I’m frequently asked, “Why should I include HIIT training sessions in my workouts now? Shouldn’t I just be taking it easy during the off-season?”
My answer? “No! The benefits of year-round HIIT workouts are tremendous!”
Here are 3 of my favorite reasons to include some harder efforts every week:
- Keep Your Fast Twitch Muscles Primed. Short interval segments activate your fast twitch muscle fibers instead of having them lay dormant during the winter… which is what happens if you go easy all of the time.
- Rev Your Metabolism. HIIT sessions rev up your metabolism and will burn calories hours after your workout has been completed. This is a tremendous benefit for either maintaining your weight — or even losing a few pounds –during the winter months!
- Optimal Workout for Limited Time. HIIT sessions are the perfect go-to workout when you’re crunched for time. Today’s bike session, for example, shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes.
These efforts should be 30% to 125% above your threshold power or FTP. (If you don’t know your FTP use your average threshold power for an hour time trial effort.) This is a huge range depending upon your fitness. Also, your output will go up in a Bigger Gear (slower rpm) as opposed to a Lower Gear (faster rpm). The moderate segments are at an aerobic intensity that is approximately 20 to 30% below FTP.
Power is the ideal measurement when training on the bike. If possible train with a power meter (my favorite is by STAGES Cycling… it’s lightweight, accurate & easy to use).
HIIT Bike Workout
Total time: 45 min
The following are gearing and cadence recommendations for the intervals throughout the session:
Time Trial Gear (TTG) or Race Gear of Choice Gearing Recommendations:
- Seated: 86–96 rpm
- Standing: 68–76 rpm
Low Gear (LG) Gearing Recommendations:
- Seated: 95–110 rpm
- Standing: 80–86 rpm
Big Gear (BG) Gearing Recommendations:
- Seated: 56–64 rpm
- Standing: 60–68 rpm
8 min and — at the end of every 2 min — include 20 sec very fast RPM at 106 or greater.
8 x 25 sec in your low gear (LG) for 15 sec, then time trial gear (TTG) for the final 10 sec.
This should be a moderate hard to hard effort over the final 10 sec.
Rest Interval (RI) 35 sec very easy.
3 min LG. This should be a moderate hard to hard effort.
2 x 15 sec VERY HARD!
RI 15 sec between all segments fast RPM
3 min big gear (BG) again, moderate hard to hard effort.
3 x 30 sec — and stand for 15 sec on each 30 sec segments. BIG OUTPUT!
RI 30 sec between each interval.
3 min TTG again, moderate hard to hard effort.
3 x 45 sec stand for 15 sec on the 45 sec segments. FEROCIOUS EFFORT!
RI 45 sec between each interval.
Cruise 3 min and repeat the above set, but the 3 min segments to 2 min.
Maintain the HIIT efforts on the shorter segments.
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