Cardio Workout of the Week: Pedal Up the Mountain
|October 19, 2013||Posted by The Fit Scoop under Workouts|
Pregnancy brain caused me to forget to post a cardio workout last week, so to make up for that here’s a doozy of a bike workout. Climbing hills is my favorite type of cycling workout. While I prefer to climb outdoors so I can feel the satisfaction of cresting a big climb, I still enjoy doing climbing workouts indoors on my trainer or a spinner bike. Unless you live near the base of a mountain, this week’s workout is best done on a stationary bike where you can simulate a long, continuous climb by using high resistance on the bike. This workout is great for the upcoming winter months when daylight is shorter and the weather is not favorable for outdoor riding.
Note: If you are newer to cycling, you should learn what the term “cadence” means. It refers to the number of pedal strokes you take in one minute while riding, also referred to as revolutions per minute (RPM). On a flat road you should aim for an 85-95 RPM for maximum pedaling efficiency. When climbing your cadence naturally slows down to between 60 and 80 RPM. Many stationary bikes have a cadence counter built in, but if yours does not, you can manually determine your cadence by counting the number of pedal strokes you take with your right leg for thirty seconds and then multiplying that number by two.
After warming up at a high cadence, go straight into the first of two 15-minute climbs. The first five minutes of the climb are at 80 RPM, the second are at 70 RPM, and the last are at 60 RPM. Keep your effort level the same for the entire climb by increasing the resistance on your bike for each five minute segment. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor you can do this workout based on effort alone. The climbing should feel like you are working at a challenging but not all-out effort – think “moderately-hard.” You should feel like you are breathing hard but with control. After completing the first climb, take five minutes to recover at an easy effort with a high cadence. Then repeat the 15 minute climb again. Finish the workout with a five minute cool down.
To make it easier: perform just one climb or shorten the climbs to 10 minutes each.
To make it harder: throw in a third climb to make the workout just over an hour. Then feel free to call yourself King of the Mountain for the day 😉