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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WIO: 6,7,8 Treadmill Intervals

Vacations are GREAT, but there's always one drawback about them...getting back to reality when you walk through your front door. After being gone (and away from any kind of exercise) for almost an entire week, I knew it was time to fit in a quick & effective workout ASAP!  Cardio is always a great way to get out of that lazy, vacation frame of mind and jump-start your way into a healthy, active & motivated lifestyle again.

I started my first Work It Out (WIO) post to the series last week, and you can read all about it here if you missed it: WIO: Cardio Interval Training. Originally, I wanted to include this workout on my first WIO post, but I decided not to...I didn't want to overwhelm anyone with too many choices, numbers to crunch or ways to run on a treadmill all at once.  So, here is my PART 2 to my first interval training post, and it's called the 6,7,8 workout.  I got this one from a dancer friend of mine, Danielle and we always turned to it whenever we needed to sweat a lot and kick our booties into shape!

*WIO TIP: Always do a quick stretch before a running workout targeting your legs, calves, back and arms.  I also encourage setting yourself up with music, or watching television if you're inside of a gym equipped with one.  There's nothing worse than being bored during a workout.  Distracting yourself with some kind of entertainment will help you to stare at the clock as a time reference, not to count down time remaining in your workout.

*Unlike my first interval training post, this particular workout requires a treadmill.

6,7,8 treadmill intervals:

workout time varies depending on which version you do (explanation below)
3 interval sets 2 x: 35 minutes
or 4 straight interval sets 1 x only: 20 minutes 

Start your 6,7,8 interval workouts with a warm-up walk for 2 minutes at a 3.5mph speed.

Every treadmill is different, so if you're not sure about how fast you should be going, it should feel like you are power walking, or taking a brisk walk.  When you hit the 2 minute mark, up the speed to 6.0 mph and run at that speed for a minute.

I started 6mph at 2:00, but it was tricky to get that picture!

After your 6.0mph minute run, up your speed to 7.0mph and run at that speed for a minute.

When you complete your minute 7.0mph run, finally up your speed to 8.0mph and complete your first 6,7,8 set by running at that speed for a minute.

You're going to be pretty winded after your first interval set, so take your 5-6 minute to recover by bringing the speed down to your warm-up walking speed of 3.5mph.

If you need to take a breather before you begin walking, you can opt to rest while re-setting your speed to 6mph by splitting your feet on the sides of the treadmill, removing them from the belt.  Use the handlebars of the treadmill for support, and place your feet on the sidebars.

*NOTE: It's better to recover from your 8mph sprint by walking, but by all means do what you need to recover and get your ready for your next 6,7,8 interval set.

When you hit the 6 minute mark, it's time to start your 2nd set of intervals.  At 6:00, start to run at 6mph for a minute, and repeat the 7:00 at 7mph and the 8:00 at 8mph.

After 2 sets, you need to decide which route you're going to go:
 3 interval sets 2 x: 35 minutes
or 4 straight interval sets 1 x only: 20 minutes

If you plan to do a weight training workout during that trip to the gym, I usually opt for the 3 interval sets 2 x through.  If I'm just there to do a quick, intense cardio workout I go for the 4 straight sets 1 x only.  The first time you try this workout, it's probably going to be a challenge to get through 3 consecutive sets and that's completely fine.  Everyone reading this has different workout regimes, are on different health & fitness levels and like different difficulties of workouts. *Do what's best for YOU!

if you're doing 3 interval sets 2 x:
  • Do the first 3 6,7,8's after your warm-up and take at least 2 minutes to cool-down out of your 3rd 8mph minute run.
  • Use the next 30 minutes, or however long you need to complete your workout outside of cardio for that day.
  • When you're done with the majority of everything else, start to close your workout with your second 3 sets of 6,7,8's.
  • Between the 2 reps of doing 3 interval sets, you will be on the treadmill for around 35 minutes.
if you're doing 4 straight interval sets 1 x only:
  • Start your first 6,7,8 interval after your warm-up and repeat pattern of 6,7,8 and rest minutes 3 more times.
  • Your final 6,7,8 interval set will begin at the 15 minute mark with 6mph at 15:00, 7mph at 16:00, and 8mph at 17:00.
  • Use the next 5 minutes, or however long you need to gradually make your way back down to walking warm-up speed of 3.5mph.
  • With this version, you will hit the 2 mile mark just around 20 minutes.  Cool down by walking at 3.5 mph until you're ready to get off of the treadmill.

Interval workouts have been a key to keeping my cardio routine challenging.  Research shows that interval training burns more fat and calories than steady paced runs or jogs.  I'm excited I got to finish sharing my cardio interval training workouts with you! (for now anyways).

Counting your calories? I can't tell you how many calories you will burn since numbers change depending on your treadmill and weight, but I can share a great running calories burned calculator:

Estimate the calories you burned running:
Powered by Everyday Health

And with that, my second part of interval training for you is complete.  Stay tuned for more cardio & WIO tips & let me know if or how interval training has helped you!

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