Spin Bike Interval Program
This 30-minute program is similar to the run interval program in structure. I give this to my knee rehab clients who are looking for a little more excitement, and also to clients who are looking for some speed training in the off season. The intervals can be adjusted to lengthen or shorten the program. We are using the perceived effort scale to gauge your speed at first, so your fastest, hardest sprint would be your 100 percent effort, and a comfortable warm up or cool down would be around 60 percent effort. You then can covert your own personal effort to RPMs on the bike if you choose. A 60% effort level frequently is around 80 to 90 RPMs, an aerobic pace of 75% might be 95-100 RPMs, and an 80 to 90% effort might be 100 to 110 RPMs or higher.
Effort is increased with speed and not with cranking up the resistance. You should adjust your resistance to give you something to push against while keeping your core tight, but not so much resistance that you feel stress in your knee joints or have to shift your body back and forth to push. You may find as you increase your speed that you will need to incrementally increase your resistance. Many spin bikes come equipped with built-in programs that you can use to make your workout more interesting. You are free to try those instead, but please be careful with hill programs and other high resistance programs, particularly if you have knee pain. I have found that simply increasing resistance on a spin bike is not at all an adequate simulation of biking outdoors up a steeper incline.
Minutes 1-5: Easy warm up at 60-70% effort level.
Minutes 5-10: Build from 70% to aerobic or “cruise pace” of 75% effort.
Minutes 11-12: 2-minute speed interval of 80% effort.
Minutes 13-14: Recover at 70% effort.
Minute 15-16: Repeat 80% speed interval.
Minutes 17-18: Repeat 70% recovery interval.
Minutes19-20: Repeat 80% speed interval.
Minutes 21-22: Repeat 70% recovery interval.
Minutes 23: Increase to 85-90% effort.
Minute 24: Recover at 60% effort level.
Minute 25: Repeat 85-90% effort.
Minute 26: Recover at 60%.
Minutes 27-30: Bring pace back up to a comfortable aerobic pace of 70% effort to recover.