There is more than one way to ride an indoor cycling bike. Some individuals prefer a casual ride, while others are looking for a calorie-burning experience.
So, if you’re looking to mix up your indoor cycling routine, or train for a specific fitness goal, we’ve got eight different cycle workouts that you can try.
Before your start, you should know how to calculate your target heart rate. You can use a simple calculation (220-age) to find out your maximum heart rate (220-45 = 175 beats per minute or max heart rate). After that you can calculate your target heart rate percentages that are referenced in the different workouts below.
You should also pick a workout that will help you meet a specific fitness goal. This means knowing your limit when it comes to increasing speed and resistance. Like every other form of exercise, if is recommended that you consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
1. Long Ride, Low Intensity
If distance is one of your goals, then longer rides should be a staple in your training program. These rides should keep you in the intensity range of 40 percent to 60 percent of your maximal heart rate. You should feel comfortable as you ride and be able to sustain the same amount of effort throughout the workout. You should also feel fresh enough after these types of workouts to repeat them on consecutive days.
2. Cadence Training
Undertake this training if you want to maintain power output and improve your ability to push high resistance or gears. Increasing your cadence can also help you adapt to the higher power output. Having a cadence or rpm monitor is critical to performing this type of training.
3. Recovery Ride
Recovery rides are shorter in duration and lower in intensity. They also don’t need to have a goal set for the ride. Use these rides to help maintain blood flow to recovering muscles while burning some calories and reducing stress to your cardio and neuromuscular system.
4. Interval Training
There are two types of aerobic interval training you can perform on your exercise bike. The first is aerobic interval training. This type of training calls for a rider to increase their power output to a level higher than they normally train at, and then follow up with a low intensity ride for about a minute. Timing can vary depending on the rider’s goals. Some intervals have been known to last for up to 4 minutes followed by an 8-minute recovery.
The second type of interval training is anaerobic interval training. This is the opposite of the aerobic intervals. You should ride hard for about 30 seconds to a minute and then rest for the same amount of time or longer. This type of training is great for increasing both anaerobic and aerobic performance.
5. Tabata Intervals
These intervals are like anaerobic training intervals but have a specific interval work and rest times. To perform these intervals, you must ride at an all-out pace for 20 seconds, followed by complete recovery or coasting. Repeat this interval 8 times to finish the Tabata Interval. Research has shown that their can be improvements in both anaerobic and aerobic energy systems.
6. Hill Climbing
If you are a ride that is training for a ride or race that involves high elevation changes, it would be beneficial to perform hill or higher resistance training on your exercise bike. If you know how long the hill climbs will be, then you can set your resistance and time to match the length of the hill climb you are training for. Be aware that your positioning on an exercise bike will not be quite the same as your hill climb position on the road or trail.
Sprint training is a great way to boost your metabolism and engage your fast twitch muscle fibers for strong finishes during races. This type of training can teach your neuromuscular system to respond even when you have ben riding for long periods of times. Perform your sprints as intervals, riding at your sprint pace for a few seconds followed by a long recovery so you can repeat the next sprint at full strength.
8. Target Heart Rate
If you are looking for general health benefits of bike riding, it would be wise to know what your heart rate is while riding. If you are looking to increase the strength of your cardiovascular system, you should perform 30 plus minutes of exercise at around 40 percent to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate.
If you want to increase your riding strength and endurance, perform longer rides maintaining a heart rate between 70 percent and 85 percent. Finally, if you want to increase your maximum power output, train at heart rates higher than 85 percent, but only for short periods.
If you are looking for a quality bike to help you meet your health and fitness goals or would like to upgrade form what you are currently riding, check out theses high performance cycle bikes that will help you get to the next level.