One-Hour Workout: Zombie Trainer Intervals


This killer Thriller-themed bike workout will haunt your dreams.

Jim Lubinski is a professional triathlete, USAT/Ironman-certified coach, and NASM-certified CPT-CES/PES. He’s also the head coach at Red Performance Multisport, co-host of the “Tower 26 Be Race Ready Podcast“, and host of the podcast “Jim and the Other Guy.” This year, he and his wife are dressing up as Hanz and Franz from the eponymous late-‘80s/early-‘90s Saturday Night Live skits starring Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon.

This week’s Halloween-themed trainer workout combines interval training with lower cadence work for strength (and zombie-fication). “I like to have my athletes do this session on the bike trainer when they are crunched for time,” Lubinski says. “The session builds muscular endurance, muscular strength, fitness, and teaches the athlete the ability to ‘recover’ while still pushing their effort.”

For the main set, start with the gearing at a moderate resistance and a hard effort. At the 30-second mark and the top of every minute, shift two gears harder while maintaining the hard effort to go into “zombie mode.” After 10 seconds in the harder gear, shift back to your starting gear, maintaining the hard effort.

Be sure to keep an eye on your heart rate, and on each interval try to push it higher than the previous one by the end of the 5 minutes.

“Do not fall of off the pace when you shift down to the easier gear after the 10-second harder gear effort,” Lubinski says. “You are training your body and mind to push through the more strenuous effort and “recover” while still pushing a hard effort.” Don’t be surprised if you feel like the walking dead after this one.

For a Halloween treat, download our custom spooky Vincent Price countdown timer mp3. This track lets loose with the 10-second laugh made famous in Michael Jackson’s Thriller, followed by 20 seconds of silence—repeating for five minutes—then five minutes of silence for recovery. Shift into a hard gear during the laugh, and repeat the 10-minute track four times on your audio player to complete the main set.

5 minutes easy
5 minutes as (30 sec high cadence (95rpm+) light resistance spin; 30 sec easy)
5 minutes as (30 sec of single-leg pedaling, switching legs every 30 sec focusing on full, smooth pedal stroke)
5 minutes easy spin

Main Set
4×5 minutes with 5-minutes easy spinning between each set (shift up two gears at the :00 and :30 of each interval for “zombie mode,” shift back down at :10 and :40, keeping the effort high for the entire 5 minutes)

Good stretch after the final five-minute recovery
Raid the kids’ candy

After a few sessions, increase the time of work effort and decrease the time of easy effort: 6min on, 4min off; 7min on, 3min off; 8min on, 2min off; 9min on, 1min off.

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