My Uncensored thoughts on Treadmill Walking - Encore

My Uncensored thoughts on Treadmill Walking


Warning: Heavy Sarcasm may be present


I know I’m constantly alluding to my hatred of treadmill walking, so I feel I should probably explain why. When you walk, it’s so moderate, that the body has got all the time in the world to break down fat and use it for fuel. So fat is the primary fuel source for walking- and watching television. Old school bodybuilders have misguidedly jumped on this for fat loss though- and there archaic practices of their heroes have dripped down into the new generation of (wannabe) meatheads.

For me, there are far better ways to do it, and unless you’re rehabilitating an injury, surely your time in the gym is better spent doing something else?


Maybe this will be easier if I talk to the treadmill walker one to one…


Firstly there’s the stupidity factor.

You drive to the gym, to walk slowly on a treadmill whilst holding onto the front of the treadmill.


So much is wrong with that sentence…


You drove to the gym. To walk. Do I have to spell that out any further?

Go for a walk. Walk to the gym. Oh My God.


You’re holding on- do you not realise that the insignificant number of calories notching up in the corner of that machine is now even less because you’re not actually doing the amount of work that the machine thinks you are.


You’re walking slowly. I don’t get it. There can be two potential reasons-

1)   you don’t want to lose any muscle mass by putting your body under undue cortisol-inducing stress- like running a marathon would. Trust me bro- walking faster than 4.5kph won’t overly stress your system.

2)   You’re f*cking lazy.


So what else is fundamentally wrong with it?

You’re not even warming up for the weights component of your workout because you’re going too slowly

You’re not improving your fitness in the slightest, as you’re not challenging your aerobic system. Wouldn’t it be better if we could burn some fat- or at least put our body into a fat burning state- and improve our aerobic fitness at the same time? Watch out- next you’ll be saying the earth is round!


Do you actually believe that ‘fat burning zone shit written on the side of the treadmill? Ah, bless.


There was even and article two months ago in Muscle and Fitness (your favourite muscle comic) saying that intervals were better than walking – but I’m guessing you went straight to the bit about Biceps and looked at all the pictures.


Here’s the science bit:

There’s this thing called EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption). Combined with resting metabolic rate, it is king when it comes to fat loss. It refers to the oxidation of fat as a fuel once exercise has finished to return your body to homeostasis*, and actually is the main reason you lose fat from training- not the hundreds of metres you clock up with you headphones on and your hood up.

I shall go into more detail for the smart people tomorrow. However, by walking like a halfwit on the treadmill, you’ve barely even left homeostasis, so you won’t be burning anything later. High five, Dummy!


So there we have it. Seven reasons. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom as to why you shouldn’t waste you life on a walking machine.


But what do I know?


Peace out homie.


Alex “glad to have got that off my chest” Backhouse.


*Homeostasis: comes from the Greek for standing still (Amazing!!), and refers to the body being at rest, perfectly in balance, idling with the ignition on if you will.





Being in the fitness industry for over 12 years, I've seen it all. The fads, the hype and the stuff that really works. I've seen my own body and training have to adapt to family life as my kids have come along and turned my world upside down in the best possible way, and I've done my best to stay at the top of my game throughout.

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Sean Kelly - August 2, 2017 Reply

Finally a trainer who actually knows what he’s talking about

Laura A. Coutu - August 22, 2017 Reply

Thanks for your advice. I like to walk faster than 4.5kph to burn my fat.

Varun Sharma - May 13, 2020 Reply

I love the post. Thank you for this awesome post.

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