Cycling is a wonderful endurance workout that keeps your heart healthy, your weight maintained and your muscles tone. Cycling can also get a little repetitive, since there is not a lot of variety to the exercise- you sit on the saddle and pedal your legs. If your find you are feeling a little bored with your cycling workouts or keep making excuses not to exercise, try an interval training workout to boost your enthusiasm. You can use this training program on stationary bike and approach it very scientifically or emotionally.
Interval Training on a Stationary Bike
Intervals alternate work zones with rest zones. For example, you pedal fast for 60 seconds and then pedal at a comfortable pace for 60 seconds. In response, your heart rate elevates and recovers which boosts your endurance and your overall fitness. In addition, according to the American Council on Exercise, ACE, interval training can reduce your injury risk since you are not exercising in the same way each time you work out.
You can base your intervals on how you feel. For instance, you can sprint, pedal as fast as you can, until you feel you need a recovery interval. Instead of basing the work and recovery zones on time, you gage them by how you feel. When your muscles and breathing feel recovered, then you increase your pace to repeat the work interval. You can also vary the intervals based on intensity level, which is easier when using a stationary bike. For example, increase the resistance to a level that is extremely challenging and remain there for as long as possible before you release the tension and recover.
If a logical approach works better for you, set up your intervals before you begin your workout. You can vary the intervals based on time, intensity, distance or a number of repetitions. You can increase your speed for a set time such as 45 seconds and then recover for an equal or double amount of time- 45 or 90 seconds. As your workout continues and you repeat the intervals, decrease the work and recovery times to add variety. For instance, you can work for 30 seconds and recovery for 30 seconds. Then, work for 20 and rest for 20. Finally work for 15 and rest for 15. Repeat each interval four to five times for a total workout.
You arrange your intervals by distance and pedal hard for a half mile then recover for a half mile by pedaling at a comfortable pace. You can schedule your intensity intervals to match outdoor hills, or for a certain length of time. For example, increase the intensity and pedal for 30 seconds then decrease the intensity and recover for 30 seconds. The number of repetitions is another way to schedule your intervals and may be easier on an indoor bike. You can observe the revolutions per minute and keep pedaling at that intensity level for 30 to 60 seconds before you reduce the RPM and recover.
Use your imagination to add a variety of intervals to your routine to boost your calorie-burning, endurance and psychological benefits. Perform interval training once or twice a week with a long, endurance ride in between.