incline walking vs running

Incline Walking On A Treadmill For An Awesome Calorie Burn

Pin It

If you’d like to burn the calories running offers but an old injury or sore joints are slowing you down, let me suggest incline walking.

As I write, Randy is once again moving our treadmill into another room (the baby loves to climb it), so it’s off to the garage I go.

I have been burning big calories on a treadmill for the past 5 years. When I first joined the gym, I walked in with this goal in mind and having no clue what to do.

I tried the elliptical machines, but they made me feel clumsy. I pedaled stationary bikes for a while too, but for me they seemed boring.

I had been avoiding the treadmill, because I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to burn many calories walking. My back doesn’t always agree with me running (it tends to inflame a previous torn disc and crushed vertebra). But, I figured I may as well try it out…

I got on the treadmill thinking I would just walk fast to burn more calories, but I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. Plus, it didn’t feel like I was working my muscles enough. I knew if I wanted to burn the big calories I was looking for, I’d have to be running on it. I was bummed.

I came home complaining to Randy about my frustrations. He suggested I try incline walking. Well, being new to the gym and treadmills altogether, I had never thought of that. Randy said he raised the treadmill to maximum incline one day just to experiment and claimed it really targeted this leg and butt muscles. My eyebrows raised at this point, because I’m always trying to find a good rear type exercise. He said, too, that it wasn’t long before he could feel the burn and had to break.

Bingo! That’s what I wanted, incline walking! I finally found a great, fat burning cardio workout that targeted my legs and bum region while not having to run. :D

I went to the gym and tried it out. I walked for about 3-5 minutes to warm up my muscles (stretched first too), then I raised the incline up a few blips to 4%. Incline walking at about 3.5 miles per hour, even at a 4% raise, I could feel the difference and see the calorie meter moving faster – I could dig that! I burned a third more calories than the day before walking for the same amount of time… And better yet, my back wasn’t pinching!

I recorded a few 20 minute incline sessions on our treadmill walking at a pace of 4 miles an hour so you can see the numbers: (this doesn’t include warm up or cool down time, full 20 minutes are at 4mph and incline stated)

  • zero incline = 128.4 calories burned
  • 2% incline =138.8 calories burned
  • 4% incline = 146.5 calories burned
  • 6% incline = 158.5 calories burned
  • 8% incline = 168.5 calories burned
  • 10% incline = 177 calories burned
  • 12% incline = 189 calories burned

I weigh approximately 125 pounds, so if you’re weight is similar, these are the numbers you could expect to see at a 4mph pace with incline. If you weigh more, the calories burned will be higher. Weigh less, and the calories burned will be less. Walking at 4.3 mph or 4.5 mph makes quiet a difference as well.

Like I said, I did not include warm up or cool down times. My work out consists of about 3 minutes to warm up, 25 or so minutes incline walking at 10%, and 12%, and cool down for about another 3 minutes. Total work out takes me 30 – 35 minutes and I generally burn 300 calories.

I started checking into incline walking and its benefits, especially for people like myself with joint injuries. Actually, I found it to be highly effective:

Andrea Cespedes, an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer with degrees from Princeton and Columbia University writes, “Adding an incline or speed increases the amount of calories you burn in your treadmill workout. A 150-lb. woman can burn 800 calories in an hour running up a five-percent incline at 6 mph, as opposed to 550 calories in an hour running at the same speed on a flat treadmill. Hill running (or walking) also improves leg strength, efficiency of movement, form and aerobic conditioning.”  Treadmill Incline vs Speed

I took my time the first week keeping a 3.5 mile per hour pace at a 4-6% incline (make sure always to stretch, warm up, walk, cool down, stretch). I kept up this pace for the week, and as my leg muscles adapted, I increased speed and inclination weekly. I was amazed at how much strength and muscle I was able to build – good for burning fat even at rest. :)

Now, I am incline walking at 3.8 to 4.5 miles per hour (depending on my mood and music) and at full incline (that’s 12% on our treadmill, others at the gym reach 15%) and generally burn 225 – 500 calories depending on time spent per session. I do, though, spend at the very the least 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week.

Once I reached my top speed and incline, I continued for about 6 weeks and then took a break – 1 week off. When I returned to the gym, I again tried the ellipticals for a bit and then stationary bikes… I wanted to keep my muscles from getting too used to the treadmill.

Then, I head back to the treadmill and start climbing all over again. I get the best results there.  I’ve milled (as I like to call it) so much over the years that Randy bought me a treadmill of my own (it’s getting a little crazy around here with so many children and it’s just easier for me to have one here at home).

So now it looks like I’ll be incline walking, or milling, in our blasted hot garage for the summer, maybe fall too… Well, whenever the baby stops climbing actually. Living here in Florida, I think I may need a barn fan after all!

Happy milling!
Amy

Incline Walking vs Running – This Guy Should Try Walking!

15 Responses to “Incline Walking On A Treadmill For An Awesome Calorie Burn”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. maxdoberman says:

    While a think this is good information for helping u metabolism up a lil before u build up on abit heavy lifting it isent really effective aswell that 4 is 4 kph which is not 4mph 4mph is somthing like 6. 4 speed on treadmill 5mph being 8.2 kph speed which is jogging and anywhere between 9.1kph to 10kph speed would be 5.8. 6.3 miles per hour which is ideal and comfatable pace for 60 mins on treadmill for most

  2. Lola says:

    Hi-
    I just had some questions and concerns. I did the incline on my treadmill today, and was only able to do 10-12minutes. I originally set the time for 45 minutes, as I walk about that, and run about 12 minutes on the treadmill as well, but was surprised today. The incline really worked me, and my heart rate increased quick.

    What I’m concerned about are my legs. I already have muscle type legs—meaning my body type is athletic. I do not want to make my legs bigger as I want to trim and tone.

    I would like to know if you have any suggestions? I’m trying to loose some weight, trim and tone. I enjoy excercising, and just want to make sure that I am working out correctly for what I am personally trying to accomplish.

    Thank you.

    • Amy says:

      Hi Lola,

      It sounds like you have the same body type as I do. I have wide strong shoulders, man arms, and tree trunk legs, lol… For the longest time, honestly, I was very self conscience about the way my shoulders, arms, and legs looked. All I wanted was a more sleek, slim look. I’ve found that with working out, this is almost impossible for me to achieve, as it may also be for you as well. This is a GOOD thing babe! ;) It means that you will be able to build up some muscle faster, thus allowing your body to burn fuel all day long better.

      As for your legs, they will be buff, not bigger. The muscles in them may grow a little bit, but I assure you, they will not turn into big legs that look bad. You will not “bulk up,” so no worries.

      And don’t worry about muscles growing here or there, just keep working out and your body will reward you for it. You’ll lose the extra weight you want to ditch, your muscles will tone, and you’ll look great. You may want to check into Pilates as well. I was into that for awhile before the martial arts, and it did a really good job at strengthening and toning muscles.

      Good luck and keep milling!
      Embrace the muscles! I just love a strong woman!!!
      Amy

  3. Brandi A. says:

    LOL!! well we just got done with day 3!!! So far it has been pretty good. I will have to try the smoothie :D I am excited to see the results after my ten days. I plan on continuing to juice even after the ten days but maybe juice 2 times a day and eat a healthy dinner, since I will have my husband to cook for again! lol. I just wish I knew a “good” veggie juice because I heard that helps you lose weight also. I made a juice today that I dreamed about and boy was it NASTY! I gaged SO many times!! BUT i did get it down. lol. I have been trying to work out every day and evening so I will just see how things go. I will deff keep yall updated. BTW, Amy for some reason I can not log on to my twitter on my computer it keeps saying I have the wrong password, SO i might be making a new Twitter!! Thank again guys!!

  4. Brandi A. says:

    Well, I just got back from the gym, and I did the Incline at 10 % at 3.0 for 20 mins so I did a mile and burned 200 calories. In 3 days I have lost 4 lbs. Our husbands (mine and my friends) are in the military and we are stationed in Hawaii. Our Husbands are gone until the 28th of August and they have NO idea that we are doing the juicing :D I want to look better for when my husband gets back. lol. We have even taken Facebook out of our lives for TEN days!! lol I can’t remember what life was like with no facebook, haha. I’m SO excited I found this blog :D it always helps to read other people’s progress that is doing the same thing. Thanks again so much!!

    • Brandi A. says:

      WE ARE VERY DETERMINED!!! It has actually been fun trying different fruits and veggies. I have never been a veggie eater but i LOVE fruits!! I can not express to you how much I thank you and Randy for making this blog! It not only helps us but i’m sure it helps ton of other people.
      Being away from FB is hard, but then again it’s not that bad. lol. My friend make a juice smoothie last nite and I was SO upset when it was all gone. It was 1 Green Apple, 1 Red Apple, 1 Orange, 14 Strawberry’s, 53 Blueberries, and 14 Raspberry’s and it was DELICIOUS..It makes about half a pitcher!! I can’t wait to get Randy’s Smoothie recipe. So funny how i’m getting exciting over juicing!! lol. Again Thanks SO much!! Oh, I will start following you on FB when the ten days is over with!! Right now i’m following Randy on Twitter :D that’s my alternative since there is no FB!! :D

  5. Brandi A. says:

    Well, I just got back from the gym, and I did the Incline at 10 % at 3.0 for 20 mins so I did a mile and burned 200 calories. In 3 days I have lost 4 lbs. Our husbands (mine and my friends) are in the military and we are stationed in Hawaii. Our Husbands are gone until the 28th of August and they have NO idea that we are doing the juicing :D I want to look better for when my husband gets back. lol. We have even taken Facebook out of our lives for TEN days!! lol I can’t remember what life was like with no facebook, haha. I’m SO excited I found this blog :D it always helps to read other people’s progress that is doing the same thing. Thanks again so much!!

    • Amy says:

      NO FB?! Well then I probably shouldn’t tell you that you can follow us there too huh? lol!! Seriously, giving up facebook for 10 days, juice fasting, and working out… you girls must be DETERMINED – I LOVE YOU GIRLS! LOL!

      This is so awesome – what you two are up to and I almost cried when you told me you were surprising your husbands… Ahhhh I’m such a sap like that sometimes, lol ;) You must keep me updated, as I will be dying to hear all the news of your success and the guys’ reactions…. ahhhh sigh :)

      I finished up a few more juice recipes and will hopefully be adding them tonight after I get the baby down for the night. He’s had a long couple of days, so we’ll see how that goes. OH, and Randy came up with a good fruit smoothie to add as well – very tastyliscious :)

      Thanks for posting!

      • Brandi A. says:

        WE ARE VERY DETERMINED!!! It has actually been fun trying different fruits and veggies. I have never been a veggie eater but i LOVE fruits!! I can not express to you how much I thank you and Randy for making this blog! It not only helps us but i’m sure it helps ton of other people.
        Being away from FB is hard, but then again it’s not that bad. lol. My friend make a juice smoothie last nite and I was SO upset when it was all gone. It was 1 Green Apple, 1 Red Apple, 1 Orange, 14 Strawberry’s, 53 Blueberries, and 14 Raspberry’s and it was DELICIOUS..It makes about half a pitcher!! I can’t wait to get Randy’s Smoothie recipe. So funny how i’m getting exciting over juicing!! lol. Again Thanks SO much!! Oh, I will start following you on FB when the ten days is over with!! Right now i’m following Randy on Twitter :D that’s my alternative since there is no FB!! :D

        • Randy Lee says:

          Hey Brandi, it’s so cool that you’re doing this too. It’s surprising how much fun it is making new juice recipes. It drives Amy nuts, but I don’t really keep track of what I put in the juicer. I just make what sounds good and taste a lot as I go. Last nights smoothie was awesome…

          2 Boxes of Strawberries
          1/2 Cup Blueberries
          2 Peaches
          1 Kiwi
          1 Green Apple

          I threw all that in the blender with two bananas, filled it to the top with orange juice and hit liquify. It made a full pitcher of awesome sweet tart smoothie. Technically the bananas might be cheating a bit, but I can’t put them in the juicer and I want the aminos to help prevent muscle loss so I let it slide.

          Thanks for the kind words and keep us posted on your juice fast too!

  6. Brandi A. says:

    Hello Amy! My friend and I have been doing the Juicing fast for 2 days down. I am super excited. I usually goto the gym and run for about a mile and a half. But, today I think I will go and try to do the incline walking for atleast 30 mins. I always knew Incline walking was a lot better but didn’t know it was THAT much better!! If you have some good recipes for juices with veggies in it, can you please pass them on??? We are having a hard time finding some that we like or can handle..lol..BTW I LOVE this page. I check it everyday for Randy’s updates :D

    Brandi A.

    • Amy says:

      Woo whoo! You go Brandi baby!
      I just read your comment as I’m in the middle of juicing, lol! I do have juice recipes listed and you can find them under the recipes listed on our homepage, or as a link at the bottom of each one of Randy’s blog posts about his juice fast.

      I’m glad you’re going to give the incline walking a chance. You’re legs are probably strong from running, so be careful not to over do it the first few times – I did and walked with a sore tushy for a couple days. ;) Just take it easy , and you’ll build up muscle and power fast – don’t slow yourself down by risking an injury either… I’ve made that mistake too!

      2 days down huh? Nice! I’m going to give it a try myself the day after Randy finishes. Randy is feeling so great now with more energy, I want some too! I’ll be blogging my fast as well with all the embarrassing details (hopefully not), lol…

      Keep rockin the juice chicky and drop us a line on how you’re doin. :)

  7. Amy says:

    Nice! The slower, stronger pace that incline walking offers really can do wonders if you have an injury. Plus, and this is so minor I know but..the cords on my ear buds don’t bounce all over the place like they do when I run. Lol..ahh not that big a deal I know, but it does make me happy. I loooove to have music when I’m working out. :D

  8. Reina says:

    Amy, it’s a really good workout. i love doing my inclines on my Treadmill, it’s almost gets boring if I don’t. It so much better for my rear and hamstring muscles than just walking level. I pulled a hamstring a few years ago and it’s been nagging me for the longest time, a friend suggested I do some strength training – so I did inclines and after about a month I really haven’t had any problems since then.

Leave a Reply