Fit… Fast!

Get fit­ter, faster and stronger – with­out leav­ing the house

Bicycling (South Africa) - - NEWS - BY MARK CAR­ROLL

They say you should never leave the house with­out look­ing your best. These cut­ting- edge in­door trainer work­outs will ramp up your fit­ness and speed – so you don’t look like a fool hold­ing back the group on your next ride.

High In­ten­sity In­ter­val Train­ing (HIIT) con­sists of short, but tough, train­ing ses­sions that boost speed, strength, en­durance and speed en­durance. The most ef­fec­tive way to max­imise the ef­fects of HIIT is on an in­door trainer. Here are five in­door work­outs I use at Ca­dence Cy­cling Per­for­mance Cen­tres to help my clients build on their fit­ness. Do three of these ses­sions a week. NB! I’m us­ing Gun­nar Borg’s Rate of Per­ceived Ex­er­tion (RPE – see right) to il­lus­trate ef­fort level, from 1 (very light ac­tiv­ity) to 10 (max ef­fort).

Warm Up

5 min easy ped­alling 4 min RPE 2-3 1 min RPE 4- 6 1 min RPE 6-7 1 min RPE 7- 8 20 secs RPE 9 2 min RPE 2-3 6 secs sprint RPE 10 1 min re­cov­ery Now, start your in­ter­val ses­sion…

Train­ing Oxy­gen De­liv­ery

This is a pyra­mid work­out that steadily in­creases de­mand for oxy­gen de­liv­ery, with­out ex­ces­sive stress on the legs over the five- minute in­ter­val. Your legs will feel a burn, but it’ll be your breath­ing where much of the load will be felt in the last minute. Ex­pect your heart rate to rise into the 90%+ space by then too. The re­cov­ery of one minute should be a com­plete stop.

The more oxy­gen you can de­liver to the legs, and the bet­ter it can be used for aer­o­bic en­ergy me­tab­o­lism, the faster and longer you will be able to ride. 1 min RPE 1 at 80+ RPM 1 min RPE 2-3 at 80+ RPM 1 min RPE 4-6 at 80+ RPM 1 min RPE 7-8 at 80+ RPM 1 min RPE 9 at 80+ RPM 1 min re­cov­ery at a com­plete stop Re­peat this in­ter­val 7 times, then cool down for 10 min at an easy pedal.

Train­ing Oxy­gen Util­i­sa­tion

This could be viewed as hav­ing an op­po­site fo­cus to Ses­sion 1. The mi­to­chon­dria in the leg mus­cles get to work fairly hard here, but have plenty of oxy­gen to breathe be­cause of the fre­quent and com­plete breaks – note that ‘stop’ means ex­actly that: stop and re­lax. 40 secs RPE 9 at 90+ RPM 20 secs re­cov­ery at a com­plete stop Do this 5 times, then move on to the next set. 30 secs at RPE 9-10 30 secs re­cov­ery at a com­plete stop Do this 5 times, then re­cover for 1 min at a com­plete stop. Re­peat this en­tire ses­sion 3 to 4 times, then cool down for 10 min at an easy pedal.

Build Res­pi­ra­tory Mus­cle Fa­tigue Re­sis­tance

Like any mus­cles, the res­pi­ra­tory mus­cles get fa­tigued when worked hard; and there’s a sound hy­poth­e­sis that when this hap­pens, the body ini­ti­ates an auto- re­sponse called a res­pi­ra­tory meta­bore­flex, to save more vi­tal func­tions by rout­ing some blood away from the legs that are scream­ing for more. This is a con­tribut­ing fac­tor to mus­cle fa­tigue. Here’s a good work­out that loads every­thing – in­clud­ing the res­pi­ra­tory mus­cles – to help im­prove fa­tigue re­sis­tance. 45 secs RPE 9 at 90+ RPM 1 min RPE 2-3 at 90+ RPM 1 min RPE 4-6 at 80+ RPM 1 min RPE 9 at 90+ RPM 1 min RPE 2-3 at 80+ RPM 1 min RPE 4-6 at 80+ RPM Re­peat this 3 times in to­tal – but on the fi­nal set, skip the last 2 seg­ments (RPE 2-3 and 4-6). Then add these steps in­stead: 2 min re­cov­ery at a stop 1 min RPE 2-3 at 80 RPM Re­peat this pro­ce­dure once or twice, then cool down for 10 min at an easy pedal.

High-Force In­ter­vals

Low-ca­dence drills will not help with hill climb­ing – im­prov­ing your power-toweight ra­tio will. But low ca­dence drills will help leg­mus­cle fa­tigue re­sis­tance, which trans­lates to bet­ter en­durance and speed en­durance when the leg mus­cles are un­der a sus­tained load for a long pe­riod. This ex­er­cise should not cause more than mild knee pain – if it does, try a slightly higher ca­dence. 1 min RPE 4-6, from 50 RPM 5 min RPE 7-8, from 50 RPM 1 min re­cov­ery at a com­plete stop Re­peat this se­quence 6 to 8 times, then cool down for 10 min at an easy pedal.

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