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One-Hour Workout: Sweet Spot Bike Intervals

Get the most bang for your buck on the bike with these power-boosting intervals.

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This week’s one-hour workout comes from coach Tristen Rogers—and it’s not an easy one. It involves a number of intervals at your “sweet spot,” which is the name given to the work done just below your FTP (functional threshold power).

She said: “Make no mistake about it, this workout is not for the faint at heart. This is also a workout that should be sprinkled into your routine every three to four weeks and after you have completed an FTP test to understand your zones to get the full benefit of executing the intensity correctly.”

You’ll be spending a large part of the workout in your sweet spot, which is 85% to 95% of your FTP.

Rogers said: “Working intensities that are just below threshold allow you to get the training benefit of almost full FTP work, but with the ability to recover much faster. This allows you to put these workouts into the regularly scheduled training plan without having to navigate full recovery days into the cycle of regular training after its completion.”

She advised you’ll also get “a lot bang for your buck,” and can knock out a high-quality and power boosting workout within an hour time-frame, which works well for most full-time working athletes. If you are riding with a power meter, or using Zwift or smart trainer, simply follow the % of FTP directions. If you do not have a power meter, this is a workout where 85% equals Zone 3 and 95% correlates to Zone 4.

You’ll begin with a five-minute warm-up in Zone 1 before hitting three rounds of one-minute intervals at Zone 4, with an easy minute recovery between each. The next block of work is at sweet spot: two rounds of five minutes at lower sweet spot (85% FTP) followed by five minutes at upper sweet spot (90%). After a five-minute recovery block in Zone 1, you’ll repeat that same pattern two times: five minutes at lower sweet spot, five minutes at upper sweet spot. Wrap it all up with a four-minute cool-down to take you to the hour.

RELATED: The Mental Tools You Need for An FTP Test

One-Hour Workout: Sweet Spot Bike Intervals

Warm-up:

5 min. @ Zone 1 (50-60%, building FTP effort)

Main set:

Repeat 3 times
Hard Work: 1 min @ Zone 4 (90% FTP)
Easy Recovery: 1 min @ Zone 1 (55% FTP)

Repeat 2 times
Lower sweet spot work: 5 min @ Zone 3 (85%)
Upper sweet spot work: 5 min @ Zone 3 (90%)
Recovery: 5 min @ Zone 1 (50% FTP)

Repeat 2 times
Lower sweet spot work: 5 min @ Zone 3 (85%)
Upper sweet spot work: 5 min @ Zone 3 (90%)

Cool-down

4 min. @ Zone 1 (50 – 40% FTP for complete recovery and flush)

RELATED: The Relationship Between Age and Training Zones