Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

Monday, January 9th, 2012  
Posted by Megan as High Intensity Training

This is a guest post by Dr. Ron Fritzke.

While it isn’t true for the country as a whole, cold winter weather forces a lot of us who don’t live in the Sunbelt to stay indoors. For runners, cyclists, hikers, and swimmers this can be a real challenge. Few fitness buffs prefer sweating in the living room to taking a bike ride around a lake or a hike through the woods.

Going on a two hour bike ride in the summer is an excellent way to stay fit…but hammering out two hours of riding on an indoor bike trainer in the house is beyond the limits of just about any sane person.

I’ve ridden a four hour indoor ride while trying to distract myself by watching a football game on the TV…and received a Certificate of Insanity from my wife upon completion. I don’t recommend it.

How I Rediscovered Intervals

Megan’s already done an excellent job of emphasizing the benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT) on the SOHI fitness site. Let me add a bit of my personal experience to reiterate the value of the ‘hard-easy-hard’ approach.

Way back in 1984 I ended my competitive running career at the US Olympic Trials marathon. Needless to say, keeping fit and maintaining my weight wasn’t too much of a challenge when running over 100 miles a week. But things slowly changed when I tooled back the effort.

Although I was still running five milers and even ten milers, my body weight slowly inched upward. It wasn’t until my kids got old enough to start competing that I rediscovered ‘intervals’.

I assigned some pretty painful hill repeats for their workouts and, in order to appease my conscience, I ran beside them.

That’s when I discovered how valuable high intensity training can be for weight loss. Over the course of the next month or so my weight started going down. And it made sense…I’d noticed that I would start sweating spontaneously throughout the evening after a series of hill repeats, and my heart rate would remain elevated ten to fifteen beats per minute over my normal resting rate up until I went to bed.

And that’s part of the magic of high intensity workouts; you get benefits long after the huffing and puffing is over.

Quality Over Quantity With HIIT

Without further ado, let’s get on with laying out a few high intensity interval workouts for when you’re trapped indoors. My indoor workouts are done on a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine, but the same principles can be applied to a variety of exercise equipment.

A Pyramid Workout-

  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.
  • One minute hard pedaling, followed by one minute easy pedaling.
  • Two minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Three minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Four minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Five minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Four minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Three minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Two minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • One minute hard pedaling.
  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.

That’s pretty strenuous workout, tempered by how hard you push yourself on the ‘hard’ efforts.

A Descending Ladder Workout-

  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.
  • Six minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Five minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Four minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Three minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • Two minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • One minute hard pedaling.
  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.

A Short, Hard Workout-

  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.
  • Ten minutes, alternating very hard ten second bursts with ten seconds easy.
  • Ten minutes easy pedaling.

Needless to say, when doing any exercise (particularly this type of high intensity workout), you’d better clear it with your physician.

So Maximize Your Efforts Doing HIIT

I’ve given you a few examples of high intensity workout, two of which are pretty strenuous, and one which can hurt quite a bit…but isn’t very long. The truth of the matter is that you can fabricate all sorts of different workouts using this approach of ‘hard-easy-hard’.

Perhaps it’s time for you to jump into this type of fitness technique…you have nothing to lose except some indoor exercise boredom, or maybe a few pounds of body fat.

About the author: Dr. Ron Fritzke is a chiropractor in Northern California, maintaining his private practice as well as serving on the sports medicine team at the College of the Siskiyous. A converted runner, he now spends his time staying fit on one of his four bikes…on the roads, over forest trails, and even in his living room on his indoor bike trainer.

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