The 30-minute treadmill workout is a sensation, because it uses a machine and method that’s already available (HIIT), and applies it to an otherwise tedious form of cardio exercise.
In fact, it’s completely adaptable to your current fitness goals and skill level, which is why it’s so easy to stick to.
But is it enough?
We’ll talk about that, and we’ll also talk about the best way to use this plan to your advantage.
If you’re someone who really doesn’t enjoy cardio—don’t feel bad by the way, there are a lot of people that despise it—this is the hack you need to make it easier to hop on the treadmill and improve your cardiovascular health.
Is a 30-Minute Workout Enough?
It depends on your goals. One 30-minute workout every single day, five days a week, is right where you want to be for the recommended 150 minutes of medium to intense cardio.
It’s a good amount, and those two days of rest throughout the week help your muscles grow and develop while giving your heart a little bit of rest time in between intense sessions.
You can burn roughly 300 – 450 calories in a single 30-minute treadmill session depending on intensity. That’s pretty impressive considering it’s only cardio.
That means you stand to gain 1,500 – 2,250 calories per week. For context, one pound of body fat is an average of 3,500 calories.
We have a key to burning more fat later on, but suffice to say, even 1,500 a week is still progress. Two to three pounds a month means you could be down close to forty pounds over the course of a year, and that’s solely from the treadmill.
Best 30-Minute Treadmill Workout Plan
30-minute treadmill plans are similar to high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. One method is to create moderate intensity for two solid minutes, followed by one minute of recovery at a lower speed and incline. This is what that would look like.
Psst, you can scale this plan however you want. This is just a great ratio for beginners, but as you increase the intensity, you can play around with speed, incline, and intervals.
|0:00 – 2:00||1%||3 – 5 MPH||Minimal (Warm-up)|
|2:00 – 4:00||2%||5 – 6 MPH||Minimal|
|4:00 – 5:00||1%||3 – 5 MPH||Minimal (Recovery)|
|5:00 – 7:00||3%||5 – 6 MPH||Moderate|
|7:00 – 8:00||1%||3 – 5 MPH||Minimal (Recovery)|
|8:00 – 10:00||4%||5 – 6 MPH||Moderate|
|10:00 – 11:00||1%||3 – 5 MPH||Minimal (Recovery)|
|11:00 – 13:00||4%||5 – 6 MPH||Moderate|
|13:00 – 14:00||2%||3 – 5 MPH||Minimal (Recovery)|
|14:00 – 16:00||5%||5 – 6 MPH||Moderate|
|16:00 – 17:00`||2%||3 – 5 MPH||Minimal (Recovery)|
|17:00 – 19:00||5%||6 – 8 MPH||Moderate-Intense|
|19:00 – 20:00||2%||3 – 5 MPH||Minimal (Recovery)|
|20:00 – 22:00||5%||6 – 8 MPH||Moderate-Intense|
|22:00 – 23:00||2%||3 – 5 MPH||Minimal (Recovery)|
|23:00 – 25:00||5%||6 – 8 MPH||Moderate-Intense|
|25:00 – 26:00||2%||3 – 5 MPH||Minimal (Recovery)|
|26:00 – 28:00||5%||5 – 6 MPH||Moderate|
|28:00 – 30:00||2%||3 – 5 MPH||Minimal (Cooldown)|
- This plan is great to increase intensity over time, especially for beginners who might doubt themselves in the beginning.
- Easily scalable: adjust the MPH, incline, and intensity while keeping the same time-conscious 30-minute period.
- Grants steady recovery periods with a two-minute cooldown so you aren’t too amped up when you leave the treadmill.
- 30 minutes can be daunting in the beginning especially if there’s a weight loss journey attached to your cardio plan.
- Minutes 20 through 28 is usually where people begin to break in the beginning; remember to scale, even if it means winding it down, just scale so you can withstand the 30 minutes.
How to Get Extra Results
Cardio is often scolded because it doesn’t burn fat the same way that resistance training does. It’s important to add resistance training into your workout schedule at least 3 days a week, but if you’re already spending 150 minutes per week on cardio as it is, it can get in the way.
Why not incorporate them both? Once you get used to the 30-minute treadmill workout, you can increase the intensity by adding some 3-pound weights in each hand rather than increasing the speed of your treadmill.
If you began using the 30-minute treadmill workout as a path to weight loss, strength training will speed up the results while building muscle to replace lost fat.
You can use the 30-minute treadmill workout to help you slowly incorporate strength training without going all-out.
Extra results will also come from higher intensity so that the 300 – 450 range we gave earlier can go even higher. Just be sure to check with your doctor to make sure you can handle high levels of intensity for long intervals of time.
Lastly, consider taking a hybrid approach. Exercise 5 days a week. 3 of those days can be the 30-minute treadmill workout, with 2 days of resistance/strength training peppered in between. It’s up to you.
Time and Fitness are Both Important
You want to optimize your time to get as much out of your workout as possible. While everyone has different levels of intensity that they can handle, it doesn’t mean that you can’t spend 30 minutes getting the most out of your workout.
Even if it’s not high intensity, there’s so much that you stand to gain from consistent exercise. Intensity and capability will come with time, so you can always upgrade your workout later on.
Spending your time wisely and performing the concise exercises will help it feel less like a chore, and more like something, you want to do.