Treadmill vs. Cross Trainer: Which is better for weight loss and why?

Nov 1, 2016 | fitness

The team from Little Bloke Fitness will give you the lowdown on Treadmill Vs Cross Trainer for fat loss. The Verdict? Read on to find out…


The treadmill is one of the most superior pieces of cardio equipment to shed any unwanted fat. That’s because running forces your heart rate to increase quickly and can be sustained for a long period of time.

Types of cardio sessions you can do on the treadmill include:


Ladders are a great way to ease your body into an effective cardio workout. You can start on the treadmill at a pace that suits you. For example, you can start walking at 6km/h and then increase the speed by 0.5km each minute. You can do this until you feel you are at a point where you feel like you need to decrease the speed at the same increment.

Stamina run.

This is an essential part to improving your cardiovascular activity. You need to train your body to be active over a long period of time.

This means you must set up a time goal of say 40 minutes, and then continue running to improve your heart rate. It’s likely that you won’t be running any higher than 60% of your maximum speed.

This type of exercise will teach the heart and the body to, “keep working” until the activity has stopped. It also allows you to push your heart rate limit higher, thus improving your body’s intensity.

A steady run at 10 km/h should allow you to burn 100 calories every ten minutes.

Cardio sprint.

If you want to do a session that allows you to “get the job done quickly”, then a cardio sprint is perfect for you. You will need to run at up to 80% of your quickest pace and maintain that pace for at least 20 minutes. For example, if you can maintain a pace of 12 km/h, you will burn approximately 150 calories every ten minutes. It’s then up to your stamina to continue at that pace. A 20 minute run will allow you to burn 300 calories and a 40 minute run will see you burn 600 calories.

You must bear in mind that the faster you run on the treadmill, the more quickly your muscles will tire and your energy will deplete.


The brilliant thing about the incline workout is that it shoots your heart rate up very quickly. This means you can burn a similar amount of calories by doing an incline walk or a slow run on an incline as you would if you were running at a faster pace on the flat treadmill.

This is perfect for people that are just getting started with cardio or people that aren’t able to increase their speed on the treadmill. For example, walking on the treadmill at 6km/h at an incline of 13 degrees will allow you to burn 100 calories every ten minutes.


The cross-trainer is a great machine, but it plays second fiddle to the treadmill. The cross-trainer allows you to workout intensely without adding the extra strain that you would get from running.

There’s less pressure on hamstrings and shock on the joints. This allows people to workout longer at a moderate to high intensity. Where people go wrong with the treadmill is that they fail to find their “sweet spot”.

There are options to do ladders and interval training, however the steady pace regime is ideal on this machine. A setting of 10 at a moderate pace should allow you to burn 100 calories every ten minutes.

The Verdict?

When it comes to the two machines, the treadmill is the best one for fat loss. However, the cross-trainer shouldn’t be dismissed. The two machines should work hand-in-hand to help you achieve your fitness goals. There will be days when you feel too tired to run and you will need to recover. This is where the cross trainer comes in handy because it allows your body to continue with your cardiovascular exercise.

Review your exercise routine and see if you are using the treadmill as much as you should, so you can achieve your fat loss goals quickly.




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