were on regular ground or a track, so remember this when choosing your setting.

After you have this selected, you can being using the treadmill for your HIIT workout.

Follow the guidelines that we’ve talked about above, running for 1 minute at a time and then following up with 30 seconds of rest, at least when you are just getting started.

As you improve, try upping your times to 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of rest, remember to look out for you well-being as much as you are looking to push yourself (injuries are never worth it).

Hope that helps! Feel free to share this post if you found it useful. Thanks for reading!