One-Hour Workout: Bike Trainer Intensity Mix-Up

Photo: John David Becker

Every Tuesday we’ll feature a different coach’s workout you can complete in 60 minutes (or less!).

This week’s workout comes from Bethany Rutledge, owner and head coach at Energy Lab, a power cycling studio in Atlanta, Ga., and coaching director of Atlanta Tri Club. “If you live in a colder climate and have been dreading using the trainer, here’s a time efficient set to ease into things focusing on form, aerobic fitness and, finally, aerobic capacity and neuromuscular firing,” Rutledge says. “Used smartly, focused trainer work can be an efficient tool to help you get stronger. This mix-up of intensities within the workout will also help keep your mind engaged and the hour fly by!”

“Our athletes are gearing up for a season of all types of goals,” Rutledge says. “Everyone has the common goal to improve their power and strength on the bike and that journey starts, typically in January, by working on form lots of aerobic riding and small bouts of hard work. In fact, this is the workout we did this morning in class!”

Note: Effort levels refer to percentage of Functional Threshold Power using Dr. Andrew Coggan’s zones.

RELATED – Spin Smarter: Efficient Winter Bike Trainer Workouts

15 min easy

Incorporate 4×1 min high cadence spinning (95+ RPM) and 4×30 sec single-leg drills. Keep the power at 50–60% for these. The goal is to have a smooth pedal stroke with no jumps or skips and pedaling with one leg only helps highlight any hiccups in your stroke.

Main Set 1
3×7 min easy tempo building from 75–85% over each 7-min period.

1 min rest between efforts

3 min easy spin

Main Set 2
8x(40 sec ON/20 sec OFF)

The ON efforts should be all-out. The OFF efforts should be easy spinning or resting.

10 min easy spin focusing on a smooth pedal stroke at a low resistance

RELATED: Find Your Functional Threshold Power

More one-hour workouts.