One-Hour Workout: Power-Up Bike Reps

These short intervals will get you working, but not too hard!

Photo: Getty Images

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This week’s One-Hour Workout is the session from our Triathlete Zwift ride, which took place yesterday and saw 80+ riders from around the world join the virtual platform for a fun and social workout.

The workout could also be done outdoors, but given the short duration of the intervals you’ll likely get the most out of it by riding indoors on the trainer.

Begin with a 12-minute warm-up where you build in three-minute increments, rolling from 45% of FTP (Functional Threshold Power)—or RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) 4/10—if you’re not riding with power, through to 60% of FTP (or RPE 5/10) by the end of the warm-up.

The prep set is designed to get you ready for the main set and involves two rounds of two-minute intervals at 80% FTP (or RPE 7/10) followed by two minutes at 60% FTP (or RPE 5/10). The 80% FTP intervals should feel comfortable, but you should also feel like your heart rate is beginning to rise and you’re ready to get into the main block of work.

It’s then time to begin the main set: three sets of two minutes at 80% FTP (RPE 7/10) into one minute at 90% FTP (RPE 8/10). After the third time through, you’ll ride easy for four minutes—and be sure to really recover and ride easy here, as you’ll certainly start to feel the cumulative effects of the 80% and 90% FTP work as you progress through the rounds. You’ll repeat this pattern another two times: three sets of two minutes at 80% FTP, one minute at 90% FTP, and then four minutes recovery (riding at 55% of FTP or RPE4-5/10). As you get deeper into the workout, although the efforts aren’t super high intensity, you do start to feel them and it pays to use your cadence to keep your power smooth and where it needs to be (versus just trying to stomp power through your pedals).

You’ll wrap it all up with a five-minute easy cool-down, pedaling at 55% FTP (RPE 4/10) or less.

Our next Triathlete Zwift ride is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. MT/11 a.m. ET/4 p.m. GMT and will be led by pro Rach McBride. Look out for RSVP sign-ups nearer the time.

One-Hour Workout: Power-up Bike Reps


12 min. build @ 45% – 60% FTP or RPE 4-5/10

Prep set

2 x (2 min. @ 80% FTP or RPE 7/10, 2 min 60% FTP or RPE 5/10)

Main set

3 x (2 min. @ 80% FTP or RPE 7/10, 1 min. @ 90% FTP or RPE 8/10)
Recovery: 4 min. @ 55% FTP or RPE 4/10

3 x (2 min. @ 80% FTP or RPE 7/10, 1 min. @ 90% FTP or RPE 8/10)
Recovery: 4 min. @ 55% FTP or RPE 4/10

3 x (2 min. @ 80% FTP or RPE 7/10, 1 min. @ 90% FTP or RPE 8/10)


5 min. @ 55% FTP or RPE 4/10

Get more 60-minute sessions from top athletes and coaches around the world in our One-Hour Workout archives.

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