Treadmill Hill Climbs are something I invented to aid with fat loss success. I got the idea from people who run up and down a local hill. I tried it a few times and found it to be an intense exercise, but too hard on my old knees.
Treadmill Hill Climbs – The History
My 16 year old son did a goalie camp last year where they did dry land exercise that included running hills. He told me about a local hill that many people meet at to run. I decided to give it a go. My son, my friend and I all headed over to the hill to run it. My first thought was that going up such a steep hill was intense. The effort to not only get up the hill, but to get back down it was so intense that it felt like my heart was trying to fly out of my chest. The three of us agreed to try this again the following week.
As the week wore on, both my friend and I (who are both over the age of 40) complained to each other about the aches in our knee joints as a result of the hill climbs. Since we had recovered by the following Friday, we ran the hill again. Once again, we both had pain in our knees. It was then that I got the idea for the treadmill hill climbs.
Cardio Intensity: High or Low?
There has been a debate raging on about which type of cardio is better–high intensity interval cardio (HIIT) or low intensity steady state cardio (LISS). I say they both have a place in your cardio plan. As I have conducted the Experiment of One throughout the years I have discovered the importance of changing things up. While this has been applied mostly to weight training, it also applies to cardio training.
HIIT will burn calories long after you stop the training, but LISS will burn more calories per session. The bigger problem is that HIIT is hard on your legs and makes it difficult to recover from leg training days. At the same time, I figured that I needed a way to make LISS sessions just a little more intense. Enter the treadmill hill climbs for fat loss success.
Executing Treadmill Hill Climbs
The theory behind treadmill hill climbs is simple–make LISS cardio more intense by constantly changing the load your body is going through. This is accomplished by manipulating speed and incline on the treadmill. I begin with a 2 minute warm up at a brisk pace and a 1.0 incline. Upon completion of the warm up, I increase the incline 0.5 every 30 seconds that pass by. I progressively increase the maximum incline each week. So, if this week calls for an 8.0 incline, I will keep increasing the incline until it reaches 8.0. Once I reach 8.0 I will begin increasing the speed by 0.1 every 30 seconds until I have done that for 10 intervals. At that point I will decrease the speed by 0.1 every 30 seconds, again for 10 intervals. Once I am back to my original speed, I begin decreasing the incline by 0.5 every 30 seconds until I am back to the 1.0 incline level again. I end the session with a nice 5 minute cool down at a slow pace.