Last Updated: June 10th, 2022
Treadmills are very useful equipment. They help you to get your cardio session in the comfort of your home.
It is a great form of workout if you are trying to lose weight or maintain your cardiovascular health in general. Also, it can be used as a part of your warmup session or as a full-blown workout routine…
But with something as effective as a treadmill, there are a lot of questions and myths surrounding it, the primary being when you should do the treadmill session…
Should you do it before, after, or in-between…
Today, we will be demystifying this question and try to provide you with a straightforward answer and list out the advantages and disadvantages of using a treadmill during various times of workout…
Should I Go On The Treadmill Before Or After Workout?
The treadmill can be done before or after a workout or in between different exercises. There is no universal rule about the time when you should run on a treadmill.
Although you can run on the treadmill anytime, there are pros and cons associated with all the methods:
Benefits of running on a treadmill before a workout:
If you run on a treadmill before a workout you are basically doing cardio before your workout. Your heart will start beating fast and your entire body will start heating up.
So, you can have a shorter warm-up session if you are going after a 15 min of treadmill session as all the muscles in your body would have sufficiently warmed up after the treadmill session.
Also, you will burn some extra calories due to this treadmill session. The amount of calories that you will burn depends on the speed, incline, weight, and age (considering a 15 min session).
Disadvantages of running on a treadmill before a workout:
If you are running on a treadmill before a workout, there are some inherent disadvantages to that, the first being that, your performance in your later workout session will decrease.
This is because, once you have done a treadmill session, you have already used up some of your energy. So, you will have lesser energy to spend on the workout session.
This way your workout may get a bit impacted.
A probable solution can be to have some pre-workout drink that will supplement that energy. You can have that, just before you start your workout and not during the treadmill session.
That way, during the time of the workout, the pre-workout drink will take effect and will boost your energy that much. This way, you will be able to continue your workout session without your performance going down.
However, remember, that when the effects of your pre-workout drink wear off, you will feel that your energy is depleting. So the trick is to properly time your pre-workout drink.
There are different types of pre-workout drinks. Some are good for your body and some are outright bad. Also, you may not be knowing which one to go for and may rely on someone who can guide you.
If that person is trustworthy and is not only looking for their benefit, then by all means go for it.
Otherwise, go for something over which you have control.
I’m not a fan of any health drink. It is my own reservation and also, it is due to the fact that the fitness industry is filled with scammers and untrustworthy products.
My fitness instructor suggested one pre-workout mix that is available in your house…
Before the workout, I drink a cup of black coffee along with a handful of dry fruits. This provides me with sufficient energy to continue my workout session after I’ve done my 15 mins of treadmill
Benefits of running on a treadmill after a workout:
The first benefit of running on a treadmill after a workout is that, you are not using up your precious energy on the treadmill.
This will help you to use that energy on the workout and progress towards your goals faster.
Another benefit of running on a treadmill after a workout is that, you will be burning more calories than if you have done it before your workout.
The thing is, when you have already done your workout, your energy tank is already used up. So, to carry on with another 15 min of treadmill session will take a lot from you. This is the reason that you will burn a lot more calories in an after-workout treadmill session.
Disadvantages of running on a treadmill after a workout:
After the workout session, you may be so tired that, you may want to skip the treadmill session.
If you are under the supervision of an instructor then you may not have to option other than to follow through. However, if you are on your own, chances are you will skip your treadmill session.
That way you may very regularly be skipping your cardio, which may not be good for your overall cardiovascular health.
If you are feeling too tired and you don’t want to continue on your treadmill routine, then try this…
Have some sort of a health drink of BCCA (branched-chained amino acid)…this will give you an energy boost to carry on further with your treadmill routine.
What about doing a treadmill session in between your workout?
You can absolutely do that. As mentioned before there is no hard and fast rule of when you should do a treadmill routine.
If you prefer to do a cardio session in between your workout, then go for it.
Also, when you will be doing the cardio session varies from instructor to instructor. Some prefer to get it over with at the beginning of the session, some prefer to do it after the workout session for a more calorie-burning effect…
For some, they prefer to include the treadmill session both in the beginning and in the end…this way their client will be burning more calories. (this is what my instructor did when I was trying to lose weight).
And there are some who prefer to do this in between a workout session, mostly as part of a circuit training.
But let’s say you don’t want to do a cardio session in the same session when you are working out, then what will you do?
Will you completely skip the cardio and not reap its benefit? Or, is there an alternate solution…
There is actually an alternate solution…
What you can do is, include your cardio session, after you have woken up in the morning, like going for a morning run…
If you are going to do a shorter run, then do it on empty stomach…this way you will be burning more calories. If you are going for a longer run, then have a small snack 20 min prior to the cardio session…
Then you won’t be stopping in between the session due to lack of energy…however, don’t eat too much as you will risk throwing up during your cardio session.
You can go for a night walk…just after your dinner…
Don’t go running at this time for the above-mentioned reason…
Since our bodies are not used to any kind of heavy work after dinner, they will put in extra effort to sustain this walking session. This way, you will be burning more calories, assuming that weight loss is your goal.
To sum it all up, it really doesn’t matter when you include your treadmill session during a workout. You can easily do it before, after, in-between, or before and after your workout.
What matters is, that you include your treadmill or any other cardio session in your workout routine.
This way, you will be reaping all its benefits and have a more wholesome fitness routine.
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.
Reviewer, Certified Fitness Instructor
Certified fitness trainer and an ex-professional bodybuilder, he has trained more than 500 fitness enthusiasts and has more than 15 years of on-the-job experience.