During the winter, or anytime you can’t get a good workout outside, it’s time to hop on the stationary trainer (a.k.a indoor trainer) or a spinning bike for your workout.

You’ll be able to get a more effective workout and likely more calories burned.

Keep in mind this scale for the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) measurements.

Calorie estimates based on a 150 lb cyclist.

Here are some excellent indoor workout routines:

  • Levi’s Ladder
  • The Power Pyramid
  • 30/30s In Less Than 30

Levi’s Ladder

This is a ladder style workout that gets progressively harder (going up the ladder) and then progressively easier (coming down the ladder). Except that by then, you are worn out, so it’s still hard!

It’s just like a race where even if it seems like it should be getting easier, it’s still getting harder.

Here are the instructions:

  • Warm up for 10 minutes, at roughly 60-65% MHR, gradually increase your cadence and build up to around 70% MHR.
  • Pedal for four minutes at RPE 8, then three minutes at RPE 9, two minutes at RPE 10, then one minute allout.
  • Spin easy for five minutes.
  • Pedal one minute all-out, then two minutes at RPE 10, then three minutes at RPE 9, then four minutes at RPE 8.
  • Finish with 5 minutes of easy pedaling. HR should come down to around 60% of max.

Duration: 40 minutes

Calories burned: 450

Time Workout HR (% of Max) RPE
0:00 – 10:00 Warmup
10:00 – 14:00
14:00 – 17:00
17:00 – 19:00
19:00 – 20:00
20:00 – 25:00 Easy pedaling
25:00 – 26:00
26:00 – 28:00
28:00 – 31:00
31:00 – 35:00
35:00 – 40:00 Cool down

 

The Power Pyramid

If you want to feel what it might have been like to build one of the ancient pyramids, try this workout!

This workout alternates hard and easy periods over different lengths of time. The variety prevents boredom. The constant fluctuation mimics most mountain bike races.

  • Warm up for 10 minutes, at roughly 60-65% MHR.
  • Take 1 minute to gradually increase your cadence and build up to around 70% MHR.
  • 1 minute hard, at 75-85% max HR, 7 RPE
  • 2 minutes easy, at 65-70% max HR, 4 RPE
  • 2 minutes hard
  • 2 minutes easy
  • 3 minutes hard
  • 2 minutes easy
  • 4 minutes hard
  • 2 minutes easy
  • 5 minutes hard
  • 2 minutes easy
  • 4 minutes hard
  • 2 minutes easy
  • 3 minutes hard
  • 2 minutes easy
  • 2 minutes hard
  • 2 minutes easy
  • 1 minute hard
  • 2 minutes easy
  • Finish with 5 minutes of easy pedaling. HR should come down to around 60% of max.

Duration: 59 minutes

Calories burned: 800

Time Workout HR RPE
0:00 – 10:00 Warmup
10:00 – 11:00
11:00 – 12:00
12:00 – 14:00
14:00 – 16:00
16:00 – 19:00
19:00 – 21:00
21:00 – 25:00
25:00 – 27:00
27:00 – 32:00
32:00 – 34:00
34:00 – 38:00
38:00 – 40:00
40:00 – 43:00
43:00 – 45:00
45:00 – 47:00
47:00 – 49:00
49:00 – 50:00
50:00 – 52:00
54:00 – 59:00 Cool down

 

30/30s In Less Than 30

This is an intense workout. You can get a lot of work in in a short window of time – just 20 minutes! Excellent if you have a busy schedule.

It’s a way to maximize your time at intensity while still getting enough rest between intervals that you can push hard when you have to.

  • Warm up for 5 minutes. Gradually increase your cadence and build up to around 75% MHR by the end.
  • Do 10 minutes of 30/30s, which is where you alternate 30 seconds hard with 30 seconds easy. The hard 30s should be around 90% MHR at as fast a cadence as you can handle. The easy 30s should be easy pedaling, but do keep pedaling.
  • Finish with 5 minutes of easy pedaling. HR should come down to around 60% of max.

Duration: 20 minutes

Calories burned: 550

Time Workout HR RPE
0:00 – 5:00 Warm up
5:00 – 5:30
5:30 – 6:00
Cool down

 

*Calorie estimates based on a 150 pound cyclist. Your results will vary.

*Make sure you’re in good health before attempting any of these workouts.