Treadmill challenge – zero to 10% incline in 6 weeks

There are lots of benefits of outdoor walking, but one big advantage that treadmill walking has is that you can control the incline. This means that you can increase the intensity of your workout without increasing your pace. Walking on an incline also challenges the glute (butt) and core muscles more. This treadmill challenge will get you started with incline walking. It starts with no incline in the first week and build up to 25 minutes at a 10% incline in 6 weeks.

Affiliate disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase the products linked to I will receive a commission.

Before you do the treadmill challenge

Treadmill challenge 6 week incline

The starting point is being able to walk continuously at a normal pace for 20 minutes. If 20 minutes is too much for you, then aim to improve on this first before starting the challenge.

Although walking is a safe and natural activity, please check these general safety guidelines before starting.

All the walking is at a normal pace. For the average person, normal walking speed is about 3mph/5kmh. If necessary, adjust this up or down to your own normal walking pace. You should always warm up and cool down by walking without an incline, as shown in the schedules below. You can download a printable the full 6 week schedule at the end of the post.

Buying a treadmill for home use

Now that folding treadmills are widely available, having a home treadmill doesn’t mean you need a dedicated workout space. You can fold your treadmill up and store it out of the way between workouts. If you’re thinking of buying a home treadmill, here are some points you should consider:

  • Are you likely to run on it? If so, you should avoid very lightweight models. Also, a cushioned running/walking deck will help to absorb impact.
  • Dimensions: there’s a slight variation in dimensions between models. If you’re tall, you might prefer a longer walking/running deck to allow for a longer stride. Obviously, the treadmill needs to fit in your chosen storage place when it is folded away.
  • What sort of a console do you want? Is it important to you to have a multi-feature console with a choice of preset programs, or will you be happy with something simple that just lets you set speed and incline? Extra functions add to the cost of the treadmill, so think about whether you really need them.
  • What is the incline range? Some treadmills only have a limited incline range. Models that offer up to 12% give you more options to vary your workouts and to challenge yourself more as your fitness improves.
  • Maximum speed – if you run fast, or plan to do sprint intervals, you should bear the maximum speed in mind. For walking, or average speed running, any treadmill will be fine.

See folding treadmills here

6 week treadmill challenge

The challenge is based on walking 3 times a week, preferably on non-consecutive days.

Week 1

Week 1 walks are with no incline (0%).

week 1

Week 2

Week 2 introduces an incline at 2%. From week 2 onwards, the walks follow the same pattern: walk 1 has 15 minutes at an incline, walk 2 has 20 minutes and walk 3 has 25 minutes. The amount of incline increases each week, but the warm up and cool down are always with no incline.

treadmill challenge week 2

Week 3

week 3

Week 4

treadmill challenge week 4

Week 5

week 5

Week 6

week 6

Get a printable copy of the treadmill challenge

Treadmill challenge chart 2024

Sign up for My Fitness Planner updates and get the free printable download link e-mailed to you:

After you sign up, you’ll get 2 e-mails, one will have a link to your printable download and the other will be a welcome e-mail.

If the e-mails haven’t turned up within a few minutes, please check your junk folder, as some service providers have very strict filters.

Related to treadmill challenge

20 minute treadmill walking workoutWalking goals