Fitness Articles

This Walking Workout Will Maximize Calorie Burn For Up To 24 Hours After You Finish

Ultimate Hills Walking Workout


Want to make your walking workouts more challenging? Head for the hills. Seriously: Striding up slopes cranks up the cardio demands, and you can easily recover on the flats and downhills. And when you add hill-climbing to your workout, you’ll be able to burst through plateaus in your training or weight-loss progress.

This Ultimate Hill Walking Workout is designed to be gentle on your joints while maximizing your calorie burn during the walk and for up to 24 hours following your workout. We’re betting that you’ll love the variety in this workout, as well. After all, if exercise isn’t fun, you won’t do it.

This workout is designed for a treadmill with adjustable incline up to 15%. Or check out the option for doing this outside on nearby hills. Plan to do the Ultimate Hill Walking Workout about 3 times a week alongside regular walks and a strength-training routine.

You probably already know how much music can help during exercise. Take a look at to find timeless hits with high-energy beats that will pump up your walk and help you maintain your pace.

There are 3 paces that you’ll need for this workout:

  1. Power: This pace should raise your heart rate and get you breathing hard, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation. Figure between 3.5 and 4.2 MPH.
  2. Challenge: This is about 0.2 MPH faster than the Power pace. You’ll have a tougher time talking during this phase.
  3. Regular: Just like it sounds, this pace will be about 0.5 MPH slower than Power mode, and it will give you a chance to catch your breath while remaining active.

The Workout:
Beginning on the flat, you’ll walk for 3 minutes and then increase the incline by 1%. Break up the 3 minutes by doing 2 minutes and 30 seconds at your Power pace, and 30 seconds at your Challenge pace. Then raise the incline 1%, and repeat. Continue this pattern until you reach 15%. As the incline gets steeper, plan to slow from a Power pace to Regular between the Challenge sections.

After completing the entire uphill trek (3 minutes on each grade until you reach 15.0%), you’ll drop the incline by 2.0% every minute, accelerating the pace from Regular to Power when the grade drops below 10%.

In table form, let’s take a look at The Ultimate Hill Workout!

0-2:30 0 Power (3.5-4.2 MPH)
2:30-3 0 Challenge (0.2 MPH faster than Power Walk)
3-5:30 1 Power
5:30-6 1 Challenge
6-8:30 2 Power
8:30-9 2 Challenge
9-11:30 3 Power
11:30-12 3 Challenge
12-14:30 4 Power
14:30-15 4 Challenge
14:30-15 4 Challenge
15-17:30 5 Power
17:30-18 5 Challenge
18-20:30 6 Power
20:30-21 6 Challenge
21-23:30 7 Power
23:30-24 7 Challenge
24-26:30 8 Power
26:30-27 8 Challenge
27-29:30 9 Power
29:30-30 9 Challenge
30-32:30 10 Power
32:30-33 10 Challenge
33-35:30 11 Regular (0.2-0.5 MPH slower than Power pace)
35:30-36 11 Challenge
36-38:30 12 Regular
38:30-39 12 Challenge
39-41:30 13 Regular
41:30-42 13 Challenge
42-44:30 14 Regular
44:30-45 14 Challenge
45-47:30 15 Regular
47:30-48 15 Challenge
48-49 13 Regular
49-50 11 Regular
50-51 9 Power
51-52 7 Power
53-54 5 Power
54-55 3 Power
55-56 1 Power

Make it easier:
Only climb to 10% grade, before starting your descent.

Take it outdoors:

Walking workout outdoors


If you prefer the great outdoors to a treadmill, your can do a similar workout on a sidewalk or trail that gradually increases in grade. Match the 3-minute pattern of the Ultimate Hill Walking Workout by powerwalking for two minutes and thirty seconds, then doing your Challenge pace for 30-seconds. Once you reach the top, make your way back down and repeat. Plan to do about 10-15 3-minute rounds, mixing in the Regular pace as needed. 

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