In 2012, I wrote my eBook “Age Re-Defined”, which was published in January, 2013. In the book, I mention the use of treadmill incline. In March, 2013 I shot a video with Deborah Klein, MS, RD, in which I coined the phrase “Incline it, Baby!” [Video available on my Amazon page]

Back then, I considered a peak of inline of, say, 22% to be noteworthy as a measure of my own progress. I got away from pursuing higher treadmill incline in favor of faster speeds at lower incline, plyometric workouts, and other variations.

Recently, I decided to revisit a more aggressive treadmill incline workout and, to my surprise, on my second or third such workout, I reached 30% incline for a fairly sustained interval during the workout. I won’t say it was effortless, but it almost seemed so. This taught or reminded me of a couple of things: 1.) Even at my age — 59 at the end of April — progress and increases in intensity are possible, and 2.) Different training modalities complement one another (the benefits of a plyometric high intensity interval workout can transfer to an incline treadmill workout),  and changing up the workout from time to time can make for a stronger you when you circle back to an earlier variation.

This doesn’t mean I’m hitting 30% every time I do treadmill incline intervals. For one thing, ambient temperature and my state of energy or fatigue are factors, but I do know that it’s do-able and it’s my new progress marker. On these particular machines, 30% is maximum. I don’t hold onto or lean onto the machine.

So, whatever your training syllabus, look for helpful variations and for progress over time. Use specific intensity/progress markers for measurement. It’s a good feeling.