Fitness, Workouts

​Beginner Workouts Combining HIIT And Your Home Treadmill

​Beginner HIIT Treadmill Workouts At Home | NordicTrack Blog

If the idea of a steady, monotonous long-distance jog makes you want to throw out your running shoes, you’re not alone—which is why many walkers, runners, and treadmill users are turning to high intensity interval training (HIIT). 

HIIT workouts allow you to exercise in intervals. You’ll switch between high-intensity, all-out activity and slower, more controlled active rests. By combining HIIT with your home treadmill, you’re not only intensifying your workouts but also provide you with a different level of training, literally, thanks to a treadmill’s incline feature. Plus, doing HIIT workouts has a positive effect on the benefits that you may gain from working out (2).

Ready to take your time on the treadmill to the next level? Here’s everything you need to know to get started with your treadmill HIIT workout.

What Are HIIT Treadmill Workouts

HIIT treadmill workouts are designed to help you switch up your pace at regular intervals — for example, moving from a low-intensity walk to a moderate-intensity jog and back again. The best part: All you should need as far as equipment goes is your home treadmill.


A 2019 study by Sports Med New Zealand found that HIIT exercise can provide greater cardiorespiratory benefits than moderate-intensity continuous training, as well as being a time-efficient way of increasing the efficiency of your exercise routine (3).

Another study, published in 2010 by the University of New South Wales, concluded that women in the high-intensity intermittent exercise group lost significantly more subcutaneous fat than those in the steady state aerobic exercise program (4). That means those in the high-intensity intermittent group should have received more reward for less time, but higher intensity too.

What To Expect

A treadmill HIIT workout looks a lot like any other running workout—and it can always be changed to fit your needs each day. For example, if you don’t have much experience with this type of exercise, you may want to begin by following an iFIT® HIIT beginner workout

iFIT provides personalized training based upon your fitness goals and preferred workout style. That way, you can do what you want at your own pace. You also get access to certified personal trainers who will guide you through each movement, so you can be sure you’re performing each exercise correctly and choosing the best HIIT treadmill workout for your needs. 

Check it out:

Now, if you’re looking for a quick and simple 10-minute routine to see what HIIT treadmill workouts look and feel like, give the workout below a try:

  • Walk for 2 minutes. Your pace should be comfortable but not too slow.
  • Jog or sprint for 1 minute. This should be near your maximum pace — but since you’re just beginning, don’t push yourself too hard. Right now, it’s more important to get a feel for the intervals involved in a HIIT treadmill workout.
  • Walk for 2 minutes.
  • Jog or sprint for 1 minute.
  • Walk for 2 minutes.
  • Jog or sprint for 1 minute.
  • Walk for 1 more minute to wrap up your workout. 

Remember, this is just a workout preview of HIIT. Once you’re comfortable with your home treadmill and with switching speeds, as well as adjusting inclines and declines as you walk or run, you’ll be able to experience real high intensity interval training.

Ideal Candidates For HIIT Running Workouts

Because a HIIT treadmill workout can be personalized, there are many ideal candidates for this type of exercise.


Since runners are likely to be comfortable with their home treadmill and may already be accustomed to long-distance workouts, HIIT is an opportunity to shake up that everyday routine. Even beginning runners may find that HIIT workouts make the learning process more enjoyable and challenging.

Adults Over 65

Treadmills for seniors offer a comfortable and low-impact way to exercise. Adding a little HIIT workout can provide a fun and engaging way to keep up and stay consistent with a fitness routine. 

Furthermore, Mayo Clinic researchers found that HIIT reversed some age-related muscle deterioration in adults over 65 (8). Their findings proved that doing HIIT had an energy-boosting effect on a cell’s DNA, as well as promoting muscle growth (8).

Reluctant Exercisers

Reluctant exercisers rejoice! HIIT is designed to be engaging and keeps workouts from feeling stagnant as they tend to trigger explosive moves at certain moments during a workout. That means there’s no time for you to get bored during your HIIT treadmill workout. HIIT can also be a good way to visualize progress as maximum pace increases with fitness level and time.

Adventurous Exercisers

Ever wanted to go for a run on a tropical beach, climb a majestic mountain, or explore the Scottish highlands, all without leaving your home gym? Now you can! For those looking to make treadmill exercise more exciting and challenging, combine your next HIIT workout with your NordicTrack treadmill and iFIT workout programs. With access to guided routines, automatic trainer control, personal trainers that specialize in HIIT and more, iFIT makes your HIIT treadmill workout an adventure in any location of your choosing.

Treadmill Tips For HIIT Beginners

Before jumping into your first HIIT routine, there are a few things you need to know. These tips could help you get a good workout on the treadmill while utilizing your NordicTrack treadmill safely and effectively.

Don’t Skip The Warm-Up

You may be tempted to skip the warm-up stage before your workout, but not so fast. Bloomberg University researchers found that warming up can actually improve workout performance (13). The length of your warm-up should vary depending on the intensity of your workout and your fitness level. Here are a few warm-up exercises to get that blood pumping:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Burpees
  • Jogging in place
  • Squats
  • Planks
  • Push-ups

Stretch, Stretch, Stretch

Stretching plays an important role in HIIT routines because it can decrease the risk of injury (14). It also depends on the kind of stretching that you do and when. Static stretching, for example, can have an effect on your performance. So, make sure to warm up with dynamic stretches like walking lunges, hip circles, and butt kicks.  

Understand Heart Rate And Heart Rate Monitors

During the high-intensity interval of your HIIT routine, the goal is to get that heart rate up—but only to a maximum of 70 to 85 percent––which is the goal for vigorous exercise (16). 

When measuring heart rate, keep in mind that heart rate monitors used for exercise are not medical devices, and their accuracy may be affected by a number of factors. They are also not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Know Your Equipment

Another important tip: Get familiar and comfortable with your equipment before jumping into a high-intensity workout. Know which speed settings on your treadmill are comfortable for walking, jogging, sprinting, and running, and be sure to follow all safety guidelines included with the machine.


After a satisfying HIIT workout, you’ll want to cooldown to help signal your muscles that it’s time to rest. Cooling down should add at least 10 minutes to your routine, but don’t worry (17). Stretches, exercises, and poses in this phase don’t have to be strenuous or intense, and they offer a chance to catch your breath after all that intense exercise you just accomplished.

Don’t Overdo It

If you’re new to the treadmill or HIIT, remember not to push yourself too hard too quickly. Instead, let your body get used to your new HIIT routine. Even when you’re more comfortable, consider performing HIIT routines three to four days a week maximum with a couple of rest days in between each session (18). Doing so will help your body adapt and recover from the vigorous HIIT activity, setting you up to hit it hard during your next session.

HIIT Treadmill Workouts

Ready to jump in? We’ve compiled two HIIT workouts for beginners to get you started. One workout can be performed on your treadmill and the other is a full-body workout without a treadmill.

Escalating Effort Workout

Try this workout on the treadmill.

  • Warm-up – 5-minutes of light walking/jogging
  • Sprint – 30-second intensity interval at 70% of maximum effort
  • Rest – 2-minute rest interval, jogging or walking at a decreased pace
  • Sprint – 30-second intensity interval at 80% of maximum effort
  • Rest – 2-minute rest interval, jogging or walking at a decreased pace
  • Sprint – 30-second intensity interval at 85% of maximum effort
  • Rest – 2-minute rest interval, jogging or walking at a decreased pace
  • Sprint – 30-second intensity interval at 90% of maximum effort
  • Rest – 2-minute rest interval, jogging or walking at a decreased pace
  • Sprint – 30-second intensity interval at 100% of maximum effort
  • Rest – 2-minute rest interval, jogging or walking at a decreased pace
  • Cooldown – 5-minutes of light jogging and stretching

High-Energy Workout
This is a quick 10-minute workout that targets your whole body.

  • Warm-up – 5-minutes of light walking/jogging
  • High Knees – 30-second high-intensity interval of high knees
  • Rest – 10-second rest interval of walking on the treadmill
  • Mountain Climbers – 30-second high-intensity interval of mountain climbers
  • Rest – 10-second rest interval of walking on the treadmill
  • Burpees – 30-second high-intensity interval of burpees
  • Rest – 10-second rest interval of walking on the treadmill
  • Alternating Jump Lunges – 30-second high-intensity interval of jump lunges
  • Rest – 10-second rest interval of walking on the treadmill
  • Hills – 30-second run on a 5% incline treadmill belt at 5 mph
  • Rest – 10-second rest interval of walking on the treadmill
  • Repeat – Perform intervals until you have met your goal
  • Cooldown – 5 minutes of light jogging and stretching

Once you’ve mastered these beginner workouts, challenge yourself to a new level of HIIT on your treadmill with the Motivational HIIT Series in iFIT. In this series iFIT trainer, Dewayne Montgomery, helps you engage both mind and body to master a workout that’s entirely in your hands. 

You can choose to focus on HIIT, reduce the impact with low-intensity, high-incline walking, or even automate your workout experience by letting Dewayne adjust your machine as you follow his lead with the automatic trainer control feature of your NordicTrack treadmill. No matter what you choose, you’ll enjoy amazing views along the way! While you’re going for a sprint, light jog, or brisk walk, Dewayne will lead you through Sedona, Arizona, where picturesque scenery complements your hard work.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your HIIT Workout

The key to getting the most out of your HIIT workout is to personalize every step. Here are a few ways to make sure you’ve created a HIIT treadmill workout that’s uniquely you.

Personalize Your Plan

Creating a workout plan isn’t all about trying to burn fat or getting in as much cardio as possible. First and foremost, a workout plan should fit into your life—which means taking details like age, fitness level, overall health, scheduling conflicts, and more into account. Your goal should be to create a plan you can stick to; the rest will come later.

Do What’s Comfortable

If you’re new to HIIT or the treadmill, or if you just purchased a new NordicTrack machine, you may not be ready to jump right into a high-intensity workout. That’s why it’s important to do what feels comfortable. Forcing yourself to work too hard, too soon or exercise too frequently can impact you physically, mentally, and emotionally, so go at your own pace and let your workout plan grow with you.

Stay Hydrated

A 2013 study by Loughborough University shows that dehydration can negatively impact exercise performance while increasing perceived effort (20). Another Loughborough University study recommends getting “moderately high levels of sodium” during and after exercise, which means bringing plenty of water or your favorite carbohydrate–electrolyte enriched sports drink (21).

Get Creative

The treadmill isn’t the only place you can do HIIT workouts, and HIIT isn’t the only variation of treadmill activity. To keep your workouts engaging and to work different muscle groups in different ways, try switching things up with other routines or equipment.

The great thing about NordicTrack equipment is that most machines are enabled with iFIT, which has workouts that take you off your equipment for bodyweight exercises and floor work. The workout variety is endless with NordicTrack and iFIT.

Go Exploring

You may be walking in place when you use a treadmill, but with iFIT, you don’t have to. There are plenty of workouts featured on iFIT that can help you get in touch with your inner explorer and your inner fitness aficionado. You can look forward to workouts that take you to exotic destinations, help structure exciting routines, motivate you to succeed physically and mentally, help you train for marathons, and so much more.


Grab a bottle of water or your favorite sports drink, turn on your NordicTrack treadmill, and get ready for a workout like no other. Combining HIIT training and your home treadmill could help benefit your health in numerous ways.

To jump into your own HIIT workout journey, start by finding a home treadmill that has everything you’ll need with iFIT trainers that’ll help guide you on your way to reaching your ultimate HIIT goals.  

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