I just returned from IHRSA 2017. What’s that you ask? It’s the International Health, Racket and Sports Association convention. The convention is always interesting, but the real reason to attend is the exhibitor hall. So many toys and so little time. This year, I was fascinated by the high incline treadmills. And I wondered, is high incline treadmill work better for you?
Burn more calories
According to Treadmill Reviews dot net, a treadmill, set at an incline of 25 degrees will have you burning three times the calories of a flat surface. 3x the calories!
Build more muscle
Walking on an incline treadmill will build muscle. It activates the calves, hamstrings and glutes. The steeper the incline, the greater the activation and benefits. Even walking on an incline has significant muscle toning benefits over flat walking.
Burn more fat
Live Strong indicates that “you will burn 70% more fat at 16-18% incline than you would a zero incline”. Regardless of your speed, walking, jogging or an incline sprint, the exertion required to climb far surpasses that of the same activity flat.
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What constitutes “High Incline”
The definition varies. Many vendors consider their 15% incline treadmill a high incline device. (Of course, that’s because 15% incline is as high as any of their products will go.) At IHRSA, I spent a bit of time with Jared Kueker, of True Fitness. Jared is a design engineer. He talked specs with me enough that I could tell, his was a high quality entry in the high incline space.
The True Fitness model is called the Alpine Runner, and Jared introduced me to Mark, one of their Southeast Region reps to demo the product and show me the features.
With Mark’s explanation, I was sold. The True Alpine Runner, with its 30% incline capability, flat deck, and high handles provided a solid introduction to high incline treadmills. Versatile and smooth, this machine is built to take the high volume use of even the biggest fitness centers.
Is a high incline treadmill better?
Through my research and analysis, I am going with a confident yes. Here are my reasons:
- High incline treadmills are capable of running a 0% incline just like traditional models
- They produce less impact on and compression in your legs (because you land each step much more softly)
- Working at high incline produces more muscle (or assist in maintaining muscle in adults)
- They burn more calories in the same time/distance covered on level ground
- They burn more fat given the same duration and speed of work
- Finally, because I love variety. It’s the spice of life. Being able to go hard at a significant incline now and then attracts me.
So yes, the versatility of a high incline treadmill makes it a winner over the traditional models.