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Intermediate Level Fat Burning and Aerobic Base 1 Building - Treadmill

This workout allows you to continue to develop your aerobic fitness and to train your muscles to burn higher percentages of fat during your workouts. The beginner level fat burning workouts helped to establish a base which will be further cultivated during this phase. This workout still emphasizes lower levels of intensity to achieve maximum fat burning. A benefit of doing this workout is that you will begin to build a base of aerobic fitness and endurance which will enable you to take on more challenging workouts in the future.

This workout requires the use of a treadmill with adjustable speed and incline. Treadmills provide an excellent aerobic workout using familiar body mechanics used in normal locomotion. The treadmill utilizes a moving belt; therefore, it may take a little 'getting used to' before you feel stable at faster paces. A good idea is to pick a point in the distant foreground to focus on, rather than looking down or sideways, in order to maintain balance until you are very comfortable using the treadmill.

The intermediate fat burning program will help you to train your body to burn more fat at higher intensity which will continue to improve over time with the use of the advanced fat burning workouts and the following cardio workouts. By continuing to emphasize a relatively low intensity of exertion, the muscles are able to obtain plenty of oxygen from the circulation for optimal fat burning. By improving the fat burning, you will be able to burn fat at higher intensities as your exercise program progresses over a six month period.

In addition to increasing fat burning in the muscles, this workout also builds on the foundation for the aerobic base that you have begun to develop. This base will strengthen further through cardio-conditioning training at a later point in your fitness program. The muscles and tendons are also strengthened by adjusting the incline during the workout to target specific muscle groups.

Prior Experience:

Prior Exercise Experience: 2 weeks of beginner level fat burning workouts either on an elliptical or a treadmill.

Medical Clearance: Consult your physician before starting or advancing any exercise program.

Workout Details:

Precor Machine: Any Precor Treadmill

Workout Duration: 30 minutes

Frequency: 4-5 days per week.

Number of Weeks until Advancement from this Phase: Completion of 2 weeks of consistent workouts 4 days per week.

Next Recommended Workout Type: Advanced Fat burning

Program: Manual

Intensity Level: 65-75% of predicted HR max. This workout should feel fairly easy (8-10 on the modified Borg scale). Warm up and cool down are always between 55-65% of predicted HR max.

Speed: Varies depending on heart rate response. Stay at the velocity needed in order to keep your heart rate in the target range. If it seems too fast to maintain balance, then raise the incline slightly and slow the speed. Incline: Varies with workout instructions.

Incline: Varies with workout instructions.

Stride Rate: To determine your stride rate per minute, count the number of times one foot strikes the ground over 15 seconds and multiply by 4. If you are jogging or running, you should aim for 86-92 strides per minute to optimally target the aerobic system.

Pre-Workout Tips:

  • Incorporate a general flexibility program as part of your regular exercise routine. If you plan to stretch prior to your workout, it's best to warm up your muscles first with 3-5 minutes of brisk walking.
  • Begin the workout adequately hydrated. Consume 8-12 ounces of water or sports drink within 1 hour prior to the workout.
  • Begin the workout properly nourished. Consume a meal or snack containing carbohydrates and protein 1 hour prior to the workout.
  • Do not work out if you are sick, injured or have a fever.
  • Use the handrail grips to see your target heart rate or purchase a HR belt which allows you to see your HR during the workout.
  • Calculate your target HR range:
    • Calculate your predicted HR max: [220 - your age = _________ ]
    • Calculate the four following HR's:
      • Warm-up / cool down low limit: Multiply your predicted HR max by 0.55 to get your low limit HR for the warm up.
      • Warm-up / cool down high limit: Multiply your predicted HR max by 0.65 to get your upper limit HR for the warm up.
      • Fat burning low limit: Same as your warm up high limit.
      • Fat burning high limit: Multiply your predicted HR max by 0.75 to get your upper limit HR for the fat burning intervals.
      • Fat burning boost low limit: Same as your fat burning high limit.
      • Fat burning boost high limit: Multiply your predicted HR max by 0.80 to get your upper limit HR for the fat burning boost intervals. Do not use this zone more than recommended as its effectiveness depends on using it sparingly.
      • Write these values on a piece of paper to refer to during your workout.

0-3 Minutes Warm Up

HR Target Zone = 55-65% of Predicted HR max.

Begin moving comfortably with the treadmill at 0% incline, finding a pace that allows you to reach your target zone. Let go of the handgrips and stabilize your body by engaging your trunk and abdominal muscles. Let your arms and hips move in a normal walking fashion while picking a point ahead to focus on until you are comfortable with the moving belt of the treadmill. Use the bars for balance and to check your heart rate as needed.

3-7 Minutes Fat Burning Interval

Target HR Zone = 65-75% of Predicted HR max.

Target Muscle Group = Quadriceps and Calves

Keep the incline at 0%. Begin increasing your speed to keep your HR in the 65-75% range. Your breathing should be comfortable and you should be able to converse without shortness of breath. If you are having breathing difficulty, slow down until you are comfortable.

7-12 Minutes Fat Burning Interval

Target HR Zone = 65-75% of Predicted HR max.

Target Muscle Group = Gluteal

Raise the incline to 5%. Reduce the speed as needed to stay in your HR range. With every 5th workout, it should become easier to stay within your target HR zone at higher stride rates and resistance settings. It's important to have patience to allow your body and your heart to adapt to the exercise.

12-17 Minutes Fat Burning Interval

Target HR Zone = 65-75% of Predicted HR max.

Target Muscle Group = Multiple: Hamstring and Quadriceps

Lower the incline to 2%. Adjust your pace to stay in your HR range. With practice, the target stride rate range is 86-92 strides per minute (count on one side, the foot strikes over 15 seconds and multiply by 4). If you can only stay in your target ranges by working at slower stride rates, that's fine. It may take days or weeks to achieve this fitness improvement.

17-22 Minutes Fat Burning Interval

Target HR Zone = 65-75% of Predicted HR max.

Target Muscle Group = Quadriceps and Calves

Lower incline to 0%. Adjust the pace to stay in your target zone for the entire interval.

22-27 Minutes Fat Burning Interval

Target HR Zone = 65-75% of Predicted HR max.

Target Muscle Group = Gluteal

Raise the incline to 5%. Continue to aim for your target HR range by adjusting your speed down. Over time you will note that you will be able to stay in your target range at faster paces as you gain aerobic fitness benefits through the workouts.

27-30 Minutes Cool Down

HR Target Zone = 55-65% of Predicted HR max.

Lower the incline to 0%. Reduce your pace to bring your HR to the target cool-down range. Note how long it takes you to reach the target range. With improvements in your fitness, your HR will lower more quickly with reduction in exercise intensity. Continue the cool down until your HR has remained in the target range for a minimum of 1 minute.

Congratulations! You are training your muscles to burn fat more efficiently!

Program developed in conjunction with Emily Cooper M.D. from Seattle Performance Medicine.