Treadmill Workouts for Overweight Beginners

Getting into shape is a noble goal. It is an especially beneficial goal for people who are carrying too much excess body fat. Using a treadmill is a great way to get in those much needed fat-burning cardio exercises. But where do you begin?

Starting an exercise regime is the first step to getting fit. However, just picking a random treadmill exercise program or weight-loss routine and trying to stick to that is often not the best approach. When a person is carrying a lot of excess body fat their approach to exercise must be different from that used by those who are in the “normal” weight range. Extra weight can put tremendous stress on muscles and joints. If an overweight person tries to follow a fitness program set out for people who are not overweight they can develop injuries, put too much strain on their heart and slow down their weight-loss journey. Let’s look at the correct way to approach exercise when you are overweight.

Treadmill Workouts for Overweight Beginners

From Fat to Fit in Three Phases

I considered naming this subtitle ” The Three Phases of a Fitness Fanatic” but I admit that subtitle would have been used primarily to elicit a response rather than be an accurate representation of this section.

Even complementing being a fitness fanatic when you are currently overweight and have never exercised before seems ridiculous but this is exactly what happens to the vast majority of people who actually stick to their goal of losing weight through exercise.

treadmill feetIf you continue on your fitness journey through treadmill weight-loss training you won’t necessarily turn into a “fitness fanatic” but if you follow the plan set out below you will shed all that excess body fat and you will enjoy getting into shape!

However, you should be aware that as you start this weight-loss and fitness journey this life-changing habit that can become addictive.

When you start to feel and look fitter you tend to want more and as you get more positive results you realise you can get even more. It becomes like a repetitive loop, but in a good way.

The are three phases to getting into shape that apply to overweight people. The three stages are:

  1. Beginner
  2. Intermediate
  3. Fit

Moving from one phase to another can take time but it is worth it.

You will also find that moving from stage 1 to stage 2 takes a lot longer than moving from stage 2 to stage 3.

In this article I will set out a long-term weight-loss plan based upon treadmill exercises.

However, you must ensure your diet is right or all your hard work on the treadmill will count for nothing.

You will also need access to a good treadmill with plenty of functionality like the FreeMotion 850 or 890.

Treadmill Workouts for Overweight Beginners man

The One Key Component to Permanent Weight-Loss

There is one key component that must be part your exercise routine and that no-one else can give you:

You must be consistent in your efforts or you will see limited or no results.

A huge part of any weight-loss program or fitness regime is your attitude.

Almost every diet on the planet works if you stick to it. Fitness is the same – almost every fitness programs works if you work it.

You can lose every single bit of excess body fat that you are now carrying if you stick to the plan I lay out below. But you must be persistent and perform the exercises regularly.

Only you can bring persistence to the table.

Unfortunately, this is often more difficult to achieve than performing the exercises.

But you must persevere even when it appears you are not getting the results you think you should be getting.

Don’t Trust Your Scale

Many times the scale does not tell the whole story.

keep going even when it looks like you are not getting resultsDo not be alarmed or dismayed if sometimes your weight loss stops even when you have been working hard.

Sometimes your weight may even increase (due mostly to water retention) and this can have a major negative impact on your attitude to exercise.

Don’t let the scale effect you.

You cannot change laws of physics. If you burn more calories than you eat then you will lose weight regardless of what the scale says.

When I went on a “fat cutting” program (and also back when I needed to lose weight after gaining 28 lbs after surgery) I found that my weight loss fluctuated greatly.

One week I would lose 7 lbs and the next week I would lose 1 lb or nothing. Sometimes I appeared to have gained a 1 lb.

Then the next week it would be 7 lbs again and so on.

I never let this worry me as I have always known that the scale does not truly reflect what is happening to fat in the body.

Every body is unique and everyone responds to exercise differently (though everyone can get the same end-results).

So be gentle on yourself and just keep keeping on. You will get there.

Stage 1 – Beginner

As a beginner you should never try to follow an exercise program that has been designed for people who are already fit. It is actually crucial that you do not follow this advice when you are overweight.

Pushing your body to extremes when it has been used to doing nothing but resting and overeating can lead to injuries and it puts tremendous strain on your heart and other organs.

Before you begin any exercise or weight loss program remind yourself that you are not in a race and losing weight safely and permanently is better than a quick short-term fix.

In the beginning you can have huge weight-loss gains but be aware that this can slow down.

Fat on treadmillYou will notice that when you reach the intermediate stage it takes a much less time to reach the stage where you are totally fit and at your ideal weight than it did to get to intermediate stage.

But, be aware that your weight-loss can be slow at the very start of the beginner’s stage.

This is because you must take it slowly in the beginning to get your body use to exercise and to start strengthening your heart.

Slow weight-loss doesn’t mean what you are doing isn’t working.

As long as your weight is doing down no matter how slowly it means that you are doing everything right.

As you become fitter, even while you are still overweight, you can start increasing your workout intensity levels and you will start to see excess body fat melting from your body.

But build-up to that point slowly!

Build-Up Slowly

As I have already mentioned you must start slowly in your exercise routines to get your body used to the new, positive, strain it will experience.

Starting Out

Although I give a full training regime below it is important to first cover the 3 stages of your “fat to fit” journey in a bit more detail.

Starting slowly means two things:

  1. Short exercise sessions
  2. Walk don’t run

build up a sweat on treadmillWhen people first get on a treadmill they feel that they are suppose to start jogging or running to get the most from their time on the machine.

As a beginner to exercise you should not do this. Instead set a timer for 15 minutes and simply walk on the machine.

Start it at a slow walking pace and eventually build-up to a brisk walk.

Your aim is to make the walk difficult enough that you have to breathe deeper and you begin to sweat.

If you aren’t sweating your aren’t burning enough calories.

Just remember to avoid anything that feels like too much work. At this point in your fitness journey your goal is to condition your body into a new habit and to prepare it for harder exercise routines.

Picking-Up the Pace

Once you have become use to exercising you can start making your exercise sessions more challenging.

Begin by increasing the time you spend on the treadmill.

fat man running fast on treadmillIncrease the treadmill’s incline to make it tougher to maintain your pace.

After a week or two you can start to run on the treadmill.

Remember at this early stage your aim is to keep your exercise mild enough so that it does not put too much strain on your heart and joints but tough enough so it makes you breathe harder and sweat.

When you can run the whole time of your treadmill session you are ready to go onto intermediate exercises.

Stage 2 – Intermediate

HIIT

By far the most effective form of fat burning cardio is HIIT.

HIIT is the killer secret weapon for weight loss and fat burning.

HIIT is an abbreviation for High Intensity Interval Training.

This type of cardio is completed much more quickly than standard cardio and is much, much, more effective.

fast running on treadmillWith standard cardio exercises you only burn the calories that are used up as you perform the exercises.

However, due to the nature of the way you perform HIIT exercises, your body continues to burn calories for up to 24 hours after you have finished the exercise.

Also, where standard cardio exercises usually last take from 40 minutes and up, a HIIT routine will take no more than 30 minutes with the majority of them being only 20 minutes long.

“What’s the catch?”, I hear you say.

The only catch is that HIIT exercises are tough to do. You literally push yourself to the limit. But the payoff is really worth it.

I have incorporated HIIT into the intermediate training program below.

Weight Training

Don’t let the term weight training scare you especially if you are a woman.

You will never become muscular like a body builder unless you put in a lot of effort and eat like an elephant.

You will never get muscular like a body builder through normal weight lifting.

Lais DeLeon fitness model weight trainingWeight lifting not only tones your muscles to make you look better but it also helps you burn more calories and shed more body fat.

As you weight train your muscles gain more mass and get heavier (often without looking any bigger) and this increased mass means your body needs increased energy to move them.

That increased energy comes in the form of burned calories. When you are using up more calories than you consume then these increased calories come from body fat.

You don’t even need to go to the gym to achieve increased muscle mass as you can do it from home.

There are some great full-body workout machines designed for home use.

Stage 3 – Fit

When you reach your full fitness level you can really ramp up your training routines.

You can do this by increasing your muscle training routines and your cardio.

Consider incorporating multiple HIIT exercises into your routine.

6 Week Beginner Treadmill Exercises

These weekly steps are guidelines only. Do not be too rigid in how you follow them.

Each individual is different and we all respond to exercise differently.

You may find that you start to get fit quicker than this plan outlines and you can therefore move on to the next set of exercises sooner than I have laid out.

Just be careful not to over-tax your body as you risk injury. But, if it feels too comfortable doing your current exercises you should definitely “up” your game.

If you feel that you are not ready to move onto the next step then just extend your current exercises for another week. Just be careful that you are not unconsciously avoiding stepping-up your game.

If you can exercise every day at the start then you should do so. As your exercise routines are short this should not cause too much disruption to your life and should be easy to do.

Exercising every day at the beginning will also help you reach the intermediate stage quicker.

When you start performing HIIT exercises you only need to exercise 3 times per week although exercising every day is fine if you have the time.

Consider though that because HIIT continues to burn calories for up to 24 hours after you have finished the exercises, exercising every day means you are constantly attacking that excess body fat every minute of the day.

week 1

Week 1

Welcome to the first week of your beginner’s treadmill training program.

  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Beginner level
Warm-Up

Start the treadmill at a slow walking pace.

Walk on it for 5 minutes.

Pick-up the Pace

Increase your speed to that of a brisk walk for 5 minutes ensuring that the pace makes you breathe harder and sweat.

Warm-Down

Slow down to your initial pace.

Continue for 5 minutes.

Your workout is complete.

 

week 2

Week 2

During week two we will increase the intensity of the workout only slightly.

  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Beginner level
Warm-Up

Start the treadmill at a slow walking pace.

Walk for 5 minutes.

Pick-up the Pace

Increase your speed to that of a brisk walk.

Increase the incline on the treadmill slightly to make it harder to maintain your pace.

Maintain your pace for 5 minutes ensuring you have to breathe harder and sweat.

Warm-Down

Decrease the incline back to the starting point.

Slow down to your initial pace.

Continue for 5 minutes.

Your workout is complete.

week 3

Week 3

In week 3 you will increase the intensity of your treadmill exercises again to ensure you are challenging your body to get fitter.

Slowly you are moving towards a fitter body.

  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Beginner level
Warm-Up

Start the treadmill at a regular walking pace slightly faster than you have being doing the previous 2 weeks.

Walk for 5 minutes.

Pick-up the Pace

Increase your speed to that of a light jog.

Maintain your pace for 5 minutes ensuring you have to breathe harder and sweat.

Warm-Down

Slow down to your initial pace.

Continue for 5 minutes.

Your workout is complete.

week 4

Week 4

During week 4 you are still getting your body use to exercising.

But, you will include an incline raise on your treadmill to continue challenging yourself.

  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Beginner level
Warm-Up

Start the treadmill at a regular walking pace similar to week 3.

Walk for 5 minutes.

Pick-up the Pace

Increase your speed to that of a light jog.

Increase the incline on the treadmill slightly to make it harder to maintain your pace.

Maintain your pace for 5 minutes ensuring you have to breathe harder and sweat.

Warm-Down

Decrease the incline back to the starting point.

Slow down to your initial pace.

Continue for 5 minutes.

Your workout is complete.

week 5

Week 5

At week 5 you will really begin to increase the intensity of your workout.

You will use an incline and also increase your treadmill time.

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Beginner level
Warm-Up

Start the treadmill at a regular walking pace.

Walk on it for 5 minutes.

Pick-up the Pace

Increase your speed to that of a light jog.

Increase the incline on the treadmill slightly to make it harder to maintain your pace.

Maintain your pace for 10 minutes ensuring you have to breathe harder and sweat.

Warm-Down

Decrease the incline back to the starting point.

Slow down to your initial pace.

Continue for 5 minutes.

Your workout is complete.

week 6

Week 6

The end of week 6 will see you move from beginner into intermediate level.

You have done exceptionally well to get this far and should be every proud of yourself.

You will also have noticed a fair bit of weight loss.

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Beginner level
Warm-Up

Start the treadmill at a regular walking pace for about 30 seconds.

Start slow jogging.

Jog on it for 5 minutes.

Pick-up the Pace

Increase your speed to that of a light run.

Maintain your pace for 10 minutes ensuring you have to breathe harder and sweat.

Warm-Down

Slow down to your jogging initial pace.

Jog on it for 5 minutes easing into a walk for the last 30 seconds.

Your workout is complete.

 

6 Week Intermediate Treadmill Exercises

Now that you have completed the 6 week beginner exercise program it is time to move up to intermediate level.

Here you will introduce HIIT exercises into your treadmill routine.

Although you should already have seen some big improvements to your weight and fitness levels you will really begin to see some massive changes with HIIT – as long as your diet is correct.

 

week 7

Week 7

Week seven sees you leave the ranks of the beginners and enter the ranks of intermediates.

You can now say you are no longer a beginner.

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Intermediate level
step 1: Warm-Up

Start the treadmill with a light jogging pace for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Pick-up the Pace

Set a pace that is the same as a light run (slightly faster than jogging).

Maintain your pace for 60 seconds.

Step 3: Speed Burst

Increase your speed to a running pace that really feels like you are straining.

This should be hard work.

Go for it and run as fast as you can for just 30 seconds.

Step 4: Slow It Down or Jump On the Rails

There are two different approaches to ending the speed burst.

I personally use the first as it just seems safer and more natural. However, the second method is very popular.

Method 1

After the 30 second speed burst just slow down to your initial pace and start jogging again for 60 seconds.

Method 2

After the 30 second speed burst grab the handles and jump onto the sides of the treadmill.

Take a 30 second breather.

Adjust the treadmills speed and get back on to jog for 30 seconds.

step 5: Rinse & Repeat

For the next 10 minutes repeat steps 2 to step 4.

step 6: Warm-Down

After 10 minutes of HIIT (steps 2 – 4) slow down to your initial jogging pace.

Run at a light pace for 5 minutes easing into a walk for the last 30 seconds.

Your workout is complete.

week 8

Week 8

Week eight is a true milestone in your fitness journey.

You should celebrate – but not with cake or other fatty foods.   wink

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Intermediate level
step 1: Warm-Up

Increase the incline on your treadmill slightly.

Start the treadmill with a light jogging pace for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Pick-up the Pace

Set a pace that is the same as a light run (slightly faster than jogging).

Maintain your pace for 60 seconds.

Step 3: Speed Burst

Increase your speed to a running pace that really feels like you are straining.

This should be hard work.

Go for it and run as fast as you can for just 30 seconds.

Step 4: Slow It Down or Jump On the Rails

As before use your chosen method to end the speed burst before moving to step 5.

Method 1

After the 30 second speed burst just slow down to your initial pace and start jogging again for 60 seconds.

Method 2

After the 30 second speed burst jump onto the side of treadmill.

Take a 30 second breather.

Adjust the treadmills speed and get back on to jog for 30 seconds.

step 5: Rinse & Repeat

For the next 10 minutes repeat steps 2 to step 4.

step 6: Warm-Down

After 10 minutes of HIIT (steps 2 – 4) decrease your treadmill’s incline.

Slow down to your initial running pace.

Run for 5 minutes easing into a walk for the last 30 seconds.

Your workout is complete.

Moving Forward

As you continue your treadmill exercises past the eighth week you can stay with the same exercises and you will continue to get great results or you can continue to increase the incline on the treadmill.

getting fit on treadmillIncreasing the incline on the treadmill just a little bit each week will continually challenge you and help you to shed even more body fat.

You should really consider incorporating a weight training routine into your exercise program as it will greatly improve the results you get and it will make you look even better.

Lastly, and I cannot stress this strongly enough but you must be eating correctly.

You cannot out-train a bad diet.

If you are eating more calories than you can burn through exercise then all your hard work on the treadmill will be for nothing. So get your diet sorted out!