Push Yourself With This 30-Minute Interval Biking Workout

cycling training in gym

If the term “intervals” makes you shudder, you probably know what’s coming; it’s tough work to really push yourself to breathless mode! But don’t forget their meaning: intervals imply change. This workout will only ask for your hardest effort levels for 60 seconds before you are rewarded with a break. You can handle that!

This interval biking workout first appeared in our 4-Week Cycling Training Plan, where the ultimate goal is a strong 25-mile ride (with endurance, strength, and core workouts included, for a complete cross training plan). But it’s beneficial for all as a quick-hit way to cross off your cardio in an intense, efficient way, whether or not you’re training for a cycling event or goal. And biking is great exercise for every age and fitness ability—especially those with joint issues. Start slow and then push yourself a little bit harder each time and you’re bound see strides in leg strength and endurance!

Note: You can use an outdoor bike for this workout, but a stationary bike in the gym will make it much easier to control the intensity of your ride—an integral part of interval workouts. If you opt for a stationary bike, look for an indoor cycling bike (with a flywheel, non-motorized) and if possible, with a wattage meter. If you must, an upright bike would be a good substitute, and a recumbent would be your last choice.

Now pedal on, and enjoy the interval ride! It will be over soon, and you’ll be glad you accepted the challenge.

Warm-Up = 3 min Total

 Time   RPM/Technique  Notes   Intensity 
3 min 80-100/Light-Moderate
In the saddle, progress from easy to moderate.
Easy to Moderate

Interval Set 1 = 8 min Total

 Time   RPM/Technique   Notes   Intensity 
1 min 70-90/Prepare Hold moderate intensity as you prepare for 4 intervals. Moderate
6 min 80-100/Intervals 4 intervals: push for :30 by increasing resistance & leg speed; get to breathless. Recover for :60 by decreasing resistance & leg speed; get back to easy. Moderate
1 min 80-100/Recover
Light-moderate resistance. Continue easy to moderate intensity.
Easy

Interval Set 2 = 8 min Total

 Time   RPM/Technique   Notes   Intensity 
2 min 70-90/Prepare Hold moderate intensity as you prepare for 8 intervals. Moderate
4 min 80-100/Intervals 8 intervals: push for :20 by increasing resistance & leg speed; get to breathless. Recover for :10 by decreasing resistance & leg speed; get back to easy. Moderate
2 min 80-100/Recover
Light-moderate resistance. Continue easy to moderate intensity.
Easy

Interval Set 3 = 8 min Total

 Time   RPM/Technique   Notes   Intensity 
1 min 70-90/Prepare Hold moderate intensity as you prepare for 4 intervals. Moderate
6 min 80-100/Intervals 4 intervals: push for :60 by increasing resistance & leg speed; get to breathless. Recover for :30 by decreasing resistance & leg speed; get back to easy. Moderate
1 min 80-100/Recover
Light-moderate resistance. Continue easy to moderate intensity.
Easy

Congrats, you’re done!

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Shannon Fable, 2013 IDEA and 2006 ACE Instructor of the Year, is the VP of Fitness Programming for the FIT4MOM® franchise. For more than two decades, she has helped impressive brands such as Anytime Fitness, Schwinn®, Power Systems, ACE, Silver Sneakers, and BOSU® as a fitness business and programming consultant. An experienced educator, freelance writer, and certified Book Yourself Solid® Business Coach, she helps fitness entrepreneurs navigate the industry and make more money. Fable serves as Vice Chair of the ACE Board of Directors and is the founder and co-owner of GroupEx PRO®, a cloud-based group fitness management tool.