Equipment, Fitness

What is a Good Incline To Walk on a Treadmill To Lose Weight?

Woman Using High Incline Treadmill from NordicTrack to Workout

If you’re looking to lose weight, walking on a treadmill can be a great place to start. 

Walking is low-impact, helps burn calories, and can be done almost anywhere, particularly on a treadmill when life gets in the way, and you don’t have time to hit the road. 

But what about walking on an incline treadmill? Do those same calorie-burning benefits still apply? And if so, “What is a good incline to walk on a treadmill to lose weight?”

Before we answer that great question, we’ll first discuss:

Man Using a NordicTrack Incline Treadmill to Lose Weight and Work Out

Benefits of walking on an incline

Walking on an incline increases the intensity of your workout and can burn more calories than walking on a flat surface. 

In fact, studies show that compared to flat ground, when you walk on an incline, metabolic cost, which is the energy the human body expends to move a certain distance, increases by 52% at a five percent incline and a whopping 113% at a 10% incline. 

You can also target different muscles, such as your calves, quadriceps, and glutes, which help tone your body, as Harvard Health reports. 

On top of that, any incline that makes you feel challenged is a good incline. 

And, for optimal results, it’s helpful to vary your incline and speed throughout your workout. This not only keeps your workout interesting but also challenges you in different ways.

All in all, there are plenty of great benefits of walking on an incline treadmill.

So now that you know what those benefits are, the next step is finding a workout that’s right for your weight loss goals. 

But with so many different exercises to choose from, where should you start? And what about all those new workout fads – like the 12-3-30 workout – popping up these days? Are they worth the hype?

Let’s dive into this popular one:

Woman Using an iFIT Workout on Her NordicTrack Treadmill to Stay Healthy

Does the 12-3-30 work for weight loss?

Thanks to the 12-3-30 workout that’s taken over TikTok, incline treadmills are all the rage, promising to help you reach your weight loss goals faster than ever before. But what do those numbers actually mean? And does the 12-3-30 work for weight loss?

To break it down, the 12-3-30 workout involves walking at a 12% incline, 3 miles per hour, for 30 minutes. 

But, while this method has certainly gained popularity, the truth is there’s no magic formula for weight loss. 

The key to losing weight really boils down to good old-fashioned exercise that challenges you, gets your heart rate up, and works up a good sweat—combined with proper nutrition. 

Even so, the 12-3-30 workout can still be a good starting point if you’re just getting into using an incline treadmill.

Speaking of nutrition, though. While walking on an incline treadmill can be a great way to burn calories and build strength, it’s not a substitute for a healthy diet. 

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume. This can be achieved through a combination of exercise and a healthy diet.

Now that you’ve learned the “why” and “what” of a good incline to walk on an incline treadmill to lose weight, the next question is, “how?”

Woman Using a High Incline NordicTrack Treadmill for Walking and Staying Healthy

How to walk on an incline treadmill to lose weight

So, how should you walk on an incline treadmill to lose weight? 

Before we start, though, let’s talk about working out using the RPE scale. That’s your Rate of Perceived Exertion. 

The RPE scale is used to “express how hard someone feels they are working during exercise” from a scale of 0-10, with 0 being, for instance, sitting on your couch and 10 being your maximum effort, like running up a hill.  

Using the RPE scale, warm-up for between 5 and 10 minutes by walking on a flat surface at an RPE between 3 and 4.

Then, gradually increase your incline to a level that challenges you, perhaps at an RPE between 6 and 7. Your speed should be brisk but comfortable enough to maintain for 20 to 30 minutes. 

But be sure to take a few minutes after your workout to cool down and stretch. It’s an essential part of any workout. This may help alleviate tightness and soreness that could occur later or the next day.

And as for the right treadmill incline and speed to lose weight? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It all depends on your fitness level and goals.

Woman Using a High Incline NordicTrack Treadmill to Walk and Workout

The bottom line

Any incline that challenges you is a good incline to walk on a treadmill to lose weight, and just by varying your incline and speed throughout your workout can keep things fresh and push your body in different ways. 

Walking on an incline has numerous benefits, and while there are many incline treadmill workouts to help your weight loss journey, no one workout is the most effective. Combined with proper nutrition, it takes finding what’s right for you.

If you need a place to start, you can easily find an array of incline training workouts on NordicTrack incline treadmills powered by iFIT, a paid subscription available through your NordicTrack equipment that gives you access to a wide variety of workouts led by expert trainers.

So, hop on that incline treadmill and conquer your weight loss goals!

Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.