Treadmill weight loss workout: quick and effective ways to lose weight

Try this treadmill weight loss workout that increases your speed and incline – with variations for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels

Treadmill weight loss workout: Woman running on treadmill
(Image credit: Getty)

Treadmill weight loss workouts are a great way to power up your next cardio session. If you love nothing more than a sweaty indoor running workout to help you drop some weight, you’re in the right place. All you need is one of the best treadmills and a willingness to mix up your exercise regime and we'll make burning some calories – dare we say it – enjoyable.

Weight loss can be one of the hardest things to do. Both mentally and physically. And especially when the weather isn't on our side. But that’s the beauty of owning a treadmill or using one in the gym, as the weather doesn’t dictate your session. Plus, along with being one of the best forms of exercise for weight loss and weight management (opens in new tab), aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce risk factors associated (opens in new tab) with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Whether you have gained a few pounds over the winter season, or you just want to fall in love with cardio workouts all over again. We’ve enlisted the help of Barry’s (opens in new tab) trainer, Lucy Usher, to help push your cardiovascular training to new heights.

Is the treadmill effective for helping you lose weight?

When it comes to losing weight, there are multiple factors that play a part in how many pounds you do (and don’t) lose. From your diet and lifestyle to your exercise regime and your genetic makeup.  But in very basic terms, if you want to lose weight you will need to be in a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit occurs when you are burning more calories than you are consuming. Which is where a treadmill can be very effective.

Running on a treadmill mimics the effects of running outside. Although, of course, there are a few differences. Running outside exposes you to differing terrains and wind resistance – both of which will require you to use more energy. However, a study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences (opens in new tab) shows that runners can compensate for this energetic cost by knocking their treadmill incline up to 1%.

As Usher explains: “There isn’t one specific style of tread workout that is personal to weight loss as ultimately it’s a calorie deficit that is required for weight loss. I would recommend at least 30 mins of activity a day so whether that’s one of the below tread workouts and making it a 30 min session or adding in something else.”

According to Harvard Health (opens in new tab), running on a treadmill for 30 minutes could see a 185-pound person burn 336 calories. While a 155-pound person could burn 288 in the same amount of time and a 125-pound person could lose 240 calories in a 30-minute period.  While the American Council on Exercise (opens in new tab) believes, a 120-pound person will burn 11.4 calories a minute while running, a 140-pound person will shed 13.2 calories, a person who weighs 160 pounds will burn 15.1 calories, while a 180-pound person might burn 17. 

Treadmill weight loss workout: Woman running on treadmill

(Image credit: Getty)

Treadmill weight loss workouts: A step-by-step guide

One of the best ways to mix up your treadmill weight loss workouts? By adding in a few HIIT running workouts. As Usher explains: “A HIIT style workout is something I really enjoy on the treadmill. Short, sharp bursts of intensity followed by a well-earned recovery. For this style of workout you can focus on speed, incline or even both. 

“But as great as all of these workouts are, you still need to be eating well and living a healthy lifestyle and, if weight loss is the ultimate goal, then being in a calorie deficit is crucial to achieve this goal.”

Treadmill weight loss workout: Woman running on treadmill

(Image credit: Getty)

Treadmill weight loss workouts: speed and incline run

This involves upping your speed by 0.5 after every 30 seconds until you get to just over 11 minutes, along with the incline. This can be repeated 3 times to reach your 30-minute workout goal.

1.  Start at speed 5 and jog for 30 seconds

2.  Increase your speed to 5.5 and jog for 30 seconds

3.  Once you reach 1 minute, knock your speed up to 6 and run for 30 seconds

4.  Once you reach 1 minute and 30 seconds, knock your speed up to 6.5 and run for 30 seconds

5.  Once you reach 2 minutes, knock your speed up to 7 and run for 1 minute

6.  Once you reach 3 minutes take your speed down to 5 and jog for 1 minute

Beginners should start at speed 5, intermediate levels should start at level 6, while advanced levels should start at level 7.

7. Once you reach 4 minutes, knock your speed up to 7 and run for 30 seconds

8.  Once you reach 4 minutes and 30 seconds, increase incline to 2% and run for 30 seconds

9.  Once you reach 5 minutes, increase incline to 3% and run for 30 seconds

10.  Once you reach 5 minutes and 30 seconds, increase incline to 4% and run for 30 seconds

11.  At 6 minutes, knock your speed down to 5 but leave the incline.

12.  At 6 minutes and 45 seconds increase your speed to 8 and run for 30 seconds

13.  At 7 minutes and 15 seconds decrease your incline to 0% and your speed to 3 for 1 minute and 15 seconds.

Beginners should start a 7. Intermediate levels should start at level 8. While advanced runners should start at level 9.

14. Once you reach 8 minutes and 30 seconds run at a 7.2 speed and 0% incline for 30 seconds

15.  Once you reach 9 minutes, increase incline to 2% and run for 30 seconds

16.  Once you reach 9 minutes and 30 seconds, increase incline to 3% and run for 30 seconds

17.  Once you reach 10 minutes, increase incline to 4% and run for 30 seconds

18.  At 10 minutes and 30 seconds, knock your speed down to 5

19.  At 11 minutes, knock your speed up to 8.2

20.  At 11 minutes and 30 seconds drop your incline to 0% and your speed to 3

Becks is a freelance journalist and writer with more than 7 years of experience in the field. She writes health and lifestyle content for a range of titles including Live Science, Top Ten Reviews, Tom’s Guide, Stylist, The Independent, and more. She also ghostwrites for a number of Physiotherapists and Osteopaths. 


Health has been a big part of Becks’ lifestyle since time began. When she’s not writing about the topic of health, she’s in the gym learning new compound exercises. And when she’s not in the gym, she’s most probably reading.