Treadmill: the ideal program for losing weight

Mistakes to avoid on a treadmill, tips for optimizing your sessions, training program to lose weight …

Discover the wise advice of Morgane Warin, sports coach at L’Usine, to lose weight and burn as many calories as possible on a mat race.

Does the carpet make you lose weight?


The treadmill is a cardio exercise machine that can be found at the gym or at home, and which allows you to walk or run.

Depending on the level of the practitioner, these two gaits, walking or running, make it possible to slim down , lose weight and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease , since they require both a maximum of muscle mass and stimulate the heart. .

And the more we mobilize and work many muscle groups, the higher the energy expenditure will be, and therefore, the more calories we will burn.

But to lose weight , energy expenditure must be greater than food intake, so be careful to combine physical activity with a balanced and adapted diet.

What parts of the body do the treadmill work?


While the muscles of the lower limbs (the glutes, thighs and legs) are the main motor muscles, brisk walking and running also mobilize the arms and postural muscles, such as the abdominals and paravertebrates (these are the muscles along the spine).

This sporting practice is therefore very complete and makes it possible to harmoniously refine the silhouette!

Besides soliciting the muscles, the advantages and benefits of sessions on a treadmill are many:

With a treadmill, you can run when you want, in complete safety and sheltered from bad weather (cold, rain, winter nights, heat, etc.).


You can practice other activities during the session to make training more fun (television, music, audio book, games, podcasts, etc.).


All audiences: beginners, seasoned athletes and people in rehabilitation can practice the mat.
The treadmill is less traumatic for the joints than going outdoors, thanks to the springs located under the treadmill.


Brisk walking and running reduce stress by stimulating the hormones of happiness, endorphins.

To slim the legs in particular, and place more strain on the thighs and calves, it is possible to incline the mat from 1% to 15% (or more depending on the brand of the mat), and increase the resistance in order to strengthen the lower body and increase the intensity.

Does brisk walking make you lose belly fat?


“Brisk walking can help you slim down, but without good eating habits, it’s a waste of time!” , would like to clarify Morgane Warin, sports coach at L’Usine.

Also, it is important to know that when you practice a sports activity, you cannot target the loss of fat mass. So doing only abs to have a flat stomach is a mistake …

You need energy expenditure, and combine muscle strengthening exercises and cardio sessions to see results on the body, and in particular on the stomach .

Note that brisk walking can have effects on the figure when you are a beginner, but for a regular runner, running should be preferred, to increase the intensity of the effort.

Treadmill: how to lose weight thanks to walking or running?
To lose weight on a treadmill, Morgane Warin, sports coach at L’Usine, offers two different training methods:

Method 1: continuous walking or running

This method comprises walking or running on a treadmill for a long time (i.e. 45 minutes to 1 hour minimum), with low-to-moderate intensity (heart rate of around 130 beats / minute, which can be checked using heart rate sensors on the handles of the mat or using a heart rate monitor).

The advantage of this method is that it is not very traumatic for the body, but the sessions can be long. It is ideal for a beginner audience, who wants to get into sport gradually.

An example of a long session on a treadmill:

Warming up over 10 minutes with a gradual increase in intensity, you can add mobility at the start of the session to prepare the joints and have better comfort when running / walking.


Session of 1 hour to 1 hour 30 of walking or running, at a light to moderate intensity (you can talk during the effort), with an incline of 3% to reproduce the effects of the wind.


Cool down by easy walking or jogging at 0% incline for 5-10 minutes to bring the heart rate back to rest.

Tips to increase the difficulty of the session:

Increase the speed or slope of the belt
Let go of the dashboard
Use small dumbbells to keep in your hands to stimulate the arm muscles and thus increase energy expenditure.

With this method, the duration of the session is shorter (around 30 minutes) but the intensity is higher (the heart rate will be around 160 to 190 beats / minute). We will alternate speed and recovery over a time.

This training method is ideal for people who are already athletic, who practice running or need to exercise.

An example of a more intense session on a treadmill:

Warm-up over 10 minutes with a gradual increase in intensity. I can add mobility at the start of the session to prepare the joints and have better comfort when running / walking.

During the session: 10 series alternating 30 seconds of running or brisk walking, and 30 seconds of active recovery (jogging or slow walking). If the session is too intense, lengthen the recovery times.

Calm down by easy walking or jogging for 5 to 10 minutes, to bring down the heart rate.
The coach’s good advice: to maximize fat loss, wait 1 to 2 hours before taking food. Indeed, the body continues to burn calories at the end of the session to recover.


For beginners, there are games on some treadmills that allow you to train while having fun.
Set short- and long-term goals to boost motivation.
Vary the workouts to continuously improve (incline work, interval training , long workout , speed work, etc.).
Adopt a natural posture: look straight ahead, relaxed hands, run in a relaxed manner.
Let go of the dashboard handles to maximize the workout.


Space the sessions 1 to 2 days apart, to optimize recovery and be in shape for the next workout.
Stay hydrated: dehydration can lead to cramps , tendonitis, muscle contractures, digestive disorders or even reduced performance and premature fatigue. It is therefore important to drink small sips during recovery.


Have the right sneakers! Running with unsuitable shoes is prohibited. It is necessary to wear running sneakers for optimal comfort during training and also to avoid injuries (periostitis, tendonitis, blisters, etc.).


To go further and progress further, it is recommended to turn to a sports coach specializing in running or walking, to test your abilities and create a personalized program.
Use a heart rate monitor to monitor your heart rate. Very useful to know if one is in overstraining or if the effort is adapted to the aim.


Running on an empty stomach, increasing your speed … mistakes to avoid on a treadmill
To limit the risk of pain or injury during training, and to progress safely on a treadmill, we should avoid some common mistakes:

Skip the warm-up before you start. Injuries happen quickly. A light walk / run to raise the heart rate and prepare the muscular system is sufficient for treadmill enthusiasts.


Increase speed too quickly and no longer control your carpet. There is a risk of falling on a treadmill. Increase the speed gradually.

For the more fearful, there is a seat belt in sports halls to hang on your T-shirt. When you step away from the dashboard, the seat belt stops the machine. Also, remember to hold the handles of the mat if you are a beginner.


Watch out for headphones and towels, which fall on the treadmill and can cause a fall. Use wireless Bluetooth headphones and store the towel to prevent it from getting in the way.
Do not let go of the carpet handles.

Walking for two hours while hanging on the dashboard is not good: this movement is not functional for the body and creates a lot of tension in the arms and neck. In addition, the advantage of walking and running is the mobilization of several muscles.

If we remove the movement of the arms during training, we consume less energy and, therefore, fewer calories. As a bonus, the swing of the arms allows for better balance.


Running every day when you’re just starting out. Terrible idea. The body is not used to this type of stress.

Repeated shocks cause inflammation, especially in the knee and ankle. This then has the effect of rapidly stopping activity and demotivation. When you start, the number of sessions should be escalated.


Running on an empty stomach. To lose weight faster , some people do not eat before their session, which results in hypoglycemic discomfort.

To prevent this condition, having a cereal bar or fruit juice during the session is strongly recommended.

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