Feel like you're on the treadmill, treadmill?

You know, where you keep putting in more and more effort and keep getting the same old results from your treadmill workout.

Einstein said we "cannot solve a problem from the same space or state that created the problem".

If you feel like you are beating your head against a brick wall trying to increase your aerobic or anaerobic fitness, try these 6 little gems to put you back on the rubber path to treadmill success:

1) Take a break!

Your fitness results up until this point are just a reflection of your training methods up to this point, so if they are not giving you any significant improvement with every session then you may have reached a plateau in your training program. Even worse, you may even be over-training and therefore it is a perfect time to take a break and re-evaluate your treadmill training program.

2) Change your training program or environment.

Nothing is more invigorating than trying something new.

Trying a new form of training program or environment for a while will benefit you psychologically by stimulating your interest in other activities which will eventually increase your motivation to get back on the treadmill.

Physiologically you body will be stimulated in a way that it is not used to and you will naturally re-activate the overload principle of training, which stimulates increased fitness levels.

Your treadmill program change could be as simple as watching tv or listening to your IPod or as drastic as changing gyms and taking up a whole new form of training all together.

3) Size really does matter

By varying the length of your treadmill workout each time you train will not only stimulate different energy systems (giving you slightly different benefits) but you will trick your body into thinking it is doing something different. Try 10 minutes on the treadmill one day and 30 minutes the next.

4) Variety is the spice of life

Mix up your treadmill workout with the other cardio machines such as the bike, rower or stepper and / or other forms of cardio training, such as surfing, boxing and circuit training. This will give you an all over fitness that the treadmill cannot give you by itself.

5) Less is more

Research shows that if you train harder for shorter periods, you get the same if not more benefits than if you were to train for the same duration and intensity every time you workout. Try 20 minutes of interval training on the treadmill. For example;

• For the first two minutes walk or run at 50% of your maximum intensity.
• At the third minute, increase your intensity (by increasing either the speed or the incline of the treadmill) so that you are now performing at 60% of your maximum.
• At the fourth minute, increase your intensity to 75% of your maximum.
• At the fifth minute, increase your intensity to 90% of your maximum.
• At the sixth minute, decrease your intensity to 60% and repeat the same pattern until the eighteenth minute, when you increase your intensity to 100% of your maximum.
• At the nineteenth and twentieth minutes, decrease your intensity to 50%.

Initially, you may not know what your maximum intensity is, so guage how you are feeling at each intensity level on a scale of 1-10 (1 being 10%, 10 being 100%).

6) Train at different times of the day.

Doing the treadmill at the start of your workout will feel easier because you have more energy but to burn more fat and have more strength available for your weight training, do it at the end of your workout.

If you are training to burn fat then do the treadmill first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or if you prefer to train at night then use the treadmill to help you manage your stress levels by burning off the "fight or flight" hormone cortisol that is released through out the day.

And finally…

If these tips still do not help you, why not try running on the beach, in the park or around your local neighbourhood for the next few weeks. At worst it will give you the time your body and mind is craving to create your new, more invigorating treadmill workout and at best it will kick start a whole new level of performance when you return to the gym.

Have fun!

Andrew McCombe (BPhEd)

Author's Bio: 

Andrew McCombe is the owner and Managing Director of Activate Your Life, an international preventative health, fitness and lifestyle management company.
Activate Your Life has over 10 years experience in Health Club Management and performs individual and corporate wellness programs, including the Activate Your Body, Activate Your Life and Activate Your Business Programs and has an interactive health and well-being based website, www.activateyourlife.com.au.
Andrew is the author of the Activate Your Life Book assisting individuals to experience ease in their health, wealth, relationships, career and/or business in 90 days or less.
Andrew is also a health and well-being ambassador for Grand United Corporate Health Insurance, National Australia Bank’s AdvantEdge Program and Your Health Integrative Medicine Centres.
Andrew has a Bachelor of Physical Education Degree from the University of Otago in New Zealand and has over 16 years experience in the Health and Fitness Industry with the Activate Your Life vehicle providing a blend of complementary and traditional health and well-being services.
Andrew has represented New Zealand and Australia at indoor and beach volleyball and is currently in training for the 2008 Olympic Games. Andrew has also played at representative level in a number of other sports and it is from this active background that Andrew McCombe and Activate Your Life have developed a vision to inspire individuals and corporations to be the best they can be in a simple, balanced and fulfilling manner.

Andrew McCombe is an author, a coach, a presenter and a trainer and is available to assist yourself, your team or your organization with your health, fitness, well being and motivational needs.

Andrew McCombe
PO Box 1229
Manly NSW 1655
Phone: 61 (02) 9977 3362
Email: info@activateyourlife.com.au
Website: http://www.activateyourlife.com.au/