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This January, we’re on the search for quick, accessible hacks to kickstart 2023 in the strongest way possible. Today’s cardio kickstarter: the TikTok-approved treadmill strut workout, tested.

As far as gym personalities go, I’d say I’m pretty basic. You won’t find me trying out any of the fancy new machines or doing complex free weight routines on the mat; most of the time, I’ll hop on the treadmill for 20 minutes of cardio before doing 30 minutes on machines such as the leg press and lat pulldown.

Recently, though, I’ve felt the need to mix things up a bit. My routine was beginning to feel a little boring, and I needed something that was going to make me feel excited about going to the gym again. Enter, TikTok’s favourite treadmill strut workouts.

Spearheaded by TikTok user Allie Bennett (@benntheredonethat), these workouts are exactly what they sound like. Consisting of a playlist of songs centred around a specific artist, genre or mood, the workouts require you to increase the speed of the treadmill by 0.1 miles per hour every time the song changes.  

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If you’re feeling energetic, you can even work up to running for the last couple of songs, before using the final song as a cooldown.

To get started, I decided to go all in and opt for one of Bennett’s hour-long workouts. The workout I picked was exclusively dedicated to Taylor Swift (if you’re a Swiftie, you’ll be pleased to know All Too Well (10-Minute Version) does make an appearance), and it didn’t take me long to get into it.  

The workout

Deciding on the speed you want to set off at is one of the most crucial parts of any treadmill strut workout. You’ve got to keep in mind that you’ll be increasing the speed by 0.1 miles per hour every time the song changes – and with 17 songs on the playlist, that’s a lot of increases to get through.

You’ll also need to take your height into consideration. I’m 5’2” compared to Bennett’s 5’9”, so I knew I’d need to start a little slower than her starting pace of 2.8mph to be able to keep up with the increases at the end (she suggests using the first song to find a starting pace you’re comfortable with). With that being said, I also wanted to make sure I was feeling challenged enough to stay engaged with the workout.

In the end, I started at 2.5mph, and worked my way up from there. Then, when I finished All Too Well (10-Minute Version), I kicked up the pace to a running speed and spent the next three songs jogging. Finally, I went back down to 2.5mph to cool down during Style.  

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One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you need to listen to the playlist in order – the songs are arranged so that the tempo increases with your speed, so you’ll want to work your way through them in the order of the playlist. No shuffle!

You also don’t need to ‘strut’ to complete the workout, but getting into the spirit and rhythm of the music made for a great time.  

The verdict

Lauren in the middle of her workout.

I honestly think I’ve found one of my new favourite ways to work out. While my legs hurt a little afterwards (at one point I increased the speed by 0.2mph for a couple of songs, and I think I got a bit too carried away with the strutting), but for the most part this was an easy, fun and low-impact way to get my body moving.

I also loved how easy it was to get started. All I needed was my headphones and Bennett’s Spotify playlist and I was good to go – I didn’t need to learn any new skills and techniques to throw myself into the workout.

Plus, it was actually challenging. Just because you’re walking (or strutting), doesn’t mean this isn’t going to get you sweating – by the end, I could definitely feel that I’d been working out for an hour.

Overall, then, I’d seriously recommend giving this workout trend a try if you’re looking to make your gym sessions a little bit more fun. Working out shouldn’t feel like a chore, and if you’re starting to feel a little stuck in your ways, going for a treadmill strut could be the perfect antidote to any gym fatigue you might be feeling.

Images: Lauren Geall

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