Do You Really Need To Run for Fat Loss?

by James Kerrison on March 31, 2009

treadmillDo you need to run for fat loss? Personally I think that the treadmill is so over-rated and equally overused. In my opinion, unless the weather doesn’t permit, you should be running outside. This doesn’t mean the treadmill is completely useless however!

One workout I do prescribe for the treadmill is walking at maximum incline (usually 15%) at a pace that you can maintain for 20 minutes. Now it may surprise you just how difficult this can be. According to a recent study out of the A.T Still University shows us that walking at 5km/h at an incline of 15% translates to a flat (0%) running speed of 11km/h.

Why do I care? Well first of all, if you are carrying a few (or more) extra kilos, you will be decreasing your chances of injury through your ankles, knees, hips and lower back. These weight baring joints cop a pounding when running, even with the absorption technology available in treadmills and running shoes currently available.

Secondly, by forcing yourself to climb Mount Treadmill, you will be increasing the recruitment of your calves, hamstrings and glutes. This technique can serve as a solid workout for these typically underused muscles, or as a quality recovery technique the day after a heavy session.

I would recommend starting with 10 minutes for two sessions, 15 minutes for another two sessions and then having a go at the full 20 minutes. Two or three sessions per week on the days you aren’t doing your weights will be plenty.

By utilising the treadmill in this fashion you will ensure that you are able to continue working hard without the fear or realisation of injury. I don’t care how great running might be for fat loss because you won’t be burning anything if you are on the injured list.

Take care now.


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