Treadmill bursting, or interval training, is an exercise technique where you suddenly exert excessive effort and energy. An example of bursting is walking briskly for a few minutes, and then suddenly exploding into a rapid run for a few seconds to one minute. Burst training involves using both your aerobic and anaerobic systems to burn fat. This exercise technique also helps your body to build and strengthen your muscles, while increasing your power and endurance.
Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise, such as running, bicycling and calisthenics, burns fat and improves your cardiovascular health. You have fat-blasting power in your anaerobic system, too. Your aerobic system uses oxygen to metabolize carbohydrates and fat. Your anaerobic system uses muscle glycogen and fat as fuel. There is some evidence that short burst interval training may be more effective at using fat as fuel than steady aerobic exercise alone. According to an article published in the "Journal of Applied Physiology," after two weeks of 15-minute sprint interval training, the participants’ use of muscle fat for fuel increased and their endurance capacity doubled. Anaerobic exercise, such as that experienced when you do high-intensity bursts of running, burns more fat faster than steady aerobic exercise alone.
Treadmill Burst Routine
Begin your routine with a warm-up period by walking on a treadmill for five minutes, and then gradually speed up until you reach a brisk jogging pace. Once you're warmed up, you will do a series of high-intensity running for a short period of time followed by low-intensity running to recover. Run as fast as you can with as much energy as you can muster for 30 to 60 seconds. Slow down to a brisk jog for 30 to 60 seconds to recover. Once you recover, burst into an all-out run at your maximum effort again for 30 to 60 seconds, followed by another 30- to 60-second recovery period at a brisk jog. Repeat the pattern for a total of six times. When your endurance and strength increase, try the same treadmill burst technique with the treadmill set on an incline of 10 degrees. Increase the incline as you increase in strength and endurance.
Treadmill bursting makes use of both energy systems in your body; aerobic, which your body uses when walking; and anaerobic, which your body uses when sprinting. Both of these systems combined help your body to lose weight faster than using one system by itself. Lactic acid is produced by anaerobic exercise and builds up in your muscles; therefore, the “burn” you feel while doing vigorous exercise is your muscles burning glycogen for fuel. When you slow down during the aerobic portion of the bursting routine, the aerobic system helps to remove lactic acid from the muscles as you recover. Bursting can help improve your speed, endurance and cardiovascular health. Rapid weight loss is another benefit when combined with a healthy eating plan.
Treadmill bursting is high-intensity exercise from which your body will need to recover. It’s best to perform treadmill bursting two to three days each week on nonconsecutive days. Your body needs time to recover, heal and build muscle. If you're a beginner and you haven't exercised much in the past, see your doctor before you start running full steam ahead. Talk to a certified personal trainer or other fitness expert about your current fitness level and your goals. Start slowly. As you build your endurance, you can exercise more frequently and exercise longer.
- IDEA: Short-Burst Training
- Keep it Moving Fitness: Treadmill Intervals! Short Bursts of Exercise Burn More Calories
- Journal of Applied Physiology: Six Sessions of Sprint Interval Training Increases Muscle Oxidative Potential and Cycle Endurance Capacity in Humans
- American Council on Exercise: Interval Training
- Self: Jillian Michaels Answers Your Questions
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.