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Advanced Treadmill Walking Workout

Alternate between the Speed Workout and Incline Workout, two to five times a week. Need a refresher on finding your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)? Go to the next page in the story for our easy-to-use chart.

Speed Workout

Adjust the treadmill speed and incline to increase and decrease your RPE. Repeat this workout for 45 minutes to an hour.

  • WARM UP: Walk 3-5 minutes at RPE of 3.
  • INCREASE INTENSITY: Bring incline up to 3-5% and walk for 2 minutes at RPE of 5.
  • WORK IT: Walk 30 seconds at RPE of 7-10.
  • STICK WITH IT: Walk 2 minutes at RPE of 5.
  • COOL DOWN: Walk 3-5 minutes at RPE of 3.

Incline Workout

Adjust the treadmill speed and incline to increase and decrease your RPE. Repeat this workout for 45 minutes to an hour.

  • WARM UP: Walk 3-5 minutes at RPE of 3.
  • INCREASE INTENSITY: Bring incline up to 5% and walk for 2 minutes at RPE of 5-8.
  • WORK IT: Bring incline up to 10% and walk for 1 minute at RPE of 6-8.
  • STICK WITH IT: Decrease incline until you're at RPE of 5-8. Walk 2 minutes.
  • COOL DOWN: Decrease incline and speed until you're at RPE of 3. Walk 3-5 minutes.

Your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale measures how difficult an exercise is for you and will help you determine whether your heart rate is in the right zone. Everybody's RPE scale is different. But the beauty is, you don't need fancy equipment to figure it out—you just need to listen to your body. Hop on the treadmill and see how certain speeds affect you. Take a break, then hop on again—this time, try out different inclines. What speed or incline renders you unable to talk? That would be your RPE of 10. At what speed or incline are you barely exerting any energy? That would be your RPE of 0. Use these first two workouts to map your range:

RPE

I feel like…

My Speed (how fast can I go and still feel this way?)

My Incline (how steep can I go and still feel this way?)

0
Nothing

I'm barely moving.

 

 

1

2

Very Light

I'm just strolling. Breathing is easy. No noticeable increase in heart rate.

 

 

3

4

Light

Breathing is getting a little harder. But still, no sweat! Well, maybe a little sweat. Talking is easy.

 

 

5

6

7

Moderate

I can feel my heart working now. I'm sweating a little bit more but can talk with relative ease.

 

 

8

9
Hard

My heart is at its max rate. I'm sweating but I can talk…though I don't really want to.

 

 

10
Very Hard

My heart is racing and speaking is difficult. It's taking all my concentration to keep up with the treadmill.

 

 

Go to the Beginner Treadmill Workout

Go to the Intermediate Treadmill Workout

Originally published on FamilyCircle.com in May 2010.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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