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Helping You Live Better

On the Treadmill: Tips for Burning Belly Fat

by Jordana Raban, personal trainer | Jul 08, 2019

Group exercise classes such as HIIT and Bootcamp are praised for their effectiveness in helping participants burn fat - including that stubborn fat around our midsection - but what if these classes don’t fit into your crazy schedule, or maybe you are just not the group exercise type?  Don’t despair, because there are lots of options for maximizing your workouts on the gym floor.

Cardio machines such as the treadmill are great tools for fat burning, but unfortunately not all treadmill users make the most of this great machine, especially if their goal is fat burning!  I often see people using cardio equipment at a consistent pace throughout the entire duration of their workout.  If that’s your approach, you might not be seeing the fat burning results you want.  You may also be getting bored quickly since the workout is not very engaging.  And if you enjoy helping the time go by faster by watching the TV screen, that helps with engagement, but won’t help you burn belly fat.  

So what should you do? If your goal is to lose belly fat, interval training can help speed up that process (along with proper nutrition, of course). Endurance training is important to build a comfortable “base” level pace, but challenging your “aerobic comfort zone” and incorporating sprints are key when it comes to fat loss and burning calories. That’s why it’s important to try to break down your treadmill work out into intervals that include speed as well as endurance.

Here is an example of how you can turn your time on the treadmill into an interval-training, belly fat-torching power workout. And best of all, even a short 20-minute workout packs more fat-burning benefits than 40 minutes of a steady pace.


            • Begin with a steady pace walk (3-3.5 mph): 2 min

            • Pick up the pace to a brisk walk (4 mph): 1 min


            • Light jog (4.5 - 5 mph): 1 min

            • Run (6 - 7 mph): 1 min

            • Light jog (4.5 - 5 mph): 1 min

            • Run (6 - 7 mph): 2 min

            • Light jog (4.5 - 5 mph): 1 min

            • High Knees (4.5 - 5 mph): 1 min

            • Butt Kicks (4.5 - 5 mph): 1 min

            • Light jog (4.5 - 5 mph): 1 min

            • Uphill run #1 (5 - 6 mph, incline 2-4%): 1 min

            • Light jog (4.5 - 5 mph): 1 min

            • Uphill run #2 (5-6 mph, incline 6-8%): 1 min

            • Light jog (4.5 - 5 mph, incline back to 0%): 1 min

            • Sprint (7 - 9 mph): 30 sec

            • Jog (4.5 - 5 mph): 30 sec

            • Sprint (7-9 mph): 30 sec

            • Jog (4.5 - 5 mph): 30 sec


  • Steady pace walk (3 - 3.5 min): 2 min

Jordana Raban is a personal trainer at Somerset Hills YMCA.

  • Somerset Hills YMCA - Mt. Airy
  • Health & Wellness
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