It’s not always possible to spend hours at the gym, is it? That’s why high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the best choice when you don’t have a lot of free time. “You can also use cycling to increase efficiency in everyday activities, whether it’s climbing stairs or carrying groceries,” says Lauren Wilson, a professional cycling instructor.
And if you can train outdoors, so much the better. Training outdoors for just two hours a week can improve your health and well-being. Also, ask any cyclist how they feel after an intense workout and you’re likely to hear an incredible sense of accomplishment.
Try these 2 high intensity HIIT workouts
If you’re already able to cycle easily for 20-30 minutes at low intensity, you’re well on your way to doing 2-3 high-intensity workouts (HIIT) a week, says Emily Booth, fitness training manager. Try one of these workouts, and then over time you can add in long climbs and accelerations to gradually increase the load.
30-minute interval training with climbs and descents
If you prefer fresh air, open roads and challenging workouts, then try hill training. If you choose a highway with ups and downs, be careful to choose areas with minimal car traffic,” says Booth.
Interval training on a flat road
On the flat road, Wilson suggests following a training plan based on alternating, interval speeds. This workout will take longer than the previous one.
- Move for 15 minutes at a moderate intensity. The exertion should be such that you can easily talk but not sing.
- Then use acceleration intervals for 50 minutes. Accelerate for 2 minutes on a flat or hilly road and then rest for 4 minutes at an easy pace. Repeat this simple cycle about 8 times.
- Accelerations should be fast, but at a pace that you can tolerate for a full 2 minutes. It is better to start slower but keep the pace than to speed up and slow down.
- The recovery periods should be brisk, but not too fast. When you have completed 4 minutes, you should be ready for a 2-minute acceleration.
- Cool down for 15 minutes, moving at a moderate pace.