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A Guide to Indoor Cycling Workouts

written by: CatNorth • edited by: Angela Atkinson • updated: 4/25/2011

Consider options for indoor cycling workouts. Stay in shape with emulated sprint, hill-climb and endurance rides when you're stuck inside. Look at your options for indoor bikes.

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    Indoor Cycling

    When weather keeps you from cycling outdoors, keep fit with indoor riding exercises. Take an easy ride or ramp up the intensity with cardio and interval workout routines on a stationary bike. Maintain or build leg fitness, and increase cardio endurance with daily indoor cycling workouts.

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    Hill-Climb Workout

    Set an indoor bike to a lower intensity number for a five to ten minute warm-up ride. Switch between the right and left leg for applying extra cycling pressure for about ten minutes to activate individual leg muscle groups, suggests Active.com1. Follow through with complete smooth circles on each side. After the warm-up, increase spinning intensity by setting your bike to a higher number. Active.com1 recommends spinning at 90 plus rpm. Alternate climbing workouts and easy spinning rides for interval training by setting your stationary bike controls to interval, manual or hill-climb programs2. Work out for 45 minutes to an hour total and incorporate standing riding throughout your ride.

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    Sprint Workout

    Execute a shorter but more intense ride for a sprint workout. First, pedal at 80 rpm for 5 minutes. Next include six minutes of one-minute repetitions of riding between 100 and 60 rpm, suggests Velopress3. Slow it down some and take an easy ride for five minutes. Total time for this set of sprint workout riding is 16 minutes. Repeat the set after a three to five minute recovery ride, or mix it up with different interval training techniques.

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    Endurance Workout

    Cross-training and mixing up the types of rides you do can help build riding endurance. Set your indoor bike to uphill hill-climbing to increase endurance training and ride for 45 minutes. If the preset program doesn’t include it, take an easy-ride break a couple of time during your endurance riding session. Be sure you hydrate with plenty of water. You can get dehydrated from stationary cycling even though you’re indoors.

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    Indoor Outside-bicycle Riding

    If you don't have easy access to a stationary bicycle, you can find a docking station system for your regular bike. It allows you to essentially ride your normal bike indoors. You can pedal like normal, but the bike stays stationary, allowing you to perform hill-climb, sprint and endurance rides.

    Without options for preset programs that often come with stationary bikes, you'll have to feel your way through hill simulations. However, it you ride a lot, that should prove an easy enough task because you can emulate rides based on memory. If you enjoy alternative cycling get an elliptical bicycle that sets up automatically for indoor cycling workouts.

    For example, the ElliptiGO4 is such a bicycle, and it comes with a stationary trainer device. Elliptical bicycles give you an even workout and emulate a combination of standing bicycling and jogging. If you want to leave your outdoor bike outdoors, an elliptical bike is a great indoor alternative for cycling workouts.

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    References

    1. Active.com: Two Indoor Cycling Workouts to Improve Your Climbing

    http://www.active.com/cycling/Articles/2-Indoor-Cycling-Workouts-to-Improve-Your-Climbing.htm

    2. 24 Hour Fitness; Austin, Texas

    3. Velopress: Workouts in a Binder® for Indoor Cycling

    http://www.velopress.com/cycling.php?id=210

    4. ElliptiGO: Training Indoors on the ElliptiGO

    http://www.elliptigo.com/training/indoors/