500 Calorie Treadmill Workout

Treadmill Running


By Simon Gould

Burning 500 calories in one go is a big workout, one that will have you pretty exhausted by the end. But it is possible and would be satisfying to burn all those calories in one go. A treadmill is the perfect machine to do this on because no other fitness equipment has the ability to burn calories like it can. Here I'll go through what burning 500 calories is like.

Calculating what 500 calories is to burn

When you exercise on a treadmill it very much depends on a number of factors for how many calories you burn. The first and biggest is how much you weigh, the bigger you are the more calories you burn no matter what you're doing on the treadmill. This is because the very act of running is your weight against gravity.

Gravity plays a big part in treadmill running. Speed is another factor, the quicker you go the more calories you'll burn. You have to move your weight at speed so over time you'll burn more. That brings us on the next factor which is time. The longer you spend exercising whether it's walking or running the more you burn.

Finally we have the incline you set on the treadmill. The incline is a handy little cheat in that you can make any workout harder just by upping that incline from 1% to as high as you can manage. All these factors are limited by what you yourself can manage and 500 calories is something you may have to work up to. It's not something you'll be able to manage straight away.

I'll take the average weight in my calculations

I'll use the average weight for a man and a woman when I calculate what you need to do to burn 500 calories in one workout. This may not be so accurate for some because the reason you're looking to burn 500 calories means you may have weight to lose. But an average weight serves as a good guidance as to what is possible.

  • The average weight for a man in the US is 195 pounds
  • The average weight for a woman in the US is 168 pounds

This seems very high, when I weighed 185 pounds (male) and beginning an exercise program I found it difficult to do much running without injuring myself. The weight for women seems high also. But that's ok some people may weigh more and some less. I'll still calculate the workouts using these figures to achieve our 500 calorie targets.

500 calorie workouts

I'll divide these workouts for men and women because of the weight difference. They are all based on exercising on the treadmill and will have different speeds and time spent exercising but they will all give you a calorie burn of 500. This way you will see what is and isn't possible in one workout.


  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • Speed: 3.1 mph (this is walking speed)
  • Time: 55 minutes
  • Calories burned: 500
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • Speed: 5.3 mph (this is jogging speed)
  • Time: 35 minutes
  • Calories burned: 500

As you can see the time spent walking and jogging is different and they both equal 500 calories, walking takes 55 minutes and jogging 35. As I mentioned before the more weight you have to carry over that distance the more calories you burn in a shorter amount of time.


  • Weight: 168 pounds
  • Speed: 3.1 mph (this is walking speed)
  • Time: 65 minutes
  • Calories burned: 500
  • Weight: 168 pounds
  • Speed: 5.3 mph (this is jogging speed)
  • Time: 41 minutes
  • Calories burned: 500

Because the average weight for a woman is lower it takes longer to burn the same calories as men. The run is only 6 minutes longer while the walk is 10.

As you can see it takes a significant amount of time to do these 500 calorie workouts and that's why I've mentioned it's probably not something you can do straight away, but something you can work up to. I have a routine that will help you work up to running for 30 minutes in one go. You set the speed and it involves walking and running, it's called the couch to 5k and I recommend you take a look to see if it's something you could try.

The treadmill calorie burn calculator

The numbers above are obtained through using my favorite treadmill calorie burn calculator and you can find other combinations for your particular weight you can enter in there. There is also an input field for gradient which is the same as incline. I wouldn't advise you using the incline on a treadmill while you're running as running up a hill for too long can cause injuries.

Walking up an incline is something you can do and is recommended. The affect it would have on our numbers above is shortening the time. This is because it's harder to go uphill which is what the incline does. A 4% incline would mean the 500 calorie walk would take a man 49 minutes and a woman 56 minutes. It's something to consider if you want to give it a try.


Burning 500 calories per workout is not something I've heard about people trying. However, if you want to lose weight then you need to burn 3,500 calories per pound of weight. This means the 500 calorie workout is ideal for good and rapid weight loss. Combine it with a sensible diet and you'll lose weight even quicker.

Where walking is concerned I can't help feeling that walking for so long would be better done outside. You'll get far more enjoyment out of it. For jogging we've calculated the time as 35 minutes for a man to burn the 500 calories and 41 minutes for a woman. As you can see this is not such a long time and is a good treadmill run.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? See my top 3 recommended treadmills for 2021

Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.

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