by: Richard, Bike Doctor
Okay, I recently posted a formula for doing Tabata workouts on a stationary bike as a way to increase speed and power. Tabatas work by increasing your VO2 max. and your aerobic capacity. This means you gulp more air and increase your ability to process that air. More oxygen going to your muscles means they can work that much harder, for a longer period of time. However, it’s definitely not a workout you should do more than twice a week at most (otherwise you’d quickly begin to despise your bicycle). In fact, as an endurance athlete, high intensity training should add up to no more than about 15 percent of your total training volume .
But, you still want some variety for your trainer workouts, right? You still want to train your muscles to make more power, right? Of course you do. So here’s the Cadence Force workout–another one you can do once or twice per week. This one is a good complement to high intensity aerobic training since it emphasizes muscular force instead of lung power. Training muscular strength will also enhance your body’s ability to sustain pace in a race level effort, since stronger muscles will tire less quickly. And once again, it’s a short one (35 minutes including warm up and cool down), so you can do it when you need a quick workout but haven’t much time.
What you’ll need: Besides your trainer, you’ll need a cycle computer or your GPS device with a cadence feature.
Warm Up: Ride in a gear you can spin easily for 10 minutes.
Workout: Pick a gear that you can pedal comfortably at a rate of between 90 and 95 rpm . Pedal at this rate for 1 minute. At the one minute mark, shift down into a gear that you cannot press at greater than 70 rpm. Pedal at this rate for 1 minute. Repeat this alternating cadence 10 times each for a total of twenty minutes.
Cool Down: Spin at 90 rpm or greater in an easy gear for at least five minutes. This is an essential part of this workout as it will help to flush the lactic acid buildup from the efforts out of your legs.
Notes: You may find that once you are really warm, you may have to go to a larger gear to keep it below 70rpm, then gear up again toward the end of the workout.
So did you love it? Hate it? Felt as though you were lifting heavy weights in a gym? If so, congratulations. You did it right.